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Monica Maric studied film at McGill University. During that time, she frequently came to the Centre to volunteer. She stayed in contact after returning to Australia, and when she told us she was attending the Seventh International Women’s Conference we thought readers would enjoy her comments on the upcoming and past conferences she helped with and attended.


1.How did the idea of having a conference celebrating women start?

The first Art of Living International Women’s Conference took place in Bangalore India in 2005. The idea came about simply by a group of ladies coming together talking about matters of the world and how they could make a difference. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has said that when a group of women come together to work for good in a focused way, they can bring about positive and effective change in the world. He has said that women have a lot of power to make a difference, thus, giving rise to the idea and the birth of the Women’s Conference.

2.What makes you want to go and how often have you attended?
Personally I have always been interested in the movement of women to stand up and make a difference in the name of empowerment and justice. I feel there is certainly a difference in the way a woman communicates ideas and projects that I have always gravitated towards and there is a feeling of sister-hood and belonging. The various themes and topics discussed in the conferences have always been inspirational and current. I have had the opportunity to work with the conference team in India in both 2012 and 2014 and have attended the conference in 2012. I treasure fond memories of feeling uplifted, inspired and empowered. There is truly a magic that happens when women from around the world come together in celebration and on a mission to make a real difference in the world. Hearing about different projects and achievements of various leaders from all walks of life, we all felt enriched and moved by their experiences.

3.What feeling do you leave with/what do you take home with you.
The IWC promotes action and one feels empowered with the tools, support and the contacts to move ahead with various service projects and share with others the joys and experiences of feeling nurtured and celebrated that one has gained from being in this unique space. There is a ripple effect, everyone benefits when a woman takes time out not only to nurture ones body, but also the mind and soul, through relationships, connections, meditation and yoga in a highly conducive environment.

4.What is the importance of celebrating women?
As most women would agree, women are busy people. Whether you are a mom, sister, wife, student or career woman, we all deserve a break from time to time to get in touch with our inner-self. There are so many external pressures in the world today that propose a certain ‘look’ or ‘identity’, a prescribed need to be young and beautiful, successful, etc. etc. etc. A woman is a representative in the society and the family of truth, of heart, of love, of nurturing. Yet, our roles in the workplace may represent other values, which may create a struggle for balance, particularly when combined with managing a family. So re-connecting with core values, emotions and our inner-self strengthens and rejuvenates the person so that everyone associated with that individual benefits from their positivity.

5.Talk about this year’s conference Beeing ________, and how it’s also tied to bees and their need for our support.
The 7Th International Women’s Conference is based on the Butterfly Effect; highlighting the inter-dependency of the every microcosm to macrocosm that exists on planet Earth. Whether we are aware of it or not, every living being has an impact on the lives of those around them. No one can exist in total isolation. Each of us affects the world and environment around them. The conference brings together women leaders from various spheres of society such as politics, the arts, business, media, and academia to engage in meaningful dialogue and sessions. However, we also want to bring to light the dangers of the extinction faced by the honeybee, which has sustained food agriculture for over 4500 years. Therefore we remind our selves of this species that has upheld our food chain and also of the poser of women to bring about change.

Seventh International Women’s Conference, to be held in Bali, 5th -6th April 2015 THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT: Everything Matters.
For details, please visit: iwc.artofliving.org For Registrations and enquiries: Email: iwc@artofliving.org
Contact: +91 80 67262637

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