• How Your Values Lead To Your Success

    The Importance of Having Personal Values

    Everyone talks about personal values, but what are they, why are they important, and how do you identify which ones have meaning for you?  Let’s get the conversation started…

     

    What are personal values?

    Personal values are defined as the basic, most fundamental beliefs a person can have.  They help to determine what a person prioritizes, who they want to be, how they live their life, and how they interact with their community.  Your values help determine what is important to you and inform your decision-making, helping you decide what you want to achieve and become.  Values are the tenets that guide actions and motivate attitudes, behaviors, and personality traits.  Values are expressed through your actions, words, and behaviors.

     

    Where do values originate?

    Values originate from the source of your beliefs — authority figures, your past experiences, and your environment.  Authority figures like parents, relatives, teachers, mentors, or religious leaders have a very big impact on your value system.  Children build their foundational value system based on the values of authority figures they respect, but as they age and have their own life experiences children develop values through personal growth.  People often prioritize their values based on a number of different factors, including their socioeconomic status, their environment, and their upbringing.

     

    Overall, there are four different categories of values:

    Personal Values:  These are the values you exhibit in your own life, and what you consider to be the most important.  Personal values might include creativity, compassion, selflessness, enthusiasm, personal fulfillment, or friendship.

    Relationship Values:  These values demonstrate how you relate to others in your life, including your friends, family, peers, and colleagues.  Relationship values might include openness, trust, generosity, empathy, caring, and communication.

    Organizational Values:  An organization’s values help to provide it with a purpose, so it can manage both employees and customers more effectively.  Organizational values include teamwork, productivity, innovation, volunteerism, financial growth, and strategic alliances.

    Societal Values:  These values depict how an individual or organization relates to society.  Societal values might include accountability, environmental awareness, sustainability, individual rights, social responsibility, and future generations.

     

    The bottom line is when we use our values to make decisions, we make a deliberate choice to focus on what is important to us.  When values are shared, they build internal cohesion in a group, whether that group is a family, a corporation, a school, or a country.

     

    Why are values important?

    Values help to inform your thoughts, actions, and beliefs.  They differ from short-term or long-term goals because they’re not specific to a single situation.  While you may not always be aware of your values, taking the time to understand what you believe and why can help you make decisions that make the most sense for you.  Recognizing your values can help you live life with more intention, and increase your integrity.  There are many benefits to living in alignment with your values, like:

    • Improving your problem-solving and decision-making skills. When you’re in a challenging situation, consider how you can use your values to make a choice.
    • Increasing your self-confidence and motivation. When you understand who you are and what you believe, you’ll have the confidence and enthusiasm to overcome obstacles and solve complex problems.
    • Helping you realize what’s important and that improves your well-being. Identifying your core values helps you better focus on what matters most to you.
    • Enhancing your career choices which have a direct impact on your personal and professional life. Clarifying your values helps you choose a career you truly want, and helps you transition to roles that best reflect your values as they evolve over time.

     

    How do you identify your personal values?

    Here’s a 3-step guide to identifying your personal values, and putting them to work so you can be the best version of yourself.

     

    Step 1 — Ask “Who am I?”

    Look through the following list, and choose 10-15 values you think you live by.  Then share the list with family and friends, and ask them to pick the values they think best represent you.  Compare the lists, and that will give you a very realistic portrait of who you are.  That realistic portrait is the starting point of self-awareness and self-reinvention.

     

     

     

    Step 2:  Prioritize your value list

    Some values are more significant to us than others.  Prioritize your values, and you can then prioritize your primary and secondary behaviors.  Read your list often, and reinforce your identity to yourself.  If you like yourself and believe in your values, you’ll avoid sabotaging your own efforts to succeed.

     

    One way to change the direction of your life is to re-shuffle the order of the values in your list.  That re-prioritization will dictate the behaviors you should be focusing on.  For example, if your goal is to spend more time with your family, that value should be at the top of your list, and should guide you in the choices you make.

     

    Step 3:  Complete regular value audits

    As our life circumstances change, so may the things we consider most important to us.  Your value list can and should change over time.  Just recognize those changes, adjust your value priorities, and make sure your primary behaviors support those top values.

     

    At times you will even add new values to your list.  One way to find new values that are meaningful to you is to look at the people you respect and want to be like.  What values do they live by?  Can you emulate them?  Whatever values you add to your core beliefs, make sure you wholly embody them.  Be courageous.  Let new life experiences prove to you that this is a value worthy of being at the top of your list.

     

    How does OHI focus on values?

    One of the most pivotal classes taught at OHI is our Focus I & II classes.  Franklin-Covey helped design these classes, and they’re based on the Franklin-Covey time management principles.  The intention of this class is to help you identify your core values, and define the goals that support these values so you can achieve what matters most to you.  With your values and goals clearly in view, it’s easier to stay focused on your highest priorities and experience greater success in achieving what you desire.  Your personal values are at the heart of your success.

     

    So at the end of the day, how do you live a life of value?  The secret is to plan the things that matter most to you into each day, and place those items as top priorities.  Think about what values you’d risk everything for — people you love, ideals you hold dear.  Keep laser focused on that list of core values, and your actions will follow.  Understanding your values allows you to live a meaningful life of purpose.

     

    Our caring staff members are eager to give you all the unconditional support, inspiration, and transformational tools you need to bring your body, mind, and spirit into healthy balance in a serene, peaceful setting. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.

