I was blessed to have been invited to the Well Being & Women event in Brockville, hosted by Jennifer Phillips and Andrea Campbell of Dream with Success. This was the women’s first major event, and I am sure those who attended will agree with me when I say, “I can’t wait for the next one!”
Jennifer and Andrea set out to inspire and educate the women who joined them for the day, providing an impressive panel of speakers and a select group of vendors. However, they did so much more than inspire, the two co-founders of Dream with Success, created a safe, welcoming environment, allowing the speakers to share intimate stories of struggles, desires, and success. Jennifer and Andrea’s compassion and concern for others shone so strongly that the overall feeling throughout the day was one of love and acceptance, putting those in attendance at ease, able to let down their protective walls and really listen, taking to heart the messages provided by those speaking.
I am sure, Artist Andrea Wolfe, the first speaker of the day, had a hand in the energy felt in the room, as she led us in a group meditation to set an intention of positive vibes and non-judgment. Andrea also shared with us her story of becoming an artist and the role meditation plays in her life creating Energy Art, inspired by love and the energy surrounding her. Pieces of Andrea’s work on display at the event were mesmerizing yet tranquil. I was immediately drawn to them, getting lost in the layers of meaning. I even took home a copy of her intriguing book titled “If the Moon was a Heart,” for my Granddaughter to enjoy.
Judy Todd, from Allthingzenergy, was also set up with her awesome array of handmade jewellery and clothing. Thus I succumbed to my desire to add a splash of colour to my wardrobe and came home with a Judy Todd original. Other local vendors included the lovely Terry-Ann Hare from Beauty Inside, Kaitlyn Heffernan from Brockville Wellness Registered Massage Therapy, representatives for Goodlife Fitness and Priscilla Everett from Made By Bees who was also a presenter. Priscilla passionately described the necessary role bees play in our global food security and introduced us to her innovative products created with the purpose of reducing our plastic use, helping save our bees and in turn saving our planet. It is profound to consider that a simple change in our daily practices can have such a far-reaching global effect.
Julie McKenzie also reminded us that our daily practices should involve self-care especially if we are one of the eleven million people in Canada who have diabetes. A registered nurse for 32 years, Julie now specializes in diabetes education with a strong emphasis on preventative education. Explaining that there are those that still suffer lower limb amputation, Julie discussed the benefits of regular foot assessments. Julie also had a line of high tech foot care products on hand for us to view.
The day was filled with so many inspiring speakers, who provided tips for living a healthier life whether it is by reducing our plastic use, practical solutions for gluten-free living, realizing our full potential, getting help with our financial planning or finding our inner strength. Jennifer and Andrea each gave equally passionate and informative presentations, reiterating the overall theme of the day, which Dr. Isaura Gonzalez appropriately stated as “the need to take care of ourselves because without taking care of our self we can’t serve others.”
I believe, Shanna Landolt, reached out and touched each of us by sharing her struggle with postpartum depression. Shanna stood at the front of the room alone as she discussed with raw candour the depths of her despair, yet when she finished, we all stood to applaud her willingness to share, hoping she knew she was no longer alone. Shanna discussed spiraling into depression trying to be a Superwoman by societal standards, when in fact coming out the other side after seeking the help she required makes her the Superwoman we know she is on the inside. Her parting comments to “keep in mind why you’re doing what you’re doing” hit home with me.
Lisa Ferguson also openly discussed her struggles with depression and alcohol and what led to motivating her to become the fit female powerhouse she is today. Each woman who spoke had her message to deliver, yet an underlying message was that as women we must believe “we are enough.”
Dr. Yolanda Madarnas closed out the day with a candid and colourful account of her life as a young medical student in Barcelona, a GP, a Medical Oncologist, Wife, and Mother. She encouraged us to pursue lifelong learning as she has and above all to remember "we can have success in spite of our imperfections."
I could easily comment on each woman who shared her story and her messages with us, but instead, I encourage you to take the time to attend the next event hosted by Jennifer and Andrea so that you can experience it all first hand. As my friend, Sue Torrance of Tasty Indulgences said, “Through talking, educating, communicating, and sharing we can help each other.”
We can Dream with Success with the help of Jennifer Phillips and Andrea Campbell.
For more information check out www.dreamwithsuccess.com or on facebook @dreamwithsuccess.