I had been anticipating August 19, 2023, for a month to attend T.HILL Consultant's Beautifully Broken 2.0 Experience. T.Hill Consultant was founded by Tamika Hill, MSW, LCSW, and her mission is promoting mental wellness that inspires growth and change. I had the honor of interviewing her on the BYOK Podcast, and we have gladly kept in touch. She challenged me in many ways and is now my therapist; she has helped build my accountability and shift my perspective.
Back to the Conference...
I love women's conferences because they allow me to reboot and connect with like-minded women. This conference did not fall short of my expectations as I allowed myself to be poured into it while connecting with amazing women.
Upon my arrival, the room was perfectly dressed for a ladies' night out, with table-clothed tables, a full bar, and the sights of Chicago's skyline. An entryway to an outside balcony allowed the guests to take in the city. I breathed in the city and exhaled all the worries and monkeys riding my back that week.
As I sat there taking it in, more of the guests began to arrive in their hues of yellow and white, the event's color theme, and each of them greeted me as if we'd been long-term friends. I am a tad introverted, but there was no room for social anxiety as I never felt so welcomed. I am so used to doing something, so after I asked for a task from the host and completed it, I decided to practice being in the moment as we advanced, as I did not want to miss what I came for.
After the photographers made us feel like celebrities, we navigated to an open bar and cheese and fruit appetizers. The bar got creative with my rum drink of mango, lime, and grenadine, which became a staple at my table. I sat with some vivacious women who came for a good time and too purposed to be in the moment. We shared stories, gripes, and, most importantly, our aspirations throughout the event. As usual, I listened more than I spoke, and when I got home, I wished I had shared more of myself. Yet, they welcomed and accepted the pieces of me that I shared.
Maybe minutes later, they served fresh bread and a dressed salad, then after my preorder of a salmon and chicken combo with vegetables. I started eating the food and later realized I did not take a picture of it. The gravy on the chicken and the sauce on that salmon were on point, and the meal had the perfect finisher with the key lime pie. I was ready to indulge as I worked out earlier and ate a salad for lunch, leaving no room for food guilt.
As we ate, we played a game that compared our personality to a weather occurrence or a food item. When my turn approached, I compared myself to Cotton Candy, meaning I am sweet, but that can quickly dissolve. Then, we also had to compare our alter ego to weather or a food item. I chose neither and shared my mom's name for my alter ego, Hazel. I was too nervous to express how confident and bold Hazel was. She is what I wish I always was. Renita is nice, but sometimes Hazel gets things done much faster. She is ruthless when made to be but impactful when I have to do the "hard things." Nevertheless, all attendees announced they were friendly but turned scary when pushed and provoked.
After dinner, guest speaker celebrity stylist and owner of Your Life Matters, Chassidy Mickale Woods, stepped to the podium. She gave us all handheld mirrors and asked us to look into them. She asked the simple but prominent question, "Do you like what you see in the mirror?" She then requested we close our eyes and raise our hands if we liked what we saw in the mirror without the makeup and vice versa. She then opened the floor for us to express the emotions from that question. Afterward, we discussed how hair expresses confidence and the effects of being unable to do it during the pandemic. I then realized that I was not the only one who felt off and chose my outfits based on my hairstyle and how I would sometimes cancel plans on a bad hair day. Although something such as hair seems frivolous, it is not to many black women; once again, it is a form of expression and, at times, fuels confidence.
Our host, Tamika, gave us the last call for the open bar and, minutes later, presented the "broken" portion of the event. This segment further uplifted me as, once again, I did not feel alone. I was not the only one struggling with boundaries, arranging my schedule for "Me Time," or adjusting to changes in my life. At that moment, I breathed out even more as I heard the testimonies of what these women overcame. I let it fill me up instead of pouring. I said a bit, but most of me was breathing it in. For once, I listened and allowed myself to be taught instead of making myself the teacher.
As the women continued to share, Tamika asked us to write things on this beautiful gold and white plate, which we would then pound to pieces with a small hammer. These were the things that were weighing us down. We were leaving these things behind and purpose not to pick back up. Of course, things resurface in life, but the plate imagery was a mental note not to welcome that back in our lives. We are all gifted plant seeds and a plant tag to write what we want to flourish. On top of this sentiment, the fellas at the event handed us a yellow rose and a gift bag filled with goodies, including a personalized message from Tamika, Bath and Body products, a journal, and a water bottle. It was a bag filled with all the necessities to help us cope daily.
This event was four hours, and I swear it felt like I was there all day. I left there feeling so inspired and empowered. It's been a while since I thought I was going in the right direction; I'm happy I attended this conference. I hope THILL Consultant hosts another one next year, as I will surely be in attendance.
Don't Be Shy? Did you attend this conference and want to share your experience at the Beautifully Broken 2.0 women's conference? Feel free to share.