It’s rare that you experience life-changing transformation, do the wobble, break the chains of financial slavery, and feel the love of God while taking a selfie, all in the span of a few hours. And that’s exactly what the inaugural W.E.A.L.T.H Experience offered women the first weekend of 2016.

Hip Hop Sisters Foundation founder Lana “MC Lyte” Moorer and president Lynn Richardson welcomed attendees to a empowering weekend in Miami’s south beach this January. The entrepreneurial duo invited some of their celebrity friends including Faith Evans, Erica Campbell, Ledisi, Cheryl “Salt” James, Kelly Price, Nicci Gilbert and Lil Mama for intimate and authentic conversations and connection.

The event kicked off with an advance screening of the new Centric show From the Bottom Up and a dialogue with MC Lyte, show creator Nicci Gilbert and cast member Chrystale Wilson. Gilbert shared her first hand experience of hitting rock bottom after losing her home and encountering financial despair following her first foray into reality TV. As the creative force and producer behind the R&B Divas franchise, she learned the hard way being a creator does not always come with protection and payment, as she continues to seek rights and compensation for the series. “I was told once Ego is easing God out and named my company No Ego years ago,” she shared. “I am continuing to learn what that means.”

After a prayer circle to start the morning, Day two began with the reminder to take off our superwoman capes in the discussion, I Am NOT Every Woman. Author and psychologist Robin Smith, Ph. D. asked a critical question to the panel and crowd: “What are you hungry for?” Answers ranged from “freedom” for Kelly Price to “a yummy hubby” for MC Lyte. “I feel I am in a space to truly receive love,” she shared.

Relationships for professional women were a hot topic for the conference. Author Lori Jones Gibbs and financial expert Tanisha Sykes shared why they would marry their husbands all over again in a workshop. “Women shouldn’t overwhelm themselves trying to do everything,” Gibbs shared. “I sometimes tell my husband he can have an elaborate dinner or desert. He always chooses desert.”

Our ESSENCE Presents Busy Women Need Love, Too panel featured a lively discussion with Tai Beauchamp, Faith Evans, Nicci Gilbert and Prudential executive Dorinda Walker. Each woman got personal on how love fueled their lives. “I know my faith in God is one of the reasons me and Big were put together,” Faith shared. “If he were still alive, if we weren’t married, we would definitely be friends.”

My question on prenuptial agreements got the crowd out of their seats as a few women shared their stories of now paying alimony following a divorce.  “It’s not just assets to protect, it’s also considering debt as well,” Prudential financial planner ShirleyAnn Robertson added.

Many accomplished women taught informative sessions including Erica Campbell, Ledisi, Teneshia Jackson Warner and Zakiya Larry. Corporate-preneur and Centric Senior Vice President Michele Thornton led one of my favorite workshops offering lessons from her new book, Stratechic. “When we become stratechic, we become more intentional about our time and our energy. We think about them as investments,” she shared. “We understand the significance of doing things for ourselves because we deserve it.”

The W.E.A.L.T.H. Experience reminded attendees it certainly was not a conference and concluded with an epic party. As DJ Jermaine mixed classic and new songs you can’t resist dancing too, Salt, Kelly Price, MC Lyte and Erica Campbell all blessed the mic as the crowd sang and danced along. Being wealthy is a mindset centered in clarity and connection. And sometimes it starts with a weekend where insight and love overflow.

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