Tag Archives: inspiration

A Morning Full of Happiness with Creative Mornings .@Pittsburgh_cm

29 Jan

I don’t know what it is about today, but it’s starting out great!  I had a good workout last night, followed by a good glass of wine and a good sleep.  I woke up happy and well rested.  And even better– Baby Beez woke up in this amazingly happy and friendly mood!  She is so cheerful today, it’s awesome!  The day looks to be a great one– I’ve got lunch plans with a friend, a party tonight, and I’ve got a steady amount of work to do but not so much that I’m pulling my hair out and losing my mind.

Even though the event was a couple weeks ago, my happiness this morning made it a perfect day for my recap of the Creative Mornings Pittsburgh breakfast talk with David Newell aka Mr. McFeely from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.

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The theme for the morning was “Happiness,” and it was clear that happiness is something that Mr. McFeely knows well (yes, I know that’s not his real name, but I can’t help calling him that, and I don’t think he’d mind anyway). Providence has smiled on Mr. McFeely, he found his way into his career with Mr. Rogers by a series of happy coincidences. In Mr. Rogers he then found a true inspiration, friend and mentor. Most of his talk was about Mr. McFeely’s path in life and his memories of working with Mr. Rogers. It was clear that his career and his life has been full to the brim with joy.
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Mr. McFeely was wonderfully generous with his time.  He signed autographs and took pictures with everyone after his talk, and even offered to mail out autographs to anyone who wanted one but could not stay.  He was friendly and chatty and loved meeting everyone. 

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In a world so often full of dead-end careers and disappointments, it is inspirational to hear people who have found genuine satisfaction in their paths.  The path to fulfillment is never a straight one– there are plenty of unexpected bumps and unaticipated tangents– but a positive attitude and a willingness to take a little risk here and there is a constant theme in such positive stories.

Hope you all have a happy day!

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30 Before 30: PostSecret, and other Misc

17 Oct

1.  30 Before 30: PostSecret

Well folks, I did it.  I sent in a postcard to PostSecret.  I selected the postcard about a year ago, and have literally been carrying it (blank) in my purse ever since.  Even when I changed purses, the postcard moved to the new bag.  I am not a person of secrets.  What I wrote can hardly even be called a secret.  But I am a person that is terrible at letting go, and terrible at forgiving, especially myself.   I wrote about something that makes me sad enough to not talk about, and by writing it down and sending it away, I’m trying to let myself let go of it. 

I actually hope my card is not published on the site.  I am not seeking a sense of community from my words.  I love reading other peoples’ secrets, but for me, the act of writing those words and dropping them in a letterbox was so much more moving than having someone else read them. 

2.  Get Moving.

Hello Ladies shared this message on Monday, and its been “running” through my head ever since (haha):

So true. I need to get myself to the gym, stat.

3.  SWAN Day, Yinzpiration, One Young World, and I’ve got nothing.

Pittsburgh is overflowing with BIG IDEAS right now. 

Last Monday, I had the fantastic and fun experience of being interviewed along with my friend Sandy for SWAN day. SWAN (Support Women in the Arts Now) Day is a multinational celebration of women in the arts, and in Pittsburgh the No Name Players take the lead in interviewing women in all ages, editing and distributing the footage to women artists, and organizing an exciting performance evening to showcase the works.  I was proud to participate as an interviewee, and Tressa and Don (the No Name Players) were so friendly and fun.  The 2013 Celebration will be on March 23, 2013, so mark your calendars now! I am so excited!

Kate of Yinzpiration is back in the swing of interviewing inspiring Pittsburghers.  Yinzpiration is one of my favorite Burgh Blogs, because it’s a concrete reminder of how devoted and hardworking 20 and 30-somethings are to making Pittsburgh and an amazing place to live, as well as a reminder that in Pittsburgh there is always opportunity and support to take your Big Idea from idea to reality.

The One Young World conference starts tomorrow in Pittsburgh, and WOW, just WOW. Delegates to that conference don’t just have Big Ideas, they have BIG IDEAS.  When I hear about the work those young people are doing, I wonder what the heck have I been doing with my life?  These delegates are tackling global issues without fear, with real results. 

