Monday, October 8, 2012

IIN Live

This past weekend I went to NYC to attend the IIN Live conference, and it was honestly such a magical experience! Getting to meet so many other past and present students of the school, and just to be in the same room as so many like minded people was inspiring. We heard from several awesome speakers, and Joshua Rosenthal, the school director, had us do lots of exercises to interact with the people around us.

It was held at Jazz at Lincoln Center, a super beautiful theater in the Time Warner Center. I think my favorite speaker was probably Daniel Amen, who spoke about how your lifestyle impacts your brain(which no pun intended, I've never though about before). He showed scans of people's brains as they age, and how certain things such as alcohol and obesity affect the size and mass of your brain. Being fat physically makes your brain smaller! I was blown away at finding that out. He also showed that if you take care of your brain, you can reverse damage done to it previously, and in fact make it younger. Fascinating stuff! 

Sadie Nardini also did a short talk and mini yoga practice. I love her Youtube videos so it was such a treat getting to see her in person, she has such amazing energy. She spoke about following your dreams, and when people telling you that you can't do something, tell them 'watch me'. I know there's always such a long journey at the beginning of any success story, but I love hearing the backstory, of how they were challenged as well. It keeps me motivated!

One thing I felt in the auditorium that I've never felt in any learning situation before was such love, for lack of a better word to describe it. A room full of passionate people committed to helping heal others and make the world a better place. It was truly beautiful! It inspired me more in the work I think I want to do as a Health Coach, and it was so reassuring to talk to others and see that they had some of the same concerns as I did in terms of trying to identify a target market. Having a support system is so important!

After the conference was over I made it a goal to try a different vegan restaurant for every meal I was there. I didn't quite succeed, but the ones I got to were all phenomenal! My favorite I think was Candle Cafe, sister restaurant to the more upscale Candle 79. I got the Tofu BLT, and ate it sitting in Central Park as the sun was setting. Definitely one of those perfect moments I'll treasure forever! This was my first trip going to NYC pretty much 'recovered' from my eating disorder, and actually being able to allow myself to eat whatever I wanted while actually enjoying it was a milestone for me. I ate ice cream. I ate bread. I ate a lot of salad cause I truly love greens, not just because I was scared of calories. I didn't at any point want to make myself throw up or try and starve myself for the rest of the day to compensate. I ordered whatever I felt like, and savoured it, and honestly for the first time in a very long time felt free.

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