Last week I joined over 5,000 women and a few good men at the Hilton New York in New York City to celebrate and experience the BlogHer community and economy!
Since returning to my home in Washington, D.C., I have:
- Reflected and journaled about my experiences and lessons learned during the conference (was able to write in my journal thanks to the time I had on my Bolt Bus ride home to D.C. and my daily subway rides to and from work).
- Prepared several blog recaps (posted a few on my blog) that I will be using in chapters for my forthcoming book, Digital Sisterhood: Fierce Living Online for 25 Years.
- Talked to my book editor, parents, team of business advisors, and a few friends about lessons learned from the conference.
- Posted my photos of the moments I cherished most and shared them on Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Twitter, and my blog.
- Reached out and connected with new and old blogging friends via Twitter (especially on #DigitalSisterhood Wednesday), Facebook, email, and text messages on my best friend, my HTC EVO smartphone.
- Read and was inspired by many recap blog posts and tweets written by conference attendees.
- Begun to map out the follow up work I need to do between now and the end of 2013 (yes next year) to enhance my talents and skills, expand my thought leadership, deepen my connection and engagement within my own network and the online/offline communities that support me, and further develop my revenue generating streams as an author, artist, blogger, coach, speaker, workshop facilitator, yoga teacher, and Reiki practitioner (what a mouthful!).
- Mailed thank you cards to some of the BlogHer team members and people I did not have a chance to meet or deliver a card to (the southern belle debutante and sorority girl inside of me is compelled to write thank you cards …. my mother is responsible for this behavior).
- Organized my small stash of swag with plans to give some of it away as gifts to family and friends (adoring my favorite swag … the Martha Stewart orange journal …. What can I say? The writer in me loves journals and the Martha Stewart brand!).
This morning I woke up with a deep sense of gratitude for all of the things the BlogHer team and community have done and continue to do. I reflected on how I am a direct beneficiary of their efforts. I remembered the impact their efforts have had on me since my first BlogHer conference in 2009 and the conferences I attended in 2010 and 2011. I smiled at how much I have been able to dream and do as a result of the lessons learned, skills developed, connections I have made, and speaking opportunities I have had. So I wrote an email to BlogHer co-founders Elisa Camahort Page, Lisa Stone, and Jory des Jardins, and members of their amazing team, Polly Pagenhart, Shannon Carroll, Maria Niles, Lori Luna, Amelia Elsbee, and others that was filled with sweet words of gratitude and thanksgiving.
My email talked about how much I value what the BlogHer team does to build and nurture its ever-growing and evolving community, conference, and economy (just love that I can say BlogHer economy … I need a t-shirt to wear in D.C.). I acknowledged how hard it is for them to build a movement, community, business, and economy. I reminded them that because they invest in me I invest in them, and we are ONE! I sprinkled in some of my flowery words and phrases to make them smile and touch their hearts too!
Now I am writing this blog post to say thank you to everyone connected to BlogHer. That means YOU … my fellow attendees, conference volunteers, online community members, speakers, sponsors, vendors, brands, companies, and organizations. Together, we are a movement of passionate and powerful people. May we each recognize, affirm, value, and express our contributions in ways that support our highest and greatest good as individuals, communities, businesses, brands, companies, and organizations!
With deep gratitude and blessings,
Ananda, your digital sister
PS: I am feeling really good due to a Starbucks de-caf venti Cafe Americano with
three pumps of raspberry and my own rice milk, my comfy and cute Ann Taylor Loft dress, and Pandora.com playing in the background! LOL! It’s just that kinda day! Can you feel me?
Ananda, I have to give thanks that we’ve been digital sisters since we came together at BlogHer ’10 and talked intensely. You are a force for good in this world — I so appreciate the generous spirit with which you approach our annual event together. And so articulate — witness your thoughtful comments in support of Blogalicious at the Blogalicious breakfast Sunday morning.
This is the comment I am carrying with me on a post-it note: “Together, we are a movement of passionate and powerful people. May we each recognize, affirm, value, and express our contributions in ways that support our highest and greatest good as individuals, communities, businesses, brands, companies, and organizations!” Perhaps it’s time for us to MAKE those BlogHer Economy t-shirts and this can be our vision/thesis.
Lisa, Thanks for taking time to reply and share so deeply. My heart is filled with so much joy! And yes I remember our deep conversation at BlogHer 10. Keep shining. Much digital sisterhod love, Ananda
Seeing you was a highlight of my conference! You are a true leader and an amazing human being, making everything in your path better.
Hey Digital Sister Deb! You made my day with your kind words! The feeling is mutual. Hugs and digital sister love, Ananda
Ananda, if only the world had more of your ability to reflect and see the big picture! Your note (both the paper note and your email) reminds me of BlogHer’s purpose and mission. I’m grateful to have you in our community to help us all remember we’re in this to learn and help each other. And I’m so glad you had the ultimate experience. I look forward to being there IN PERSON next year and celebrating with you.
Thanks Jory! Much love!
Ananda, meeting you was a highlight of my BlogHer experience. It is easy to feel overwhelmed when you are in a sea of thousands, but it is the one-to-one experiences like I had with you that makes BlogHer so worth it to me.
Yes, the sessions are great, and the swag is nice, but I go to meet people. I’m so glad I met you!