evo: Seeing Your True Potential at evo
Every once in a while, I catch a glimpse of my True Potential. It usually comes when I'm around certain people or in certain circumstances. The True Potential version of me is talented and smart, and not embarrassed when other people respect her for those traits. She lives life vibrantly, delighted by the many passions she has in her life and anxious to share those passions with others. She knows she has great worth, independent of what anyone around her thinks. Oh, and she can dance like there's no tomorrow. I caught a really good glimpse of her three weeks ago for three whole days. Under what circumstances did I see her, you ask? At Evo, a conference for women in social media.
Maybe I am biased because I've been friends with one of the conference's co-founders, Jyl Johnson Pattee, for years, and I went as a volunteer. I spent almost every waking minute registering participants, taking notes in workshops, handling microphones, and tweeting whenever I got a chance. I was quite literally immersed because I was so busy. This was my second year attending the conference, but the first in which I also chose to immerse myself as much as possible in the experience. Doing so wasn't easy, as I take my responsibilities as a stay-at-home mother quite seriously and have rarely been away from my kids for more than a day at a time. But I was hungry to meet new people, cement relationships with those I already knew, soak up precious knowledge, and bask in the spirit of change and empowerment shared by the Ignite and keynote speakers.
So, specifically, here's what helped me see my true potential at evo:
- Associating with other women who are earnestly striving to, and many times succeeding at, changing their little corner of the world. Bloggers in general tend to be people who are more honest, funny, interesting, and willing to share than others. Bloggers at Evo are even more so.
- The Ignite presentations Thursday night. For an hour and a half, in quick five-minute intervals, a powerful group of women shared stories of how their souls had been laid bared by trials, and how they were able to turn them into positive experiences through the power of community and clinging tenaciously to their dreams. Anyone who has experienced a crushing challenge knows how hard it can be to tell it to others, much less to turn it into an inspiring story, but these women did it. The evening was capped by a magical flash mob by Jenny Eckton (see below), who was the example of a woman sticking her chin up at the forces keeping her from her dream of dancing in front of a crowd.
- The workshops on photography, food preparation, writing, etc. were all very hands-on, In-depth, and engaging. My favorite was the one on Writing and Publishing, taught by Ellen Seidman of LoveThatMax and Heather Morgan Shott of Parents magazine.
I wasn't the only one transformed by evo. In the many recap posts written about it and shared on evo's Facebook page, these are the types of comments that have been shared:
From Dennissa Valdivieso Ramirez of Denny on the Spot: "I seriously could have gone on talking about the wonderful classes, the amazing food, all the wonderful sponsors, the amazing giveaways, swag bags full of goodies, the family-oriented feel [of] the whole conference, the hot air balloons, gondolas, the amazing resort, lemon bars, the dancing. But I will just say it was AMAZING."
From Caryn Payzant: "I finally broke down and cut off my closing party wristband today. Just wanted to keep the reminder of such a fabulous conference on me as long as possible."
And from Jenny Eckton of Formerly Phread, an Ignite speaker and organizer of the flash mob: "Thanks to Jyl, Rachael, and the entire evo team for the opportunities, and for the abounding potential shared throughout the conference."
Seeing your True Potential can be thrilling. Getting closer to becoming the best you can be awesome. evo can help you reach yours.
Were you able to attend evo? What was your favorite part of the weekend?
Feature photo courtesy of Flickr and NoBiggieBlog.