Chicago IL: In conjunction with International Women’s Day, BAPS hosted its 10th annual Women’s Conference at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Bartlett, Illinois on March 12th, 2016. Attracting over 400 participants, this year’s conference explored the theme, “Life in Resonance” and discussed ideas for approaching three major aspects of one’s life: cultural identity, work-life balance, and emotional health. In today’s world, everyone is constantly striving for balance and self-fulfillment, whether it be at school, work, or at home. Along with self-help books and online forums as sources of inspiration, open discussions among peers can often have a greater impact in making a work-life balance a more achievable goal.
As women in the 21st Century, we often are faced with the question, “Can we have it all?” Or how can we handle a work and life balance among various other roles that women have such as a mother, daughter, sister, or professional. In physics, resonance is defined by a phenomenon that follows when a powerful, vibrating system causes another system to oscillate with greater amplitude at a specific frequency. In life, resonance is defined by innate beliefs and timeless principles which drive an individual’s actions as well as one’s physical being and mental state of mind. In order to understand how one can skillfully maintain a steady mindset and strong physical health, one must find a harmony within their mind and body that resonates with their surroundings.
Keynote speaker, Dr. Hina Patel, an attending Physician at the Advocate Sherman Hospital and a trustee of Village of South Barrington, delivered an insightful message on finding harmony within our various roles. She encouraged women to build pride in their identity through confidence in one’s intrinsic beliefs and practices. She urged women to let go of perfectionism but rather to strive for excellence and create a plan for success and emotional happiness. Additionally, Pharmacist Komal Patel, born and raised in America, also shared how a dual cultural identity was in fact an asset, rather than a limitation, in today’s diverse, multicultural society. “We often believe we have to choose one identity over the other, forgetting that we have the opportunity to bring together the best of both worlds.”
Circling the ever-debatable topic of maintaining a work-life balance, Dr. Purvi Parikh explored various practical methods and solutions, including self-introspection, for seeking clarity and focusing on purposeful priorities in our chaotic lives. She also emphasized the importance of living a healthy lifestyle by highlighting wellness and meditation as ways to keep ourselves centered as we juggle a variety of commitments.
Sushma Patel, a medical testing professional at the Alexian Brothers Medical Center, reminded the attendees of the immense power that spirituality holds in our lives through the connection between the mind and the body. Through spirituality, we develop resilience and the knowledge, that in the end, we leave everything behind in this temporary world. This understanding allows us to remain grounded and unperturbed through the wavering highs and lows in our life and is quintessential for a content mind and a healthy body.
Spreading this message of science, practicality and spiritualty across the nation, the conference was held in 12 cities with attendees from various personal and professional backgrounds. Panel discussions and Q&A sessions enabled the speakers to effectively communicate their experiences and thus, enrich the audience with practical applications to bring balance into their lives. The conference attendees were reminded not only of the necessity for maintaining stability, but also of their inherent strengths which allow them to pursue this very goal.
The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), a worldwide socio-spiritual organization in Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, is dedicated to community service, peace and harmony.
Motivated by Hindu principles, BAPS strives to care for the world by caring for societies, families and individuals. Through a number of social and spiritual activities, BAPS endeavors to produce better citizens of tomorrow who have a high esteem for their roots – their rich Hindu culture. Its 3,300 international centers support these activities of character-building. Under the guidance and leadership of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, BAPS aspires to build a community that is morally, ethically and spiritually pure, and free of addictions.
His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the fifth spiritual successor of Bhagwan Swaminarayan, has inspired millions of people across the world to lead a God-centered, morally pure life. As the present leader of BAPS, Pramukh Swami Maharaj travels from village to village, continent to continent, emphasizing the importance of family harmony, community service and spiritual progress. His compassion for humanity, universal wisdom and striking simplicity has touched many around the world.