The Well Summit started last year in Boston, as a two-day conference on all things self-improvement. Gianne Doherty, co-founder of Organic Bath Co, is the mastermind and woman behind W.E.L.L. Summit along with her partner in business and life, Jay. She is a total change maker and I love her infectious smile and her can do attitude.
I kept hearing raving reviews about the Summit since it took place last year, that I was intrigued about attending. At the beginning I was hesitant to attend this year, since the preliminary schedule didn’t click with me right away. Many of the sessions were subjects I had already explored and study due to my battle with Hashimoto’s. As the event neared, the schedule started to take a new shape and speakers with different subjects other than health/mind related topics where joining in.
It just so happens, that The Well Summit offers a little bit of everything for the inquiring minds, related not only to your own Well Being (Sugar Simplified -Learn how to read labels with Dorit Jaffe), but that one of your business or future business (An Optimistic Approach to Business Success by Devin Donaldson), for the people around you (Ensuring Your Nail Salon Is Safe For You by TenOverTen) and the planet (Zero Waste and how to eliminate trash by Lauren Singer). There were over 24 sessions to choose from with well-respected speakers teaching you from meditation, to safe sex, to taking pictures with your phone. After signing for the Saturday package, that included the welcome party on Friday Night and all-day-sessions on Saturday, I had no doubt in my mind that this was the place for me to be and that it was going to be a very special weekend.
The Summit started on Friday morning with the following sessions:
- Eating for Brain Health with Dr. Drew Ramsey
- Clean Beauty Panel with Brandie Gilliam of Thoughtfully Magazine, Siobhan O’Connor co-author of No More Dirty Looks, Tara Foley of Follain, Alba Ramos from SunKissAlba.
- Fair Trade/ Conscious Consumer Panel with Meika Hollender cofounder of Sustain nontoxic condoms and Margot Lyons from Coyuchi’s natural home goods.
All guests were invited to the L.I.V.E. WELL Party that evening where light refreshments were provided by brands like Steaz, Kombrewcha, Rishi. There was also shopping and mingling with the brand’s founders, and we were treated to mini manis by TenOverTen. Brands present included Thorn and Bloom, True Moringa, The Optimist Co., Simply Chickie, Satya Jewelry, Shift Eco, Violets Are Blue, among others.
Saturday was a fantastic day, packed with information and lots of emotions ~good energy was palpable through the halls of the summit. I had chosen to support 3 of my favorite gals in the industry by attending their sessions: Amie Valpone “How to Detox and Fight Inflammation”, Rebecca Casciano “Exploring Beauty through self-love”, Melissa Cantor “Intro to Sustainable Fashion”. I also included in my schedule:
- How to create professional images with an Iphone with Kristen Kellogg, filmmaker, image expert, and brand storyteller behind Border Free Travels.
- Making Miracles with Malas led by Satya Scainetti, philanthropist, yoga teacher Reiki healer, and founder of Satya Jewelry
- Where in the OM am I? Taking the first step to your most fulfilling life by Sara DiVello yoga teacher and best-selling author.
- Cracking the Code: Use Social Media to create influence and build community with Ksenia Avdulova founder of Breakfast Criminals
For sake of brevity I will describe some of the sessions below and at the end of the article there is a treat for you:
How to Detox and Fight Inflammation with Amie Valpone – Amie is a great motivational speaker and her uplifting spirit is unrivaled, even though she has been through a lot. Once, diagnosed with a serious case of c-diff, she was given 24 hours to live while lying in a hospital bed. For 10 years, she had to battle chronic illnesses like Lyme, PCOS and Hypothyroidism and doctors, that pretty much told her that it was all in her head. She saw over 500 doctors, and like she says: “No ONE healed me but a team of docs HELPED me.” Amie was there to remind attendees that there is a light at the end of the tunnel for anyone living with a chronic illness and that she is proof of that. She encouraged everyone to trust their intuition, to not give power to the doctors, and to prioritize their health. She read excerpts from her book Eating Clean, that includes recipes, labs to do or avoid, self-care and how to detox the home. I owned the book prior to the session, and I can tell you is the best book not only as guide to detox but to eat healthy fulfilling meals. No plain salads here! You can order the book here and you can follow Amie at the Healthy Apple.
