Dear BTMers on Saturday, March 30th, 2019 in Rochester, New York, I am pleased to bring to you the 1st annual Beyond This Moment Conference. This year's theme: Authentic Sisterhood...let the healing begin!
As Women's History Month would come to a close, I am pleased to put the final touch on it with some history making moments for a day I am dedicating to celebrate sisterhood, unpacking the many layers of who we are in our sisterhood circles. At this conference you will begin a journey toward sisterhood, like no other, with workshops addressing the various areas that impact and affect us individually and collectively, as women. As an added bonus to this conference, 10 Sheros will be honored in various categories such as: Entrepreneur of the Year, Social Justice Advocate of the Year, Trailblazer of the Year, the special " My Sister's Keeper" Award, The "Unsung Shero" Award, and several other categories. Year 1 will set the platform for many years to come. I want to take a moment to address how I got here.....
Many of you may know that I have a life coaching business, Beyond This Moment. I not only coach women to live their best purpose-driven lives, but I also do work in sister circles to promote healing and growth. Much of what I have learned in all of my interactions with clients in my business, is that they all faced adversity in relationships with women, and for many, we were able to unpack the root causes of how it all started. They were able to move forward in the planning and execution of their life goals once they began self work and healing. Over the last few years, I have noticed the rise in destructive sisterhood relationships, women bashing other women; BUT I have also seen and lived the beauty in positive sisterhood. I've lent my hand to many women and girls to strengthen those relationships, even if it meant closure for them, but closure in a way that honored each woman.
For many years I shelved the idea of a conference and each time I decided to move forward, it was shelved again for fear of who would be interested, who would support, fear of duplication viewed by others, time, money, resources and fear in general. I've even read scripture, been provided confirmation and had dreams of being on a stage in front of women sharing my story surrounded by women sharing theirs with others, in a conference setting. Never wanting to conflict with other conferences and major events that take place in my great city of Rochester, New York, the Beyond This Moment conference was shelved on numerous occasions for over 10 years. Add to that the fact that my brand is often connected with my beloved; marriage ministry work for couples as Co-founder of LOVE Marriage Ministries, a ministry founded by husband and I, along with RocCity48 mentoring program for young men founded by us as well. Ironically, BTM was founded before both, but a lot of my work was on those two ministries which are layered in who I am, while I continued the behind the scenes work with women and girls, promoting sisterhood and providing support. My life has always been focused on children and families but a very special part of who I am, for those that know me, is uplifting sisterhood, which is why Beyond This Moment was founded. So, It's time to truly put my gift to use on a larger platform to reach as many women as I can, many who may not have the time or resources to be engaged in life coaching.
What I've also learned is that we all have a platform to share with others and if it is our gift, it should never be shelved, understanding that each of our stories and journeys can provide healing and growth of others. It's what we are here for! I am thrilled to share that I am now laughing in the face of fear and stepping out on my own platform, requested by so many women, to bring to you a conference that focuses on Authentic Sisterhood and healing. Each year will have a different focus/theme. I decided "Authentic Sisterhood" as the 2019 theme, given my journey and the journey of other women and girls whom have shared their stories with me. This conference is for ALL women. And yes, there will be a young girls component in the very near future. My focus THIS conference is for women, so that we can do the work, and that work translates into the work with our daughters, young women in our families and young women that need us in our communities. But WE have to be in an emotionally well place to do "our" work first, understanding the root causes and the importance of self-healing, so that we don't injure the girls and young women looking at the way we model and teach the sisterhood values, healthy values, that we want to see in them, as they grow.
My own quote that I live by is "leaving no sister behind" and this conference is an example of that!
A quick snapshot of my background and why I feel this work is so important is because of the depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem I've personally experienced-needing a sister to trust with my vulnerability and closing them out thinking that my husband could be the sole supporter. While he is my best friend, there is nothing like a woman to trust, confide in and to be on this journey with. Make no mistake, I also relied on my faith in God, understanding that there were women he placed on my path to help me but I decided to shut them out. "Super Women syndrome" set in and I would often refuse to let another woman "in" to support me, showing my vulnerability..because, what would they do with it? What would they do with that knowledge?
I had to address that.
