The Midnight Buffet
  • Architects of Change

10/29/10 | Astrid Sheil | 0 Comments

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Astrid Sheil, Ph.D.

Astrid Sheil blogged for us live from The Women's Conference 2010.

Whether you attended in person or watched the The Women’s Conference 2010 streaming live on your computer, there was a smorgasbord of wisdom, a veritable supermarket of information and motivation from which to choose. 

Everywhere you turned, there was something brilliant being discussed on one of several jumbotrons in the convention center, and in the breakout sessions, and on the radio, and standing in line at one of the many book signings. At times, it was simply overwhelming. After the big morning and lunch sessions in the Arena, I had to take a break. I just could not process all I had just seen, heard, and felt. I was in total and complete sensory overload.

The whole thing was like being on a cruise ship on your first night at sea. If you’ve ever taken a cruise, you know they lay out a buffet at midnight that is as long as a football field. Ice sculptures, mountains of fruit, skyscrapers of cheese…you can gorge yourself before you get halfway through the food line. For me, this Women’s Conference was like the midnight buffet on a cruise ship. I stuffed myself on information, insights, inspiration, laughter, motivation, new friendships, ah-has, and poignant moments. I can’t remember another conference where I have participated in so many standing ovations. My intellectual and emotional waistline definitely expanded this week.

There was a satiated euphoria at the end of the Minerva Awards as the lights came up in the arena and people started to disembark from this amazing two day experience.  A quick exit poll with attendees produced this top ten “Things I will take away from this conference” list:

  1. Follow your small still voice inside—it will speak truth to you.
  2. We all have a treasure chest—we have to learn to open it and own it.
  3. We attract what we’re meant to experience.
  4. Giving is the secret to happiness.
  5. When you follow your heart you can achieve anything.
  6. It’s okay to not know what to do next.
  7. Enlightenment always tastes of freedom.
  8. Don’t put us (the speakers) on a pedestal—we’re just like you.
  9. When you focus on something you give it meaning.
  10. Change is automatic; progress is not.


So many gems, so many pearls of wisdom! This year’s Women’s Conference was definitely the midnight buffet on a cruise ship—a feast for the mind, the heart, and the soul. Now that you have enjoyed this Bacchanal of love, encouragement, and possibility, how will you share what you have learned with others?

Astrid Sheil, Ph.D. is the Associate Chair of the Communication Studies Dept. at Cal State University San Bernardino. Originally from Washington, DC, she graduated from Georgetown University.

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