Honoring Women Worldwide held an amazing event, Honor Your Health Through Your Spirituality, on Thursday, April 28th, in the cozy Fireplace Room of St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral. The event started with networking and a light supper while warming up from the chilly April weather.
HWW Founder and CEO, Nancy Stephan began the meeting with an Honoring Circle. The women in attendance shared what they do every day to honor themselves. The diverse responses reflected the multicultural, multigenerational and multifaceted group of women. In the circle, Sarah Thomsen played guitar and sang with Sarah Greer accompanying her. The song, “By Breath,” had a simple but moving chorus that the whole circle joined in on: “By breath, by blood, by body, by spirit; we are all one.” Strategically planning her dance for the venue, HWW Board member, Yvette Trotman led the circle in a clapping dance which involved clapping to the beat, clapping with others in the circle, and moving around the space.
Eugenia Canaan, HWW Board member and Director of the Center for Undergraduate and Graduate Clinical Education HealthPartners Institute for Medical Education at Regions Hospital, was the moderator for the panel. She introduced each of the panelists and posed questions to them regarding their health, spirituality, and how they share with others.
Semerit Strachan, MD is the Director of Medicine at Healthy Powderhorn, Cultural Wellness Center. She started the journey of studying the connection between this time and world with what is beyond, when she traveled to her home country of Haiti in college and sustained a serious injury to her hand in a car crash. This defining event showed her the miracles and absolute limitations of medicine; she could not completely heal physically until she was healed spiritually. She completed her medical education but linked physical medicine to “the other.” Dr. Semerit now practices and advocates “Body Centered Vitality for Life” which says that we are all here for a purpose and our body is our partner on the journey. The body communicates to us in a language of symbols that we need to listen to but rarely do. The act of studying and listening to our bodies helps us understand the mind of the creator of our bodies.
Stephanie Burroughs-Saffold is the Senior Employee Engagement Consultant at HealthPartners Family Care in Regions Hospital as well as an Associate Minister at Pilgrim Baptist Church. Stephanie defines her spirituality as the part of her that is yet outside of her that gives her power, courage, and strength, which comes from her belief in God. Though she grew up in the church and a religious community, her own deeper spirituality did not develop until later as she faced great trials in her life. Stephanie always takes time in her life to connect with her spirituality in what she calls her “Red Room.” Here, she talks, listens, and writes her sermons. Part of her spiritual walk includes sharing the messages she receives and the wisdom she has gained throughout her life. Stephanie believes spirituality, the body, and one’s health all go together and saw that in her husband’s illness and passing. She is leading a health and wellness ministry through her church, bringing pastoral care to clinical settings, and working to educate on being healthy and the connection to spirituality. Stephanie says to let go of the physical stuff we want and focus on cherishing God’s gift of this body.
May K. Y. Yue is the President of Tao of Youth, Inc and author of Tao of Youth, Let Nature Heal You. Participants all received a complimentary copy of her book. May’s life journey took her from a career woman in business and banking to studying and sharing spiritual and natural healing with other women. Observing her friends reaching out for preventative and healing alternatives and coming from a long family history of medical doctors, May left the corporate world to “create her own destiny,” a practice her family lives by. May starts every morning with a Tibetan chant, singing three different sounds to activate three energy centers in the body: “waa” sound for the head, “arh” sound for the heart, and “hon” sound for the core/soul/gut. May advocates chanting because it calls spirits and powers from beyond to come and your spiritual guide. She gives suggestions regarding nutrition/diet and exercises to do to stimulate energy and unclog meridian lines. Though May admits she cannot compete with youthful looks and skin, she can compete in terms of energy: energy is infinite and ageless. Her healing practices combine both western medicine and eastern philosophies which gives the best of both worlds.
Though the panel had so much more information to share, the evening came to a close with another Honoring Circle. Attendees shared what they would be taking away from the evening, and Sarah Greer sang again including an improvised piece inspired by the imagery of Stephanie Burroughs-Saffold’s “Red Room.”
Thank you to the insightful moderator and panel or speakers: Eugenia Canaan, Dr. Semerit Strachan, Stephanie Burroughs-Saffold, and May K. Y. Yue. Thank you to Sarah Thomsen and Sarah Greer for sharing your music with us. Thank you to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church for hosting our event. And thank you to all the attendees who shared this evening with us.
The next HWW event will be the 3rd Annual State Capitol Garden Party, on June 25th! We hope to see you there.
Visit the Honoring Women Worldwide website at www.honoringwomenworldwide.org!