2017 MSMU Women’s Leadership Conference: The Resilient Leader

Posted by Zen Yoga Strap on 11/3/2017 to News
2017 MSMU Women’s Leadership Conference: The Resilient Leader

As rising women leaders pursue careers, some may forget the importance of personal health and happiness. During the September 2017 Women’s Leadership Conference hosted by Mount Saint Mary’s University’s Center for the Advancement of Women, various speakers reminded us to start living a healthy life.

MSMU Women’s Leadership Conference, hosted annually, is a forum for women of all ages to learn and strengthen their leadership skills. Women leaders in their areas of expertise share their insight with attendees through various panel sessions to motivate them to transform themselves and their communities. This year’s event was held on September 16th at MSMU’s Chalon campus. More than 400 professional women and rising leaders, and 40 speakers attended the conference.

This year’s conference theme, “The Resilient Leader,” identified three perspectives of “resiliency”: The Resilient You, The Resilient Professional, and the Resilient Community. All sessions were categorized into the three tracks. “The Resilient You” sessions specifically addressed health issues like nutrition, stress, fitness, etc.

“Why resiliency?”explained Emerald Archer, director of MSMU’s Center for the Advancement of Women. “We have learned that resilience is a key factor in becoming an effective, sustainable leader. By learning resilience, it’s easier to stay grounded, bounce back from failures, and be prepared to harness the kind of successes that propel careers forward.” They highlighted that physical and mental health are the basis of a well-rounded life.

3-Course Recipe: Feeding the Mind, Body and Soul Through Healthy Nutrition

(Photo credit: MSMU)

Featuring Dr. Bryant Adibe, Chief Wellness Officer of MSMU, and Paulette Lambert, Director of Nutrition for California Health and Longevity Institute, this session demystified seemingly complicated healthy eating and nutrition for attendees. They pointed out that wellness is essential for a balanced life, and nutrition is the core of wellness.

As healthy eating becomes more mainstream, various methods became popularized, such as vegan and Paleo. A lot of people rush into trying these methods, but find them difficult to stick to. Paulette suggested that instead of going to extremes, take small steps and get the basics down first. “All successful and sustainable changes start small.” For example, it is recommended to take in three servings of fruit each day. When we first transition to a healthy diet, we can start with one to two pieces.

(Photo credit: creativeandhealthyfunfood.com)

Paulette and Bryant also told the audience not to label food “black” and “white.” Take fruit as an example: Although it’s high in sugar, the high fiber contained in fruit can slow down digestion. Paulette also warned the attendees to limit the intake of alcohol due to its high calories.   

Living a Healthy and Happy Life and The Road to Resilience

(Photo credit: MSMU)

The conference’s other panels, "Why Living a Healthy and Happy Life is Essential to Leading Other" and "The Road to Resilience: How to Train Your Brain to Thrive and Succeed" discussed the importance of a healthy personal life and how we can achieve that. Featured panelists included Jacqui Burge, Founder of Desk Yogi; Uvinie Lubecki, Managing Director of Dalai Lama Fellows; Dr. Mona Saint, gynecologist and integrative medicine physician; Dr. Susan K. Salem, Director of Counseling and Psychological services for MSMU; Lucia Cottone, Founder of Knack Talent; and Dr. Angel Faith, Clinical Psychologist. The panelists shared their insights on self-development, both physically and mentally. They reminded attendees to pay more attention to themselves, as a robust life is the foundation of effective leadership.


Leading with Intention

The day concluded with touching stories from Mallika Chopra, Founder of Intent.com and author of Living with Intent. Mallika shared her somewhat “messy” journey to finding her inner peaceful life, including her childhood in Boston, her first job working for MTV in India, and her lessons from her dad, the alternative medicine advocate, Deepak Chopra. She confessed to the audience that she used to live under stress, fear, doubt, procrastination and guilt. However, instead of continuing to live in  confusion, she started living “with intent”, and actively seeking for workable solutions.

(Photo credit: Lindy Huang Werges)

From her life experiences, Mallika learned that we sometimes need to take a pause and start thinking about our life purpose. “When it comes to empowering women you have to anchor yourselves to really ask questions again about ‘What do I want?” Mallika said in her speech, “But begin with intent, and then take the small steps to ultimately realize your destiny.” She encouraged the audience to express their opinions and take ownership of their lives, and when in doubt, trust their own intuition.

After the closing ceremony, Mallika signed her books Living with Intent: My Somewhat Messy Journey to Purpose, Peace, and Joy and chatted with attendees. Other inspirational and empowering book authors who joined the book signing event included Katie Kelley (Career Courage: Discover Your Passion, Step Out of Your Comfort Zone, and Create the Success You Want), Henna Inam (Wired for Authenticity: Seven Practices to Inspire, Adapt, & Lead), Danielle Harlan (The New Alpha: Join the Rising Movement of Influencers and Changemakers Who are Redefining Leadership) and Jaime Hansen (Expanding the Conversation).

(Photo credit: MSMU)

Women’s Leadership Conference would like to thank the following sponsors:
Platinum Sponsor: Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel
Gold Sponsor: Southern California Edison (SCE)

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