Last week I had the privilege of attending ShiftCon 2018. I volunteered during the conference in exchange for an Influencer ticket, and the experience was definitely worth it. The conference itself took place Thursday morning to Saturday evening at Hotel Irvine.
I have passed by this hotel countless times, but had never been inside. After spending three days here, it was starting to feel like my second home. Attending this conference was so convenient since it is less than 15 minutes away. However, other attendees came from Canada and the east coast, so it was a real getaway for them.
I am grateful to have been able to take off two days of work to attend, as well as have my parents watch the kids while I was away. It felt good to have some individual time and just soak in a lot of information. It would have been nice if I knew someone else there, as I was completely out of my comfort zone. I am not good at small talk like D is, but I managed to make some connections. Volunteering actually helped me in meeting people.
My first job was to hand out the swag bags on Thursday morning. I was actually supposed to help stuff the swag bags earlier in the week, but they were already done by the time I arrived. This was a fun job because who isn’t happy to receive swag? I plan to do reviews of some of the products we received, so be on the lookout for that.
Inspired to Live Greener
There were so many inspiring speakers during the mealtimes. One highlight was Ed Begley Jr who gave a keynote address entitled “Heal the Planet”.
After listening to his speech, I concluded that he is a great example of a Hollywood actor who is also a true environmentalist. It seems that these days, many celebrities tout environmentalist causes mainly for the attention it can provide. This is not the case with Mr. Begley, who has been living “green” before it was trendy. He was very encouraging in urging all of us to start small, by doing things such as changing to LED light bulbs. He also is a confessed cheapskate, which resonated with me–ha! Although there is some truth to the Whole Foods = Whole Paycheck joke, being green can actually save you a lot of money too. This is something I always knew in the back of my head, but now I am intrigued and inspired. I hope to share some of the tips I find in my journey to living greener in future blog posts as well!
Inspired to Eat Healthier
The food that was served at the meals was also inspiring. In a room full of people with dietary restrictions, it was quite impressive that the food still tasted delicious. The organizer of the event said that the kitchen staff felt quite challenged by all of the high standards that ShiftCon had regarding the food. The food was organic, local wherever possible, humanely raised, non-GMO, gluten-free, you name it! Part of me was wondering where are the dinner rolls, but I realized that I needed to “shift” that expectation too.
Loved these centerpieces!
Loved the presentation!
Inspired, I made this rice/quinoa/ground turkey bowl for dinner the other night with the help of Revolution Foods. Surprisingly, n ate everything, including the quinoa and spinach. This was proof to me that our family can eat healthier, and that I need to branch out more in our food choices.
This was a glimpse of the Expo time, where several brands introduced their products to the influencers. I volunteered a little bit during this time too.
Inspired to Learn
I recently hung a children’s poster by our kids’ desks that says “Try Something Challenging Today”. I really like this motto, as too often I become complacent because it is easier or I feel like I am too busy with other things. Going to ShiftCon helped me realize some ways in which I can challenge myself. During the speeches and workshops, I realized how much I have to learn about the environment, our health, the chemicals that surround us everyday and how they all interact. (There was one workshop on curing children’s nut allergies that was really eye-opening!) I loved hearing from brands that have challenged the way their products have traditionally been produced and have found a better way. I was also impressed by the pro-bloggers and influencers who have built their own businesses and have used blogging as a platform for their message to the world. I left challenged to continue to develop this blog, to overcome the learning curve and to not become discouraged by roadblocks.
Before I attended this conference, I was not really sure it would be for me. I do not do yoga/meditation, nor am I vegan, dairy-free or gluten-free. When another attendee mentioned thoracic chakra and tapping, I had no idea what she was talking about. However, there was so much that did speak to me directly: the importance of living green for our own health, our children’s lives, and for the planet.
Thank you, ShiftCon, for letting me be a part of your community even though I have a long way to go in living green, and for inspiring me to take the next steps on my green journey.