On Thursday, the Valparaiso Country Club was filled with ladies who were all there for one purpose: to celebrate women in business.
"We are a force to be reckoned with," Jayne Cooper, Regional Sales Manager of the Valparaiso Region for 1st Source Bank said at the beginning of the luncheon. "Currently there are 9.1 million businesses that are women-owned and one in five firms with a revenue of a million dollars are women-owned...so you can see that we have a lot of power."
Women from all over Northwest Indiana sat at cloth-covered round tables. They chatted, ate a delicious lunch, and laughed; adding to the beauty of the already beautiful fall day.
"This luncheon is a great way to bring women together," Cooper said. "It's also a way for us to say thank you and show our clients and women in general that we appreciate them. This luncheon takes place once a year and it really is such a wonderful time."
Cooper shared some traits that all successful women share: they believe that they are destined to be great; they have the faith that they can move ahead in the face of uncertainty; they are very passionate about what they do; they have the ability to handle criticism; they are persistent; they have big dreams; they get out of their comfort zones and into the unknown; they have a strong sense of purpose; and they can balance business and family successfully.
Sandy Carlson, LCSW, LCAC, Vice President of Clinical Services at Porter-Starke Services was the speaker at the luncheon, and she spoke on a hot topic that is on everyone's minds: finding and maintaining a work/life balance.
Many of us are wearing multiple hats in our lives right now. Working moms trying to take care of a family while keeping up with the demands of their jobs. Dads are in the same position. And there are those who don't have kids who are looking to walk that thin line that keeps them active and engaged at work as well as in their free time. We have many people and things that demand our attention, and in order to remain on top, we have to keep all aspects of our lives balanced, not neglecting one thing and favoring another. Those things that we must balance, according to Carlson, are: sleep time, physical time, focus time, time-in, downtime, playtime, and connecting time.
"These are all things we know how to do," Carlson said. "But we aren't always able to do them with our busy lifestyles. This is pertinent to anybody. Balance is hard but it's important if you are going to do well at your job, be good to your family, and be a positive member of the community. It's important to be healthy."
Carlson touched on each of these in a Powerpoint presentation, asserting that they are all part of what she called a "healthy mind platter". Keeping them all balanced will make for a life filled with health, balance and hope.
Being balanced in your life means that you demonstrate the following characteristics: flexibility - being able to think before you act; adaptability - taking the high road and making the right choices; coherence - being receptive, spontaneous, connected and engaged; energy - the capacity to do something within yourself or in relationships; stability - the ability to consistently respond to the integrated place, not from a place of being chaotic or rigid.
Then the Inspiration Project was brought up. This project is a great international initiative that is based on a 1950s NPR radio series. "This I Believe" is the theme of essays that are submitted by community members that inspire health, balance and hope. Two Porter-Starke employees, Amy Spanopoulos and Rebekah Niedner, read the essays that they submitted for the Inspiration Project. Carlson also mentioned great, inspirational videos that demonstrate balance and empowered women. The video links are below:
Misty Copeland: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZY0cdXr_1MA
Dove Real Beauty Sketches: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=litXW91UauE
Always #LikeAGirl: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjJQBjWYDTs