In was a perfect winter morning; a beautiful sun-kissed sky, crisp chill in the air, and 100 women invading Tuscany Gardens in Browns Summit, NC, armed with smiles and positive expectations for an event that would celebrate, encourage and empower women over 40. Sondra Wright, founder of Forty Plus and Fabulous, LLC, FabU Academy, and author of 40+ and Fabulous: Moving Forward Fierce, Focused and Full of Life kicked off the day with a strong start, beginning with a focus on self-perception, personal power and redefining beauty. As the day progressed and sessions continued, here are some key takeaways and themes that emerged from FabU Academy.
In the opening session, AARP…It’s Not Just for Old People, Audrey Galloway introduced is to today’s AARP, “AARP is no longer about just being retired. We invest heavily in advancing the needs of women,” and Suzanne LaFollette-Black introduced everyone to a new program, “Women like, us. Women like me. Decide. Create. Share. This program is all about empowering women; to ensure women know how to take care of themselves. You must give yourself permission to take care of yourself.”
The youngest of the events presenters, 10 year old Barrington Briggs, Founder of B’s Club made the point that every woman is imperfectly beautiful “I want women to understand that even though your hair, teeth or weight may not be perfect, that doesn’t mean you’re not beautiful.”
Creativity in Midlife was the theme behind Go Free Pants’ Tina Ketchie Stearns. Tina reminded everyone that God gives people of all ages ideas, not just the young. So don’t be afraid to act. “Listen to your gut, which I believe is God and trust that He’s got you. When you’re passionate about your dreams you’ll gladly go broke trying to make it happen.”
Estate Planning Attorney, Susan Hunt gave much food for thought with Confidence in Chaos: Caring for Your Aging Parents. Sue drove home the importance of making a plan for your estate. “If you don’t make a plan, the state will make ne for you and you’re probably not going to like it. Your family wills do not need to be kept in a safety deposit box because your executor may not be able to gain access to them when needed.”
The importance of self-care emerged as a powerful theme and breast cancer survivor, Brenda Motley’s personal journey through self-neglect, denial, acceptance, hope, survivor and now educator is truly an inspiration and wake up call to women everywhere. “I knew I was high risk, but I convinced myself I was too busy to take time out for a breast exam. Make your own well-being a top priority”
Audience volunteers assisted martial arts expert Frank Anderson in demonstrating some simple yet effective self-defense techniques for women. “If a man is attacking you, you cannot expect to go strength to strength, muscle to muscle with him, but you can learn to use different parts of your body, to defend yourself against his attack.” Frank empowered women with this reassuring message, “Your body belongs to you and you can protect it!”
When it comes to women and fashion, the rules for women over 40 are often conflicting and overwhelming. We don’t want to look like 20 year olds, but you better believe we want to look like the best 40, 60 and 80 year olds that we possibly can. Linda Eistentein of Clothes Befitting uses, not age, but body type styling to create beautiful, confident women – - inside and out. Linda’s advice to the ladies, “Go out on the limb, and take flight!”
Whether the goal is to build a business, get healthier and more fit, have more satisfying relationships, grow spiritually, or live a more financially responsible life – this simple piece of advice share by Action Coach Mary Ann Hauser applies across the board, “Be x Do = Have. The being is more important than the doing“. Mary Ann suggested an awesome read, The Art of Exceptional Living, by one of my favorites, the late great Mr. Jim Rohn.
Her-Moans: My Hair is Thin, My Butt’s Getting Bigger and I’m Tired!, was Health Coach Audretta Hall’s lively, entertaining, and informative spin on the very real matter of hormones. This was a great look at estrogen imbalance and determining whether your body may be out of balance. Audi also shared tips for healthy weight management such as “Sweets after a heavy meal turns your body into a fat making machine,” and suggests waiting at least an hour before enjoying that after dinner dessert. I had no idea!