Finding Happiness in Community

Disclaimer: I am part of the blogging team behind The Mom Con – they are sponsoring this post/giveaway, but all opinions remain my own.

Let’s face it. I haven’t been happy lately, and thanks frankly sucked for my ‘lil family. It’s time I find my happiness, and I’m planning on doing that in a community of moms who rock, moms who are inspired and want to grow.

Let’s be fair – there’ve been some really good things in our lives lately, but that doesn’t mean I am totally happy or that we are having problems as a family – not at allBut, I am ready to become an expert on my own happiness as part of this whole Mom Con movement happening here in Pittsburgh.

Luckily, there are many awesome moms behind the force that is The Mom Con (“a conference devoted to the woman “behind the mom” – inspiring her, developing her talents, and helping her achieve her goals by offering a community with the resources she needs”, explains the website for this November 14-15 conference in Pittsburgh, PA). Not only is there a spectacular duo behind the scenes making this event possible, but there are sponsors, bloggers marketing the event, and speakers ready to fill our mom brains cups with the good stuff.

the mom con

One of the awesome women who you’ll be able to listen to (and meet) at The Mom Con is Britt Reints. She’s a nationally known speaker, an expert on her own happiness (and helping people become the experts of their own), and the author of An Amateur’s Guide to the Pursuit of Happiness, a book about “maps” to find happiness in our busy lives. (You can read more / grab her book / follow her on social media through her website, inpursuitofhappiness.net. Britt was so kind to help me de-mask some of my fears and things holding me back from being happy by talking to me last week, right at the onset of my first ever migraine (and 6 solid days of bitter unhappiness, sadly).

Britt Reints Source: TheMomCon.com

Although I just met Britt, I’ve been stalking following her on Twitter for most of the past two years since she came to Pittsburgh. If you read her book, you’ll learn more about how she stopped living a lush life, packed her family into an RV, and traveled the country, and “injected [her family] back into real life” here in Pittsburgh. Just thirty minutes on the phone with Britt, and I can tell you know that you’ll all be enlightened by her keynote speech at the Mom Con and walk away with a plan to start really finding your own happiness. Why do I know that? Britt shared with me some great tips that got me thinking, and I’d like to share some tidbits with you.

Five Ways I’ll be Finding Happiness in Community (thanks to Britt Reints’ inspiraton!)

1. Falling Deeper in Love with My City. Britt is not a native Pittsburgher. She visited here during her RV adventure during the perfect Pittsburgh time, September/October and got to see our city during what I feel is its finest time. Her family participated in RAD Days, which led to them falling in love with lots of the things I love about this city. Her friend gave her a spreadsheet of Pittsburgh must-dos. Please, I need to find this and share it with all my friends who promise to visit but never made it!

2. Stop Shoulding. You know what that word really sounds like. And you know what? I’ve already stopped doing the things that I should do because it’s what other moms, my friends/family, my c0-workers, other bloggers think I should do. Should I have gone to my daughter’s school’s fall welcome night instead of a night with the mavens of the Mom Con? Nope. Because my happiness is important, too. That, and this is kindergarten and she won’t be in that school for much more than another month (more on that soon). Should I have given more to my job when I was sick? Nope, because one must rest to bloom. It’s a true story. And when I stop shoulding, my community is going to be weeded of the people who only want me for what I can do for them and be full of people who love me for the quiet sweetheart I am. That’s quality, my friends.   I really can’t wait to hear what Britt has to say on shoulding in November!

3. Finding time to do all the things to fit happiness into our lives. Britt just might be talking about this at the Mom Con (but, another reason I heart her, she’s not solid on her topic yet because, well, that’s in November). Any mom, especially working moms, can find it hard to find the balance to “do it all” (and no, I don’t “do it all”). Her insights will help us wittle down those shoulds and spend time in the happy.

4. Recognizing the line between what I have to accept and what I can change. One of the maps in Britt’s book is about acceptance, and this is one she struggles with the most. I get it. Like Britt, I’ve been a “fixer” most of my life, magnetizing to people and things I thought I could fix (did I ever tell you about my ex’s dog, Daisy?). We’re not able to fix everyone around ourselves or ourselves, and that’s something that having a truly supportive community will help with. 

5. Taking Personal Responsibility. Another of Britt’s Happiness Maps, this is her favorite. Have you ever thought about what relationships fill you up and which ones drain you? Well, as Britt told me, “it’s a lot harder to do [live, find happiness] when you are drained” by these relationships. We need to “learn to trust others that they will figure it all out” for themselves, and we do the same for us. That’s why I have started to take personal responsibility for myself and the relationships in my life. Stopping marching down one-way street relationships, and start reaching to more to the two-ways. My community cup already fills fuller, and I’m not even two weeks in.

Okay, so I learned a lot from a few moments with Britt (including that her theme song would be Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy”, because it reminds her not to “let anything hold [her] down”). If you want more from Britt, you must join us at the Mom Con, or enter my giveaway for a chance to win tickets to the event. You’ll be happy you listened.

Info on the Mom Con: Tickets start at $59 for the November 14-15 event at Pittsburgh Marriot North. You can buy tickets here and use the promo code momcon5off to get $5 off your registration. Follow on social media via Facebook and Twitter (@themomcon) as well as our hashtags, #themomcon and #momswhorock. In return, you’ll get to listen to motivating speakers, connect with other moms (hello, community!), and be pampered by local businesses (swag!).

Lucky you, I’m giving away two tickets (one each to two lucky winners) for the event. This giveaway runs through Friday, September 12 at 11:59 PM. Good luck!

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