Last weekend, mindbodygreen gathered 250 wellness leaders in the Arizona desert for #revitalize2016. Over three days, cardiologists, actresses, shamans, authors, and pretty much everyone in between shared their insights on healthy living. Here, holistic chef and nutrition writer Laura Lea Goldberg lists her top takeaways from the magical weekend.
1. Diminishing others only diminishes ourselves.
"Judging someone as inferior can weaken you, can make you sick." — Dr. Adi Jaffe
It's a dirty, age-old trick: We malign, criticize, and patronize people around us in an (often desperate) attempt to make ourselves feel better. Perhaps it helps fleetingly, as it is soothing to think "I'm not as bad or bad off as he/she is." But just as quickly, our feelings of insecurity return and then we're even worse for the wear, feeling pathetic, guilty, and enervated. Negativity of any kind is an energy suck, and it is particularly damaging when directed toward others. The next time you're tempted to cut someone else down, remember that you are doing more damage to yourself in the long run.
2. Happiness comes from relationships.
"Happiness doesn't come from within; it comes 'with.'" — Samantha Boardman
Healthy food, a fit body, money, exotic powders, healers ... none of this will make us happy if we have no one to share our successes with. And our failures, and everything in between. As an entrepreneur, it is easy for me to refuse the help of others, and I often take pride in going it alone. But our businesses can't love us back, and it certainly can't love us unconditionally. We must learn to nourish and cultivate our relationships alongside our ventures; only this will make us feel truly fulfilled.
3. Whatever you think you are or aren't, you're right.
"I am unapologetically me, and I embrace that." — Christmas Abbott
Words and thoughts are extremely powerful. The way we describe, view, or imagine ourselves creates who we are and how we are viewed. We manifest our reality based on our self-perception. In addition, whatever preconceived notions we have of others will color how we feel about them, how we interact with them, and how much grace we allow for their mistakes. As best as possible, we should try to go into each day with an open mind about our own potential and the potential of others to surprise and delight us and exceed expectations.
4. Stick to the basics when it comes to nutrition.
"If we clean up our diet, we can listen to our bodies better." — Neil Grimmer
There are countless opinions on the "right" way to eat for health and longevity, and the dissonance isn't stopping anytime soon. While qualified experts might not agree on the nuances of high- versus low-fat diets, whole grain-free or full, or how much (if any) animals we should consume, most agree on a few basic tenets:
- You should eat a plant-centric diet focused primarily on green foods with the rainbow scattered in. Also, buy organic versions of the fruits and veggies on the EWG's Dirty Dozen list.
- Eliminate processed, packaged, refined, GMO food and hydrogenated vegetable oils.
- Do not eat in a state of stress. In fact, you should focus on reducing stress before you tackle #1 and 2. The rest can sort itself out.
5. Just do the work.
"All knowledge is available to those who face it with earnest desire." — Entrepreneur group panel
Whatever you dream can be achieved if you consistently put in the work. Note, though, that consistency is key. Success doesn't come from perfection, from never making mistakes. It comes from an accumulation of small mistakes that are slowly overrun by small, then big, victories. Our greatest strength is the ability to focus on the daily process and not on the daily result. This doesn't mean that we should ignore our health or personal life [see point #2], but it does require an honest appraisal of how we truly use—and waste—our time. Use it wisely and with focus and just show up. Nothing compares, and no one can take that away from you.