If you know me in real life, you might be surprised to see that I’m writing a blog post on my wellness journey. Wellness is not a word most people would use, if asked about me. I’ve been described as headstrong, principled, passionate, and of course, sassy. I’m “that friend” who is unapologetically herself, often inappropriate, high strung, reactive, and fiercely loyal.
These qualities, which make me a high performing individual, are also my biggest downfall. I grind my teeth, pick my cuticles, and overdo most things, sometimes to the point of injury. It’s safe to say that wellness is not a natural tenet of my being. My natural state, as described above, is exhausting, both physically and emotionally. It’s also the reason that I’ve found myself searching for wellness.
My Wellness Journey
My wellness journey started before I even knew I was on it. I came to the realization a few years ago that if I was going to be a productive member of society, I needed to make myself stop, slow down, and think about what I wanted in life. Stagnated in a legal career and reeling from a breakup, I was miserable and needed a change. What started as a few simple steps toward reducing stress has turned into a conscious effort to incorporate more wellness into my daily life. And so my wellness journey began, and continues today.
So, what exactly is a wellness journey? For me it’s a focus on living my life with more intention. At the risk of sounding cliche, I’ve made an effort to make each day impactful for myself, meaning that at the end of every day, I hope to have had some benefit to either my mind, body, or spirit.
My Wellness Journey: Mind
The first step on my wellness journey started with my mind. Before making any changes in my life, I had to decide to do it. Admitting that something isn’t right or isn’t working is difficult, but once I admitted to myself that something had to give, things started to change.
This shift in mindset came with the decision to leave the legal industry. After five years working as a lawyer, I was miserable, unfulfilled, and underpaid. I felt like a failure. Why could everyone else do it, yet I was so unhappy? The answer took the form of a myriad of reasons that, at the end of the day, truly didn’t matter. Despite the fact that I wanted out, leaving my legal career was one of the most difficult decisions of my life.
I told myself I was pivoting; not giving up. I was taking the opportunity to broaden my skills into the world of marketing. I could always go back. This shift in my perspective allowed me to focus on building a new career. For the first time in years, I felt inspired. Before long I found myself in an exciting new role backed by a strong supportive network.
This catapulted me into a new mindset. Rather than being a miserable grump, I woke up looking forward to the challenges of each new day with a positive outlook on life. I felt more alive than I had in years, smiling at the world around me and thanking people more often. This turned into a what I now recognize as a daily gratitude practice. The funny thing about this part of my wellness journey is that I didn’t even realize it was happening. It was my mother who pointed it out to me. Months after my career change, she remarked one day that I was the happiest she had seen me in years.
My Wellness Journey: Body
While in the midst of this transition, I developed a regular yoga practice. A high energy person by nature, I found myself drawn toward more active exercise like spinning, running, and boxing. But repeated injury from overdoing it brought me to the yoga mat. I always thought that yoga was an easy thing to do; something that wasn’t a good fit for me because it was too slow and not challenging enough. But I was wrong. So so wrong. I found Vinyasa Flow and fell in love with the fast-paced class. I quickly became addicted to yoga.
The practice of yoga further shifted my mindset. It made me more aware of my body and the world around me and I discovered a mental state that I had not known before: being present. The active flow of yoga helped me slow down my body and appreciate it for all of its abilities, and limitations. This awareness made room for patience and forgiveness in all aspects of my life.
My Wellness Journey: Spirit
I continued on my wellness journey alone for years, figuring that no one was a part of my personal growth but me. After all, there’s no reward or external measure of achievement when it comes to wellness. It’s just you and the world trying to be better together. Or is it?
I continued to incorporate wellness into life—essential oils for stress relief and afternoon pick me ups, surrounding myself with houseplants, and making more conscious food and beauty decisions. I was on the right track, but despite my continued attempts to incorporate wellness into my life, something was missing.
In all other parts of my life, I was part of a group of like-minded individuals: a tech community, a blogging network, a Mug Club for serious beer drinkers at a local bar (not kidding). But I didn’t have a that for my wellness-focused lifestyle. I craved connection to people. Somehow the universe heard me and I started to meet people like me.
I can’t pinpoint exactly when it happened—at a yoga class, through a blogger event, or perhaps a chance encounter with an Instagram friend at a hair salon—but at some point in the past year I found my people. I didn’t know it at the time, but each of the people who I felt a connection with had something in common: W.E.L.L. Summit.
All of the people whose lives had become intertwined with my own throughout my wellness journey, are part of a community of people who are involved with the W.E.L.L. Summit.
What is W.E.L.L. Summit? Founded by Gianne Doherty, W.E.L.L. Summit is an curated conference that offers a 360 degree view of wellness, incorporating Wellness. Empowerment. Learning. Luxury.
An experience created to bring together like-minded people seeking to live and improve their lives through personal growth, health, fitness, and beauty, the W.E.L.L. Summit is one of a kind.
I’m lucky enough to live in Boston, the same town as the founder of the W.E.L.L. Summit, but the W.E.L.L. Summit is not a Boston-only community. Advisors and Ambassadors hail from NYC, Atlanta, California and attendees come from throughout the country. This year W.E.L.L. Summit is being held in New York City, on November 3-4, 2017 and I cannot wait to go.
The lineup of speakers includes bestselling author, Agapi Stassinopoulos; holistic lifestyle expert, Cassandra Bodzak; wellness entrepreneur Nitika Chopra, yoga teacher and author Sara DiVello among many others. W.E.L.L. Summit promises to be an experience like no other. I’ll be present (in mind, body, and spirit) at W.E.L.L. Summit in November, finding my tribe. Tickets are on sale now—won’t you join me?