Conversations with Norma Kamali

Thursday, I joined fashion designer Norma Kamali for the kicked off of her wellness series, “Conversations: A Dialogue on Wellness Solutions” at the Museum of Modern Art. “The planet we live on is not like it was at any other time. In order to survive fast food farming technology and the toxic environment, we must face our problems head on with practical solutions,” said Kamali. Change doesn’t happen over night but by educating her piers and spreading awareness we can all work together for a solution. So in front of a live audience, she showed a movie featuring two-minute conversations with notable experts in fitness, health, beauty and nutrition. Followed by a panel discussion and Q&A session.

Honored guests included choreographer, Twyla Tharp, founder of Aveda and Intelligent Nutrients skin care, Horst Rechelbacher, spiritual counselor and author of “Shadows On the Path”, Abdi Assadi, filmmaker of “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead”, Joe Cross, vegan and raw food chef, Chef Matteo, and more (Nancy Shaw, Magen Banwart, Dr. David Colbert and Physique 57).

I thought over all the speeches we’re good. The highlight for me was Twyla Tharp telling the audience the most important thing is “to just move, our bodies just want to move”. Anyone who’s ever been through a rough patch knows how easy it is to emotionally give up and just not want to get out of bed. Ultimately, the only cure for that and to turn your life around in any capacity is to move.  Sometimes, it’s the simple things that we need reminding of. I could stand to start moving a little earlier in the morning.

I’ve also thought a lot about Abdi Assadi saying “everybody has a piece of the puzzle… no one person has the answer”, which is so true. I remember reading an article about actor Adrian Grenier, saying something along the lines of his biggest fear is all of his environmental initiatives have made no impact on the planet. For some reason that really stuck with me.  Can you imagine if all the efforts being made to improve the planet are counteracted by those who are either unaware or just don’t care?

The panelists also made a great point about how this isn’t about democrats or republicans or how liberal or conservative you are, we have all got to do this together.  But now what? Personally, I think the government needs to rethink some of their regulations on farming and environmental practices. Obesity is a huge issue in the US, and listening to an elite group of speakers talk about working out, drinking juices and eating organic or raw as a resolution is all well and good, but how does a family struggling in today’s economy do that? It frustrates me that certified organic foods are more expensive then their non-organic counterpart. Eating healthy should be accessible for all and encouraged, not a luxury.

Still, diet and exercise are only the physical side to wellness, there’s also an emotional part to consider. Assadi made the point that “You can be healthy and miserable… I come across people who eat the perfect diet, do the perfect exercise, have the perfect body who are about this close to killing themselves”.  We are a complicated race.

So back to the pressing question ‘how do we save ourselves and our planet’? For now with education and by leading through example. With technology and the internet there is hope for this message to carry change. It’s a lot to take on and I applaud Kamali for creating a forum and outlet to help offer perspective and change. I feel honored to be a part of the debut of her webisode series and look forward to future episodes that really dig into these issues and their solutions on a deeper level.

For more information and to watch the series visit