Connection Is The Currency of Wellness
“Connection is the currency of wellness.” John Travis, an elder statesman of the National Wellness Institute, stated that clearly and authoritatively in his remarks at the awards banquet held during the National Wellness Conference in Minneapolis, MN in June. I was privileged to be in the audience to hear him. Throughout the conference, I heard a variety of speakers share a variation on that theme: Isolation is deadly. All creation is in relationship. Humor is about relationship – not jokes. It was invigorating and enlivened my mission and purpose.
From the opening keynote with Dr Todd Kashdan to the final wrap-up session with personal comments from attendees about what was learned, gleaned and being taken away from the conference, I felt at home – in relationship – with people from around the globe who are interested in, advocate for and employed in the field of wellness.
With an obvious emphasis on body, mind and spirit, this did not surprise me. What I found exhilarating was that the message that I carry – accepting the inevitability of change, gathering resources not to be overwhelmed by change and recognizing change as a growth edge in our lives – was amplified and underscored by so many others, in so many ways.
I have long maintained that being in community is essential. It is one of the “Pearls” in my book. To feel the powerful presence of a palpable web of support, care, concern and prayer can make a world of difference in the way we navigate the challenges of a narrow spot. It is also a good idea to have an awareness of your community of support before the narrow spot occurs. People will surprise you. Some will come out of the woodwork to help. Some will disappear for reasons that you cannot understand. Don’t be disappointed or take it personally. Everyone has their own journey to navigate. Count on those who are present and accept their help. Asking for and accepting help is a two-way gift.
So what are your connections? Who are the people with whom you affiliate? With whom do you have a special or sacred bond? What is an idea or cause about which you are passionate? How do you share that with others? With what organization or group are you associated? How do you create “relationship” with the people, things or ideas that nourish your soul? What do you send out into the world? How do you internalize what the world sends back to you?
Engagement in wellness – and in my opinion, it is not sustained by itself – is not a selfish act. It is self care. Well-being is our essential nature, so is being in community. Be connected.