     

     

    “Values (ethics and social sciences), Wikipedia

     

    “How to discover your governing values,” May 28, 2018, www.blog.franklinplanner.com

     

    “Personal Values,” Western Oregon University, www.wou.edu

     

    “Personal Values Explained: 7 Examples of Personal Values,” written by MasterClass Staff,

    May 3, 2022, www.masterclass.com

     

    “What are personal values? Discover yours in 5 steps,” by Lois Melkonian, April 27, 2022, www. betterup.com

     

    “How to define your personal values and live by them for a fulfilling life,” by Evelyn Marinoff, www.lifehack.org

     

    “The Importance of Values (Plus Benefits and Tips), by Indeed Editorial Team, March 25, 2022, www.indeed.com

     

    “Why Values are Important”, by Jarrod Davis, Barrett Values Centre, www.valuescentre.com

  • Finding Your Focus at OHI 

    Finding Your Focus at OHI 

     

    Greetings to our OHI community; I wish you a lovely harvest season as the hot summer ends and coalesces into the warm colors and cooler temps of autumn. I love this time of year because it is a great time for introspection and reflection about life. In this issue, I discuss the importance of focusing your time on your highest priorities – living your best life doing what is most fulfilling and meaningful to you.

     

    “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12: 1-2

     

    Translation: Stop allowing yourself to be overtaken by meaningless demands that waste time. Instead, focus on the things that matter most in life. Start by renewing your mind.

     

    In our Focus I & II classes at OHI, our guests repeatedly state “not having enough time” is the main reason they fail to accomplish their top priorities. But the hard truth is there is plenty of time…they simply don’t yet understand how to manage their time according to their priorities.

     

    If you were facing your last days on earth, would you be concerned with writing more emails, making more money, or spending more hours at your job? I doubt it. More likely, you would be finding ways to spend time with loved ones or making a difference in peoples’ lives.

     

    Renewing your mindset is the first step toward prioritizing living life to its fullest.

     

    Return Your Time to Your Control

    Like many of you, when I was growing up my parents gave me chores to do, my teachers at school gave me homework to do, and I was held accountable if I failed to do them. When I was a little older, I got my first part time job. My boss gave me tasks to do and a schedule for the days I was to work; there were, of course, negative consequences if I failed to show up on time or to complete any of the tasks assigned. But none of these were personal goals that I chose for myself. In other words, my time was organized for me by others – my parents, teachers, and bosses.

     

    When I went to college, I lived more independently than what I was used to at home. Wow, there were so many new and exciting things to do – new friends, sports events, clubs to join, and of course my classes, homework, and study. The problem was everything seemed important. And, because I didn’t know how to prioritize and manage my time, I got behind in my school work.

     

    I struggled with this for a bit, but eventually learned how to better juggle my responsibilities with my interests. It wasn’t until I discovered Stephen Covey, that I found the Holy Grail of life management. In his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, I learned there are things we can control, influence, or be concerned about. And the real deception is focusing on concerns rather than what you can control and influence.  For the 7th habit, Sharpen the Saw, Stephen Covey tells the story of a man walking through the woods who comes upon a lumberjack swearing. He asks, “What’s wrong?” The tree cutter replies, “I have all these trees to cut but not enough time.” “Why?” “Because my saw blade is dull and it’s slowing me down.” “Why don’t you sharpen it?” “I don’t have time to stop!”

     

    The lesson from this chapter is the lumberjack was focused on his concern – too many trees and not enough time. Instead of focusing on what he could control, which was sharpening his saw which would influence the amount of time the task would take.

     

    Stephen’s methods were life-changing for me and helped me achieve the corporate success that I enjoyed. Stephen Covey’s time management techniques are not just for business, and for this reason, I introduced his time-management concepts to our OHI staff and guests in our Focus I & II classes. These skills are imperative, not only for prioritizing our goals, but to help our OHI community members manage the vital time necessary for their healing opportunities and keeping a razor focus on living a meaningful and purpose-driven life.

     

    You Are THE Priority

    I’ve had the opportunity to conduct pastoral care and counseling with many of our guests over the years. One of the top concerns I hear is people find it difficult to make themselves a priority. They feel they have neglected themselves – often while fulfilling the needs of others – it results in them feeling stuck, and not knowing how to break free.

     

    The Main Thing is to keep the Main Thing the Main Thing.” Stephen R. Covey

     

    The challenge many of us face is that we don’t know what’s really important. There is always some urgent matter requiring our attention. Everything that demands our time seems important, so we believe we have to do everything. And, that’s where it goes sideways…because we are so busy, we don’t take the time to distinguish between what is truly important and what is not. When all we do is put out fires, we find ourselves in permanent crisis-management mode which creates stress – which in turn causes dis-ease (also known as, “health opportunities”).

     

    Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent,

    and not enough time on what is important.” Steven Covey

     

    Identifying what is most important to you, and enabling you to make time for it, is vital to living a fulfilling life. And, THE most important thing is taking care of you so, schedule self-care first!

     

    What’s New at OHI

    We are re-vamping all our classes at OHI, starting with our Focus I & II classes. Our Focus classes were developed in conjunction with Franklin Covey especially for OHI guests and teach you how to create a personal planning system that helps you manage your time more efficiently and effectively so that you can spend your time doing what is most fulfilling and significant for you. Our Focus classes give you the tools and training to get clear about what matters most, concentrate your time and energy on what’s necessary, and achieve your highest priorities.

