Last Thursday I went to a Women's Professional Development Conference in Springfield, with my bff Leah. There were 700 women all ready to soar (the theme of the conference). The first speaker, Vivian Stringer is a woman's basketball coach and spoke alot about the trials in her life. She talked about balancing her career (she has brought three different schools to the Final Four) and her home life. She made moves to different schools that were more strategic for her family than her career, and talked about the guardian angels that spoke to her in different instances in her life that helped her make the tough decisions. She was very inspiring and has led a very interesting and tough life. Then we went to a break out session about learning to Say 'NO', understanding priorities, not taking on too much and learning when it is ok to say no. This session seemed a little too much for me. The conference was being hosted by a local college and it seemed to me that the audience was pretty young and might benefit more from a session learning to say YES more. After having worked with a lot of interns and young professionals I think that the young people coming out of college sometimes have a chip on their shoulder and need to learn a little more about hard work and working hard.
The lunchtime speaker was the most inspiring and I walked away thinking the most about what she had to say. Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is a trained and published neuroanatomist, basically she is a scientist that is trained in brains and brain functions. Her brother has schizophrenia and she wanted to understand the brain better to know why. Then one day she woke up and discovered she was experiencing a rare form of stroke. She went in for surgery to remove a clot the size of a golf ball from the left hemisphere of her brain. It took 8 years for her to rebuild her brain- from the inside out. The stroke placed pressure on the left side of her brain so the right side of her brain blossomed. She talked a lot about the differences of the hemispheres of the brain and what it meant to only have one side functioning. It was really interesting to hear her talk about her brain and how to connect with the hemisphere that you don't really use. She published a book about her recovery from stroke and the insights she gained into the workings of her brain (My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey). She was really funny and so easy to listen to. She talked about what it was like being a brain scientist and realizing that she was having a stroke, "This is so cool, so this is what it is like to lose you brain!".