Vice President Katarina Connery

Vice President Katarina Connery

With curiosity and enthusiasm, the ladies of the Westchester WFWP Chapter organized their first Leadership of the Heart seminar series in 2019. It was launched with a half-day session on Saturday May 19th, with the presentation of the first two parts, where the focus was discovering the leader within through understanding spirituality and self-value. Then on Sunday, August 11th in Tarrytown, New York, our leadership training continued with part three: ‘Emotional Maturity’.

The two-hour program started off deliciously with an Asian lunch prepared by Mrs. Kum Hee Fontaine. With everyone well-fed, the program began with a brief introduction by Kathryn Ross about the founding of Women’s Federation for World Peace and the three areas of impact: women’s leadership, family and the environment. She acknowledged the recent mass shootings which sadly served as a reminder for the need for peace. Highlighting the hope for peace, a story was told about an eleven-year-old boy from El Paso, Texas, who wanted to do something to put an end to violence. He stood outside the store and asked shoppers to sign up to promise to do 20 acts of kindness in honor of the 20 who had passed away.

Following this, a video was shown of Judi Moreo’s insightful testimony from the recent HerStory award ceremony at the launch of the Global Women’s Peace Network in Las Vegas, which was sponsored by WFWP USA.

The crowd of about 30 warmly greeted our main presenter, Katarina Connery, Vice President of WFWP USA. Stepping up to the stage sporting a beautiful baby bump, she delighted the audience with answers to all the usual baby questions like the due date and gender. With that out of the way, the program began with an overview of part one and two for those who were not able to attend in May and for several other guests attending a WFWP event for the first time.

Delving into the main presentation, Katarina began with a comparison of our physical and spiritual development. She explained that the physical growth of our bodies happens automatically with proper nutrition, water, sunlight, and air. It is our responsibility to nourish our spiritual or internal growth with the equivalent elements. She explained, “We need to feed our spiritual internal selves with inspirational words and deeds to strengthen our emotional maturity. Let’s avoid spiritual toxicity and surround ourselves with a nourishing spiritual environment, where we practice good deeds and care for each other.”

The curriculum went into greater depth to uncover fears and expose ways we block the path to achieving emotional maturity. Together we explored trust as the opposite of fear and learned about helpful tools to uncover hidden emotions and build trust. One woman commented: “I am going through a difficult time right now with myself and my family and I appreciate that this is helping me have a better understanding of my self-worth.” Another wrote: “The tools and simple methods shared (meditation, self-reflection, and journaling) are so effective and can be applied to day-to-day life situations at work and in relationships.”

The interactive portion of the program gave everyone at their tables an opportunity to share about their personal fears and ways to overcome barriers to growth and maturity. Attendees commented that they enjoyed taking time out of their busy lives to share with one another and focus on their internal growth.

In the reflection and feedback notes, Katarina was thanked again and again for her fine presentations. This event and the education from the May seminar have truly uplifted the ladies of our Westchester chapter to strive to know themselves and feel their inner calling as peace leaders of themselves, their families, and their communities.