HYN teams up with Cosmo Magazine for the first ever Goddess Council

We teamed up with Cosmopolitan magazine and the Kansas Health Foundation to have the first ever Goddess Council where women of the community come together to talk staying healthy in their communities.

There’s nothing like getting together with a group of women for a good old-fashioned gabfest.  It’s even better when it’s in the name of making the world a healthier place for women.  While in Kansas for a speaking engagement, Healthy You Now Founder, Tonya Lewis Lee wanting to get familiar with the local health concerns, saw an opportunity to create a safe space for some healthy woman chat. She felt the name Goddess Council befitting because, “I wanted these women to think of themselves as the all-powerful creative beings they are, and to realize the strength in coming together as a group to deal with the issues in their world,” says Lewis-Lee.

Working in conjunction with Cosmopolitan magazine and the Kansas Health Foundation, Healthy You Now brought together a lively, diverse group of local women, who despite representing a range of demographics, (20s-40s, moms, childless, professional, homemaker, engaged, married, coupled, single, Latina, Asian, Black, White, Mixed) were in agreement on a variety of health topics with the overarching theme being – it ain’t easy being healthy.  

From hot button political issues, to concerns that personally affect the ladies and their families, no subject was off-limits and what emerged was a cross-section of issues many women across the country face when trying to start and/or maintain a healthy lifestyle.

A common lament for women is the disparity of family responsibilities between us and men. It seems men are allowed to have a sick day for example,  but women have to put their health aside to juggle all that comes with having a family and a career. This often leads to stress and ultimately, the management of it often takes a back seat.

Living in a midwestern city, the sexism all women face at some point seemed to be more intense.

When it comes to mental health, women struggle with the guilt of burdening someone with their mental issues or feel the strain of having to balance it all.

The importance of taking care of our mental health was stressed, along with the notion that support and non-judgement of one another is crucial.

While there are many universal issues surrounding women’s health, Kansas has it’s own unique set of problems. The biggest local issues were communication and options.  Not only are their food deserts, but it seems like there’s a lack of government-sponsored activities (or promotion of them) such as ‘yoga in the park.’

HYN’s goal has always been to empower women to lead healthier lifestyles. And the Goddess Council creates an environment for issues to be explored, while having the participants witness the power of their collective voices. As we expand this program, we look forward to speaking with other Goddesses from all over the country.  Lee hopes these talks will affect change for all women, as one participant said, “It’s important to see yourself reflected in Women’s Health stories.”

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