What have been important tools to bring peace or meaning into your day-to-day during the covid pandemic?

I learned how the three dimensions of well-being (biological, psychological, and spiritual) mutually influence one another. Something as simple as following a schedule every day really helped me to ensure that I was eating and sleeping properly while fixing times for connecting with God, work, rest, exercise, etc. Thanks to some challenges that came up during the pandemic, I was introduced to OptimalWork’s MasterClass. It showed me how to apply the remarkable discoveries in neuroscience to my work and life. I make it a point to listen to weekly OptimalWork podcasts which refresh the fundamental ideas and keep me mentally and emotionally strong. Viktor Frankl said: “What is important is not so much what you expect from life, but rather what life expects from you.” Remembering this helps me not focus so much on how life is treating me but what I can do for others. I find a lot of meaning and happiness when I reach out to others to spend time with them, listen to their troubles, or give a word of encouragement.

What are you going to speak about at the upcoming Women’s Seminar on Saturday April 23rd?

I will first explain the basics of human anthropology to understand the human person. We are composed of body and soul, but what does that mean? We will look at the different dimensions of our life and how they are interlinked. A very important dimension for our overall well-being is the psychological. Just as we use the breakthroughs in optometry to see better, why not use the progress in neuroscience to improve our well-being. Reframing, a tool used in psychology, affects our brain and behavior in a powerful way. I will discuss reframing and how to practice it with specific tools. 

Can you explain what reframe means? How does it connect to a life of Faith?

To reframe is to look at an event, situation, experience, thought, idea, and/or emotion from a positive angle as an opportunity for growth, something that can bring out the best in you. What you at first may see as a “problem” you can learn to see as an “opportunity” through reframing. St Paul’s “All things are for the good” (Rm 8:28) is a classic reframe. Living with faith helps you to rise above and focus on the real goal you should be pursuing. People with faith are able to identify the real goals more easily.

Each of us has our own baggage which comes from our temperament, our past, our experiences, our circumstances, etc. This is where knowing how to tackle the biological and psychological dimensions through specific tools will make us happier, balanced, and more effective. God counts on us to make the effort to research, to learn, and to apply what we know through science to find solutions and improve. It’s the same God who gives us faith who also gives us the capacity to figure things out. We cannot build on the supernatural without the support of the human. Everything is interlinked.

What are your thoughts on making virtual conferences work?  How can women prepare themselves for this event to get the most out of it?

It’s always a challenge to stay engaged and focused. At virtual conferences, the challenge is greater. I think it’s important to plan in advance to reduce distractions so that you can give your complete attention. For example, it helps if your husband and children are well looked after so that they will not interrupt you. Another source of frustration are bad internet connections. It would be good to get to your computer at least 15 minutes before the event so that you can troubleshoot. 

Finally, attending the event with friends can also be a great way to create hype for the event and make the most of it – check out the option to participate in watch parties through FFI to experience this good material with friends!

What encouragement would you like to share to women of faith at this time, whether they can attend this seminar or not?

Any time of challenge is an opportunity to bring out the best in you! Invest in your faith and also invest in the tools that can make you the best version of yourself. As St John Paul II said: “The achievements of biological, psychological and social science will help man to understand better the riches of his own being.” (Dives in Misericordia #10)