     

    As we update and re-vamp our classes, we are also re-branding our 21-day holistic-healing program as the OHI for Life Body-Mind-Spirit Program. We have future plans to develop additional programs…for example, we plan to develop 3 and 4-day retreats, each with a focus on a variety of topics. Therefore, rebranding our 21-day program makes room for this new growth to occur.

     

    And lastly, I would like to introduce our new Referral Program. Many of you have been asking for this and we are finally delivering!

     

    As a Christian-based healing ministry, we strive to keep our prices affordable and our program accessible to as many people as possible. We do not pay for advertising, which helps us keep our costs down. People get to know us through word-of-mouth referrals. When people experience the profound life-changing results of our program, they naturally want to tell their friends and loved ones about OHI. This is truly the best form of advertising and spreading the word about OHI, and now we are rewarding you for helping us grow the OHI community.

     

    OHI’s New Referral Program

     

    • Refer 1 Person — $1000 off your next stay*
    • Refer 2 People — $1500 off your next stay*
    • Refer 3 People — FREE week in a Courtyard room (OHI San Diego) or King room (OHI Austin)*

     

    *Some restrictions may apply. See page 10 or call us for further details.

     

    Happy Birthday OHI

    September 19, 2022 marks 46 years of our tried and true body-mind-spirit healing program. In 1976, my parents, Bob and Pam Nees, along with Raychel Solomon focused on developing a program to detoxify, alkalize, nourish, and heal the body with a live, raw, plant-based food plan in a safe and sacred setting where people can become whole. Adopting the nutritional guidelines along with the mental, emotional, and spiritual practices are the core of OHI for Life’s Body-Mind-Spirit Program.

     

    Since 1976 we have helped hundreds of thousands of people. I sincerely thank you for your decades of support!

     

    Come to OHI for the Holidays

    Plan on celebrating the holidays at OHI this year, and enjoy this heartfelt time of year with like-minded people in our warm and welcoming community. We go all out with our decorations, lights, and music to make the season special. It’s quite magical! Make sure to book early!

     

    OHI, The Safest Place to be Outside of Your Home!

    We continue to make upgrades to both of our facilities. At both locations, our OHI for Life Wellness Rooms are outfitted with a Molekule air purifier and 100% organic cotton linens and towels (including fitted sheets). We also brought Covid-19 testing in-house. At OHI San Diego: every guest room has wood flooring, high-speed internet, black-out shades, our guest room bathrooms have been renovated, and 80% of our food is from local organic farms. At OHI Austin, we added new wood flooring and carpet to our exercise classroom. We hope you come to experience our OHI for Life Wellness Rooms – designed with your safety and comfort in mind.

     

    Call us to book your reservation today: (800) 588-0809. Or visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org.

     

    Here’s wishing you health and wellness in this fall season.

     

    Yours in prayer,

     

    Robert P. Nees, Jr.

    Senior Pastor and Chairman

    OHI San Diego and OHI Austin

  • Reflection

    The Practice of Reflection

    The practice of reflection involves actively analyzing your experiences and actions in order to help you improve and develop.  Let’s do a deep dive into the practice and the benefits of self-reflection!

    Types of reflection

    There are three types of reflection:

    1. Anticipatory reflection: Performed before an event occurs to help you prepare.
    2. Reflection-in-action: Surface reflection performed while an event is occurring to identify how you’re feeling in the moment.
    3. Reflection-on-action: Deep reflection performed after an event has occurred to decide what you should have done differently.

     

    If possible, use self-distancing in the reflection process to reduce your own bias:

    • Ask yourself what advice you would give someone else in the same situation.
    • Avoid first-person language when considering your performance (not “what could I have done differently”; ask “what could you have done differently”)
    • Visualize events from your perspective as well as the perspective of others.

     

    The benefits of reflection

    The more you learn about yourself, the easier it is to change and grow into the best version of yourself.  Here are just some of the many benefits:

    • A better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses
    • An improved understanding of the rationale behind your actions, learning why you do what you do
    • Clarification of the guidelines you use for decision-making
    • Improved metacognitive abilities in effectively analyzing your thoughts
    • Increased motivation to act and refocus on your goals

     

    How do you practice self-reflection?

    Self-reflection involves thinking about how you do things, trying to understand why you do what you do, and learning what you can do better.  The Gibbs reflective cycle is a 6-step process for guiding reflective practice:

    Description:  Describe what happened, without judgment or analysis.

    Feelings:  Describe how you felt, what you were thinking, and how you feel now.

    Evaluation:  Evaluate everything that happened, asking what went well/badly.

    Analysis:  Analyze the situation to try to make sense of everything that happened, and why you acted the way you did.

    Conclusion:  Draw general conclusions about how people act in certain situations, then move on to specific conclusions that pertain to your particular situation.

    Action Plan:  Figure out what you’re going to do differently next time based on everything you’ve learned.

     

    OHI makes the practice of reflection a priority

    At OHI, we believe that when you awaken the spirit within you, you can better cope with the ups and downs of life.  In the safe and sacred space at OHI, guests are able to nourish their spirit through reflection, prayer, and celebration.  We build personal time into the day to reflect on life and awaken the spirit.  Taking time to reflect on what resonates, and writing down what is important to you is a powerful way to influence change with faith, hope, and love.  Ask yourself:

    • What inspires me?
    • What gives me hope?
    • What gives me joy?
    • What touches my heart?
    • What heals my heart?
    • What are my goals?

