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Remember kindergarten? Sharing is still good!

momcom austinWe often keep our dreams hidden, thinking they are too weird or unrealistic. We keep our pain, hidden too, trying to look much stronger and more capable than we really feel.

We probably know that sharing your truth with other women is a great way to figure out that your dreams are not at all unreachable, that your pain is shared by others and that who you are deep inside is just exactly who you are supposed to be.

But let’s get real…who has time?  Busy moms, whether they work outside the home, work from home, or work caring for a home, the opportunity for real, can hardly find time to sleep and shower, much less dig into dreams.  When the kids are around, it’s hard to focus on big things like dreams or some-day-plans.  (Focus + Kids around? Yeah right!)

And there are some things you just don’t want the kids to hear. No need to say more, right?

Then there’s work…

Yeah, not a great place for deep heartfelt sharing. First of all, when you’re at work, people kind of expect you to, well, work. Unfair, I know, but there it is.

And then there’s privacy (in case you missed it, break rooms are a WONDERFUL place to say anything you want spread through the grapevine by the next meeting. Ditto for cubicles and the company parking lot!)

And then there’s your image.

While some workplaces are more accepting about personal and work lives connecting, most employers would just as soon pretend that you don’t have a personal life. So telling your coworker (or boss!) too much about your scary medical tests, the business you plan to open, or your dreams of chucking it all and moving to Belize is probably not going to earn you points when review and raise time rolls around.

The demise of built-in communities for sharing

Years ago Decades ago Centuries ago, women had communities of other women to turn to when life went haywire…or wonderful. They had tribes. Although we have gained so much in the decades since then, we lost something, too. We lost that ready at-hand support network of other women who understood where we were and what was happening in our lives.  For most of us, our college sorority days were the closest we ever came to experiencing an everyday community of women.

But that was then, and here we are now, married or not married, with kids to raise, and busy being a mom and a woman and maybe an employee or business owner.

And soooo many of us are literally starved for people who GET IT. And time to share what’s on our minds or in our hearts.

So what’s a mom to do? special

One of the great tools that have blossomed in recent years is the women’s convention. Some are just for bloggers, like BlogHer. Some are for women with a certain hobby, religion or ethnicity.

Others, like MomCom2014 are for moms. Moms who come together to share the things that make us as women, whether that’s a dream of owning a business, a book they’ve written or a life experience we share.

We get to share all those things that make us who we are in addition to being a mom.  At MomCom, we can sit together and talk about it. We can listen to speakers and attend workshops to feed our passions and boost newly-hatched dreams. We can listen to other moms’ stories.

But most of all, we can share. We can finally share that dream we’ve been keeping inside. Or let the tears flow when the speaker’s message touches our own secret pain.  We can talk over coffee or lunch, and exchange phone numbers and Facebook pages. We can sit up all night and talk if we need to, because these two days are just for us.

These gatherings let moms share stories of our lives, stories about our kids, and stories of hopes and dreams for the days and years to come. Sure it’s only two days, but the amazing thing is that when we go to these conferences and gatherings, it doesn’t end there.

We use the new information and the clarity and their our “tribe” to enrich our lives all year long. And the next year,  we add even more.

 

 

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Success is…er, um, yeah

success imageThe title of this post is only a little bit in jest. Because the truth is,  I am really stumped.

The word seems so simple sometimes, like when I’m doing something easy to define like the laundry (everything de-stunk, and none of my husband’s underwear pink) or writing a blog post (no typos, and the #@#%^ WordPress engine didn’t lock up mid-publish) or leaving my yoga class (I can unknot myself and walk out to the car without screaming. )

It seems like a simple word, doesn’t it?

Most people would say that success is to get to a goal or goals in some part of life. And that’s great for an SAT answer or a vocab test or a small, easily defined task. But in the big picture part of life, success is much harder to pin down.

For some people, success is a great career with big financial rewards. For some it’s that elusive “balance” we’re all supposedly searching for. Success could also be a happy family, good health, a fit body or a worthwhile cause advanced.  And to make matters worse, the definition changes from year to year, day-to-day, (or for moms, from hour to hour!)

So what is success?

We all know we want “it” but most of us aren’t sure exactly what “it” is. That fuzziness is one of the reasons we chose the speakers and workshops we do for MomCom. Because we know that success comes in many packages.

For MomCom 2014, there are lots of versions of success on the stage.

For example, there’s Glennon Doyle Melton. This New York Times bestselling author and award-winning blogger is going to be sharing her story of success as a mom, success as a woman of faith, but most of all, success over alcoholism – and success in reclaiming her life with a joy and excitement it’s almost impossible to ignore. It’s contagious, in all the best ways. And great at helping you imagine your own version of success….and really believing it’s possible!

Another take on success will be coming from Alexa von Tobel, who was voted as “One of the Coolest Young Entrepreneurs” in Inc. Magazine’s 30 Under 30 feature, and was named as a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum. And those are just a few of her accolades.

But her financial expertise is not her only claim to success. This Harvard grad was disturbed to find that most of her peers had little or no personal financial knowledge. That discovery led to the founding of LearnVest, a way for everyone and anyone to become money-savvy, whether you’re already almost there or aren’t even sure where to begin. Alexa’s success is just as much in sharing money and finance information as it is in reaching her own career dreams.

There are dozens of other versions and definitions of success we’re bringing to MomCom 2014. Hundreds, if you count all the other women you’ll meet, each with their own vision and story to share.  That’s one of the coolest things about MomCom. It’s not just about someone standing up and telling you how to run your life to reach “success.” It’s about exploring and digging and listening and sharing and coming up at the end of the event with new ideas about what success might look like for you.

So where are you on the idea of success right now? What would lower case “success” look like to you? How about upper case “SUCCESS?”  Tell us your story!  We just might want to share it with everyone else here on the blog and at MomCom 2014!

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We’re all in this together

A nearly wordless Wednesday. We are stronger, better, braver and more successful together! (One of the things I LOVE about MomCom! )

womens diversity

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