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Why Reinvention ROCKS!

Rene Syler

How A Trip To Disney Brought Me Full Circle

Don’t you wish life came with a roadmap and a legend? At least then we’d know where we’re headed and what the signs meant. Alas, it’s not that way; instead, it’s full of uncertainty, and we navigate the bumpy terrain in the dark, hoping to wind up where we are supposed to be. On Friday, in front of 200 women (and a few men) I realized where I was supposed to be.

Those of you who know me and follow this site, know what the last four years of my life have been like and though I have been fairly certain I was on the right track, sometimes when you work alone, from your ‘closet’, it’s easy for self-doubt to creep in.  A while back, the folks at Disney invited me to be a featured speaker at their Social Media Moms Celebration, which was held this past weekend. I labored for weeks, wondering what I, something of a baby blogger, would tell these women that they didn’t already know about social media?

So I did the only thing I know how to do, which is to be me. To tell my story, complete with a few highs and unfortunately more than a few lows. To talk about how I not only survived but also thrived. As I took the stage, ready to condense the last four years of my life into 25 minutes, a funny thing happened; I felt like THIS is what all of that past madness had been leading up to! The clarity of that moment was intoxicating.

Rene Syler

I won’t lie; initially I was nervous because not only were these women listening to me but they were live blogging and tweeting my speech! That’s akin to an actor performing live on Broadway versus a movie where multiple takes are the norm. But the more I paced the stage, sharing photos and stories from the colorful chapters of my life of late, I felt like, “Oh, THIS is why I had to go through all that!”

Think about it. How boring would it have been if I stood up there and talked about leading a charmed life, never having to face hardship or illness, never having money woes, insecurity and uncertainty? Yuck, I would have walked out on a speech that boring and dry. Instead, I spoke about losing my job and then two weeks later, my breasts. I talked about losing my hair after an illness but in losing all of those things, finding who I am and my voice that no one can take from me. Every so often I would tear up (oh you KNOW I’m a big baby) and I would look out at the crowd and catch someone dabbing her eyes momentarily before heading back to her keyboard.

Rene Syler


In an afternoon filled with really cool stuff – want to hear one of the coolest? I told you that the women were tweeting my speech. Well, they were tweeting and retweeting so much of what I said that they made me a world wide trending topic! Then people not in the room but out in the Twitterverse, would tweet, wanting to know who Rene Syler was and why was she a trending topic. If that didn’t underscore the power of the women at the convention and social media in general, I don’t know what does.  The absolute icing on the cake was the standing ovation they gave me at the end of my remarks.


Rene Syler


It was my hope that by sharing tips on how to guard against toxic people and that good enough is just perfect, that I might provide, if not a road map, at least a marker along the path of this journey called motherhood. But like life itself, in the giving we also receive and that’s what happened to me. Those women welcomed me, enveloped me and made me one of their own. And while they may not have gone through the exact hardships I had, they no doubt, had battle scars of their own.

So I want to take this time to say thanks, to my friends at Walt Disney World, who in turn introduced me to a whole new crop of friends. Women just like me, trying to do the best they can for themselves and their families. Women who know perfection is a completely unattainable goal. There are no points for being perfect, only in playing well the hand you’re dealt. I feel like I can now say I’ve done just that.

To my Disney Social Media Moms, thank you for restoring my soul. You have healed me more than you could ever know.




  1. Karin Katherine

    March 21, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    I so wish I could have heard your talk on tips for avoiding toxic people. I feel I’ve been derailed and I wonder what the reason for my trials are. I feel like I don’t have a plan or direction for the first time in my life. So happy for you that you spoke your heart and discovered your truth.

  2. Jennifer

    March 21, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Okay now you made me cry again! I am so happy and proud to have been there to hear you speak and to be part of restoring your soul! You are such an inspiration! {{{Hugs}}}

  3. Rene Syler

    March 21, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    @Karin: I’m sorry you’re going through this right now. It’s really difficult I know and draining. I guess the one piece of advice I would give you is that you have a limited amount of energy and you have to decide who you’re going to spend that on. If toxic people are draining you, leaving you with nothing to give to the people who really matter in your life (family, friends) then they have to go. It doesn’t matter if they are longtime friends or family. You must take care of YOU! Re: figuring it all out, listen, that’s a process. In my case, while I’m more certain now than ever what I was destined to do, it took a lot of time getting here. I wondered for a long, long time what all this was about and even now, still have questions. The end is definitely not written. So I would say to you, take it as it comes, a step at a time and don’t worry that it all needs to make sense today. It will be unveiled in it’s own time and when you’re ready. In the meantime, take care of you! Good luck!

