What profits a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul. Well, in this case, woman and she. Living in a culture where self employment to success is on the rise, self-care is often neglected due to the dedication to the grind. Unfortunately, this has caused a gap in the mental stability of many. Looking around we see more prominent figures committing suicide or needing psychiatric urgent care from silent battles, that no one ever expected someone with so much status to endure. With all of this going on it can leave us wondering if these problems can be averted. In fact they can, and the EmpoweringHER Brunch 2018 brought in three great women to speak to this area of our lives. These speakers focused on the fact that we can have it all without loosing it all.
The 4th annual EmpoweringHer Brunch 2018 is an event that happens in Norfolk, Virginia. This event advocates for collaboration and not competition between women professionals and is hosted by Keisha Kay Reynolds who is also the CEO of K&R Communications, a digital public relations and Marketing firm focused on growing nonprofits and churches in the digital realm. Not only is Keisha Reynolds an entrepreneur, she is also a mentor to many, who practices what she preaches.
As women floated up the steps onto the second floor of the Courtyard Marriott they were met by vendors with great products including skincare, clothing and lashes. My personal favorite was OKAI Fabrics, their authentic African print
earrings, braclets, skirts and headwraps were so rich in color I could barely walkaway from the table with just one item. Somehow I managed to leave the table content with a unique headwrap that seemed to call my name.
I wandered around a bit more as I took in the vibrant colors and personalities of the women around me as they mingled and seated themselves within the conference room. When I finally walked into the room, beautiful pink centerpieces and giftbags for each guest greeted me. It was a beautiful sight. After a warm greeting from our host and a delicious brunch our speakers came up.
We began with Dr. Shaughanassee of HealthyHER Center in Chesapeake, Virginia. Her point of paying attention to the things we are thinking on a daily basis hit home for me. I often find myself filtering music when I need to be in a certain mind frame to prevent contaminating my mind with words and moods induced by what I am hearing.
She began to discuss the taboo around mental health and the glorification of women on top. Pointing out that we love to see a woman in power but how we do not know what they are going through, nor do we give them the space to get the help that the need. With the daily pressures to be perfect and the highlight reels of social media putting applying pressure, we are falling into the Super Woman Schema. Dr. Shaughanassee describes this term as the intersection of stress, strength and success where a woman takes on an enormous amount of stress from family, work and relationships with great strength in order to ensure success in all areas of her life. The downside is that she strains herself to a point of exhaustion. Its like women feel the need to have it all and do it all at the same time when we are risking losing it all. She encouraged us to set priorities and to tap into the resources available including her self care kit available at Healthyherwomen.com
Our next speaker was Stepha Lafond who talked about the other B word, boundaries and how important it is to establish boundaries that allow us to run at an optimal condition. She used an analogy of user manuals that show us how devices operate and how we can or can not use them. We as women have our own individual manuals but its only ourselves that know what works and does not work. She went on to say that boundaries are the ultimate self care. We say we need balance and better time management but what we really need are boundaries.
Making the point that no is a complete sentence was one of the realest things I have ever heard. So many times people need an explanation for why you will not do something for them, but in the end no means no, period. Boundaries are not about saying no but saying yes to what is important to you and no to what won’t benefit you.
Stepha Lafond told us to ask ourselves three questions when trying to figure out if something is important....
Is it aligned with my current goal or vision?
Is it necessary?
Do I have the capacity?
When she said that you don’t have to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm it immediately hit a nerve because I used to be the woman up in flames for everybody else but myself. Now I create health boundaries so I can show up as the best version of myself.
Mel B Cook was our last speaker and she spoke to us about the power of being intentional and showing up for ourselves. How it is okay to be lost but we have to make the decision to find ourselves and get yourself back on track. She emphasized the importance of controlling our schedule and not letting our schedule control us and the management of priorities. Every time we put more on our plate we leave less room for everything else.
Making the decision to be us first so that everything else will fall into place behind. She explained that we must sit yourself down and ask ourselves what we want our life to look like. Set goals and execute. There is power in shifting our minds. She left us with a focus of the core four of mind, health, balance in relationships and wealth. With intentional listening reading and doing it is possible for us to control our intake to properly feed each core area of our lives.
Once our three speakers were done there was a Q&A session as well as giveaways. Our grand finale happened when a certificate was presented to Keisha Reynolds from the Mayor of Norfolk who declared the first weekend of August as EmpoweringHer Weekend. It was an honor to be apart of this moment and I look forward to many more years of EmpoweringHer Events. Congratulations Keisha Kay Reynolds with four years going strong. May EmpoweringHer continue to flourish and bring women from all walks of life together. Visit Empoweringherworldwide.com
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Remember that you can have it all without losing it all!