Tuesday, November 22, 2016

My Emotional Response to W.E.L.L. Summit 2016

Last year was my first time attending W.E.L.L. Summit and it didn't take long for me to realize that it was going to be a must for 2016. Gianne Doherty, the founder, has curated an outstanding line-up of speakers which draw attendees that are kind, thoughtful and generous. This year was no exception and it was only made better by the fact that the location moved from Boston to NYC and that I got to attend with my two sisters who live there.

There was also something that happened that I didn't quite expect though: tears. Yes, with the emotional content of many of the sessions tears occur at W.E.L.L. Summit but mine started pouring out on the drive home. It came after so much frustration I was feeling about the climate of our country and I realized in talking to women from so many different backgrounds at W.E.L.L. Summit that we all really want one thing: to live our best lives. I felt no judgement or pretension at the conference, only good vibes. 

Here are my favorite moments from W.E.L.L. Summit:

The Sessions

It was so hard to pick sessions this year - they were all so good! I was introduced to Dr. Drew Ramsey, author of Eat Complete, in his session "Feed Your Mind: The New Science of Eating for Brain Health." His candid tips on eating with kids resonated with me especially his reminder to focus on what kids *do* eat instead of what they don't.

Hands on sessions are always a favorite of mine and the DIY experience of  "Green Up Your Clean Up" hosted by Devin Donaldson, founder of The Optimist Co., taught me how to make window cleaner and hand scrub with basic household ingredients and essential oils. 

After following Cyndie Spiegel on social media the past few years, I was excited to meet her during her "Fear and The Imposter Syndrome" session. Cyndie's no-nonsense, interactive approach encouraged me to realize what may be holding me back in my success, and I appreciated how candid she was in sharing her own story. 

The Venues

This year W.E.L.L. Summit was split between two venues on the East Side of Manhattan: National Bohemian Hall and Marriott East Side. It was quite rainy during most of the conference so it was nice to be in such comfortable and visually appealing spaces. 

I also count NYC as a venue and was glad I had some down time to explore the city and fit in visits with friends and family. Staying downtown at my BFF's place in the Financial District which made it easy to connect to all the trains there and get to experience Oculus - I used to frequently pass through this corridor when I lived in NYC-metro and imagined what it'd look like completed. It really is stunning! 

The People

Amanda//my sister Lauren//Christa
While I often attend conferences with blogging and business on the brain, for me attending W.E.L.L. Summit is an act of self-care and education. It's always good to see familiar faces and make new friends. I often have readers who have never attended a conference tell me they think it might be intimidating and I have to say the warm welcome at W.E.L.L. Summit is one of the main reasons I love it. You can strike up easy conversations and find people who are going through similar challenges that you may be going through. There were lots of, "Me too!" moments, hugs, and sighs of relief.
The Swag, Vendors & Sponsors

Best swag bag ever - that notebook is EVERYTHING and sustainable to boot!
Kicking off the conference with Elements Truffles at the welcome reception the night before the conference and greeted by tenoverten with a complimentary manicure the following morning was a great way to kick off W.E.L.L. Summit. 

Thank you Amanda of Prim and Propah for the pic!
A healthy lunch provided by Dig Inn and Steaz was delicious and kept me full throughout the morning - it was my first time having both and now I'm totally addicted to Steaz! Such a great alternative to sugary soda. 

Thank you to the W.E.L.L. Summit team for such an amazing experience this year. 

As you're planning your 2017 I highly recommend adding it to your conference list and be sure to sign up for their newsletter here so you know as soon as tickets become available!