Most of us have been told for many years that the key to a healthy relationship is communication. We must speak our minds kindly but honestly, we’re told, if we want to garner the respect we deserve. And, on the flip side, we’ve gotta remember that we have two eyes and one mouth for a reason: listening is paramount.
But how can communication help us in the relationship we build with ourselves? How can conversing with others build respect – for ourselves? Why is it critical to our personal development to open ourselves up to new ideas, new people, new conversations?
We knew our friends Jennifer Sodini and Anna Lundgaard from Well-Being in the Modern Age AKA WITMA would have some insights. Founded just two years ago, WITMA has grown into a phenomenon where hundreds gather purely for conversation that, according to Anna, “builds bridges across some of the leading industries in our world and dialogue that can inspire people to be their best and highest self.”
With WITMA Los Angeles coming up next weekend, we were eager to hear more about how conversation can spark change.
What does Well Being in the Modern Age look like for each of you, personally?
Jenn: To me, Well-being in the Modern Age, means finding (and connecting to) the healing modalities, messengers and creative mediums that allow you to awaken to your true potential, and connect to your core essence, thus assisting in creating a happier, sustainable, and more connected life.
Anna: WITMA to me is simply a platform to change how we communicate, that’s truly how I see it. It’s a place for the most incredible voices across the wellness and media worlds to meet in person and join in an expansive conversation. It’s a place to find inspiration and empowerment across industries, interests, life purposes and realities. It’s a new way of communicating and a general place for inclusivity.
What can we expect at WITMA Los Angeles 2019?
Jenn: The overarching theme for this year seems to be connected to “love”, and the various ways we can get to that space no matter which path we take.
Our first panel of the day, which I am moderating, is about Love as the Superlative Human State, from there we segue into powerful panels on Identity Politics, Integrating the Psychedelic Experience, and The Ultimate Return on Investment. Four pillars of conversation, which we hope will leave the audience feeling empowered, and connected to a new foundation on reality. Grounded enlightenment, with practical tools and inspiration to live, and act, fully in the heart.
In examining your lineup of panelists, we couldn't help but notice how diverse of a skillset is represented! What message do you want to send with this roundup of personalities?
Jenn: That wellness is not a one-size-fits-all model, and healing is not a linear path! We are human, and it is in our humanness that we can all find common ground.
There is not one entrepreneur, thought leader, or creative that hasn’t stumbled on the path to “awakening”, and there is no right or wrong way to get to where you dream you’ll be one day.
I love the quote by Ram Dass, which states: “we are all just walking each other home”, and I sincerely hope that our lineup, and the energy of the day’s event, leaves people feeling just like they’ve arrived at home. Comfortable to be as they are, exactly as they are. Comfort in knowing the path opens for anyone who approaches their dreams with an open heart.
Anna: As one of our main visions for WITMA is inclusivity we want to make it as relatable as possible. Diversity is key, and we are hoping that any human will be able to relate to at least one panelist in each panel. Whether it's for the words they are saying, their cultural background, their dreams and fears or anything else they represent. Having a platform with the amount of attention WITMA has drawn to it, is an enormous responsibility that we take very seriously. It is incredibly important to us to allow as many different voices to be heard and we are constantly getting inspired to develop topics for the future based on things that pop up, not just in the wellness industry, but politically and globally.
If you could pick three words that describe what you want people to feel when they leave WITMA LA, what are they?
Jenn: Optimistic, ineffable, and awe-inspired.
Anna: Uplifted, heard, included