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Leading a Pathfinder Day at BlogHer was an amazing experience. More than a panel, this workshop was four hours long, and part of a larger day dedicated to prompting participants to dig deeper into understanding of how their blogs are changing their lives. Then we worked on what it meant to direct that change, how changes are cyclical, how we can set ourselves up to commit to success, and how we can ask for and receive help.
The thing that really worked: participants brought it. The day was energizing and catalyzing. I felt so amazed and lucky to know everyone in the room as it all unfolded.
Two of our exercises really clicked. One was a personal cartography project, where attendees spent time thinking about the journey that led them to their blogs. They made a map (colored pencils! Sharpies!) representing where they've been and where they are at now. I can't describe how powerful it is to do that with a group of creative people, you just have to do it!
And in another exercise we lined up across the room according to where each person felt she or he was in their current journey, from feeling at loose ends about knowing how to navigate their current changes or dream projects...to feeling very in charge of the steering wheel and navigation ahead. People at both ends of the spectrum shared that just one year ago, they would have placed themselves at the opposite side of the room. Things evolve quickly when you work and share online, and we are continually in start-up mode and in completion cycles.
Amazing day! I hope to participate in and lead more lengthy workshops in the coming year. Panels have their place for inspiration and prompting discussion, but after having time to dig deeper into a workshop format, I'm intrigued to see where a larger expanse of time can lead.