    We also have several classes and activities that incorporate reflection:

     

    Focus 1 and 2:  The very essence of these two classes is to reflect on your purpose in life, your goals, your highest priorities, and your values.  You take the discoveries made through self-reflection, and use your OHI planner to help you focus on your time to help you achieve what matters most to you.

     

    “You” Validation:  Learn to find the friend in the mirror through active listening and self-reflection.  Participate in this loving class, where fellow guests share qualities they like about you.  Discover how giving and receiving validation are equally important.

     

    Release Ceremony:  What is working for you — thoughts, narrative, actions?  Through a little self-reflection, winnow out what’s NOT working for you, and burn a list of anything in the past that no longer serves you well.  Release it to God, so you can be present and set positive intentions for the future.

    Self-reflection takes an open heart and mind.  What it does not require is a critical eye.  This practice isn’t meant to criticize yourself.  It’s meant to help you see how your current choices impact your future outcomes, and to help you make progress on your journey to a happy, healthy, and loving future.  Here’s to seeing (and appreciating) the real YOU!

    Learn more about self-reflection at OHI San Diego and OHI Austin. Our caring team can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual goals for optimal health. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org , and call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.

  • Becoming Whole

    Becoming Whole

    Let’s take a deep dive into the concept of “becoming whole,” and learn how it can impact your life journey.

     

    What is “wholeness”?

    What does it mean to become whole?  To be whole is to feel worthy — it’s the feeling of fulfillment, harmony, unity, oneness, completion.  To be whole is to feel connected to you, to others, to the world, and to God.  Becoming whole is about accepting life on life’s terms.  When we strive to become whole, we open ourselves up to heal.

     

    Why do we “feel broken”?

    People feel broken after they have experienced trauma.  When you experience trauma, you can either process it or store it.  When you process trauma, you feel it, deal with it, and release it.  When you don’t know how to process trauma and pain, your mind goes into survival mode.  You think “out of sight, out of mind” is an efficient way to cope with unresolved trauma, so you stuff down the pain you are feeling and store the trauma. Stored trauma and negative thoughts always come back to haunt us.  It’s like an emotional balloon that gets bigger and bigger as you fill it with fear, shame, anger, and hopelessness, and eventually that balloon pops and you feel broken.  Stored trauma eventually turns into sadness, anxiety, and depression.

    People who are broken feel stuck.  Their nervous systems are trapped in chronic “fight or flight” survival mode.  Some people who feel broken numb their pain with food, drugs, or alcohol.  Others struggle in personal relationships.  Still others find themselves drifting through life, taking little interest in work or hobbies.  So how do you break the cycle of fragmentation, and work to become whole?

     

    The work to become whole

    Becoming whole is the process of digging deep into your stored trauma, dealing with the emotions and fallout from it, and releasing the trauma out of your body, out of your mind, and out of your heart and spirit.  When you’re whole, you accept yourself, you love yourself, and you look for meaning within yourself, within the things you do, within your own emotions and perspectives and opinions.

    Everyone’s journey to becoming whole is different.  Here are just a few techniques that might jumpstart your own healing journey:

     

    Mindfulness:  Stay present in the moment.  Practice gratitude.  Trust you are exactly where you are meant to be.

    Meditation:  Clear your mind.  Focus on your breath.  Let go of thoughts and worries as you just breathe.

    Prayer:  Prayer cultivates a deeper relationship with God.  Close your eyes, and contemplate God’s greatness.

    Counseling:  Do the inner healing work to truly process your trauma.  Get in touch with your emotions, and validate the impact that your life experiences have made on your psyche.  Talk it out.  Empower yourself to feel all of it.

    Enjoy Nature:  Engage all five senses, and experience the wonder of God.

    Spend Time Alone:  Break the bonds of codependency, and learn to appreciate your best friend — YOU!

     

    How does OHI help you on your journey to becoming whole?

    At OHI, we are very proud that our holistic program — which focuses on body, mind, and spirit — is truly holistic.  A lot of programs claim to be holistic, but mainly focus on the body (diet/exercise), or the mind (mindfulness), or a combination of body/mind.  But the OHI program focuses on ALL aspects of body, mind, and spirit:

     

    Body:  Cleanse and nourish the body with diet, fasting, and exercise

    Mind:  Quiet and focus the mind with journaling and meditation

    Spirit:  Renew and awaken the spirit with study, prayer, and celebration

     

    When all three elements of healing the body, mind, and spirit converge, that is where the individual is on the right path for them toward becoming whole.  Based on ancient spiritual disciplines, the OHI holistic healing program is designed to:

    • Inspire and motivate you to make healthy choices in life
    • Explore physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being
    • Integrate helpful tools and teachings in your daily life
    • Enable transformation so that you can achieve optimum health

     

    The journey to becoming whole involves inner healing work.  The first step on that path is when you commit to growing and evolving into a WHOLE you.  You are worth it!  May the journey bring you peace.

    At OHI, our entire program – including our classes, diet, and community fellowship – supports all dimensions of becoming whole. Remember, wholeness is a life-long pursuit.  Strive for balance, control what you can (diet, exercise, stress), and surround yourself with supportive care for the rest of it.  May the changes you make to your wellness habits change your life for the better! Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your

  • Values

    Why Personal Values are at the Heart of our Intentions

    Everyone talks about personal values, but what are they, why are they important, and how do you identify which ones have meaning for you?  Let’s get the conversation started…

     

    What are personal values and why are they important?