  4. Rene Syler

    March 21, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    @Jennifer: Oh what a big bunch of babies we are!! I thought about you last night, when you said you told your husband about me. I was showing my husband the twitter stream and what you ladies were saying. He humored me for about 10 minutes and then says “Okay I get the gist of it.” HAHA! That’s okay, we’ll support each other. Seriously though, thank you for making me feel so darn good!

  5. dianthe

    March 21, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    um, yeah – have i told you lately that i have a total girl crush on you? ’cause i do – you make me proud to be a mom who’s trying to do it all and always seem to have a little inspiration for me exactly when i need it! ROCK ON GEM!!!

  6. Sarena

    March 21, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    So happy for you, Rene! Thank you for giving us hope and courage to keep on life-ing until we start living and doing what we are purposed to do. I am encouraged…

  7. Fiona @banteringblonde

    March 21, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    There was definitely an energy in that room and we were all feelin’ ya!! One beautiful thing about social media is the ability to filter out all the toxic noise and find where you belong. It’s never been a better time to be a woman working from her closet 😉

  8. Rene Syler

    March 21, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    @Fiona, absolutely agree on both counts. I gave, I got back.. in SPADES! We women are powerful creatures, aren’t we? 🙂

  9. Rene Syler

    March 21, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    @Sarena: Oh I have so much to tell.. I’ll be there in April so let’s plan lunch! 🙂

  10. Barbara

    March 21, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    Job well done….. Thanks for the inspiration!

  11. Rene Syler

    March 21, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    @Dianthe: LOL that’s what one of the women said about me. You can have a mom crush on me, that’s fine. Hey, we’re all drinking from the same well of knowledge it’s just that some of us got there before others 🙂 Remember, good enough is perfect!

  12. Rene Syler

    March 21, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    @Barbara, thanks so much!

  13. Jodifur

    March 21, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    You were the highlite if the conference for me. I can’t wait to see what you do next.

  14. Rene Syler

    March 21, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    @Jodifur, WOW! Thanks so much! I got so much from you guys, enough to keep going 🙂

  15. Jodi

    March 21, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Rene – you were the highlight of the conference for me also. You were so inspirational, and I am so proud of what you’ve gone through and who you’ve become. What a powerful woman you are!

  16. Rene Syler

    March 21, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    @Jodi: ohh, thanks! Well, I did what we all do; I just put my head down and kept trying. I will keep on until something breaks wide open 🙂 Thank you for making me feel so welcome!

  17. ConnieFoggles

    March 21, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Thank you Rene! You were the most inspiring speaker at the conference hands down. Getting to know you on line first, hearing you speak and getting a hug and a beautiful smile from you were the highlight of the whole event for me. Your words and tears hit me right where I needed it! Thanks for being you!!

  18. Suzannah DiMarzio

    March 21, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Rene, what a beautiful post! When we tweeted back and forth briefly before the conference, I had no idea what a life-changing experience I was in for when you shared your story. I don’t want to call it just a ‘speech’ because it was so, so much more. You bared your soul to us all, with pictures to prove it and the fact that we all shared tears together just proves the power of how being ‘good enuf’ is okay.

    Thank you so much for sharing your time and your spirit with us! ♥

  19. Cindy Schultz

    March 21, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    Rene, I was honored to be there on Friday. You inspired me and encouraged me to accept good enough–I am a perfectionist and I need to be reformed. You made me proud to be a mom, a woman and a social media pro. A few years ago I ended a few toxic relationships…it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. Keep sharing your message, it is powerful! {{hugs}}

  20. Robin Caldwell

    March 21, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    You need to take this on the road, Rene.

  21. Rene Syler

    March 21, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    @Robin: I would LOVE to!!

  22. Jeannette

    March 21, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    Rene, what a beautiful post! As I shared with you on Friday, I was so inspired by you and by second acts. I wholeheartedly support the motion for you to have your own TV show, on YOUR terms. What made you the highlight of that day was your passion, your honesty and to see that even though sometimes we might feel we cannot make it through the bad times, we can do it. When you talked about your family, I teared up, because my own family has been my lifesaver countless times. As a former TV news reporter, your story hit very close to home, as you can imagine.

