After attending fabulous breakout sessions on both Saturday and Sunday, attendees of this year’s conference were blessed to hear words from Dr. Beverly Tatum, president of Spelman College and Portia Jackson, DrPH, MPH and founder of Active Steps Coaching. Dr. Tatum spoke about the new focus on wellness taking place at Spelman College. She shared the story of a Spelman graduate who lost her life before the age of 35 due to respiratory problems stemmed from her weight and health. Because of stories like that, other statistics about young people and Black women (for example, the Surgeon General states that this generation’s life span will be shorter than their parents’, and 44 percent of Black women over 20-years-old have high blood pressure), and the belief that if we knew better, we’d do better, the school decided to invest in a campus-wide initiative for wellness revolution. After asking the question, “What if we took money for all students?”, they decided to discontinue their NCAA collegiate sports and focus on the campus as a whole getting healthy. The Wellness Revolution is designed to empower and educate Spelman women and the world on the value and components of lifelong wellness. Learn more about the initiative here. ________________________________________________ Next, Portia Jackson discussed Balance…in the Real World. After having attendees get into groups and share their wisdom, she talked about the stressors she’s dealt with in her life, including a life-changing health diagnosis, having to go on disability leave and losing a loved one. Here are some helpful gems Portia shared to help you create balance in your life:
- Remember, we do smile again.
- Understand and honor yourself when it comes to balance.
- Define balance for yourself, and live a life that honors your priorities.
- Avoid Superwoman — and that includes being here and being around her — at all costs.
- Take quiet time to strengthen the connection to the little voice inside of you.
- Practice saying “no” daily so you’ll say “yes” to the right things.
Portia also shared an action plan for us to take to achieve more balance in our lives. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What is non-negotiable in my life? (In other words, prioritize).
- Who is in my support network?
- What are my triggers (What makes you feel unbalanced)?
- How will I know when I’m not in balance?
- What will I do to take action? (e.g., step back, renegotiate commitments, take care of myself, etc.)
Get more of Portia on her website, www.PortiaJackson.com. With the theme of Sharing Intergenerational Wisdom, we were all able to learn from the past and the present to prepare for amazing futures. We look forward to seeing YOU at the conference next year! P.S. — Help us plan another fabulous conference for 2014! Consider donating to our GoFundMe Campaign here.