On Wednesday, October 17, 2012, I, along with over 125 hard-working, well established female professionals, made time to learn what it means to have it all by attending Epstein Becker Green’s Women’s Initiative event titled “Feeling Great and Making a Difference: What Does It Mean to Have It All?”
As I entered the Estrela Penthouse of Le Parker Meridien in search of great women, fine food, and smart conversation, I, a young associate, started to wonder: Do I have it all? Quickly resolving, like all aspiring women do, that I do not have it all, my next thought was: How do I get it!? This was followed by: How will I find the time? I continued to pontificate while noshing on a delicious spread – mini gyros with tzatziki sauce, moist caprese, soft and crumbly swedish meatballs, and of course, chardonnay. Feeling energized and invigorated, I navigated the jovial room in search of both new and familiar faces.
The room was buzzing with excitement as three spectacular, intelligent, and insightful women took their seats at the panel. Reverend Khadijah Matin, who works in healthcare in staff coaching, training in cultural competence and interfaith spirituality (among other things!), has been called “a woman who walks through walls.” Diahann Billings-Burford, Esq., Chief Service Officer for the City of New York, is a woman whose mission is to tap the power of the people to meet pressing challenges in NYC. Nancy J. Belli, Fitness Director for Asphalt Green, is a woman who wants us to be active and view stress as a good thing! The panelists were ready to share their secrets and tell us how to make the most productive use of our time.
Reverend Khadijah spoke first. I watched the room nodding their heads in unison as the Reverend told us to constantly evaluate ourselves, our needs, our desires, and to see opportunity in everything. We have to make changes and adjustments to all situations. Find your passion and break through that glass ceiling!
Next Diahann reminded us that having it all means different things to different people. For some, having it all means marriage and children. For others, having it all means having a job and career that we are very serious about. But no matter how hard we work, where we are, or who we become, we have to give back. Diahann described just a couple of the hundreds of opportunities to volunteer in the city, and emphasized the goal of achieving impactful, measurable outcomes.
Finally, Nancy explained the need to move, move, move, sleep, move, move, move, stress a little, move, move, oh yes, and move. I learned how to stretch, breathe, and have a vacation, all without ever having to leave my desk!
Amazing – all three panelists!
As I made my way home that evening, I could not help but think about the panelists’ messages to me: Reverend Khadijah Matin: “find your passion”; Diahann Billings-Burford: “use your BLANK for good”; and Nancy J. Belli: “get energy and wellness through physical activity.” And I resolved right there and then to follow their advice.
I started the next day by using a ball chair!