Last month I attended my first ever Blissdom conference for female bloggers and enjoyed myself immensely. I met a slew of interesting and inspirational women, learned an assortment of tricks and tips of the blogging trade and connected with some stellar sponsors including Tim Hortons, MapleLeaf and Unicef.
The best part of all this was the amazing women I met. Everyone was so friendly, with a quick smile and warm hello and introduction. It was a veritable potpourri of talented, passionate and committed women bloggers and I felt privileged to be in their company.
But this post is about one woman in particular that I met who had a great impact on me and inspired me profoundly. Her name is Glennon Doyle Melton. She is the founder of Momastery which is probably one of the biggest mom blogs on the Internet. She is also the author of the New York Times bestseller ‘Carry On, Warrior’.
For her Blissdom appearance Glennon sat on the Social Ettiquette panel with, amongst others, Glen Canning, the father of Rahtaeh Parsons, a teenager from Nova Scotia who attempted suicide after being gang-raped and cyberbullied (and subsequently went into a coma and died a few days later when the decision was made to take her off life support.)
I don’t know how much Glennon knew about Rahtaeh’s story as Glennon lives in the United States and I’m not confident that Rahtaeh’s story infiltrated her local media. Regardless, Glennon said some wise and kind words, right there up on stage and her presence was one of love, acceptance and hope. This is befitting of a woman whose website’s tag line is “Truth tellers and hope spreaders.”
The entire panel on social etiquette was, in my opinion, the best of the day, and the discussion was timely and valuable. I tweeted a few of the statements that most spoke to me, among them:
After the panel discussion (and question and answer session) was over the audience were directed to the foyer outside the meeting room to meet with the speakers and they mentioned that Glennon had a book she would be signing. I’ve been an avid reader my entire life and as I was sitting at the back of the room I was one of the first attendees to purchase her book and get it signed by the author.
Her story (much like my first impression of her) is honest and authentic. Glennon is a recovering alcohol, drug and food addict. This book was a joyous pleasure to read, like sitting down with a true and wise friend. Everything that she talks about – the power of love, the need for truth, the strength in community, bravery, compassion, all come rolling off the pages like sweet words of wisdom hard won.
She writes about the people in her life with a reverence both rare and contagious. She writes about every day life but what makes her writing so relevant and distinctive is her willingness to include the bad with the good. Her essays are personal, warm, wise and loving. She has the most amazingly positive energy that is infectious and makes you realize that every single one of us are worthy of giving and receiving love.
I’m including ‘Carry On, Warrior’ in my required reading for the The Hiding Sport Feminist Reads Challenge.
I cherish the inscription and felt empowered upon reading it, and the book itself further empowered me. Basically the idea behind everything Glennon does reverberates with the idea that love is power and “life is brutiful”.
If you ever get the opportunity to see Glennon in person, I highly suggest to take that opportunity. I also highly recommend that you read this book, then pass it on to a sister.