A few weeks ago, I had an opportunity to teach a workshop with my beloved on The Art of Loving in Costa Rica. As we met with the other two facilitators to put the course together, there was a lot of uncertainty about what to teach, how much time we had for the presentation, and other details. With all that flexibility, we quickly had to determine the most important points we wanted to make, the best way to make them in the shortest amount of time, and which personal challenges we felt comfortable including to inspire our audience to share more of their love in the world.
The amount of synergy that had to occur among the four of us to make the course effective was extremely important. We knew that the quality of the workshop and the attendees’ reaction to it would be a direct reflection on us and the nature of our collaboration in creating it. In teaching the course, it was extremely satisfying to see some attendees come to some amazing realizations by being brave enough to express their vulnerability. Others had creative breakthroughs, while the whole group ended the session feeling much more connected than they were before the presentation. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
Part of our success was in approaching the workshop from the perspective that the attendees were taking the class with the intention to rejuvenate themselves psycho-spiritually for a task they had ahead of them. With that in mind, we had to ask ourselves as facilitators how we could provide value in terms of rejuvenation in a way that was accessible and actionable for them. That required redefining it first.
When most people think of rejuvenation, they think of going to a spa for a massage or taking a vacation to relax and recharge. The quality of a massage depends on the masseuse, and we’ve all heard friends say their vacation was so stressful that they need another vacation to recover from the vacation they were just on. Why do so many of our attempts to rejuvenate ourselves not produce the results we want? It’s because too often we limit rejuvenation to the physical. We forget that mental, emotional, and spiritual rejuvenation can be even more invigorating, not to mention life-changing, than an herbal body wrap or trip to Bermuda.
Educational retreats all over the world are now asking attendees to limit the tech gadgets they bring with them, silence their phones, and reduce their exposure to media. This is done to help create mental space for self-reflection, giving new realizations an opportunity to arise. Eating healthy food during their stay helps cleanse the body, even as the mind continues to open. As gut health improves and the gut-brain connection strengthens, attendees often become aware of their bodies in new ways and sense how good nutrition improves their awareness. New realizations can occur even in sleep. Sleep quality improves, and patterns become more consistent thanks to better nutrition, which leads to a more nourished mind and body. Real rejuvenation happens when the mental and physical systems become more synchronized this way.
As the physical and mental processes become more coordinated, I’ve found that the best way to include spiritual rejuvenation is to explore ways to live a more purposeful life. I’ve found the purpose of my life has changed as I move through the different phases of it, so it’s good to revisit issues as we get older and wiser. This is why it’s so important for me to routinely stop the busyness and ensure I’m still moving forward in my life in a way that’s led by spirit and love. It’s easy to think you’re living a purpose-led life only to get pulled off track and onto an eternal to-do list that never leads to fulfillment and rejuvenation—just more noise.
Synergy for Success
So while rejuvenating individually is important, it has to happen within each one of us in a synergistic way that includes all aspects of ourselves. When rejuvenation happens in a holistic way that’s more than just physical, it renews all parts of who we are and all the roles we play in life. We become better mothers, fathers, spouses, co-workers, community leaders, brothers, sisters, bosses, and so on. It’s the synergy that arises within us from holistic rejuvenation that improves all our relationships. As more people experience this kind of rejuvenation and renewed connectedness with others, it has the ability to create more cohesion in societies, and even between countries.
The ultimate synergistic connection through holistic rejuvenation comes when we, as a more unified humankind, have a deeper relationship with the earth we all share. Not only do we treat the earth better, but we also engage with it more because the earth’s energy has powerful grounding and calming effects that are very healthy. In fact, many people who live to 100 often express that one of their secrets to longevity has been to have regular contact with nature. That could be growing a garden, tending to a small farm, walking in the woods daily, or any other activity that keeps them in regular hands-on contact with the earth. They’re interactive and mindful when in nature and not just observers of it.
Synergy doesn’t just happen within ourselves. It happens within a larger conversation of everyone around us, and that includes Mother Earth. Sometimes synergy is easier to generate between people we live with because nature is already creating synchronization between us in many different ways. Science has shown that the menstrual cycles of women living together eventually synchronize. The hormones of married couples go through coordinated changes that actually strengthen the attachment bonds between them because they sleep in the same bed, share the same bathroom, and go through certain routines together. In these ways, biology is already working to create synergy between us and others.
A Deeper Journey
To go beyond the physical and create an even deeper rejuvenation and synergistic connection with others requires intention and dedication. Not everyone has the money to fly to an island retreat and take a workshop in self-realization, but the good news is you don’t need to do that. It just takes some creativity. If you’re living in a big city, how could you engage with nature more often? How could you connect with people in a way that shares your love in small ways? Explore the things that are important to you and how you might incorporate more of them into your life. Can you stop the busyness of your life long enough to engage in this kind of self-reflection and exploration? Can you put your cell phone down and let life lead more often? It’s a wonderful world out there, and it’s time to start connecting with it. Your body, mind, and spirit will thank you later.
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