Saturday, October 30, 2010

Health, Wellness, & Transformation (The Women's Conference 2010 and a Little Something Extra!)

Hi everyone!  Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend.  So, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I got to attend the Women's Conference and while I returned totally juiced up to "be an architect of change" (the theme for the Women's Conference), I found it - and still find it - really difficult to set down in my own words, what the experience was like, and the types of things I learned over those two days.  So, for fear of doing a disservice to the wisdom and eloquence of the speakers, I've decided to set down one or a few nuggets of goodness from each talk, and link you to a video of the actual talk, in case you want to experience it yourself.  Here are the some of the speakers who were featured on Monday, which was the "Day of Health, Wellness, and Transformation."

Deepak Chopra is a familiar name, but I never read any of his books are watched him on Oprah, or really knew what his message was - he was, after all, one of those "spiritual leader" types, of which I'm often very skeptical (it's the intellectual rationalist in me - and, oddly enough, also the result of my having been raised in the tradition of my family's faith - I tend to look askance at anyone who offers a way to be "spiritual," that doesn't involve a church and pulpit).  I'm really glad he spoke at the Conference, and that I was there to hear him, because it was amazing to hear his perspective on life, humanity, and the nature of the universe at large.  Some things he said which really resonated with me, include the following (not exact quotations, since I was frantically jotting down notes and he spoke more quickly than I could write):
  • Nature goes to the same place to create the nebulae and the stars, as it goes to, to create our thoughts - we are all interconnected and linked at a very basic, primal level.
  • For every one egg, there are 250 million sperm. Why? Nature's intelligence resides in the feminine mind, soul, and body.
  • Happiness comes from a place of power and empowerment.
  • Success equals the ability to pursue and realize worthy goals; have good relationships, etc.
  • Be aware of the magic of synchronicity.  Synchronicity refers to meaningful coincidences that are anonymous gifts from the divine.
  • A dream that we dream alone, remains a dream.  But a dream that we dream together, manifests as reality.
He has much more to offer, and he builds his talk with a complexity that I can't really sum up in a nutshell.  Check out the video of Deepak Chopra's talk here (begins about 7 minutes into playtime).

Elizabeth Lesser is the founder of the Omega Institute, and we all know Sally Field.  They quite literally had a conversation, in which they discussed what it means to "Lead Like a Woman," which ran the gamut from having "Norma Rae moments" to what meditation is good for, and how to practice meditation.  Hahaha, one could say that they conversed like women (sort of meandering all over the place) but they had some really great insights and advice.  Check out their talk here.

This is Martha Beck.  She's a "Life Coach," and I know this sounds hokey beyond belief, but she's an amazing speaker, and I really think that of all the incredible people I heard speak on this day (Monday) her talk was the best and most inspiring.  If you have about 20-30 minutes of time to yourself  - you know, after the dishes are done and the laundry is running and the husband/boyfriend/cat are settled down in front of the tv, and kids are sleeping/doing homework/at a friend's house/still a future fantasy and no one has yet noticed that you're "available" to help/assist/support/nurture/organize/coordinate/provide/etc, grab a cuppa tea/coffee/wine, and watch her talk here.  Her portion of the talk starts at 11:04 into this video, and lasts about 30 minutes (I've re-listened to her talk twice now, and anticipate that I'll probably rewatch it again).  Do it because we are women and we have so much to contribute and we have so much to do and every once in a while, we need someone to interpret what's happening in our lives, to us, and help us remember/realize/clarify where we should be heading.  Watch this video. Listen to her talk. I don't think you'll regret it.  

