This past weekend I went to a bloggers conference in Miami Beach (for those of you who might think this involved lots of travel, getting there consisted of a 23 mile drive each way. Yes, I am blessed!)
At the conference I met some amazing people who are leading the way in blogging, online marketing, and community-building. I have PAGES and PAGES of notes to go through, all filled with great ideas for making blogs, websites and social sites better, more appealing and more useful. I have a stack of business cards to look at and wonderful women to connect with over the next few weeks.
One of the most inspiring speakers was Guy Kawasaki, who used his new book "Enchantment" to offer ideas on making a business truly speak to its customers. He even gave out copies of his book (thank you Citrix for sponsoring that bonus!), so we could continue the conversation after the conference ended.
It's amazing what a difference it makes to spend time with other people who are sharing a part of your path. Talking with these women (it was a women's blogging conference, by the way, although there were a few brave men who defied the label and shared the event. Bravo to them!) reminded me of goals I'd pushed aside or forgotten, opened my eyes to new possibilities for both my personal and company blogs and social sites, and inspired me to step outside the box and try some new tools and techniques.
It's that way in so much of life, I think. We sometimes get so caught up in our own view of a project or a life event or even a spiritual practice that we forget that there are others out there traveling that same road. A few days -- or even just a few hours -- with our fellow travelers can do wonders for opening up new possibilities. Sometimes it even reminds you why you started on that path to begin with...a fact that can be easy to forget amid the details and struggles of any journey.
One more thing....I have seldom (maybe never?) endorsed a business on this blog, but I have to make an exception for the restaurant where I had lunch on Saturday. Pasha, a delicious healthy Mediterranean cafe on Lincoln Road was one of the most delicious places I have ever tried. I ordered a lentil yani (stew), and was presented with a bowl of fragrant, delicately seasoned vegetable and lentil stew, accompanied with perfectly cooked basmati rice. I also ordered a side of hummus, and was delighted with the hot, puffy fresh pita bread that came with it. The only negative was when I asked for a refill on my iced tea, and then discovered that I had been changed another $2.00 for it -- and it was 90% ice. Uncool, especially on a hot Florida afternoon!
But iced tea issue aside, I sat there, at a shady table under the palm trees, and ate incredible food, browsed through a magazine, and thanked my lucky stars for all of it. The conference, the food, the weather, the setting...it just doesn't get any better than this.