There is research to reflect the importance of healthy relationships with women. Did you know that women in successful relationships with other women, that are loving and giving, is what actually helps women live longer? There is a reason why research shows that women are living longer and we can no longer underestimate the effects of healthy relationships with other women with what research shows. The hormone oxytocin, for women especially, IS the elixir of friendship and, by extension, health. And when the hormone interacts with estrogen, studies show, it impels females to seek the company of each other, causing what is called 'the wash of love', to stimulate and send a message to our brains-getting the heart pumping in a way that is healthy and long lasting! The higher the levels of oxycotin, the lower the stress levels and the lower the risk of heart disease (in which rates have skyrocketed for women-heart disease is the leading cause of death for women GLOBALLY!) Lastly, it's also proven that the higher the level of oxycotin, the quicker we heal, when we are sick. Although we still live longer, this fact is alarming! PROOF, that as women, we DO need each other. So while my husband is my anchor, I am so thrilled that he is supporting my platform because even he knows that he can't do it all!
Through therapy, a lot of self work, inclusive of lessons along my journey, support from husband, family and yes, support from a small number of sisters I trusted, staying committed to my faith and grounded in my purpose, I am still standing and have begun sharing my story. It's the reason why I had decided, years ago, to begin a journey toward building authentic sisterhood. The picture of the woman that you see here has faced issues with Sisterhood beginning with the roots of my family dynamic and inclusive of experiences in other sister circles along with individual relationships with women, all of which I have learned something. What I've learned is that women CAN have true authentic sisterhood with each other, but the key is first knowing oneself, transparency, honesty, self-accountability and not falling into the comparison lie brought on, in some ways, by our personal painful experiences, social media and other venues. There is also an important piece to this. Knowing that we can respect and honor women while still maintaining a small, sometimes a very small, healthy sisterhood circle, that we can trust our heart and vulnerability with, so that we never feel alone or isolated in this life. That gift is to not be bestowed to every woman and please know that that is not what this conference will be about. I am a realist :-)
Life experiences and self-work, have taught me that the dislike of another sister, envy of another sister, unhealthy sisterhood relationships, and lacking individual self worth has a root and has detrimental effects on us, as women-in a different way than men. In this conference we will unpack some of that, providing workshops, on site support and resources available that will jump start you on your journey or maybe help continue the journey that you are on. If you are a woman who feels that maintaining authentic sisterhood is impossible or that you have faced feelings of not trusting women because those relationships have caused betrayal or heartbreak, or maybe you are a person with great relationships with women and you are looking for a way to extend that in your circles of women, to help other women, this conference is for you.
My background is that of a child that was broken, attempted suicide, teen mother, violent relationships and one who has battled depression and anxiety but able to overcome the most tragic of situations living a life of self work, grace, faith, humility-with the desire and purpose driven gift to help other women. Through it all, through God's grace and hard work, I am an accomplished business owner, career professional, author, wife to an incredible man and mother to our 5 purpose-driven children.
To be transparent, I have been able to maneuver this journey of life for 44 years without ever having a female best friend but some of the closest women in my lives are my sheros (and yes although they have bff's, I know the very special relationship I hold with each of them). I had to unpack what that was all about. How did I go through this life without a woman as best friend? I unpacked it and was shocked upon my revelations. With my own self-discovery and journey, I desired healthy authentic sisterhood relationships for every woman out there. But I had to do the work and truth be told, I still am.The work required in those relationships beginning with my family and also women I've encountered across my journey, and the self work that is required of all of us. If we are all honest with ourselves every woman knows that you can't fully achieve a wonderful life 'successfully' on this journey, without another woman pulling you along the way, supporting you and cheering you on (authentically!). We ARE stronger together! And this is not about resolving current relationships which requires more than a 1 day conference; it's about learning to value any woman, understanding that we all have a story and a root cause for the way in which we treat and view ourselves and each other. What you will walk away with are tools and resources and a greater knowledge of self, how to address those current relationships when you are ready, and how to move forward in healthy relationships and a healthy self. Let's unpack it!
I welcome all my sisters (near and far!) to this conference, no matter your background. I promise that it will be one of healing and growth with the unfolding of a new journey. Join me on Saturday, March 30th, 2019, in Rochester, New York, as we begin the work and do the healing required Beyond This Moment for Authentic Sisterhood, self growth and the beginning of fully walking in a purpose-driven life. Registration on this site will be open soon, in addition to registration on my Facebook Page @BeyondThisMomentCoach. Both will have frequent updates. Please share with women across your networks! Let the healing begin!