A Celebration of Women™
is elated to Celebrate the Life of this Canadian woman leader, a visionary that is on a mission to better the lives of all women.
Manifesting her dream for all women, she founded an amazing annual retreat that enables any and all women to recharge, re-energize and revive themselves to ‘Move Forward’ into their true selves.
“We are all ordinary women that are capable of extraordinary things. Taking time out to get clear on our desired future brings us closer to experiencing it. Surrounding ourselves with like-minded & hearted women is the perfect environment to build our confidence to take our next step forward. Believe in yourself and pay attention to those who believe in you too.”
WOMAN of ACTION™ Janeen Halliwell
The vision for We Move Forward came to Janeen Halliwell while out for a morning walk on Isla Mujeres in 2011. Fueled by a life-long passion for learning and the determination to see her dream through, ‘We Move Forward’ clearly reflects Janeen’s belief that “We are all ordinary women that are capable of extraordinary things. Taking time out to get clear on our desired future brings us closer to experiencing it. Believe in yourself and pay attention to those who believe in you too.”
We Move Forward is now in its fourth year, and Janeen invites you to join her and this growing community of like-minded and kind-hearted women, March 5-8, 2015, for what is sure to become one of those “I’m so glad I did this” things you will experience in your lifetime.
There are milestones that we, as women, share. We can collectively roll our eyes, laugh or cry at the memory of buying a first bra, going on a first date, having a first kiss, getting married (or not), deciding whether to have kids (or not), and being a mom, a single mom, or stepmom. We’ve all faced decisions about whether to work our way up the ladder, further our education, step out and start our own business or to take a different route altogether. Eventually we all change roles as we go from daughter to caregiver, supporting our ageing parents and eventually letting go once they are gone.
After each of these milestones is reached, we are faced with the same question – “What is next?” The answer lies in taking stock of your ‘You Are Here’ location on your life’s journey, and being mindful of the direction you want to head next.
And then you move forward.
With Every Ending There is a New Beginning
At 48, I’ve done my share of moving forward. I’ve held the titles of student, wife, divorcee, wife again, and stepmom. I’ve owned businesses, completed a graduate degree, worked on four continents, travelled to 33 countries and sailed 9000 sea miles. I’ve worked hard and truly lived. But even with all those experiences under my belt, I was not prepared for how difficult it would be to move forward when I lost my father to pancreatic cancer. The grieving stopped me in my tracks.
In the summer of 2010, my father was failing. After a heartbreaking visit to his doctor where he was told, “Scotty you are dying,” I witnessed hope fade from my dad’s eyes and leave his frail body. I put my work as a consultant and trainer on hold and moved in with my parents. A visit to Victoria Hospice followed, at which time the inevitable became our reality. My dad moved in a few days later. And, at 1 a.m. on July 26, 2010, he breathed his last breath, with me and my mother holding him as tightly as we could.
The months that followed were rough. My mother went to Isla Mujeres, the Island of Women, Mexico, to heal, as it is known for its magical qualities that mend people’s souls. I visited my mother there in March 2011. I was still grieving and finding every day to be difficult.
It was during this trip that I had a vision: I will host an International Women’s Day conference and celebration on the Island of Women! It was time to take on a project that would ignite my soul, and that had an element risk, as risk-taking is something I espouse through my work. The conference needed a name. I called it We Move Forward because the 3-days were about women re-energizing all that makes them whole, body, mind, and soul, and steering their life in the direction of their passion and purpose.
The inspiration for We Move Forward stems from a number of factors.
I initially came up with the idea following the my father’s painful death from pancreatic cancer. For sometime I had been wanting to offer a workshop to women on self-directed leadership. My graduate degree is in leadership and much of my work focuses on leadership and learning for individuals and organizations. I had also been wanting to take on something big for the sake of demonstrating on of the core fundamentals of leadership – taking risks.
When I ran the idea of We Move Forward – a BIG risk and conference on self-directed leadership for women to be held on the tropical Island of Women by my mother, and her eyes lit up for the first time since my father’s death, I knew that I had to live my words and ‘move forward’ with We Move Forward.
It would be different from other women’s conferences. Inspirational speakers would go far beyond just giving a canned talk and then leaving, they would participate in the full 3 days. Group discussions and activities would have women shifting inspiration into action. We Move Forward would create positive change and it would include local women through sponsorship.
Believe and Create
I felt passionate about my vision, and set out to create it. I had a snazzy website developed, booked a conference space, and approached potential sponsors. I got on a bus in Mexico and visited international women’s clubs in Cancun and Merida, encouraging women to join me on ‘Isla’ in March 2012. I made my voice heard on television, radio and social media.
I had never taken on something so big and so full of promises – promises of inspirational speakers, promises to pay these speakers, and promises of an experience of a lifetime to registrants – that is, if there were registrants.
