My First Blogalicious

me-blogaliciousAt the beginning of November, I had the pleasure of traveling to Atlanta to attend my first ever Blogalicious conference.  First of all let me say KUDOS to the Stacey Ferguson and her team for providing am insightful, inspiration and empowering weekend for bloggers, brands and everyone in between.  Not only was there the opportunity to connect and experience the brands, the social suites, a new concept to me at these conferences was an amazing way to unwind, engage and experience everything the sponsors had to offer the conference attendees.

meblogalicioussignAs a lifelong learner, it is always an plus for me when I have the opportunity to engage, to learn and to find myself immersed in an environment where I can engage others, learn more about my craft and how to be and do better and to connect with those who have experience and knowledge to share.  Blogalicious provided all of that and much more.

 

From the very beginning of the weekend, being allowed to test drive the new vehicles by Kia, to a whiskey tasting and private party hosted by Jack Daniels as well as the personalized one on one media kit sessions, Blogalicious offered a little bit of everything for the blogger. Participants were also invited to attend a social engagement panel, book signings, by New York Time best selling author Luvvie Ajaye and former Apprentice contestant phenomenal Nely Galan.  There was even an opportunity to talk health with the Change the Cycle, suite and panel discussion about women’s health and fibroids.

I had an amazing weekend.  As expected I left the conference with much more than I came with (both knowledge and swag) and I was able to meet people that I have been friends with on Facebook and who I engage through blogging and social media and I met countless others who shared, laughed, cried and discussed so many topics during the weekend.

This was a weekend to learn, to grow, to network and to engage.  All of the reasons you spend your time and your money to go to a conference.  There were also wonderful extras added to the conference that made it more of an experience.  The caricature artist, the ability to have professional headshots taken after having a professional makeup application in the Dove suite.  Plenty of soft drinks and Coke floats provided by Coca-Cola,  the book signings and day party.  If anyone left this conference feeling anything other than inspired and a little more educated, and with a few more friends, then they surely did not experience the conference.  I am looking forward to what Blogalicious has in store for 2017.  I will be there!

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What 2016 Taught Me

For me 2016 started off as the Year of Yes!.  I bought Shonda Rhimes book, settled in on the first day of the year and read the book from cover to cover.  I saw a lot of similarities between myself and Shonda Rhimes and found myself in a place where no had become the norm in my life.  Because of, well many reasons, no was my place of comfort, my big fluffy blanket, my safe zone.  If I could say no, that removed the responsibility, the obligation and the possible disappointment, frustration and/or hurt.  But then this Year of Yes thing came along.

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How I started2016!

So what did the Year of Yes r 2016, teach me?  Just a few things.

1.  A closed mouth does not get fed.  You need to be open and vocal about what you want and/or what you need.  Make your requests known.  Let people know that you are in the room and that you exist.  If there is something on your mind or in your heart say it.  Do not allow life or opportunities pass you by simply because you didn’t speak up.new noorm2

2.  Yes can become your New Normal.  Yes can push your boundaries, however you are still in control and can ultimately redraw those boundaries.  Think of it as life gentrification.  Adjusting the boundaries of your life to fit the person that you are growing into.  Actually, this will be necessary as you open yourself up to things and experiences you may have previously shied away from.be good to yourself

3.  Don’t let the growing stop on December 31.  Carry what you have learned into the next year and keep improving on yourself and keep and keep making your life better.  Do not become stagnant after you just opened yourself up to all of these amazing opportunities.  Keep growing and keep thriving.

2016, as any year had its ups and downs.  There were some personal setbacks and there were also some personal gains.  The year ended on a very high note for me (more about that later).  I learned a lot, I experienced a lot and I changed a lot.  Change is an inside job and 2016 was a perfect example of that.  As I worked on my Year o Yes, I learned that most importantly, I needed to say yes to myself and to what I needed and what I desired and I learned in 2016 how to do that without feeling guilty or fearing judgment.

So 2016, thank you for the lessons learned.  Thank you for the friendship and relationships that developed, thank you for allowing me the freedom and the opportunity to be authentically me and to be free to soar.  Thank you for removing the Spirit of Stuck and allowing me to run and to walk when and to crawl when I needed to.  Thank you 2016 for showing me that the only thing that can stop me is Me.  2017, I have been expecting you and I cannot wait to see what you have in store for me.

 

Be Blessed! Be Fabulous!

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