    Keep inspiring us and helping everybody discover their life how they want to live it, and not according to what others say.

  23. Rene Syler

    March 21, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    @Suzannah: oh you guys are too much. But really you gave me so much more. I felt SOO great, better than I have in years, after chatting with you all. I feel so honored and blessed to have spent time with you guys 🙂

  24. Rene Syler

    March 21, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    @Connie: Well, you’re such a doll for saying that, thank you! I was terrified but the jitters went away when I looked out and saw women nodding and smiling at me. We have so many shared experiences that show how strong we are. Thank you for my big, supportive hug! The best!

  25. Rene Syler

    March 21, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    @Jeannette: Thank you for everything! You all we so gracious and kind; I felt like I walked into a meet up with all my old friends (who were not old, of course!). Sometimes, well much of the time, all was can do it put our head down and carry on and I feel like that’s what I’ve done these last several years. For me, it’s been a lesson in really being present and learning to dance, even in the rain. And yes, family, they make me crazy at times, but have earned that right since they’ve kept me going more times than I can count 🙂 Bless you and thanks again!

  26. Rene Syler

    March 21, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    @Cindy: Good for you for realizing those relationships were a bad place for you to be. Life is too darn short for that madness, ain’t it? If you need help with the reform thing, come on by my house some weekend when my husband is gone. It looks like the morning after frat party, until he gets back. Ha! Be well and thanks!

  27. Jennifer James

    March 21, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    We love you! You keep doing what you’re doing. There is power in owning your own brand and owning your own platform.!

  28. Rene Syler

    March 21, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    @Jennifer, YES! I wished I’d realized that sooner :/ Oh well.. THANKS!

  29. Connie

    March 22, 2011 at 1:00 am

    It was my pleasure to be one of the tweeters 🙂 You rocked!

  30. m.e. johnson

    March 22, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Well Rene, sounds like you was rockin’ (what, again?). I was fortunate to have a couple-or-so people similar to you in my life waaaay back when. Talk about life/sanity savers! Congratulations. Keep on keepin’ on.

  31. Sandy Jenney - Organize with Sandy

    March 22, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Rene’ I am writing my post now and came over to pick up the link for your post when I saw your post on the conference.
    They should have saved you for last! (you know…save the best for last?) There was no question that you were the most dynamic, and inspirational speaker. No one else got an entire room standing “O”!!
    Thanks so much for your story, your honesty and being so real.

  32. Rene Syler

    March 22, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    @Sandy: thank you SO much! I was emailing the organizers today, thanking them for the opportunity. You all really did so much for ME and I thank you for that 🙂

  33. Pingback: Disney Social Media Moms Conference - Day 2 | Organize With Sandy

  34. Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting

    March 23, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    I, too, am crafting my post from Day 2, and came to grab your link when I caught this post. Can I just gush about the girl-crush I have on you, too? How many tears I shed listening to your speech? I tweeted, I re-tweeted, and happily sat there in AWE of you. AND! Got a great cheek-to-cheek picture with you, and yet, it wasn’t enough! I need more Rnee in my life!! You seriously fueled me and so many with your words and enthusiasm. Thank you for gracing us with your presence and being so amazing. Really hoping to see you again. Come to more blog conferences, please!

  35. Rene Syler

    March 23, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    @ Lisa oh you are so funny! Well, I certainly hope to go to more conferences because it was truly good for me too! In the meantime we will keep in touch online. Until we are “cheek-to-cheek”again, Lol!

  36. Irene

    March 23, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    All we can be at the end of the day is our own “good enough” or something like that.

    It was cool to see how it spread like wildfire on twitter!!!

  37. PassPorter Mom Sara

    March 25, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Rene, I’ve said it before and will say it again (to pretty much anyone who will listen) – your speech was one of the highlights of the conference for me! You were passionate, inspiring and most of all, one of us. In a world that tells us that anything less than perfection is unacceptable, the concept of “Good Enough” is long over due. Much love to you!

  38. Kim ~ @CraftyMamaof4

    March 28, 2011 at 9:20 am

    I just cried all over again reading this post! You were AMAZING, TV and Hollywood are crazy for not grabbing onto you!

    The energy and passion in the room while you were speaking was like nothing I have ever felt before, You deserved that standing ovation and much much more.