You see, registrations didn’t take off as I had hoped. They trickled in. Consequently, some of the people who were eager at the beginning of the project began to lose interest. Many dropped off. It didn’t look like a money maker after-all. I crawled forward.
The Show Must Go On!
In January 2012, I sat down with my registration sheet that contained 21 names, my project plan and calculator. I needed 63 registrants to pay for my promises. If 45 women registered, I would lose money, but still be able to run the conference. But at 21, I was deep in the hole.
Do I quit or do I move forward, I asked myself?
I reflected on why I wanted to see We Move Forward happen, and the scrapper in me pulled herself up by the bootstraps and took a broad step forward.
On March 8, 2012, 81 women gathered on Isla Mujeres to celebrate International Women’s Day. The 3-day conference surpassed everyone’s expectations with women calling it “crazy amazing”, “life-changing”, and “a MUST for all women.”
I am thrilled to say that We Move Forward is heading into its 4th year. The WMF community continues to grow in numbers, with many women returning again and again. The WMF experience continues to propel women in one direction – forward. From March 6 – 8, 2015 women will celebrate their accomplishments and how they have moved up, over and around life’s challenges, in the company of women just like them – ordinary women that are capable of extraordinary things. That is the essence of We Move Forward. www.wemoveforward.com
About We Move Forward
There’s one thing we all know for certain, and that’s that we have this one life to live. We Move Forward is for those of you who want to make the most of it – to live your best life!
We Move Forward is a 3+ day experience that truly taps your body, mind & soul – everything that makes you whole! Each day begins with an inspirational talk, followed by interactive discussions, engaging activities, fun socials and mindful movement sessions.
The WMF 2015 program will explore how we experience the world in the present and the future. The keynote address, provided by investigative journalist and best-selling author of Extreme Mean, Paula Todd will give us a shocking yet hopeful look at life on-line, which will be followed by a brilliantly blended 3 days of exploration on what defines us as women and individuals, and how to capture, shape and live our personal vision, brand and story moving forward.
By the end of this refreshing three day dip into a turquoise sea of self-discovery, you and your new found friends will emerge feeling rejuvenated and buoyed by the strength and encouragement of other women who like you, are living their best life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Janeen Halliwell, Founder & Director, We Move Forward, Island of Women, Mexico and Principal, Consultant & Trainer, People Minded Business Inc.
‘Action’ is the process of doing something – not just thinking about it but actually moving on it, and what better time than the beginning of a New Year to set and act on personal goals. People have been doing so for centuries. Babylonians marked the New Year by paying off debts and returning borrowed goods. The Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the month of January is named.
Today, the tradition of making a New Year’s Resolution is wide-spread among countries and cultures. A New Year’s Resolution is a commitment or promise that a person makes to achieve a personal goal. 40% of North Americans make them. Most goals are aimed at self-improvement and often involve breaking a bad habit, such as smoking, or introducing a new behavior, such as regular exercise. Unfortunately, of the 40% that make resolutions only 20% commit to action over the long-haul.
According to Mayan Historian, Carlos Barrios,
“We are living in the most important era of the Mayan calendars and prophecies. All the prophecies of the world, all the traditions are converging now. There is no time for games. The spiritual ideal of this era is action.”
As the statics show, ‘Taking and sustaining Action’ is a challenge. Much has been written about the gap that exists between knowing what is good for you and acting on what is good for you. Research tells us that it is beneficial to identify what you aspire to do, and to identify the small steps or bold strides that will take you there. It is helpful to reflect on past successes to determine what factors surrounded these wins so that you can replicate some or all of these conditions moving forward.
The We Move Forward women’s conference and celebration provides participants with an opportunity to do just that. Featured speakers share their success stories and participants harness that inspiration, personalize it and shift it into purposeful action.
Women who attended We Move Forward 2012 took action and some have shared their successes, including:
- Taking up driving, with confidence, following the death of her husband
- Enrolling and finishing a writing course
- Becoming more tech savvy
- Quitting smoking
- Living a more fulfilled retirement
- Writing a book
- Reconciling with a sister
- Writing a business plan & becoming self-employed
- Running a 10K race
- Learning to speak Spanish
What personal goals do you have in mind for 2015, and what actions will support you to experience success?
Whatever they may be, we applaud everyone who gives it a try. Few people quit smoking on the first try or reach their ideal weight on the first diet. But, trying is the first step toward achieving.
We hope you will Take Action and join us at We Move Forward in March 2015 to cheer each other on as we move forward in a direction that serves each of us best.
A Celebration of Women™
welcomes this powerhouse into our global alumni with open arms, looking forward to future collaborations, bettering the lives of all women through offering a vehicle to recharge, re-energize and revive, preparing them to Move Forward into their respective true Destiny.
Janeen Halliwell – WOMAN of ACTION™
February 1, 2015 by Leave a Comment