    Personal values are defined as fundamental beliefs that guide and motivate our attitudes and behaviors.  Values help determine what is important to us, helping us decide what we want to achieve and become.  Values are expressed through your thoughts, words, and behaviors.

    Recognizing your values can help you live life with more intention, and increase your integrity.  There are clear benefits to living in alignment with your values:

    • Clearer decision-making abilities
    • More motivation
    • Improved well-being
    • More reliability

     

    How do you identify your personal values?

    Here’s a 3-step guide to identifying your personal values, and putting them to work so you can be the best version of yourself.

     

    Step 1 — Ask “Who am I?”

    Look through the following list, and choose 10-15 values you think you live by.  Then share the list with family and friends, and ask them to pick the values they think best represent you.  Compare the lists, and that will give you a very realistic portrait of who you are.  That realistic portrait is the starting point of self-awareness and self-reinvention.

     

     

    Step 2:  Prioritize your value list

    Some values are more significant to us than others.  Prioritize your values, and you can then prioritize your primary and secondary behaviors.  Read your list often, and reinforce your identity to yourself.  If you like yourself and believe in your values, you’ll avoid sabotaging your own efforts to succeed.

    One way to change the direction of your life is to re-shuffle the order of the values in your list.  That re-prioritization will dictate the behaviors you should be focusing on.  For example, if your goal is to spend more time with your family, that value should be at the top of your list, and should guide you in the choices you make.

     

    Step 3:  Complete regular value audits

    As our life circumstances change, so may the things we consider most important to us.  Your value list can and should change over time.  Just recognize those changes, adjust your value priorities, and make sure your primary behaviors support those top values.

    At times you will even add new values to your list.  One way to find new values that are meaningful to you is to look at the people you respect and want to be like.  What principles do they live by?  Can you emulate them?  Whatever values you add to your core beliefs, make sure you wholly embody them.  Be courageous.  Let new life experiences prove to you that this is a value worthy of being at the top of your list.

     

    How does OHI focus on values?

    One of the most pivotal classes taught at OHI is our Focus 1 & 2 class.  Franklin-Covey helped design this class, and it’s based on the Franklin-Covey time management principles.  The intention of this class is to help you identify your core values, and define the goals that support these values so you can achieve what matters most to you.  With your values and goals clearly in view, it’s easier to stay focused on your highest priorities and experience greater success in achieving what you desire.  Your personal values are at the heart of your success.

    So at the end of the day, how do you live a life of value?  The secret is to plan the things that matter most to you into each day, and place those items as top priorities.  Think about what values you’d risk everything for — people you love, ideals you hold dear.  Keep laser focused on that list of core values, and your actions will follow.

    Learn how to identify your core values in our Focus class at OHI San Diego and OHI Austin. Our caring team can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual goals for optimal health. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org , and call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.

  • Self-Esteem

    Low Self-Esteem — There’s always room to build your self-esteem higher!

    Low self-esteem.  Everyone seems to have it, but what exactly is it?  Does it impact our health?  What are the signs of low self-esteem, and how can we improve our self-esteem?

    Let’s dive in!

     

    What is self-esteem, and how is it formed?

    Self-esteem is how we value and perceive ourselves.  It is based on our opinions and beliefs about ourselves — how you feel about your abilities and limitations.  When you have healthy self-esteem, you feel good about yourself, and see yourself as deserving the respect of others.  When you have low self-esteem you put little value on your opinions and ideas.

     

    Self-esteem forms in early childhood.  Relationships with those close to you — parents, siblings, friends, teachers, peers — and the messages you received from these people over time impact the beliefs you have about yourself.  If you received positive feedback and support from these people, you’re more likely to see yourself as worthwhile and have a healthy self-esteem.  If you were teased or received criticism from these people, you are more likely to struggle with poor self-esteem.

     

    Difficult or stressful life experiences can also impact your self-esteem:

    • Being bullied or abused
    • Experiencing prejudice or discrimination
    • Relationship problems (cheating, divorce)
    • Worries about your appearance and body image
    • Losing your job or difficulty finding employment
    • Physical or mental health problems

     

    How does self-esteem impact our health?

    Having low self-esteem isn’t a mental health problem itself, but it is closely linked to mental health issues.  Low self-esteem can lead to sadness, depression, anxiety, anger, shame, or guilt.  It can make you want to avoid social situations and stop trying new things.

     

    Low self-esteem may be linked to developing unhealthy habits like smoking or drinking, or possibly developing substance abuse to cope with sadness.  Fatigue is a side effect of poor self-esteem.  Dealing with heavy emotions can consume a person’s emotional energy, leaving them feeling physically drained.  There is a significant link between low self-esteem and eating disorders.  And people with low self-esteem are also at risk for body dysmorphic disorder which can elevate into suicidal or self-harming tendencies.

     

    What are the signs of low self-esteem?

    Low self-esteem can affect a person’s thoughts, emotions, and patterns of behavior.  Here are commons signs:

    • Lack of confidence
    • Lack of control
    • Negative social comparison
    • Problems asking for what you need
    • Worry and self-doubt
    • Trouble accepting positive feedback
    • Negative self-talk
    • Fear of failure
    • Poor outlook
    • Lack of boundaries
    • Trying to please others

     

    How can we improve our self-esteem?

