Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Oshman Center Women's Wellness Event Inspires and Delights

 Conference Highlights and Prize for Readers at the End

 See video highlights of the event above, and here.

I was thrilled to attend as Press the recent Women's Wellness Symposium, "Breathe," held on Sunday March 13th at Palo Alto's Oshman Family Jewish Community Center. The half-day symposium offered a wide range of workshops and sessions designed to deepen our spiritual, family, and business lives, from preparing for unexpected events, to nutrition tips, to enhancing our relationships with our loved ones, particularly our spouses and our children.  A common theme throughout the day was that as women, we tend to put our own needs on the backburner in the face of life events, stresses, and challenges. But the conference reiterated what many of us may have heard before --but needed to hear again--that without an appreciation for and understanding of what we as women need in order to fuel and nurture ourselves, we are not at our best with our families and loved ones.

I encourage all women in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area to take advantage of events such as these at the JCC, or in their local areas, wherever they may live. It's a great way to take a "time out" for yourself, and step back from your life for just a bit. I know whenever I take a step back from mine, I always come back renewed and refreshed, and that conference certainly succeeded in doing that for me.

Below are highlights of the day!

I took a sneak peak at the Oshman Center earlier that week, and was treated to a tour of with Rebecca Nowlis from the Communications team. The Center is just over a year old, and has some great facilities, including two swimming pools, an extensive health club with an array of classes, and wonderful programming for families, seniors, and just about everyone. I particularly  enjoyed this view from the roof, where I was treated to a fantastic and unusual panorama of the surrounding area, including the Shoreline Amphitheatre on one side and the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains off in the distance.

Here I am by the official schedule in the spacious and well-lit lobby. I liked how you felt as if you were outside even in the indoors.
The attentive audience took a lot of notes during the engaging Keynote luncheon speaker presentation, "Recharge, Renew, Re-engage, Creating a Life in Balance," given by Professor Ayala Malach-Pines, PhD (see below)

Following an introduction by Stephanie Oshman, Committee Chair for the event, Professor Ayala Malach-Pines, from Ben Gurion University of the Negev, presented an eloquent and thought-provoking Keynote, that held many surprises for the audience and kept us on the edge of our seats. Contrary to the advice women typically hear, to "do less," Ayala highlighted the need to "do more in what we are passionate about."  She highlighted the differences between stress and burnout, and the subtle similarities and differences between men and women. In the case of divorce, for example, women typically turn inward and seek comfort in their circle of friends, while men turn outward.

One of the two breakout sessions I attended was on "Tapping into Your Entrepreneurial Spirit," presented by Susan Saal, president and co-founder of SilverRide, a concierge services business in San Francisco for seniors, and Rhonda Abrams, author and CEO of The Planning Shop. The speakers urged audience members to follow what they are passionate about in seeking to start their own businesses, and to set realistic goals and benchmarks for themselves. Abrams, who is considered one of the leaders in advising entrepreneurs and businesses, got started when someone approached her to write their business plan while she was out walking her dog one day. "I researched everything you could about business plans, and then I knew how to do it. I got the job," she stated, "and that was the beginning of my new career."

I enjoyed the mini-expo/exhibits in the Schultz Cultural Arts Hall, including financial services, health care, and crafts exhibitors.

An additional morning session I attended, "The Surprising Health Benefits of Wine and Chocolate," was led by Marni Rubin, owner of Wine One One. Marni gave a great presentation and spoke about the health benefits of red wine in particular, which has large amounts of the immunity fighting compound resveratrol. When it comes to chocolate,  go for fair trade and high quality chocolates if you can, as these contain the highest amounts of healthy ingredients and a lower ratio of fat and fillers.

 Goody Bags and Your Chance to Win One!

Participants all received fun goody bags, including skin care samples, tumblers, gift certificates, and more.  I have an extra to send to one lucky winner! Just comment here on what issue you think is the most important issue in women's health and wellness. A winner will be chosen on April 1...good luck!


Amarant said...

That video alone was inspiring enough for me to seek wellness events in the future. Thanks a lot for sharing this. I feel very blessed to have come across Oshman Center.

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caroline jaffe-pickett said...

So glad you enjoyed the video, it was a great experience and Oshman does an excellent job with their programming!

ganawil said...

Thank you for posting these. I wish there were events like these in our country. I hope you post more of these great events because I want to be informed.

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cielle said...

Great conference. It was a successful one. Keep doing what best for the women especially the mothers.
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Bethany said...

Women should seek organizations such as this to improve their lives. It is such a great thing to see empowering information being shared through the community.

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caroline jaffe-pickett said...

Thanks for your comments, Bethany, Cielle, and Ganawil, I hope to cover more health events in the future.