I never imagined how attending the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration would change my life and yet even though I am still trying to process it all and put it into words, the one thing I do know is that my life will be forever changed thanks to this magical event through a series of 6 very important life lessons that I learned.
Truthfully how does one even begin to find the words to adequately define something so indescribable as being a part of the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration? Each and every one of us knew from the moment we first opened the email that would change our lives that being a part of this would mean that our lives would change in ways we could never begin to imagine. It didn’t seem to matter whether it was your first time experiencing all that this Celebration had in store for us or not. We all knew from the beginning that we had the love of family and sharing parts of our lives and life experiences with others and what a magical foundation that is. Throughout the four days, it was all about building upon that foundation conversation-by-conversation, memory-by-memory that the intricate details are still continuing to emerge and will for some time to come and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Time will help each of us choose which of the memories we will hold onto as the years go by but for now, here are just some of the many lessons that I came away with
6 Life Lessons Learned
To hear Maxine Clark, founder of Build A Bear Workshop talk is to sit down and have that conversation with a mom, grandma, aunt, friend that we all wish we had in our lives. Maxine is living proof that you can spend your entire life asking “what if” or you can live in the moment and see what happens. From this dynamic woman I finally truly understood that the biggest risk you can take in life is to not take any risk at all and as any teacher already knows, sometimes the biggest and best ideas come from the heart of a child because they still dare to dream and believe.
2) Believe In Your Own True Dream
Most people know Donald Driver as the most prolific pass catcher in the history of the Green Bay Packers, especially if you happen to be a lifetime 49er fan. Others know him as Champion of Dancing With the Stars. But those of us in the room with this MVP of charitable endeavors as we all wept together, including Mr. Driver himself, learned of the man who taught us all to start each day with intent and to never lose sight of your dreams because as you pursue them, the bigger they get. “At the end of the day, all that really matters in life is that I was a good husband to my wife and a great father to my kids. That’s all that really matters.” By the way, while-Donald Driver-you still owes me a dance!!
Just thinking about Gary Buchanan, Social Media Manager for the Disney Parks makes me smile and even giggle a bit. With the spirit and enthusiasm of a child, he takes on each and every day and project he tackles with incredible zest and determination to get as much out of life as humanly possible. Gary taught me, and every person in that room that each one of us is creative in our own way, and the only limits we face are the limits we place upon ourselves. Gary helped us all to fully understand to hold onto the most important parts of your childhood-curiosity, enthusiasm, and the willingness to be silly and to always live in the moment and most importantly to believe in the magic unconditionally. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Gary Buchanan you are welcome to teach in my kindergarten class any time –no cookies necessary.
4) Be Who You Are
To listen to Leslie Kay, founder of the Disney Bound movement talk is to feel a breath of fresh air sweep through the room. Here is a young lady, who was bullied throughout school, yet didn’t let her circumstances or surroundings dictate who she would become. Thanks to this remarkable young woman, young and old alike have been given the tools they need to embrace and fully appreciate who they truly are and that being yourself is the only way to be. On behalf of parents everywhere, thank you, Leslie Kay, for having the courage be who you are and by your example, allowing each of our families and friends to be free to be themselves. It was from Leslie that I was once again reminded of a quote from another person who also faced challenges about being who he was throughout his life, William Shakespeare “This above all to thine own self be true”
5) A Voice For Everyone-Life Is A Series of Moments
Meet Doug Bowman, Creative Director of Twitter. To most of us before hearing Doug, Twitter was a way to share a message in 140 characters or less. A short time later, I was able to fully realize that Twitter was like life itself-that each and every one of us has a voice and needs to be given the opportunity to use it. “We believe that every person should have a voice. Every voice deserves to be heard”. From which days we tend to be more exhausted, to a little girl’s wish to end childhood slavery with #StandWithMe, Doug’s lesson was a powerful one about life being a series of moments and it’s what we do with them, and our voice that will leave our legacy on the world.
6) Believe In the Possibilities….Live Your Dreams
We are so often caught up in our destination that we forget to appreciate the journey, especially the goodness of the people we meet on the way. It is these people that have come into my life through The Disney Social Media Moms Celebration that have touched my heart the most and who I will keep with me throughout my life. To Leanne Jakubowski, Maria Bailey Gary Buchanan, Michele Himmelberg, Erin Glover, Jennifer Delves Wilkes, Aubrey Hang, Genessy Glory, Alex, Corey and the entire
Disney Social Media Moms Celebration
and the Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Special Events Staff, and to Josh Hallett and Uma Mawatari whose remarkable photos so beautifully told our story, and most importantly to the friends and families I met along the way, “Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.”
Disclaimer: I was invited to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration at Disneyland and have offered a special discounted rate that was offered to all attendees and their families. In addition, I have received products to help make my experience even more magical. I will be sharing the unique things I learn throughout the Celebration however these are my own personal thoughts and opinions, not those of the Walt Disney Company.