• Meet Eva Loseth, a “Frequent Flyer” at OHI!

    Eva Loseth is a true Chicagoan at heart, but she sure does love the warm embrace of the California sun. “I grew up in Chicago,” said Eva, “but after college I put down roots in California for 15 years. I love California’s sun, healthy produce, canyons, and their beautiful beaches. I’ve been happily back in Chicago for a decade now, but going back to OHI San Diego is a trip I always look forward to.”

    Eva is a “frequent flyer” at OHI, having been a guest at the San Diego campus approximately 10 times. “I first went to OHI in 2001 at the suggestion of a friend,” said Eva. “After all of this time, OHI has become a vital sanctuary to me. Each time I go back I discover a new perspective on something that helps build my toolset for healthy living.”

    Eva usually stays at OHI for 1 or 2 weeks at a time, but for her most recent stay she set aside a full 4 weeks. “My mother suffered a catastrophic stroke in August, and I spent eight nights in the ICU by her side,” said Eva. “I was holding her hand as she passed away, and the grief I felt was deeply profound. My heart was broken in a thousand pieces, and I knew I needed to process my grief in a loving, nurturing environment. As soon as I could safely get on a plane I went to OHI.”

    Eva’s daily OHI routine keeps her active while still giving her time alone to be reflective. “I like starting my day with the morning exercise class,” said Eva. “The movement gets me out of my head, and into a place where I can focus on the strength and resilience of my body. If my body stays strong, then I know my heart, mind, and spirit will follow. After exercise class, I attend the daily Breakfast Circle, which helps jumpstart my day with a thoughtful meditation.”

    Eva takes as many classes as she can whenever she visits OHI. “The You Validation class and the Mental Detox class are wonderful, especially for first-time guests,” said Eva. “It’s very important to learn how to cancel negative thinking. Attending the Release Ceremony is always so beautiful and moving for me. And the Eat, Pray, Live class has great ideas for jazzing up my food once I go home.”

    Eva thinks that no matter the reason for your visit, the success of your journey is dependent upon one thing. “When you come to OHI, come with an open mind, an open heart, and a willingness to put in the work on yourself,” Eva said. “Every guest that walks through those doors has a different set of challenges and opportunities, but we all want to be the best of version of ourselves that we can be. So my advice is to spend your time at OHI focusing on the journey. Take the classes. Write in a gratitude journal. Eat the food. Go for a walk, and immerse yourself in nature. You will come out of your stay a different person. 2020 was the most difficult year of my life, and losing my beautiful dear mother is the greatest challenge I have yet to face. Taking the time to heal my heart is absolutely vital to my ongoing health, and I know my mom would want me to grieve in a way that leads me to grow as a human being.”

    “ I am so grateful that OHI is here as a meaningful, holistic refuge whenever I need it.”

    In these uncertain times, look to OHI as your safe haven. As we celebrate 44 years of holistic healing, we can teach you how achieve your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual goals for optimal health. Stay safe, and be well. Above all, embrace positivity!

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

  • Welcoming a New Year in a New Abnormal World

    Here is a warm and hearty New Year greeting to our OHI community. As we enter into the new year, we would typically be looking forward to a fresh new year with a bright new future. But instead, we find ourselves striving for a return to normalcy.

    Most of us will likely remember 2020 as the year Covid19 descended upon us and profoundly changed the way we live and relate to one another. Almost one year later, we are living in an era of anxiety, fear and a future marked by uncertainty. We are told this is the new normal, however, there is nothing normal about the world’s current state. Staying safe in this new world, requires heightened vigilance and sharp awareness as situations arise. It is in this context I want to address the concept of Situational Awareness. But first allow me to set the stage…

    “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.” Judges 17:6

    I first learned about the book of Judges in my youth from my Sunday school instructor. The book of Judges, from the Old Testament, examined the human condition as it spiraled downward into moral corruption. This part of Jewish history spanned 325 years and was marked by a cycle of sin, oppression, repentance, deliverance, then peace… only to repeat the cycle. With each cycle, Israel’s leadership (the Judges) grew more corrupt until Israel as a whole fell into self-destruction. The stories within the book of Judges, although deeply dark and disturbing, are meant as a cautionary tale and to generate hope. The descent into self-destruction occurred when the people of Israel turned away from God. And the stories effectively point out the need for God’s grace and for situational awareness.

