Whew! I can hardly believe I’m on the other side of the Motivated Mom Retreat. In August of 2017 I passed out at the Motivated Mom Tour – Atlanta. It was one of the scariest times in my life. I don’t remember all the details but my friends and those who were there told me that they too were scared for me. Since August until now I have been battling some pretty serious health issues. Late last year I started praying about the Motivated Mom branded events, and thought instead of doing a Tour, I would host a Retreat and focus on self-care.
The journey to the Retreat has not been easy nor enjoyable. It has been hard and almost unbearable. I had to push through my own personal health issues, a major surgery, constant evaluations and treatments, finding the right medications…you name it. It was hard!
I remember having a conversation with Cookie Johnson’s team back in April about the keynote conversation. She wanted to know the theme of the event. I said it is self-care, and she responded, “you know before you stand up and talk about self-care to a room full of moms, God is going to give you a testimony.” She was right, a few days later I was hit with some news that nearly paralyzed my life. I was afraid, nervous, and yet…hopeful.
Here I am, I have made it to the Retreat and my self-care journey seemed as if it had just begun. I checked into the hotel on Thursday, and Friday morning at 4am I was rushed to the emergency room with stroke level blood pressure. YES, on the opening day of my Retreat I found myself in the hospital. After getting my blood pressure under control, I was told to go home and rest. I went back to the hotel and rested…I missed the first half of the opening day of my Retreat. Day two was no different, I spent most of the day in my room resting I made it down for the lunch session, Prudential’s financial session, and even enjoyed the Converse + Cocktail Dress Soiree.
All in all the Retreat was AHHHMAZING! I didn’t get to enjoy it like I had hoped but I was blessed to have an awesome support group that I call friends there to fill in and keep things moving. My co-hosts Christine St. Vil and Sherilyn Smith played a huge role, even sponsors like Dorinda Walker at Prudential jumped in to facilitate welcomes etc. We did not miss a beat. I heard raving reviews by attendees, my team executed a fabulous event, and I learned several valuable lessons.
I had an opportunity to interview Cookie Johnson, it was a delightful conversation. She is a gem – full of life, wisdom, and amazing grace. Yes, you know the kind of grace that comes from above.
I was pleasantly surprised by the responses of the teen and low-income moms that attended the Prudential financial session. They were saying things like “after that session I feel that I can be financially secure.” Another mom said, “I wish I would have had access to this information when I was raising my children, I made a decent living, but I did not know how to manage my money.”
I sat in amazement listening to the Motivated Mom: Dad’s Edition Panel. The stories around fatherhood and its impact in a child’s life was inspirational and life changing. The panelists Antar Muhammad, Jorge Narvaez, Myron Butler, Flex Alexander and my good friend Rocky “Rock T” Turner moderated.
I think the “Momories” were my favorite. Four moms shared their story Ted Talk style, and it was powerful. I closed out by sharing my attempt to commit suicide at 18 years old. Emotions were high and we all were crying.
I walked away from the Motivated Mom Retreat with mixed feelings. I felt proud that we were able to host an event where moms were able to self-care and just be. Also, very challenged to do better self-caring myself.
My good friend told me the other day, “if helping you is hurting me, we have a problem.” I want to motivate moms to be great women (whole, healthy, secure, confident) and extraordinary mom (present, attentive, and loving) so that we raise our children better – but not at the expense of myself. I’m a giver and I don’t always think about my personal ROI. Well, now I do, and I am positive that it will be the difference maker in my life and the life of the Motivated Mom brand.
Photo Credit: Jorge Narvaez
I’m looking forward to great things in 2019 and it is my hope that you will join me. I would like to thank my sponsors Prudential, Coca-Cola, Cisco, One Vodka, Girls in Tech, Koffee Day Spa, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, Susan G Komen, le creative linen, She Ages Well and 97.9 the Beat for supporting healthy motherhood!