    Past experiences and relationships don’t have to have control over your self-esteem.  Your own thoughts have the biggest impact, and are within your control.  The key to healthy self-esteem is to develop a balanced, accurate view of yourself, and to focus on your skills and assets.  Here are just a few tips on how you can build your self-esteem:

     

    • Stay physically active — exercise can improve your mood
    • Notice your thoughts and focus on positive thinking
    • Care for yourself, forgive yourself, and practice self-acceptance
    • Keep a gratitude journal
    • Volunteer to help others
    • Spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself
    • Celebrate your accomplishments, both big and small
    • Seek outside support from a therapist

     

    OHI understands the importance of good mental health, and focuses on building positive self-esteem as the foundation for self-acceptance.  Our entire curriculum centers on self-care, but guests find two of our sessions particularly impactful in addressing low self-esteem:

     

    OHI’s Self Esteem Class: In our Self Esteem class – learn how self-esteem is formed, how low self-esteem can impact health, and how to build self-esteem for personal growth.

     

    Release Ceremony:  Our weekly release ceremony encourages guests to let go of barriers to their health.  As soon as you let go of something, you make room for so much more in your life.  This ceremony celebrates the courage it takes to let go, and embrace the new path you are about to embark on.

     

    You Validation:  Sometimes it’s difficult to look in the mirror and acknowledge all the good in you when all you’re used to doing is focusing on faults.  When you participate in our You Validation class, we celebrate and affirm each person’s positive gifts.

     

    Make today the day you take an active role in building your self-esteem.  Start by embracing the person you are, warts and all.  You are a valuable human being with so much good to share with the world.  Start by seeing all the good in yourself.

     

    Learn more about self-esteem at OHI San Diego and OHI Austin. Our caring team can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual goals for optimal health. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org , and call us at  (800) 588-0809  to make your reservation.

  • The Art of Celebration

    In our busy lives, it seems we move from one accomplishment to the next to the next.  There is no pause for acknowledgement.  There is no pat on the back for success.

     

    Why are we so averse to slowing down and celebrating ourselves?  Celebrations can be positively life-affirming!  Here’s why celebrations are so important, and how you can more easily find those hidden moments of celebration in your everyday life.

     

    Why are celebrations important?

    Any celebration, big or small, is really about taking a beat to notice the good stuff in your life.  A celebration is actually important to your mental health, because it creates more meaning in your life:

    1. When you recognize what’s working well in one part of your life — your talents, abilities, skills, or persistence — you can replicate it in other parts of your life. Celebrating a “success mindset” motivates us to keep working toward our goals.
    2. Moments of celebration make us pause and be mindful, and that boosts our well-being. According to social psychology researcher, Fred Bryant, when we stop to celebrate the good stuff, we buffer ourselves against the bad, and that helps us build resilience.
    3. According to research led by Hadassah Littman-Ovadia, when we have something to look forward to that’s worth celebrating, we feel more optimistic. When we’re optimistic, we have a more positive mindset that permeates all aspects of our thinking.
    4. The process of “savoring” — noticing, appreciating, and celebrating positive experiences — increases feelings of self-worth and overall life satisfaction.

     

    Celebrate the moment in 3 simple steps

    Not every celebration needs to be marked with fireworks.  It’s easy to soak up the good vibes in every situation with these simple steps:

    1. Be on the look-out for “good”

    What is it that you are proud of?  What do you like about your life?  Don’t wait for someone else to tell you you did a great job.  Notice what gives you that little spring in your step.  It matters.

    1. Bookmark the moment in your memory

    Give that achievement, that satisfaction, that sacrifice, that milestone the spotlight it deserves.  Whatever you’re celebrating, set the moment apart by stepping out of your routine for just a few minutes to bookmark the moment in your memory.  It’s important.

    1. Take ACTION

    Even the smallest moments of happiness deserve a celebration.  So leap to your feet and make a toast, say a prayer, burst into song, hug yourself, or blow a kiss.  Bring the moment to life with a happy dance or high five that sends an explosion of dopamine to your brain.  You are worth it.

     

    How does OHI embrace “celebration”?

    If you hadn’t already guessed, OHI makes it a priority to practice celebration every day.  We invite guests to participate in celebrations that honor accomplishments, attributes, and talents in a safe environment of trust, honesty, laughter, and joy.  Rejoicing with others who are also on the journey towards optimum health makes every celebration that much more meaningful:

    Release Ceremony:  Our weekly release ceremony encourages guests to let go of barriers to their health.  As soon as you let go of something, you make room for so much more in your life.  This ceremony celebrates the courage it takes to let go, and embrace the new path you are about to embark on.

    Validation Group:  Sometimes it’s difficult to look in the mirror and acknowledge all the good in you when all you’re used to doing is focusing on faults.  When you’re part of our validation group, we celebrate and affirm each person’s positive gifts.  Hearing how others see you and value the whole you is quite a celebration, indeed.

    Inspirational Testimonials:  Time-and-again, guest say that sharing inspirational testimonials is one of the most life-affirming moments they have ever experienced.  In this sacred space, guests share details of their healing journey while at OHI.

     

    It can be easy to get caught up in the stresses of everyday life.  Taking time out to celebrate can be an important way to build connection, remind ourselves why we do what we do, and generate hope.  Every celebratory moment you discover cultivates a positive mindset, and suddenly it’s easy to see the good that exists all around you!

     

    At OHI, our entire program – including our classes, diet, and community fellowship – supports all dimensions of wellness. Remember, wellness is a life-long pursuit.  Strive for balance, control what you can (diet, exercise, stress), and surround yourself with supportive care for the rest of it.  May the changes you make to your wellness habits change your life for the better! Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.

