I love the desert.  I love spending time with smart women.  I love learning new things.  I spent two days last week at TED Women in Palm Springs experiencing dozens of TED Talks.  In addition to learning a lot about the major problems in our world and some possible solutions, I also learned about myself in ways big and small, superficial and profound. 

Here are the ten most valuable and not-so-valuable lessons I learned at TED Women:

  1. I suck at meditation even though I have the right outfit and am excellent at deep breathing after giving birth to four children.
  2. A little humor goes a long way — every TED talk that made me laugh has stuck with me in a way that the others didn’t.
  3. One thousand women being incredibly inclusive and welcoming to each other was an act of civil disobedience against the belief that women are exclusive and catty.
  4. An excess of energy bars and PH-balanced water makes me feel crummy and bloated.
  5. As attendees we could both hear how humans are rapidly destroying our planet and still drink several plastic water bottles a day.
  6. I felt really uncomfortable having my photo taken at photo booths designed for Instagram, but I still did it because I needed an image for this piece.
  7. I love sleeping in a hotel room by myself, especially if there are really nice sheets on the bed.
  8. The women who work at Facebook, besides Sheryl Sandberg, are really, really lovely.
  9. Women love talking about puberty, menstruation and sex when there are no men around and there is lots of free wine.
  10. Having a company named Dynamo Girl is awesome for name tags.

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