There are moments that you look back on and realize that while they seemed rather insignificant at the time, they were indeed fairly pivotal in your story line. And then there are moments that blow the doors wide open and announce “THIS IS IMPORTANT!” Blissdom’10 was – for me – most certainly the latter.
I could write volumes about the things you can do and see and learn at Blissdom. I could talk about what to pack and what to bring and how to not get lost. (Those are all great things to know, especially if you’ve never been before.) But the thing that no one can prepare you for is the emotion. No one tells you that you should come to Blissdom expecting to come home changed.
Here’s the post I wrote right after I got home from Blissdom that year. I can re-read this and bring back every single one of those feelings. And I cannot wait to be back in Nashville and see what awaits us all this year.
I could tell you a lot about Blissdom. I’m sure there will be hundreds of posts chronicling the sessions, the parties, the speakers, the food. Well-written posts about friendships made and cultivated, the beautiful Opryland Hotel and Harry Connick, Jr will surely be out there, too.
And although those things were awesome and I learned so much and met so many, something bigger happened.
Somewhere inside me, in that quiet little place that I sometimes hesitate to share with even my closest friends,
I felt a movement, a revolution.
There were times this weekend when I laughed so hard I cried.
There were times when I was my normal, loud-mouth self.
There were times I stepped outside my comfort zone.
But often I found myself just being quiet.
Watching others. Listening.
Listening to others and listening to that inner part of me that so frequently gets drowned out at home,
shushed and squashed by my to do list.
Blissdom was not a Christian conference.
Blissdom was not about religion or God.
Blissdom was not about growing in your faith
or becoming a better person.
But Blissdom was inspirational.
And Blissdom was educational.
And Blissdom changed me.
Over and over and over, whether in sessions or conversations or within my own mind,
the same three phrases kept re-surfacing:
Focus on what’s really important.
Not really novel concepts. Not something I hadn’t heard a hundred times before.
But exactly what I needed to hear,
what I wanted to hear,
what I was ready to hear.
Several panelists talked about finding your voice, but I realized that in order to find my voice, I must first find me.
I’ve gotten lost in the shuffle.
I’ve gotten wrapped up in things that don’t matter.
I’ve let some influence me too much, and others not enough.
It’s time for a change.