NYC Thrive: Well-Being.

The full-day portion of the Thrive conference was packed with celebrities and authors who had experiences to share. And the first one up was one of my favorite actresses...

Julianne Moore!

Hard to believe this woman is over 50 years old.The way she carries herself is so youthful and vibrant... And it's not just seen her hair color!

Julianne was there to talk about her experience in keeping life together and balanced, and that success isn't a line that runs up and down, but rather horizontally. Arianna agreed that the idea was important to recognize...

"That's a phallic line of success!"

Julianne agreed, and added that we should not be focused on just one thing.

"Life is about having many experiences. Life is about your relationship to the world."

Her advice to everyone was to keep our goals in front of us. Have the large ones, but have small ones that we can achieve everyday... Which lead us to that big one.

(P.S. LOVED your stacked heels, JM!)

Next up was a panel discussion with Mark Bertolini (CEO of Aetna), Latham Thomas (founder of Mama Glow), Lucy Danziger (former Editor of SELF magazine), and Dean Ornish (a doctor and founder of a preventive medicine non-profit).

The focus from the panel was about reclaiming  health as a priority, and that we need to move away from the idea that taking time for yourself is selfish, and towards the idea that it is about self-preservation.

"Our bodies are sacred," said Latham. She added that before you can take care of your family and those around you, you have to take care of yourself.

Lucy agreed, and even provided insight into a recent change-up in her own life: her firing as the Editor of SELF.

"When you work at Conde Nast, you always assume you'll be fired eventually."

Was she joking? Well, there's probably truth in there if she wasn't. But she said that the firing wasn't bring her down.

"Being fired is the best thing than can happen to you. True empowerment is owning your brand.  Yesterday's woman worried. Today's knows her value, regardless of what happens."

The next topic within the Well-Being pillar was "Mindfulness." It was a small panel with Dr. Richard Davidson (a professor of Psychology and Psychiatry) and Dr. Jon Kabat-Zan (Executive Director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine).

The two, who have known each other for a long time, talked about training ourselves to meditate. Dr. Richard talked specifically about the plasticity of the brain, and how it is possible to change your brain.

"Well-being is something that can be cultivated and learned," he said. And added that no one is perfect at meditation right out the gate.

"The real meditation is how we live moment to moment," said Dr. Jon. "You are exactly where you need to be."

The next panel was a real treat. It was with these people...

That's Laurie David (author, producer, former wife of Larry David), Dr. Mark Hyman (he is a celebrity doctor and has written books), and Katie Couric (y'all know who she is!) They were there to give us a sneak peek at a documentary they put together and have coming out in a few weeks called Fed Up.

The discussion stemmed from the topic of the documentary - obesity in America.

"This is the first generation in America that's going to lead a shorter life span than their parents," said Laurie.

Dr. Mark had plenty to say on the topic and it's causes; namely "sugar."

"Sugar calories act differently in the body. (And they're in everything.) Our metabolism, hormones, brain chemistry... has been hijacked by the food industry."

The final panel in the Well-Being pillar took place in bed...


The bed had a purpose. And not a sexual one. (Though I am sure plenty of the speakers in this pillar would argue that it is a vital part to one's well-being.) It was a discussion about how critical sleep is to changing your health and your life.  And one panelist (Dr. David Agus) went on to talk about how we are continuously sabotaging our chances for sleep these days because we are obsessed with our "screens."

Smartphone. Tablet. Computer. TV. Even our e-readers!

"Screens activate your brain before bed. It tricks them into thinking it's sunlight."

The recommendations for increasing your opportunity for rest are:

  • No screens an hour before you are planning to get into bed.
  • Sleep with your phone charging far away from you. Even if you use it as your alarm clock. Charge it away from your bed.
  • Create as dark a space as possible when you turn out the lights.
  • Take a hot bath with lavender oil. (This is my suggestion.)