At the Capital Region Women's Conference in Sacramento, California, the theme of "Health and Wealth" was demonstrated and spoken about in areas such as nutrition, exercise, wealth management, technology, nature and wellness.
After listening to many of the speakers, one overarching theme emerged -- balance. In a nation that craves extremes and quick fixes, whether that be losing weight or gaining wealth, only balance will sustain us for the long term. For example, in nutrition it's enjoying an occasional chocolate cupcake amid a regular diet of healthy, organic fruits and vegetables. In health care, it's exploring alternative healing remedies alongside traditional Western medicine. In fitness, it's about finding the exercise you love enough to do every day instead of being a weekend warrior.
Technology and nature -- opposite ends of the spectrum -- are a great example of how important balance is in our lives. We need doses of both every day to satiate our brains and our bodies. Of course technology, particularly in California, seems to be synonymous with wealth, but money is just another form of energy that needs balancing. Hoarding money might make you richer, but sharing it will enrich your life. By giving money to people and organizations that need it, you keep the cycle of money going, not only in your own life, but also in others.
The importance of balancing our feminine and masculine sides came up for multiple conference speakers. Roy Spence, author of The 10 Essential Hugs of Life and the only male speaker at the conference, spoke about the value of feminine qualities in both the workplace ("Hugs are a handshake from the heart,") and the home ("Dads need to hug their sons more."). Lisa Oz, New York Times bestselling author and TV host, asked the audience not to give up their core femininity, but rather to embrace both their male and feminine qualities. Dr. Leslie Hewitt, chiropractor and CEO of WOW (Women of Wellness), encouraged women to reconnect with their inner goddesses. As the author of The Goddess of Happiness, I was delighted someone brought up the importance of the feminine archetype.
I spoke about finding balance through an integrated life. Notice I didn't say "work-life" balance, which is a term I find meaningless and non-existent. Of course I learned that the hard way. In my 30s, I thought balance was the ability to multitask -- work 80 hours a week, host extravagant dinner parties and exercise 45 minutes every day. In her keynote, Lisa Oz said, "Multitasking is not balancing. It distracts and leads to less efficiency." It wasn't until I was caught up in a whirlwind of family deaths from suicide, brain tumors and cancer, that I realized I wasn't living an integrated and balanced life, and that my health and happiness, my relationships, my friends and family and my peace of mind were just as important than making money and much more valuable.
Work and life aren't separated but rather one integrated journey, and that journey had better include of good balance of passionate and inspirational work, gratitude, self-love, inner awareness, good nutrition, fitness, generosity, service, and yes... a whole lot of fun! If you want to be happy, healthy and wealthy, include all of these in your life -- in moderation and in balance.