I’m back from my first LATISM conference, and my heart is full. I can say without a doubt that it was the most fulfilling event I’ve attended in my time as a blogger.
How so? Well, learning has been a pattern of progress and success for me. It is really one of (if not THE) activities I love most in my mortal journey. Usually, when I go to a conference, I am there to learn, to connect (my top #1 passion), or to speak, train, and teach. This time, it was all about giving back in a different, and almost unexpected way.
When I shared the news about being recognized as one of the Top Latina Influencers, I was already excited about the retreat and having the opportunity to visit the majestic United States Capitol. It proved to be an unforgettable experience, and a true honor. One of my favorite parts of that rainy adventure (my shoes were soaked and my hair was frizzy) was meeting Shana, (a fellow geek mompreneur) and having the most amazing tour guide, Eliezer Flores (who really isn’t one), helping me navigate the art, the architecture, and the ideals of the incredible men that founded this nation.
I had forgotten that Washington D.C. is an inspiring city with impressive sites, and they were all within walking distance. Some of my influencer friends and I visited The White House, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Martin Luther King memorial (two men I greatly admire).
And speaking of friends; I am very grateful to now be counted as part of the growing LATISM community. I had just a handful of real life friends in attendance, and I connected and networked with so many dynamic men and women, and together, we volunteered our time and talents to help make the conference a success, we met with Congressional Representatives and asked our most pressing questions. I spoke about my dreams for moms of all heritages in this country, because I know that when moms are empowered, families thrive, which impacts society at large.
The thought-provoking content, shared by expert speakers who are in the trenches of education, health, advocacy, diversity, technology, and politics, was enlightening, to say the least. I sat through a panel about civic engagement, and for the first time in my life, I felt a political tickle in my body. Everyone felt touched in one way or another. That is what made this gathering of positive people so special.
Of course, Ana Roca, the founder, chair, and leader, set the tone and the example for respect, collaboration, and support. She has a way with words and her heart is so big that it reflects like a light on her face. She definitely radiates a certain goodness that is contagious and motivates people to action. What most inspired me about her is how she always focuses on what is going right, what can be done, and what the next steps are. That’s why she’s successful! And that is why she is surrounded by a team of women who assisted her in putting this splendid event together.
Of course, it couldn’t have been a reality without the sponsors who invested in making it happen, (like Johnson and Johnson, Univision, AARP, CEA, Walt Disney,Toyota, and Google, Phone2Action, Consumer Reports, Mitu, Latinas In STEM, and more!) not only this year, but for 7 consecutive years since the LATISM conference’s inception.
And of course, you may think that my favorite moment was hearing my name being announced as Best Latina Lifestyle Blogger during the Awards Gala ceremony- and yes, I definitely feel immensely blessed for the recognition, and most importantly, for the love of my peers and you, my readers and followers.
However, my top #LATISM15 moment was actually meeting Francisco. He was a participant and contestant for the Latino Youth Summit, a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) event that allowed kids to go to The White House and showcase their projects and inventions, as well as receive a pass to the National STEAM Fair.
Francisco created a quite impressive robot named CISCO, and when I asked him what motivated him to get into the STEAM field, he caused me to cry. He explained that he used to get in trouble a lot, but his mentor (teacher) helped him channel his energy so he could use his hands to do good, instead. His mother, whom he misses dearly, is in the Dominican Republic, and this dedicated teacher is helping him succeed, supporting him in further developing his genius and creativity. I felt such a sense of pride when he secured one of the five available spots – he stole my heart!
Lessons? You know I have some to share with you. There was so much that trying to decide really stopped me in my tracks for a few days. Then I thought about the facts that Paul Wylie shared during a very powerful and emotional lunch, because they validate much of what I often share about how taking care of yourself or neglecting your needs impacts the lives of the people around you. He’s a Performance Coach for the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute, and an Olympic Medalist in Men’s Figure Skating.
How To Transform Your Life In The Next 90 Days
Paul talked about how YOU are important, and you can affect future generations, as well as impact your community. He stated that there’s a human energy crisis going on right now and that you can turn your life around in 90 days, by improving the quantity AND the quality of your energy: your emotional energy, physical energy, focus of energy (mental energy), and your passions (spiritual energy – the source of energy).
He explained that the demands of your energy grow throughout your life, while biologically, the capacity goes down. Our energy is outstretched; however, these 6 tips he offered can help us manage our energy more effectively, and even grow it:
- Focus on your purpose: figure out the ultimate mission of your life, the thing you’re here to do! Focus on steps you can take within the next 90 days to get you closer to that purpose. Take action toward your legacy! I think going to conferences, seminars, and workshops is a great way to invest in yourself and your purpose, by surrounding yourself with like-minded people!
- Eat light and eat often: this stabilizes blood glucose levels, improves your metabolism, improves your energy levels, your brain function, and your mood, controls cravings, decreases the likelihood of overeating, maintains muscle mass, prevents excessive fat storage. He talked about the 80/20 rule = 80% need foods and 20% want foods, and being smart on portion size. Because not all vegan options are healthy, this is a good reminder for my family, too.
- Move your body: there are three types of movement (stretching, large movements, and small movements), and four zones of intensity (Zone R= rest or sleep, Zone C = comfort, Zone D = discomfort, Zone P = Pain). We want to train in Zone D to push ourselves and maximize our fitness results.
- Sleep: 7-8 hours of sleep is what he recommended. If we are realistic, there are stages in a mother’s life when this amount of sleep is just not possible, especially when we are nursing a newborn or infant.
- Drink Water: 7-8 glasses of water a day, hydrating yourself throughout the day. This is still a challenge for me, but I’m getting a lot better since I switched to coconut water. Hydration is a fundamental key to energy and wellness.
- Create great habits: we are creatures of habit and routines, and in our daily lives, 95% of what we do is non-conscious and automatic, and 5% is conscious and self-regulated. By being more conscious of what we do, we can be more productive and become a great example to all the people in our life, too!
I love that this message is being widely spread, because, even though many people are in the business of judging and labeling moms when they think of themselves, it is a proven fact that as humans, we have needs, dreams, aspirations, and desires outside of motherhood, and those must be fulfilled in order for us to be our best selves for the people we love most.
I was happy to be enjoying a trip without my family, and though I miss them when I’m not home, I don’t feel mommy guilt, because an empowered mom raises empowered kids – and I definitely see the results on that front. Which takes me to what I would add as tip #7 to increase your energy and transform your life: empower yourself in meaningful ways that are based on the greater good. Serve others, help out, give back!
The LATISM conference was a great opportunity to gain some insights about the next steps I need to take in the next 90 days, while I savor the memories, the sense of community, the powerful purpose of united Latinos and Latinas of growing influence and power through voice and platform, the sacred space to dream, and the dance floor (because that night I danced like I hadn’t in years, and I ended up getting a flattering offer to tour with them as a dancer for the band) .
How will you transform your life in the next 90 days? What’s on your list?