Love is Blissdom

by Craig on January 31, 2011

Moments, meetings, relationships forged, mis-steps forgiven, growth, and community.

And in this year I’ve named “connection” because I followed the lead of an amazing woman, my heart has been opening wide. And Blissdom?

It was all courage.

It was all smarts.

It was all heart.

Blissdom was love with 1300 feet.

Blissdom was patient

I was a purple pebble in a sea of pink gems. I was constantly asking, “Have we met?”. Because I couldn’t remember. I kept waiting for someone to judge, to be impatient with my lack of brain. But it never happened.

Nobody was impatient.

Everyone waited for those behind.

Everyone pulled others across the finish line.

Blissdom was kind

Everyone had questions. Not everyone had answers. But in community answers surfaced.

“Have you seen?” was answered with “yes” – or – “I’ll help you find”.

“Where is?” was met with “over there”, or a tweet, and an answer.

“What’s next?” meant someone who knew, would share.

“How do I?” was surrounded by – “here, let me help.”

Blissdom was not self serving:

You learn in life that giving away information can empower those competing against you. But Blissdom was about the collective rising ofย  the tide – and every boat along with it.

Everybody learned.

Everybody shared.

Everyone looked out for others.

Everyone there, at one time or another, sacrificed themselves.

Blissdom was not jealous:

We’re all human. We want what we want. We want what others want. It starts as a baby grabbing a mom’s hair, or nose, or earrings and never stops. The human condition. If others have success, it’s so easy to be jealous.

But here, the blogger with two readers was the same as the one with 10, and 100, and 1000, and more. The smaller ones wanted to be like the bigger ones, but I saw not one bit of envy for someone else’s successes.

In a place where competition could have been fierce, fangs exposed, and jealousy rampant – there was simply none.

Blissdom was not proud

There was pride of course. Pride in a job well done. Pride in community. But there was no “better than” kind of pride. I saw no sneering.

I saw the confidence of those who lacked it

built up by those who had it.

And nothing was lost by the one having,

as they build up the one needing.

Blissdom was not rude

Everyone stepped aside. Everyone said, “no, you go first”. In many cases it was a race to be last. There was understanding for the one’s needing it – and without the rolling of the eyes.

There was order amid chaos because nobody reached for more than their share – and then shared what they grasped without complaint.

Blissdom was not quick to anger.

Have we all been at a church where a baby crying brought grumbling. Where a mom with too much to do still rocks the baby and tries so hard to not disturb others – and heads turn and grimace anyway.

Not here.

Everyone knew the struggle and often offered help instead of sneers. A baby crying meant love – and I saw the smiles. I smiled myself. I admired. Notes were continued, attention divided but on target.

Where was an angry word?

I looked.

I saw not a one.

Blissdom forgave

I understand that as a man, a man who is neither father nor husband, I really have no place in this community. It is an enchanted tapestry of female hearts stronger than steel, and as delicate as a snowflake.

I get that it’s a priviledge to be part of this community and also that I may never be fully part.

I have barged in with my big male feet, stumbled, knocked over the fine crystal goblets, trampled on the daisies. Not with everyone, but some, and you know you are – and you have forgiven – and is there there any better example of love than forgiveness?

Blissdom did what is right

Two words: Love Bomb.

Blissdom bore burdens and lightened loads

There were lines, long lines, forever lines and not a single complaint.

There were tech issues met with absolute grace and helping hands, hearts, and brains.

There were too many in some places and not enough in others yet nothing ever got crowded out, and empty simply meant cozy and close.

And there’s this…

On the way home, on the highway, there was the right lane for slower movers, and the left lane for passing.

Those on the left lane of the interwebs,

the left lane of the business world,

the left lane of social media,

need to yield right of way to this speedy, powerful, unstoppable, unmovable force.

Moms rule.

The tide is rising, and because of Blissdom I feel I might be allowed to rise with you.

I feel connected.

I

was

blissed.

This is Blissdom-ย  not what I learned. I haven’t even had time to process all of that. It was and is the irresistibly powerful, collective wisdom, passion, strength, ability, intillect, and heart unmatched by any other community on the internets.

To be allowed in to this community, knowing I’m not a sister – but to now to have hundreds of sisters – to be let inside the circle, not to all parts – because there are parts that should be for women only.

In my own “man” way I’m learning to know where these parts are.

And finally, this…

Blissdom believes and hopes.

If there is one thing that rang out. It was this. It has always been inside of you.

Just ignite the light. Let it shine.

Have courage to build, choose, trust, fail, succeed, pioneer.

LOVE: your ideas, community, focus, and then spread it out like a picnic blanket on the green grass.

Be courageous.

Dream big.

You can do it.

You are strong. and you have a line of brilliant sisters behind you,

you are surrounded by a cloud of sisters cheering you on.

You are not alone.

Hope chimed like a church bell.

It’s your time

Be BOLD

Ignite the light, let it shine.

Thank you Blissdom.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Leisa Hammett January 31, 2011 at 10:53 am

Glad ur experience was so positive, Craig. :-)

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Craig January 31, 2011 at 11:21 am

YOU know what my experience was – and you know how important it was to hear what you said. Thank you Leisa. You are a gem.