  • Staff Spotlight: Meet Long-Time OHI Staff Member, Bertha Acevedo

    Bertha Acevedo has worked at OHI for more than half of her adult life.  WOW!  A 17-year veteran of OHI, Bertha first joined the staff on June 2005.  Prior to joining OHI, she worked in the hospitality field in a 600-room hotel.  “I liked helping people,” said Bertha, “but I felt like there was something missing.  When an opening became available at OHI, I jumped at it.  I wanted to learn more about holistic healing.”

    Bertha has filled many roles at OHI, and is currently a Community Care Manager.   “I work in various departments, such as the front desk, the Optimum Health Store, and the contact center,” said Bertha.  “After 17 years here, I’m a bit of a jack of all trades.  The one thing that hasn’t changed over the years is what I learned on the first day — EAT CLEAN.  I quickly introduced 80% fruits and vegetables into my diet, and I have felt better ever since.  I am grateful for the self-healing my body is now capable of.”

    Bertha seamlessly fit in with the guest service aspect of her position at OHI.  “I strive to accommodate every guest’s needs,” said Bertha.  “It is my honor to witness their wonderful transformations by the end of their stay.  I attend the circles and the release ceremony, where everyone really allows themselves to be open and vulnerable.  It is a beautiful, emotional moment that is unique to each person, but also surprisingly universal.  I have seen time and again that humans are all just trying their best, and if we validate them and support their efforts, it magnifies the growth they are able to achieve.  It’s so life-affirming.”

    Over the last 17 years, Bertha has attended every class on the OHI roster, but she does have her favorites.  “The two classes that have had the most impact on me are Emotional Detox and Self-Esteem,” said Bertha.  “The emotional-detox class teaches you how to feel, process, and understand the important role your emotions play in creating and maintaining health and well-being.  It all boils down to the healing power of forgiveness.  And the self-esteem class really digs into how self-esteem is formed, how low self-esteem can impact health, and how to build self-esteem for personal growth.  Both of those classes are so powerful for me.  It really helped build my confidence.”

    Working as part of the staff at OHI is a gift that comes with responsibility.  “I have discovered that my purpose in life is to help people heal,” said Bertha.  “Of course, I’m always helpful as part of the team working at the front desk and store.  But I have also been included in private moments where I prayed with guests.  Some have come back to share how they felt calm and peaceful after praying with me.  That is so meaningful for me.  I really do try to incorporate prayer, positive mental attitude, patience, and purpose into everything I do here.  It’s rewarding to know it’s been helpful for someone.”

    At OHI, guests are encouraged to practice a daily celebration to keep growing as a human being and make themselves more present.  “My daily celebration of choice is listening to motivational speakers,” said Bertha.  “Some speakers help me learn life skills.  And other speakers motivate me to become more connected to God.  Over the years I have learned to trust Him more, and I have come to use prayer to help me heal or unwind if I’m feeling stressed.  I also find great peace listening to guided meditations.  Just as healthy food nourishes my body, prayer and meditation help me to stay grounded and present.  I had a really wonderful spiritual upbringing that carries through my life to this day, and I can thank my mother for that.”

    Bertha has been indispensable to OHI over the last 17 years, and after all this time she has some really beautiful advice for guests. “Read The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz,” said Bertha. “The book reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements offers a powerful code of conduct that can transform your life, so you are open to embracing freedom, happiness, and love. The four agreements are so simple, yet so powerful: 1) Be impeccable with your word. 2) Don’t take anything personally. 3) Don’t make assumptions. 4) Always do your best. It all boils down to being honest, forgiving, non-judgmental, and hardworking. You think you are already doing those things, but until you really examine your life, you might be falling short. When you come to OHI, you’ll get the time and the space to really examine your life. Come to OHI. The journey to a better you is so rewarding.”

    Optimum Health Institute is here for you! We will motivate you to stick with your commitment to health and discover new ways to empower yourself. Explore the holistic healing program offered at OHI. This program offers three week-long sessions, where you will learn to cleanse the body, quiet the mind, and awaken the spirit.

    Call OHI at (800) 588-0809 or visit www.OptimumHealth.org today for more information.

  • Missionary Spotlight: Get to Know OHI Missionary, Dr. Olga Zabora


    Dr. Olga Zabora’s life moved toward a vegan lifestyle after she first came to OHI.  “My friend spoke so highly of OHI,” said Olga, “so I decided to check out their detox program.  I had gone through five different detox programs prior to finding OHI — water fasting, keto, herbal, Ayurvedic, and microcellular detox.  The OHI detox program is amazing.  I fell in love with the plant-based lifestyle, and went on to write a book to inspire others to embrace raw vegan diet.  Eating vegan can be tasty, juicy, and full of life.  I would never have predicted this journey for myself, and I love it!”

    Olga holds a Doctorate Degree in Clinical Psychology, and is a Certified Master NLP Coach and NLP Trainer.  “My passion lies in helping women to become aware of their own resources by bringing up the best parts of themselves to guide them gently through their conscious transformation into the best and happiest versions of themselves,” said Olga.  “It is possible to change with genuine desire, commitment, and courage.  I came to OHI, and it changed me for the better!”