So, until this past Monday, Tony Robbins was that "motivational-speaker-infomercial-guy" in my head.  And he's still sort of that guy (he would be the first to accept that a lifetime of conditioning can't be overturned in 2 hours - though, certainly, a foundation could be laid in that time), but I realize that he's actually got some pretty powerful tools for transforming the way people deal with life and the challenges we may face.  He had some good zingers and one-liners: "Ever notice that common sense isn't all that common?" but he also had some really great points and tips about how we can shift our "state" (perspective and attitude) in order to make sure we make our best decisions in our "peak states."  Tony's talk was the longest of all the talks on the first day, taking up 2 and a half hours, and video of this talk - whether due to length, or due to the proprietary material used in it - has not been posted.  There's a 20 minute TED talk video here, that captures, in a super abbreviated version, what he worked with on us in the talk.  It's powerful stuff - and it's about having emotional intelligence - training our focus - how to use energy to control your emotional state - how to create energy by using our physiology (posture, musculature, childlike enthusiasm), and it goes on.  My husband, who knows about these things, say a lot of Tony's techniques are essentially neuro-linguistic programming.  I wish I could speak more to this, but a quick skim of the Wikipedia article on NLP tells me it's not something I can pick up with a quick skim on Wikipedia.  ^_- So, that's that.

And because I can't leave you without sharing something pretty with you ("What?!" you protest.  "Carol! What's prettier than an empowered, motivated, woman who's tapped into her Divine Feminine in order to lead humanity into its next evolutionary stage...or something?"), I have to tell you about one of the vendors I met, in the "Village," which is the exhibit hall at the Women's Conference.  Shani Foster is the designer-owner of Eyes of Ruth, a line of handbags - one of which I fell in love with at first sight:

So, about a month ago, I saw and fell for the Proenza Schouler PS1, which while totally beautiful, is also a complete fantasy for the average American woman.  When my eye fell on this bag, it struck the same chord in me that the PS1 hit - and when I asked Shani (the designer) about it, she said she was inspired by a vintage British man's briefcase she had come across.  The bags are made right here, in Los Angeles, CA, and are crafted out of Italian leather.  

Here's a close-up of the exterior.  The bag has magnetic closures under the flap, and can be carried like a satchel using the top handle, or cross-body, using the longer strap.  It's so "Indiana Jones," isn't it?  I love it!  And the best part?  The price, at $295, is totally reasonable!  Also, you can order it in 5 different colors - the cognac color pictured here, the camel pictured in the photo above (to the right of the cognac), black, gray (see photo above, on smaller bag hanging over the camel version), and burgundy.  All the colors are great on this bag, and I sort of loved them all.  With the help of my friend Lisa, I settled on this one, though. I think it really brings out the character of the bag.

Here's a shot of the interior - there's a zippered pocket and two open pockets, appropriate for a cell phone and other small items.  The bag is big enough to hold a small to medium sized laptop, and will be great for me to schlep around all of my kid-gear for Rowan and Kate.  The bags on display were samples, and I'm supposed to receive mine in about 3 weeks.  You can be sure I'll do another post when I get the bag, featuring it with some fabulous outfits!  If you're interested in ordering one yourself, feel free to check out (though these newer bags may not be up on the website yet) or email Shani directly at Shani [at]  If you have any questions about the bag, you can also email me as well (at least, in a few weeks, after I receive it).

In the meantime, thanks for sticking with me through this long post, and have a great Halloween! 


  1. Thank you for sharing the links to the conference. I just watched Martha Beck's talk. I really appreciate being able to experience some of this amazing conference.

  2. The bag you saw is definitely a design like the Mulberry Alexa--The whole messenger bag look. Before I finished reading what you wrote about it and saw the picture, that was the first thing I noticed. Only difference is the Mulberry only has one open pocket. I recently got one and I love it. I loved the PS1 also, but waaay out of my league. The price is a good one for the bag you're getting as the Mulberry is a tad bit more expense. Congratulations. Can't wait to see you modeling it.

  3. I am glad the conference was awesome, and that the vendors didn't disappoint, either ;) Hope you are having a fun Halloween with your two cuties!

  4. I'm a little surprised at some of the quotes you chose to repeat from Deepak Chopra. What's with those first two? The first one seems silly. It's nice to think we're all connected, but you don't need to go to particle physics for it, just all being human seems like enough to feel connected to each other. The second one is obvious pandering to the audience, and also doesn't follow from one half to the other. I do like 3, 4 and 6 though. Those are nice inspiring concepts.