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The Next Right Step

November 24, 2005, Vol. III Issue 24

Dear Friends,

A couple of weeks ago, I received the evaluations from the 8th Annual Women’s Health Summit in Bismarck, North Dakota, and they warmed my heart. I thought, wouldn’t this be a great thing to share for my Thanksgiving issue? That’s what we’re dishing up today.

That, and I wanted to share a little bit of joy from across the world. One of our favorite women’s health speakers, Dr. Deborah Kern recently visited India and agreed to share a piece of her experience with our readers.

There IS good news in the world and it’s my pleasure to share it with you today. Many blessings to you in this season of gratitude.

Yours truly,

The Next Right Step

I appreciate all of the hard work that goes into putting together the various elements of the special events you plan. I know that securing the speakers is just one piece of the job.

Evaluations are one way we get feedback, but often they are mostly about the food and the temperature of the room (good or bad), and the quality of the sound (or lack of it). They say, great speakers, thanks, etc. but what about the results?

How do you know that your efforts make a difference in anyone’s life? Did the audience listen? Did they take home something of value?

When I saw the evaluations from the 2005 Women’s Health Summit in Bismarck, North Dakota, I knew that their audience members had gone home inspired to make changes in big and little ways. That was because of a section in the evaluation forms where audience members listed their “Next Steps.” It was an impressive list of commitments and intentions.

I knew they were stirred up by Jana Stanfield’s closing keynote concert. Jana is a master at wrapping up a day- long conference, appreciating everyone’s time and energy investment and encouraging them to take the next step. When she reaches the point of commitment, she doesn’t stop politely; she goes right to the heart of each person’s commitment and requires a pledge to action with their neighbor.

“What one thing will you start to do after today to make your life healthier?” she asks the audience. Here’s a sampling of the replies:

Mend bridges – call my mom.
I’m going to make time for myself.
Eat better and healthier.
To begin and continue an exercise plan.
Find challenge – volunteer.
Learn more about and take control of my diabetes.
Achieve a healthy marriage to the man I love!
Change attitude regarding my job, home and spend time
with my grandchildren.
I am going to be fit and healthy and organized.
Be a better listener.
Lose 20 pounds and run a whole marathon.

The Office of the First Lady of North Dakota has been spearheading this women’s health summit in Bismarck every fall for eight years. And now they’ve expanded the concept to Fargo in the spring where they will hold their second summit May 1st. These all-day events include three keynote speakers, four breakouts in the morning that are repeated in the afternoon, continental breakfast, lunch and two snack breaks, all for $30.

“Jana did a beautiful job of tying together all of the themes of the day into a powerful, yet heartfelt package! She was the perfect ending to an exhilarating Summit,” said Mikey L. Hoeven, First Lady of North Dakota.

Jana will be asking this very same question in Fargo May 1st, as she closes the day with her keynote concert, “I’m Not Lost, I’m Exploring: How to Keep Joy in the   Journey.”

“What one thing will you start to do after today to make your life healthier?” It’s a question worth repeating. I’m looking forward to hearing the “Next Steps” that come from the Fargo summit.

Jana Stanfield, award-winning singer-songwriter, professional speaker and humorist, entertains and inspires audiences with her music, stories and sensitivity to life’s quirks and quandaries. Anyone who has worked with her knows she is a consummate professional and a joy to know. To learn more, email me at or call me at 503-699-5031.

Namaste: Learning from Our World Neighbors

Dr. Deborah Kern recently traveled to India as a guest instructor at the beautiful Ananda Spa in the foothills of the Himalayas. It was a lifelong dream to visit India and she traveled and trekked throughout the area surrounding the spa.

“What struck me more than anything else was the beautiful way I was greeted wherever I went,” she said. “Whether at the spa, in the city or in the middle of the countryside, whenever I passed by someone they would stop, look me in the eye, palms pressed together at their heart, head slightly bowed and say ‘Namaste.'” In case you’re not familiar with it, “Namaste” is a greeting that means: “The Spirit that dwells in me honors the Spirit that dwells in you.”

“It felt like they were acknowledging the holiness of even the most mundane meeting,” she said. “Even the children are taught from a very early age to greet others with ‘Namaste.’

“To be honored and seen in this way continually reminded me of the sacredness of every moment. It offered me the opportunity to reflect for a moment on the deeper
connection with each person I met and it helped keep me from being too externalized (judging and comparing myself against others) and put me in touch with my soul.

“So as you move through your day today, consider seeing each encounter with another person as an opportunity to greet them silently (or aloud) with ‘Namaste,'” Deb encourages us. “As you allow your spirit to connect with their spirit, may you feel your heart expand and may your experience of life be loving, kind, abundant, joyful and peaceful. Namaste.”


A little background: Dr. Deborah Kern is a health scientist with a colorful and credible background. She has studied and practiced herbal medicine while living with indigenous women of Costa Rica as well as the yogic lifestyle while living in an ashram. Less exotically, she would tell you she is a working professional, mom and wife from a good German Lutheran background, who struggles to get a healthy dinner on the table and juggle all her responsibilities just like the rest of us.

She is the author of Everyday Wellness for Women and co-author of Create the Body Your Soul Desires: The Friendship Solution to Weight, Energy and Sexuality. Dr. Kern studied Nursing at Vanderbilt University and received a B.A. and an M.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. She received a Ph.D. in Health Sciences from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, TX. She is a Black Belt Nia Teacher, certified Integral Hatha Yoga Instructor, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist and Mindful
Change Coach.

Dr. Kern helps people feel the science of the body-mind connection. Through their active participation, her listeners can actually see the patterns in their lives that disconnect body and mind. Dr. Kern gives them tools to reconnect and use this power to enhance not only their physical health but their work, relationships and spiritual well being, as well.

For more information about Dr. Deborah Kern, contact me via email or call 503-699-5031.

Counting Blessings, One by One

Considering the tsunami, Gulf floods, Kashmiri earthquake, and Midwest tornadoes, I am most grateful to have a roof over my head, a warm bed with flannel sheets, clean water, good food (let alone an abundance of grocery stores stocked with incredible fresh foods) and heat.

And then there’s that new husband of mine in the kitchen, cookin’ up the turkey. And so much more. Professionally, the opportunity to share all of our incredible speakers and experiences is a dream come true that continues to feed my soul.

I am grateful for my bounty of blessings as I count them one by one by one by one by one. Until next time, count your blessings and be good to yourself for your good health and those you love.

Yours truly,

The Speak Well Being Group specializes in providing exceptional speakers for health, wellness and women’s events. Because we’ve worked with so many hospitals and healthcare groups around the country, we speak your language. Our hand-picked speakers are attuned to your needs and adept at addressing the issues while delivering information in an entertaining way, or simply providing a good time with a light message when that’s the ticket. When you work with us, you’ll come back for more “How are we going to top that?” speakers.

You’ll find many of our speakers on our website.
Or please call anytime and let us assist you: 503-699-5031
The Speak Well Being Group, 4261 Collins Way, Lake Oswego,Oregon 97035

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