    Although my path has not been as rocky as yours I feel a sisterhood with you because I am “that” mom, the one who forgets things, messes things up, serves dinner out of a can and yes, goes to the wrong classroom for meet the teacher night.

    I agree with Sara above “Good Enough” is long over due, thank you for making it acceptable.

    I hope to see you again some day! Keep in touch on Twitter!


  39. Rene Syler

    March 28, 2011 at 9:36 am

    @Kim; Oh thank you so much! I know I’ve said it before but it is not an exaggeration in the least to say you women were another part of the healing process for me. I can’t wait until the day when we’re all sitting back, enjoying a cocktail and our great success, preferably at The Grand Floridian, saying, “remember when…” We will DEF keep in touch. We’re gonna need to have each others’ backs as we take over the world! xxoo

  40. Cathi

    March 28, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Oh, Rene! You truly are an inspiration! We often learn from trials what life is really all about; what our priorities are. Mostly we learn that trials we endure make us stronger and mold us into what we can and should be. We also learn to lend a heart and hand to others in their time of trial.
    I rarely, if ever, ask a celebrity for a photo taken with them. I’m so glad I asked you. I treasure our photo together!
    And thank you so very much for the mention in your “Recommended Sites” listing. I’m honored!

  41. Rene Syler

    March 28, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    @Cathi: oh thank you for this heartfelt note. It’s so true about trials and tribulations. Think of how boring our lives would be if we were never challenged. And though we wish for them to be in the rear view mirror, there is no denying, we grow while navigating that terrain. Thank you for your open heart; I will cherish my time in front of the Disney moms forever! xxoo

  42. LaTonya

    April 5, 2011 at 8:05 am

    I found your FB page this morning while partying with Ultimate Blog Party. Your avatar really stood out, and I found my way to your site. This post is at the top of your blog, and again… stood out. Being in my 40s, it seems like everything is about reinventing me.

    Like those women recently helped you at Disney, you’ve done the same for me this morning! Thank you so very much!

  43. Rene Syler

    April 5, 2011 at 8:10 am

    @LaTonya oh thanks! Glad you made it here! Life is a journey, sometimes difficult, never boring.. Have a great day!

  44. Elle

    April 20, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    You made me tear up again!!! Your speech was fantastic. Just so inspiring. Thank you for being so honest and funny. You made us laugh and cry. And that standing ovation? You deserved it!

  45. Wanda Reese

    May 20, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    What a great moment, Rene…great.

  46. Rene Syler

    May 20, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    @Wanda: aww, thanks hon!

  47. PiecesOfEight

    May 25, 2011 at 10:28 am

    I really wish this speech was taped so we can see it.

  48. Monica Ware

    June 6, 2011 at 8:41 am

    Wow, that was great Rene! You have inspired me to continue in the natural game, and now in reinventing myself. I also know that the things I went through in life are a testimony to share and inspire others. Reinvention Rocks and so do you!

  49. Gregg Primus

    June 7, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Staying focused is one of the most difficult things to do in life, but man it is the most rewarding. Go get ’em Rene!

  50. yang

    June 8, 2011 at 6:46 am

    So pleased that you’ve found your purpose, that is indeed exciting. All that we go through is not for nought,but a reason. I have always thought you to be quite comical with an extra something that continues to just crack me up. We like you Rene, we really like you.

  51. Gloria

    August 17, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Wow very moving! I understand what you mean when you say that moment of clarity just hit you and everything makes so much sense. I had one of those this summer and it was like walking through a water fall. 🙂 Keep up the good work!

  52. Living the Balanced Life

    September 29, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    I got goosebumps reading this post! I have only been “introduced” to you by reading the She Streams twitter feed, and my good frined Joyce had the pleasure of interviewing you, but to read your story here just lets me know that we have so much in common. My life has been a rollercoaster the past year and a half. I know that there is a reason for it all, I just haven’t found what that reason is yet. I know that I am able to help and encourage others going through the same things on my blog, but I have a feeling there will be a day when I get that “AHA!” feeling you got!
    I can’t wait to read more of your blog!
    When depression comes knocking at your door

  53. Pingback: Life Lessons: Jackie Gailey

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More in Bookings and Speeches

Combing the aisles at Target in search of the best deal on Cheerios, it hit Rene Syler like the stench of a dirty diaper on a hot summer’s day. Not only is perfection overrated its utterly impossible! Suddenly empowered, she figuratively donned her cape, scooped up another taco kit for dinner and Good Enough Mother was born.

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