Exploring Beauty through self-love with Rebecca Casciano – What is standing in your way of self-love? was the opening reflection at Rebecca’s session. The truth is we tend to look only at our flaws and dwell on them instead of looking and celebrating our best features. Having battled cystic acne herself, Rebecca leads with compassion and sensitivity all her sessions. She creates an intimate atmosphere where all women can share openly, and it always amazes how safe women feel in her hands. She asked what we loved most about ourselves and we all got a turn to answer. We did a little reflective writing and she taught us about the power of affirmations and inspired us to use them every day. Rebecca had a Part 2 session where she taught women about green make up and how to apply it. You can catch Rebecca’s transforming workshops online and you can sign up HERE to be part of the Sacred Beauty tribe. You can also follow her on Instagram for daily inspiration.
Making Miracles with Malas led by Satya Scainetti – I can’t deny this was one of my favorite sessions. Satya, received this spiritual name during a yoga training in an Ashram, where she also received the message that she will be doing jewelry and helping those who needed the most. That was 15 years ago, and Satya is still designing beautiful and meaningful jewelry and helps children's groups through the Satya Foundation. During the session she explained about the power of malas. The traditional mala has 108 beads and its used as a tool to focus and be grounded. We performed a Kundalini chant and meditation before we started working on our own bracelet malas. Satya provided us with the beads and tools and walked us through the process. It was meditative and introspective. She gave us a lotus bead to remind us to every day start anew whatever the circumstances we are in, and Fancy Jasper beads as a reminder that when you let go, you achieve peace. Satya conducts mala workshops and you can click HERE for the schedule and you can follow her Instagram here.
Using Social Media to create, influence, and build community with Ksenia Avdulova -From Ksenia’s presentation, I enjoyed the story of her journey the most. She was very genuine, funny at times, and passionate about what she does. She candidly shared how her own pain and broken heart lead her to start Breakfast Criminals and then a few other ventures. She is big in setting intentions, so much, that she had just returned from her dream trip to Brazil with an Acai company. Her main nuggets of information: Bring Value to your reader. Engage with your community. Work with intention. And the next big thing in Social Media? Steem It. Follow Ksenia at Breakfast Criminals or at My nomadic year.
I left the summit renewed and with an even stronger sense of purpose, with new friends and wonderful connections. It was indeed a very special weekend. You don’t have to be a recycling obsessed, Birkenstock wearer, glass water bottle carrier, life affirming, and yoga practitioner to be part of the WELL Summit tribe. Speakers were there to speak from their heart. They talked about their own journeys, struggles and how they made it through once they found their calling. I think that many people can relate to that. What is the secret to their success other than hard work you may ask? Following their true passion and listening to their intuition. All you need is an open mind and the willingness to live your best life.
Sign up HERE to find out when and where the next WELL Summit is taking place. (I truly hope it takes place in Miami)
Because I also want to help you in your journey of living a healthier life, I am giving away the Goodies from the WELL SUMMIT swag bag and the skincare and cosmetics from the Sacred Beauty Session courtesy of Rebecca Casciano and her super sponsors
You get the bag with the mantra "Your Vibe attracts your tribe", the journal to initiate you on this daily practice, the latest issue of Thoughtfully Magazine, and goodies from Vapour Organics, Organic Bath Co, Max&Me, Meow Meow Tweet, KPS Essentials, Nubian Heritage, Juicy Bamboo, Ecco Bella, FitGlow Skin, and Banza.
These swag costs over $200 - here is a peek of what you are getting:
Banza Chickpeas Pasta $2.99
Organic BathSugar Scrub $27.00
Nubian Coconut Papaya Body Wash $12.99
Fit Glow Redness Rescue Cream (RRC) $69.00
Toughtfully Magazine $9.99
Vapour Organic Multi Use Blush $36.00
Meow Meow Deodorant Baking Soda Free in Lavender $8.00
KPS Essentials Eye Repair Serum $79.00
Ecco Bella Gloss Mini in Power $6.95
Ecco Bella Mascara Mini in Black $7.95