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Erica Mueller January 31, 2011 at 2:58 pm

I told you it would be ok, didn’t I? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Yes, it’s overwhelming at first, even for a woman, but you soon learn that you have nothing to fear. People are at Blissdom to connect, not show off, not judge, and not cast aside. At the heart of this is Alli and her outstretched arms, making sure every person is welcomed and loved on. I’m constantly amazed at how she manages all of this, and spreads that awesome.

So glad you got to come!

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Craig January 31, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Yes, Yes you did. I didn’t believe it though until the very end. If I looked confident, as some people have told me, it was only the outside. Besides, my whole plan of hiding behind flower pots was destroyed from the beginning. All the plants were in that atrium area – and we were barely ever there. Urg. But one of the reasons it was easier was you. Thank you. I can’t wait for you to get your magical Wordpress manipulating hands on my blogs.

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Rachel January 31, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Just. Yes.

one million times YES!

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Craig January 31, 2011 at 7:02 pm

I said it already in my tweet. One million times thank you. Rachel.

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Melissa Brotherton January 31, 2011 at 6:57 pm

I love this, Craig! I am so glad that you had a positive experience…and you totally made me want to go! :) You may be a man, but it’s good to have men around. That’s why God made them. Thank you for your perspective and for always encouraging us women in such a caring way. I might not always comment, but I frequently read. :)

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Sara at Saving For Someday January 31, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Craig,

When you sat next to me at the end of the SEO workshop and we worked together so you could create a new tab in your navigation bar, that’s what Blissdom was. People helping people. Yes, you were in what has often been a space for women. But I hope you see that you were welcomed.

Kindly,
Sara

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Craig January 31, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Sara, I just looked up at my “coming soon” menu item. It’s all because of you. You are right. That is what blissdom was. You just made me smile big. Thank you for reading. God bless.

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Craig January 31, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Thank you Melissa. this community, this astounding community, powerful, loving, brave. I never expected to be in it. I want to be in no other. Thank you for reading. I missed your face in these comments :) God Bless.

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Crayon Wrangler January 31, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Wonderful insightful post at what the blood is that fills the veins of the people who sit behind the screen day after day pouring their very being into words for others.

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Craig January 31, 2011 at 7:42 pm

CW – thank you for the advice. Thank you for being you – twenty shades of awesome. I am so glad I got to meet you. And thank you for working as hard as you did. I noticed it. I saw how much effort you put in. God Bless.

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Debbie January 31, 2011 at 9:51 pm

I’m so glad. Just so glad. You’ve shared a joy with me today, to know of all of this and these sweet, powerful women (and men) for Jesus. I keep noticing how He gives a something different, just a little different for each blogger to do. Thank you for going and for sharing and for doing your part in this community. I’m blessed!

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Anonymuss January 31, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Craig, I am so glad you were blessed by your experience at Blissdom! Answered prayers.

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Craig January 31, 2011 at 10:17 pm

A. I have missed commenting on your comments. Your prayers helped. I know I was being prayed for. I could tell. Thank you.

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Craig January 31, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Deb, the men weren’t so powerful – well not this one. He was all whimpery and hiding in corners and pushing himself to say hello – and forcing himself to pretend like he was confident.

But I do think I am officially part of this community now. Like the male black sheep of the family. The people there were tremendous. The love was indescribable. I’ll never forget it.

Thanks Deb.

God Bless.

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Joyce L Gibson January 31, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Yes you were prayed for, per the email sent. I am full of joy to read what a positive experience it was with all the acceptance, extended friendship, and a heart full of memories to fuel your creativity and give vision for what is to be. Wonderful!

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Craig January 31, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Your prayers, especially needed your prayers Grandma Joyce.

And they helped. Thank you.

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Kristi @ Creative Kristi February 1, 2011 at 7:27 am

I’m so glad you had a good time! Blissdom was my first ever blogging conference and I too was blown away by the non-existent “I’m better/bigger than you” attitude I was expecting.

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Craig February 1, 2011 at 9:42 am

Kristi. Thank you for reading. You seemed do comfortable there I would have thought you were a many year veteran. When things settle in, I’m so looking forward to reading you. God Bless.

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Liz@HoosierHomemade February 1, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Brilliant post Craig!! I enjoyed reading every single word from an outsider that is know part of our community!
Welcome!!
~Liz

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Craig February 1, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Thank you Liz – this is THE community that touches my heart and soul – thank you for the welcome.

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Chele February 2, 2011 at 5:01 pm

You are one brave man but I applaud your courage! Thank you for your beautiful words…. absolutely stunning to read. You said it all! :)

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Craig February 2, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Thank you Chele. I never meant to be in this community of moms. I looked everywhere for words that sang. It was here that I found them. Thank you for reading. God Bless.

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Kimberly Hartke February 5, 2011 at 5:39 am

Craig, glad you loved Blissdom, so did I. Thanks for being so real and vulnerable, I think we learned that that is the secret! You will go on to do great things with your blog.

Thanks for being part of my Blissdom experience!

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Craig February 5, 2011 at 8:36 am

And you – YOU – I’m so glad I met you. Now to find the balance between being real and vulnerable — and being whiny – it’s always something.:)

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