I want to have a Big Idea.  I want to do something that is interesting and clever and inspirational.  I’m not talking quit my day job for an art project– I actually really like my day job, and I suck at art.  But I want to have some kind of Big Idea that makes a difference in our City, and I have absolutely no idea what to do.  I’m totally awesome at the logistics side of things, I know I can make something come to life.  I just don’t have any idea how to get that Big Idea.  I know that I have readers who have had a Big Idea, and have made it come to life. So readers, how did you get your Big Idea?

Pennsylvania Conference for Women Recap #PennWomen .@PennWomen

7 Oct

The Pennsylvania Conference for Women was exactly the shot in the arm of motivation and inspiration that I needed.  At PennWomen, amazing, powerful and INSPIRATIONAL women shared their insight for making the most out of your career and your life. This conference was all CONTENT CONTENT CONTENT. It was quite a lot to be packed into one day, and far too much for me to recap effectively in a blog post.

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The morning kicked off with Charlotte Beers, advertising executive powerhouse and former Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. She shared the story of her ascent to success, and explained that in the business world, women need to focus not on acting “womanly” but instead focus on being “leaderly.” That, yes, there are differences in how women and men perceive and do things, but for career success, a woman should approach challenges from a perspective of leadership and fearlessness. I know a number of the keynote speakers were recorded, and I really hope that Charlotte’s talk is shared on the website, because it was phenomenally inspirational.

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Cheryl Strayed sharing her amazing story, explored more fully in her memoir “Wild”

I also loved the panel discussion between Alexis Sclamberg, Trenesa Danuser, Brenda Dennis and Lauren Berger about defining “success” for yourself. They discussed how success is a personalized definition, and steps that they have taken to reach their career goals. Trenesa, an executive with Estee Lauder, gave some phenomenal insight into how to balance family with a high-powered position that requires frequent international travel. My biggest takeaway from that panel was when Alexis shared that she has attended numerous conferences full of super-power executive women, and even they, at the highest rungs of business, don’t feel like they have made it to success. Those words made me realize how success can’t be an end goal, it has to be a process or a state of being.

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Cathie Black and Emily Bennington’s discussion on “Executive Presence” was also amazing. Cathie emphasized the importance of appearance– that you must look the way you want to be treated. If you want to be treated like a professional, you must dress like a professional. This is an issue I’ve been working on lately. I have a terrible habit of picking out my outfits in the morning when I am exhausted, and the only thing I want to wear is yoga pants and a hoodie. Although I manage to pick out passable attire, it’s not nearly as polished as the presence I would like to project. I’m making a habit of keeping my nails polished, and I need to pick out my outfits before I go to bed at night, when my energy is (marginally) higher. Cathie emphasized that when things get tough, put on some lipstick, because that’s when people are going to be watching. She also pointed out that women have a “gratitude problem.” I know that I am completely guilty of this. Women who ascend to a new position or meet a goal get wrapped up in being so grateful for getting there that they stunt their forward progress. Men, however, tend to meet that goal and immediately ask “ok, what’s next?” As women, we need to work on always looking forward, and not letting ourselves fall behind by getting so wrapped up in reaching the previous goal.

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Tory Johnson and Barbara Bradley Baekgaard chat about Baekgaard’s founding of the Vera Bradley company.

I felt like I had so much more in common with the women at this conference than the women at BlogHer. PennWomen is a career focused conference, and I’m definitely a career focused person. I definitely will attend next year (and the year after and the year after). The only downside I saw to the conference was that there was so much amazing content, it was hard to find the time to really get to talk with people. I think this conference would really benefit by a short speed networking session in the morning, where we can all have an opportunity to quickly meet people and exchange cards. The short period before the opening keynotes was intended for networking, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds it remarkably intimidating to go into a room full of literally thousands of people and just start chatting it up. Speed networking would be awesome.

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This conference is an amazing experience, and it would be equally beneficial for men as for women. It is a jam-packed day, but it will motivate and inspire you like nothing else. On my drive home, I was full of energy and ready to go! I was ready to TAKE OVER THE WORLD!! Of course when my alarm went off the following morning, the energy had faded, but a number of the meaningful takeaways continue to bounce around in my head.