Two weeks ago, at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, about 175 Social Media Moms (and Dads) joined together to celebrate our industry, ourselves, and, of course, Disney. We were SO busy throughout the celebration that there are multiple posts on the way to share. Today, I want to share inspiration from the Disney Social Media Moms Conference.
It’s not every day that you sit down with 175ish of your closest and dearest friends, after a night of partying, to intensely study yourself. In fact, I started the morning with no idea that I’d be so focused on me. Comedienne Mary Ellen Hooper began our morning with parenting laughter that would fill and balance our day.
I’m sure it wasn’t the intent of Disney to enlist my thoughts in calm, structured wanderings. I know they planned to enlighten the social media mom that I am. (They did.) When Amy Jo Martin took the stage, I was excited to hear about her experience with sports teams and stars. Never did I realize that learning her journey would enlighten mine.
I nodded through a lot of Amy’s slides, taking more pictures, apparently, than I realized because I just agreed with so many of them. In fact, at one point, I joked that perhaps she was quoting me.
While I didn’t say it quite so beautifully, before kids, I was a sorority advisor at Villanova University, and tried, again and again, to try to express this thought to my students who were terrified of breaking rules. For them, there was little gray–just black and white. In life, I’d tell them, you have to find ways to bend the rules. You can find loop holes in policies that won’t actually be doing something wrong, just pushing the limits. It was the girls who could capture this essence that achieved most. (And, note: I did not give those girls permission to drink at the age of almost 21 or break any rules. I only attempted to show them that you had to take some well-thought risks to get ahead.)
I continue to use this same mindset in parenting and my workload. We need to stretch our limits to live a limitless life.
A marketing powerhouse, Amy Jo spoke a good deal about personal branding… something I also speak and write about (I still plan to write a book on Branding and Rebranding for women). Again, I nodded and agreed with the importance of recognizing yourself as your own brand.
But it was when we started talking about life-balance that I, apparently, stopped taking pictures, so enthralled was I in what she shared. Sadly, I’m missing the image that inspired me most. It was, ironically, an image that not only she, but fellow speaker Peter Shankman also posted. A picture of a computer and phone on a mountaintop looking out into the distance.
Close your eyes. Imagine it. You’re working atop a mountain. You have the whole world before you. You can do this because you have balance in your life. You can take your work to where you can clear your thoughts. You can do something for you in your busy moments of every day.
At least three of the speakers shared the importance of me-time. Amy Jo takes 8 minute breaks to do something for her. She schedules them into her calendar. Lisa Druxman of Stroller Strides spoke of the importance of time alone and Peter Shankman shared how he needs time to gather his thoughts.
So do I. So does everyone.
So, the last two weeks I’ve spent sometime doing nothing but thinking. Being enlightened by my surroundings and the thoughts that continually go through my mind. Why am I doing this? Where am I going? What am I giving to others that will help them?
What is my why?
Here’s Amy Jo’s response. She found her why. I’m still working on mine. But I’m also working on balancing my life better to help myself to find my why. I’m finding time to ponder. I’m making notes.
I’m not so sure I’ll have an answer. I’m a big believer that life brings you twists and turns. You hit a bump in the road and your life turns you left instead of right. So, rather than focus on my why for life, I’m focusing on my why for today. And my why for my business. And my why for tomorrow.
What about you? Have you found your why? Have you balanced your time? Can you spend time on top of that mountain–or in your special place–for inspiration in what you do?
Thanks to Disney Social Media Moms Celebration for hosting the conference. It was an honor and an inspiration. More on my trip to Disney World (with pictures and video and behind the scenes peeks) to come.
© 2012, Julie Meyers Pron. All rights reserved.