Guest Post by Jennifer Weatherly, Richmond, Va.
The month of March has a tendency to reveal how quickly our New Year’s resolve can dissolve. The motivation for early morning runs and sugar-free evenings fades in the face of longer sunshiny days. Is it vacation time yet?
It is not easy to change habits. Nor do they always stick when we do have the strength to charge headlong into making changes. The gym membership loses its appeal. Investment in a new dietary regimen gives way to cravings. Attempts to relate more kindly to a spouse or ailing parent fall flat in the face of familiar patterns.
Sometimes, being on a New Year’s resolution journey simply feels lonely. Flying solo can make healthy changes seem impossible to attain, much less become long-lasting habits that can lead to a new lifestyle. Many of us are accustomed to a rugged variety of going it alone when it comes to healthy changes, a white-knuckled grip on a new routine, and becoming “better” (or even being “good”) – a lot of pressure, either way!
When we say that “better together starts with you,” what we mean is that real change, especially when it comes to wellness, has to start within. We also mean that when it starts, what makes it resonant is harnessing it to community.
Our attitudes affect our lives, and our mindsets matter in how we approach wellness. After all, there’s never been more evidence that the mind and body are connected. Making changes from a place of self-awareness, and in the context of community, can lead you not only to make the changes you want to make, but also to make them more permanent.
So how can you begin to make lasting change this year?
Your local community may have groups or initiatives devoted to integrated approaches to wellness.
For example, TRUE Health and Wholeness in Arlington, Va., boasts a center that coaches the whole human, encouraging health journeys made in the care of accountability and inspiration from others. Their approach brings personal training, nutrition help, life coaching, and wellness practices all under one roof. And as such, it’s highly relational, creating the kind of space where shared energy and enthusiasm can send you bounding towards new habits.
One of True’s founders, Nina Elliott, notes, “At TRUE we believe in the compound effect, that doing small things consistently over time can produce the big goals we are after. It requires patience, diligence and a lot of accountability to stick to a goal, especially when the results are not as dramatic as we would like. We remind clients that by changing just one health related habit at a time, at the end of the year they could be a new person!"
Or consider Project Yoga Richmond (PYR), based in Richmond, Va. This unique yoga studio operates as a nonprofit, relying on donations and volunteers to create an environment of accessibility. From low-income senior citizens to teenagers to the autistic community, their efforts reach a diverse array of audiences, and the pay-what-you-can model makes room for those who might not otherwise be able to join a studio.
PYR has woven a wonderful web of wellness that has helped change lives for the better. Michelle Landon, one of its instructors, describes the exchange at the studio as a sort of ripple effect. "What I tend to emphasize at the start of each class," she says, "is that your practice here makes someone else's practice possible elsewhere."
These and countless other examples reveal that when personal growth is pursued in the context of community – in the context of a bigger picture – change becomes lasting, as do the relationships that form. We encourage you to start within, reach out for support in your own community, and watch what happens. The impact may astound you.
As new life starts sprouting this spring, we wonder, are you ready to turn March madness into joy?
Better together starts with you.™
waterstoneGLOBAL sees everyone, everywhere, living life well - a global transformation of communities through integrative, holistic approaches to wellness. Through our consulting services, we engage social sector clients in processes to define their brand and strategic vision, and solidify an infrastructure that can move their missions forward. We partner with leaders in community development, mental health, integrated wellness, and faith-based initiatives to help them build capacity for greater effectiveness and enjoyment in the work they do for their organizations and in their communities. In one-on-one and group settings, we are committed to helping you explore new ways of thinking and doing that tap into your unique capacity to live life well.
Learn more at www.waterstoneglobal.com.