Annabel Fitzsimmons: Meditating Mummy


Breaking Through Your Glass Ceiling

Or What I Learned At Blissdom Canada 2013

It’s a Friday night. I’m in the parking lot of the Delta Meadowvale in Mississauga. I’m in heels and a cocktail dress, pumping my fist in the air, jumping up and down, shouting, “Break through the glass ceiling, break through the glass ceiling!” echoing the amazing soul singer Jully Black and her crew. I am energized and inspired. For the record, this is not my ordinary M.O. for a Friday night. That usually involves pajamas and a good movie. But nothing about the Blissdom Canada conference is ordinary.

I look around at the four women I’m dancing with: a family doctor, an at-home mom and blogger, a not-for-profit fundraiser, a novelist. They are four incredible women from different cities across Canada. We first met through social media but have developed friendships that go far beyond the internet. I look at the stage where this amazing Canadian artist and her talented team are belting out Glass Ceiling. It’s magic. I realize that this moment—on so many levels—captures why I go to Blissdom every year.

Whether I’m in a micro-session, learning about how badly I use LinkedIn (thanks Leslie Hughes for helping me “complete my profile!”), or holding back tears listening to Glen Canning (father of Rehtaeh Parsons) speak on a Social Etiquette panel about the consequences of our words and actions online, or sitting in one of the sponsor spaces catching up with friends and meeting new people (thank you Tim Horton’s for your #timspiration lounge), there are so many opportunities to learn, grow, and challenge yourself.

Many of my favourite moments happen in between the panels and sessions, in the conversations and connections. But regardless of where the magic happens, every year I’ve come away with an idea or a theme to ponder.

There was a lot of talk this year about what my daughter calls the golden rule: do unto others as you would have done to you. And although this is something that is always top of mind for me in the social mediasphere (just ask @lisathornbury), that was not my big takeaway this year.

The magic I came away with was summed up in that parking lot on Friday night. Jully Black told us to think about our own glass ceilings. We all have one, or two or three. Sometimes we create our own, and sometimes they’re imposed upon us. But if we can recognize these glass ceilings, and we are surrounded by the right people (like those four incredible women who I was fist-pumping with) we can be inspired, supported, challenged, and encouraged to break through to greater heights.

Thank you, Jully Black, and to the amazing team at Blissdom Canada!

Photo credit: the amazing Katja Wulfers @jackstrawlane