NYC Thrive: Wonder.

All I can say about the Wonder pillar is: WHOA!

So many great speakers! One was even my hero at the age of 18, starting as a Freshman in college...


That's Alanis Morrissette and Dr. Daniel J. Spiegel (founder of the Mindsight Institute). They were there talk about mindfulness and meditation.

"Going inward requires a sense of faith," said Alanis.  She mentioned that, yes, it can be uncomfortable, but is very therapeutic.

"Going within, I kick and scream. It's not my favorite thing."

Dr. Spiegel, who has been studying this type of thing for many years, mentioned that research showed that practicing mindfulness - which means "empathy" - is beneficial to your physical health.

"When you have empathy, your immune system is better. You can even get over a cold a day sooner."

They were followed up on stage by this guy... Panache Desai.


He has a book coming out in a week that covers how to change your energy in order to change your life. (You know I will definitely be buying it!)

"Inside every human being is an exponential potential," he said. "We must be willing to inform our lives for the inside out."

But he admitted that this isn't an easy thing to do, similarly to what Alanis said.

"In order to succeed, you must be willing to feel feelings. Liberation is acceptance of one's self and one's life as it is."

The next panel had me rolling in tears. It was quite a random mix of people... And certainly had me wondering...


That's Brendan Buchard (a best-selling author), Ali Wentworth (comedian, actress and writer), Tory Burch (designer), Jacki Kelley (CEO of IPG Mediabrands), and Peter Himmelman (an award-winning musician).

I couldn't tell you what exactly the panel was supposed to be about at this point in the afternoon... But Ali Wentworth certainly took us on a laugh roller coaster for a few minutes with anecdotes about her family and life. I wished for her life - and not just because she is married to George Stephanopoulos.

Next up was Emilie Brzezinski, Mika's mother.


Emilie is an artist. Actually, she is a sculptress. She works with very large pieces of wood, and has put together a book of her pieces called The Lure of the Forest. They certainly were wonders to look at on the stage! They were massive!

Emilie was an important presenter for the conference, because - as Mika pointed out over and over again, proudly - that her mother made her passion as important to her as her family in her life. And that that wasn't anything about which to feel guilty.

"I do what's right in front of me. I make it my priority (at that moment). I just go."

Boom. She doesn't fret. She doesn't worry that she is missing doing something. Inspiring.

The last panel in the Wonder pillar was a family-focused panel. It included both Mika and Arianna's eldest daughters, Agapi, Ellen Goodman and Katie Goodman (a mother and daughter), Federica Marchionni (and her son G., who was six. Federica sits on the executive board for Dolce and Gabbana.)


This panel was about pushing yourself to have a life outside of your career, pursuing your passions, and not letting anything hold you back.

"Why are you waiting for someone?" asked Agapi. "Go do your thing."

Federica agreed with the idea and added...

"Focusing your life on career is not a winning strategy."

You can be successful in the career world, and have a "thriving" life where you pursue your passions.