    When Olga first came to OHI, she had joint pain and inflammation.  “After just one week, my joint pain was gone, and I was seven pounds lighter.  I realized that I needed to learn how to prepare foods properly to bring the OHI program home with me.  I gave my kitchen a makeover, setting up a juicer, blender, dehydrator, etc.  I came back to OHI for a week to focus on learning how to sprout and ferment foods.  I have so much more energy after eating clean.  I never had to turn to coffee, which previously was a MUST for me.  I came back to OHI for a third week to expand my experience with the art of dehydrating foods.  That’s when I decided that I needed to apply to become a missionary.  The more time I spent at OHI, the more I learned.  Plus, the energy here made me feel safe, supported, and welcomed.  This campus is like the hidden gem of San Diego!”

    So what made Olga choose to participate in the OHI Missionary Program?  “The missionary program gives you the time and space to serve the community as well as yourself,” said Olga.  “As a missionary you are there to guide other guests, share your wisdom and experience, and help them on their healing journey.  It creates this beautiful interconnected family at OHI.  But serving as a missionary also gives you time to really dig into the vegan lifestyle, creating a deeper connection to yourself, your body, and your mind.  Living at OHI for three months as a missionary also allows your body to regularly experience healing modalities like energy healing sessions, massage, organic food, and anti-inflammatory food for an extended period of time.  I had such a great experience as a missionary, that the next year I applied to come back again.  In my opinion, OHI is the best place to de-stress, connect with likeminded individuals, and meet your tribe.  It’s truly a blessing to be a missionary here.”

    Many who have been a part of the OHI Missionary Program say it has forever changed them.  “The missionary program gave me the opportunity to heal deeply inside,” said Olga.  “Being part of this tribe, and witnessing other guests’ healing miracles every Friday during testimonials is so inspiring.  I hope my testimonials have inspired others, as well.  Being a missionary allowed me to connect to my true self, and in return I’ve helped others learn to accept and love themselves.  It’s a magical experience.”

    Olga really loves the fact that OHI’s classes are always being updated and expanded with new information and new recipes. “All of the classes are great, but the class that truly changed my life is Pray, Eat, Live. It inspired me to continue this lifestyle, and share my love for raw vegan healthy food with others.”

    Olga’s two placements in the OHI Missionary Program have given her the space needed for personal growth as well. “The biggest challenge that I overcame was to stop trying to control and start trusting the process of life. When you truly trust, the life flow takes you to the right place, at the right time, with the right people. In psychotherapy we say, ‘You can’t lead your client further than where you have not been yourself.’ So the further I travel in my personal growth and development, the more I’m present for my clients to help create positive changes and transformation. I think the best advice I have for others is to eat healthy, pray every day, and look deep inside through contemplative practices like meditation, prayer, and reflection. And of course, come to OHI to connect to your authentic self. Wishing everyone deep healing on your life journey!”

    Optimum Health Institute is here for you! We will motivate you to stick with your commitment to health and discover new ways to empower yourself. Explore the holistic healing program offered at OHI. This program offers three week-long sessions, where you will learn to cleanse the body, quiet the mind and awaken the spirit. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, and call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your reservation.

  • Scholarship Recipient Faces a Health Challenge with Positivity

    Marcella Rodriguez had always been relatively healthy, and rarely went to the doctor.  “I never got sick,” said Marcella.  “I was an actress and model, and always took care of my body through exercise and good nutrition.”

    In November 2019, Marcella found a small hemorrhoid, but ignored it.  Eventually, she started bleeding from her rectum.  In August 2021 she went in for an endoscopy and colonoscopy, and they found a 4-inch tumor on her rectum.  “It was the same anal cancer that Farrah Fawcett had,” said Marcella.  “It was the shock of my life.”

    Marcella endured four chemo treatments, and saw her white blood cell counts drop from 6.8 to 1.6.  Her doctors lowered her chemo dose by 25%, and she managed to tolerate four more chemo treatments and 30 days of radiation.  She slowly recovered over the winter, but by spring her cancer had returned.  “I met with six specialists trying to find a doctor that would give me options, not just the same toxic chemo,” said Marcella. In December 2021 she went in for more surgery, and found the cancer had spread from her rectum to her vagina.

    “My friend, Lourdes, faced Stage 4 Lymphoma,” said Marcella, “and she battled back by going to OHI.  I thought to myself, ‘How can fruits and vegetables help me fight cancer?’, but I knew I couldn’t endure more of these toxic cancer treatments.  So I reached out to them.  They reviewed my medical situation, and offered me a scholarship.  I arrived on Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022.”

    Marcella found the first two weeks empowering.  “My energy was great, and my mental clarity returned,” said Marcella.  “The third week of detox was hard, but I used the time for rest and reflection.  I feel like my health journey is just beginning here!”

    Marcella is so grateful to the amazing OHI staff.  “Everyone here is so loving and supportive,” said Marcella.  “Whether you want to recharge your body, mind, and spirit, or whether you’re facing an overwhelming health opportunity like me, OHI will completely change your life.  This scholarship has truly saved me.”

    Please consider contributing to the OHI Scholarship Fund to help those in need experience the benefits of the OHI program. Over the course of our 45 years, OHI has provided scholarships to individuals who could not afford to otherwise attend. In most years, we have been able to fulfill all requests for assistance through the generosity of our community. OHI invites you to join us in celebrating our healing mission with a tax-deductible gift. Your contribution will help to make our community stronger, healthier, and more vibrant.

    Provide the Gift of Healing today by supporting the OHI Scholarship Fund with a tax-deductible:
    • One-Time Donation, or
    • Sustainable Monthly Contribution

    Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org, or call us at (800) 588-0809 to make your contribution.

    Thank you for your generosity!

    Optimum Health Institute is a non-profit, religious organization. Your donation is tax-deductible.