Beyond Mom Interviews Dr. Sharon Ufberg, co-founder Elevate Gen Y
Dr. Sharon Ufberg
With her wide range of talents and a passion for empowering others, Dr. Sharon Ufberg is determined to give back to the world. Along with her daughter Alexis, Sharon co-founded Elevate Gen Y and Borrowed Wisdom.com. This mother-daughter company hosts live and online events for women in their 20’s and 30’s, providing them with tools on living their happiest and healthiest lives. In this intriguing interview, Sharon shares how she has been able to cultivate an enriching life as a Beyond Mom.
1) What makes you a Beyond Mom?
Any woman who is a mother and also continues to cultivate a meaningful life with purpose is a Beyond Mom. I am very flattered to join the Beyond Mom community! I have three grown children who are already on their way to their own fabulous futures. Being a mom has been a huge part of my adult identity as a woman. It was always a part of who I was as a successful business owner, activist and philanthropist.
2) What are the parts of you that have grown and expanded since becoming a Mom?
I’ve enjoyed a very successful career life with lots of accomplishments but being a mother, has been the most empowering and fulfilling aspect of being a woman for me. As an integrative practitioner, I talk to many young women who question how to stay on their career path and also become a mom. I always tell them that there are many wonderful accomplishments one can achieve in life but nothing comes close to the high of becoming a mother. Every aspect of my life got richer once I became a mom. The way I looked at the world changed and my values and my ambition to make the world better a better place heightened. My perspective as a mother created a life of rich meaning in my day to day life.
3) Can you share a collaboration/success story with another woman; what helped the collaboration become successful?
My latest collaboration is with a fabulous woman who happens to also be my eldest daughter, Alexis. We co-founded an events company in 2013 called Elevate Gen Y. We create live programming for women in their 20’s and 30’s that focuses on health and wellness, personal and professional development and philanthropy. It is all about helping people to live their happiest, healthiest and most meaningful lives and give back to their communities and the world. I came from a long history in healthcare and my daughter is a lawyer- we both found that we had a lot of passion for work with women, and Elevate Gen Y emerged from that passion. We recently expanded our platform to online programming called Borrowed Wisdom. We now also create free online telesummits that inspire people to get a life they love.
For me, what could be more fabulous than getting to work with my daughter in a business where my values and purpose are aligned? We are both freelance journalists and very often in the past we would sit with our laptops back to back writing stories wanting to find a way to work together. This collaboration with my daughter is one of my biggest joys. We are in something big together. Alexis and I feel very lucky that we got to start a business together as equal partners and co-creators.
My life story is filled with a history of collaborating with amazing women change makers. I am always inspired by women who want to make a difference. I have consciously spent a significant amount of my free time collaborating with women and working on critical and important issues that matter such as human trafficking, domestic violence, pay parity and education. It is always an honor to work with women who care and work tirelessly to support other women.
4) What relationships help you stay connected to yourself?
My three children, husband and many close friends and colleagues keep me connected to who I am and who I aspire to be. I feel very fortunate to have close and unique relationships with each of my children. They keep me very connected to family and my role as mom. I think they help me keep some balance between a very demanding work life, powerful philanthropic interests and family time. It doesn’t matter if your kids are 10, 15 or 30- if you have a close relationship you want time together. I feel very lucky to have that close connection with my children.
My female friendships have always been very meaningful and important to me. I learned early that to have good friends you need to be a good friend. My friends and I make the time to get together regularly whether it’s to take a walk, go for a meal or just sit together, check in and support one another.
5) Do you have a ‘Beyond’ dream that you are pursuing? If so, please share…
My Beyond Mom dream is to expand the Borrowed Wisdom and Elevate Gen Y concept. We are in process of building that dream out with more programming ideas such as membership programs, Wisdom Circles, special retreats and even more interviews with the best of the best! The more people we reach the bigger impact we can make in the world.
6) What wellness activity can you not live without? What is one thing you do daily that balances you?
I believe that having a very consistent daily ritual routine is very important. It is really important to ground yourself every day by setting the right intention. The first thing I try to do every morning is meditate. I also try to do some regular exercise as it helps you stay focused, present and grounded. I have recently added a gratitude ritual to my routine. I even have a gratitude app on my phone called Gratitude 365 where I can post a picture and write about what I am grateful for each day. This new gratitude awareness has the potential to be life-changing. I recently learned that it is not only beneficial to recognize your gratitude but also to share it with someone. Even just writing a one line email or leaving a voicemail telling a friend how much you appreciate something they did for you can make all the difference.
7) How does style influence the way you stay feeling ‘Beyond’? Who is currently your favorite designer?
I am not a huge designer person. I love clothes that make me feel good about my own personal style, are empowering and express my own individuality. I really love my dear friend and designer Nadya ‘s clothes. They are all one-of-a-kind pieces handmade in Bali. Nadya has created sustainable work for hundreds of people that create her designs. Every piece is beautiful and unique and helps support a whole community. When you put on a garment that has such positive energy it makes you feel good.
Favorite NYC Spots that Embody The Beyond Mom:
Beyond Cocktails and/ or Food
Fatty Crab is my favorite restaurant in NYC. I have been involved with this fabulous place from it’s beginning. They really make each meal special. I also love cute neighborhood spots like The Commons Chelsea for coffee. And I love almost every Italian restaurant in New York City that I go to when I am in town!
When I first moved to NYC I lived uptown and ran and rode my bike up and down the West Side Highway and through Central Park. When I moved downtown to Tribeca, I would go to these early morning all women Boot Camps which were really fun and such good exercise. Now I mainly do yoga and take walking hikes in the Napa Valley. Any exercise is good and variety is the best.
I am not much of a clothes shopper. I would much rather spend my free time at the Italian Wine Merchants on 16th street picking out great wines than shopping for almost anything else.
I am a real culture junkie so I always found museums and the culture in NYC to be incredibly inspirational. The Rubin Museum of Art on 17th Street is one of my all time favorite museums in the world. It is quite fascinating and special but of course, who doesn’t love the MOMA and the MET, too? The offerings in NYC are endless, whether it’s a musical, play, symphony or opera—there is something for everyone. When I lived in New York I definitely took advantage of the amazing jazz music, too.
I have always been attracted to the arts as a way of deep expression and sharing. Whenever I traveled with my young children, I always made sure to go to the best museums in that country. The kids sometimes complained but years later when they sat in their first Art History classes, they were delighted to recognize the wonderful artwork that they had seen in person from all around the world. Now that’s a real Beyond Mom moment—to share your inspiration with your children!
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