The 3rd Annual Black Women’s Life Balance and Well Conference Is Open!

Akilah S. Richards

The conference began with us taking a moment to relax and get our minds right for the conference with a beautiful instrumental and a brief meditation.

Our mistress of ceremonies, Lakia Bradenburg, welcomed us to the conference, gave thanks to our sponsors and had attendees do a visualization exercise.

Akilah S. Richards, our keynote speaker, beautifully shared how to nurture our breakthroughs in her talk.  One of the first questions she asked and had us explore was: When was the last time I stood up for myself?

She went on to share that Black women are 50 percent more likely to suffer from depression than their white counterparts but less likely to get help for it. We often bear the burden of being strong, successful women.

Another question we explored is “What’s on your top shelf?”; in other words, what are those things you reserve for when you get more money, the right partner, lose those last 20 pounds, etc.?  Ultimately, there is no shelf. There’s only you and the capacity to choose yourself in every moment.

Akilah shared that the most important question to ask yourself is “…but how do you want to feel?” This is the way to get in touch with what you need at any given moment. And no one can give you the answer; you have to just pay attention to what you need.

Other tips she shared:

  • Teach yourself how to choose yourself, and release guilt surrounding the choice.
  • Be physically present. Pay attention to your body.
  • The three people who can take you through emotional wellness are the inner little girl, sacred in between (the woman you are now) and the old woman self. We all have access to that intergenerational trifecta. And when we do this, we get two life skills: self-inquiry and self-expression, our internal compasses.
  • “Your crown has been paid for; put it on your head and wear it.” – as told to Oprah Winfrey by Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison.  You define that crown; it’s for you to define what queendom should feel like. Ask yourself this: If you owned your queendom, how would you feel daily?
  • We have a lot of powerless a-has. Your a-ha is only as potent as the longevity of the change it inspires.
  • Leave the quiet acquiescence. It shows up in different ways, e.g., stuff you won’t tell your partner but will tell your girlfriend. If you forget about the woman behind the work, what you do doesn’t matter.
  • Ditch the mask for open dialogue. Who are you not talking to about something that needs to be said?
  • Work on micromanaging — if you ask someone to do something, let that person do it! That’s what a queen does.
  • Right now, you can decide that you have done enough.
  • Ask yourself: What would allow me to feel I’m risking expression? Can I do that? And if you do, you can power up your a-has.


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