Women's Retreat Chicago September 20 - 22, 2019

Watercolor by Dr. Reshma Patel

Purpose: To connect, share stories and learn from successful women. Sharing and connecting with women during a retreat creates a positive energy which has potential to fuel us for a year, maybe longer. I purposely included luxurious food and drinks with a mind body connection to emphasize restoration. Self care and connection are both VITAL in human life. Though we all have our own self care routines and connection pathways, maybe we don't have enough interactions with life coaches, sommeliers, business owners and executives, meditation instructors, directors, nonprofit leaders and simply badass women sharing their successes and challenges with us. I am honored to provide a platform for women to shine together.

Location: Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, Chicago IL Sky Lobby. I have been fortunate enough to rent a beautiful space in downtown Chicago. Registration and all retreat activities will be on the 10th floor sky lobby of this building. The patio and outdoor space will be used as well for wine tasting and cocktail hour.

Shirley Ryan registration required daily and parking validation will be provided daily for the covered parking deck.

Friday 9/20: Meet and Greet, Dinner and Wine Tasting

5 PM Arrivals and meet and greet over and hors d’oeuvres and dinner

6 to 730 PM Wine tasting, education and fun test: an experienced sommelier will be joining us to elevate our experience and teach us about grapes in various wines followed by a game to test our knowledge while drinking wine

7:30 to 11 PM Eat, drink and socialize

Saturday 9/21: Learning and Sharing

9 AM Registration followed by breakfast and coffee

9:30 to 10:30 AM Introductions and Social Activity

11 AM to 12:30 PM Speaker 1: Sara Joseph

Sara Joseph is a seasoned sales leader who has had a broad range of experiences spanning her 25+ year career. Currently she is with Oracle leading their Strategic ERP practice team. Her primary reason for joining the firm was her desire to help companies discover, optimize & realize value from technology solutions which ultimately lead to business, transformation initiatives. Sara has been invited to the distinguished Club Excellence (2016) and President’s Club (2018) while she’s been at Oracle and has won countless sales and leadership recognition along her career path. Prior to joining Oracle, Sara served in many capacities during her tenure at PGI. She served as the Country Head for PGS Premiere Conferencing (a subsidiary company of PGI) where she established PGi's first office in Bangalore, India. Under Sara’s leadership, PGi, through its strategic alliances, was awarded Frost & Sullivan India’s Top Collaboration Service Award and was named India’s #1 Conferencing Service Provider. Sara received her undergraduate degree from the University of South Florida and received her MBA from the Lake Forest School of Management. Sara, her husband, daughter and dog live in the Chicago area. She’s an avid traveler and loves music. Her heart beats to meaningful interactions and her desire is to live in the now and truly be authentic in her life's journey.

12:30 to 2 PM Lunch

2 to 3:30 PM Life coach-guided breakout groups with Dr. Laura Swartzbaugh


Laura will give a presentation on brain plasticity followed by breakout group life-coach-guided discussion

3:30 to 5:00 PM Panel discussions with the following people including Q&A and Open Share:

  • 1. Dr. Rebecca McKinnon –National Medical Affairs Director and mother of twins from Philadephia
  • 2. Mehrnush Saadat – Lawyer and founder of successful real estate law firm in Atlanta
  • 3. Nikta Pirouz - Certified Prosthetist Orthotist and Engagement Manager from Chicago

5:00 PM Happy hour and dinner off-site

Sunday 9/22: Wellness Morning and Networking Brunch (wear comfy clothes!)

9 AM Morning coffee and fresh juice

9:30 AM Group guided meditation

10 to 11 AM Group yoga session led by Tara Parker (yoga mats will be provided)

My Philosophy: I enjoy making the practice of Yoga accessible to all students no matter what their level and physical challenges may be. I have worked with students of all abilities and I believe that yoga is for everyone.Though I teach healthy alignment for the postures, I believe that the practice is not about doing "perfect" poses or what they look like. The postures should be adapted to the student and not the other way around. And in the end, it's really not about what poses you can or can't do anyways, it's about enjoying the process and reaping the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of the practice. Think about it...at the end of your life are you really going to care if you were able to do a perfect Headstand (Sirsasana) or be able to get into Lotus (Padmasana)pose? I hope not. Hopefully the practice will have transformed the quality of your life and being. Hopefully it will have opened your heart to the things that really matter in life. We cannot take our money, beauty,or possessions to the grave with us or beyond. We can only take who we truly are as human and spiritual beings. Life is a journey and so is the practice of Yoga. It gives one the opportunity to expand one's horizon of awareness, and therefore to see ourselves and Life anew, it offers the opportunity of self-acceptance and self-transformation.

11 AM Networking Brunch

12: 30 PM Departures

Cost of attendance: $350.00 includes all food, drinks, retreat activities. Interested in attending? Please send message to nilastevens84@gmail.com to find out if there is open space this year!

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