The moment so many of us have been waiting for has finally arrived. I feel like a small child on Christmas. The DEN is here! The DEN is here! Wake up, wake up, it’s time for the #DENSI2014. Maybe that is why I rose with the sun this morning. The first time I checked my phone was slightly after 5:30 am. I am so impressed by those that can take that extra step and join the DEN Fit Club. Me? I rolled over for awhile and thought about my schedule and what would need to be done. I eventually admitted defeat that yes I was awake and logged in to catch up with social media. With all the excitement with the dawn of the #DENSI2014, there is so much conversation on so many social media tools. It is so wonderful to experience this excitement.
Slowly but surely our friends began to arrive. Some were members we have known for some time, some were members we met last year, some were brand new members. I just love helping add new members to our tribe. I had the privilege of having lunch with a special new DENSI member. We discussed are various experiences with the DEN. We both marveled at the power of the DEN to shape us, help us, and inspire us. Each individual’s experience is unique. But the same themes run throughout. Themes such as love, acceptance, joy, honor to be chosen, excitement, and other such positive descriptions are universal when discussing the DEN.
An overarching theme in the DEN is always connections. Each year I love the activity that kicks off the first night’s festivities. Each of the attendees brings a small token that represents where they are from. These gifts are placed in bags so that we can’t tell the item in advance. The item and a brief summary of the gift giver are included in the gift bag. Your first job is to find your gift giver. Your second job is to converse with them. It is a great ice breaker. The goal is to spark conversation and make that first connection for this year’s DENSI. The third job happens when your gift receiver finds you. Now it is time to reverse roles and discuss the item that you chose to share. This is your second connection made during #DENSI2014. Within just a few minutes of being at DENSI2014, even new attendees have 2 connections. Two new friends with which to remember this amazing evening. I adore this simple activity. It isn’t about the gift. It’s about the discussion behind the gift with the people behind the gift.
Time with the DEN is a gift. Undoubtedly one of the best professional gifts that I receive. Time with the DEN exploring or listening to sessions is inspiring. Tomorrow we will have some time with an excursion visiting some local famous locations. I can’t wait to board the busses and head into the adventure together. Guess I should get some sleep to prepare for the journey. Night everyone!