    The characteristics of that period – turmoil, disunity, hardship – are similar to today’s conditions. So let’s explore the concept of Situational Awareness and how to apply it to our current time.

    What is Situational Awareness?

    Situational Awareness (SA) is about noticing anomalies and determining what is likely to happen next. If you see something that is odd or abnormal, that is when you want to start analyzing the setting and then deciding how to respond. Develop a habit of noticing peculiarities or deviations from the norm. Sometimes it’s just a feeling; oftentimes your subconscious will notice something – that is your intuition speaking to you – trust your gut.

    SA is considered an important aid to decision-making especially when it comes to protecting human life and property. Lack of SA can lead to accidents or in the case of health – illness. It is in the area of health that OHI can help.

    Using Situational Awareness in a Covid19 World

    When you must go out, it pays to be attentive to sanitation and hygiene. Are the facilities of companies that you visit mindful of the pandemic? Are they maintaining cleanliness? Are they monitoring staff and customers for compliance with health protective behavior such as mask-wearing and social distancing?

    Here at OHI, we use situational awareness to inform our decisions in providing our guests with a sanitary and healthy environment. More on this later, but we are so proud of this accomplishment that we are now saying that OHI is the safest place you can be outside of your own home.

    “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7

    Today’s brave new abnormal has created a divergent paradigm in which we now have to live. It requires us to maintain an alert mindset because the Coronavirus, like the flu virus, could mutate and the vaccine will likely not be widely available until this Spring. The best defense is to be prepared for unexpected exposure to viruses, bacteria, and toxins. And the best way to do that is to practice self-care, to routinely work on improving and maintaining your health and well-being. Developing and boosting your immune system, taking vitamin D, washing your hands often, and wearing a mask in public settings are ways that can serve you in the event of an unexpected exposure. Here at OHI, we provide a complete program that focuses on wellness for the body, mind, and spirit. From diet to cleansing, you’ll learn self-care techniques that you can use for a lifetime.

    Our busy fast-paced lifestyle makes it challenging for us to find time for self-care, and this especially impacts women. Women have traditionally been caretakers, and as much as our modern world strives for equality, this hasn’t changed all that much; instead it has increased the demands on working women. This makes it challenging for women to find time for self-care.

    Self-Care is Vitally Important in The New Year

    When we have people relying on us – co-workers, customers, family, and friends – we can’t afford to get sick. All of which makes self-care essential.

    The English language is full of idioms that warn us not to overdo things: “You’re… biting off more than you can chew… spreading yourself too thin… burning a candle at both ends… running yourself into the ground… working like a dog… overtaxing yourself… pushing yourself too hard… working your fingers to the bone… wearing yourself out.”

    The risk of failing to take time for self-care is that you can become stressed, irritable, angry, frustrated, and depressed. In short you can burn out, and become sick. The remedy is to develop a routine of taking care of you. Self-care doesn’t just happen; you have to actively plan it into your day. You should schedule it, write it in your calendar, and announce it to your friends and family to insure your commitment. Reserve self-care time then guard it.

    A mistaken notion is that taking care of your self is selfish. It is not. Sometimes you simply have to say, “No.” You can’t satisfy everyone’s needs; you have to set limits. When you know how to take care of your needs, and do so, you are better prepared to take care of others. Remember: practicing self-care is practicing self love!

    Self-care enables you to perform at your best and become more productive. When you reduce your stress, you relax and feel good, which in turn improves your self-esteem and makes you resilient. When you develop awareness of your personal needs and meet them, you will become well rested and energized. Now you will have clarity and sense of purpose, as well as knowing what has to be accomplished.

    The Good News is Self-Care Doesn’t Have to Take a Lot of Time

    There are many ways in which we can give ourselves the self-care we need. Start with only those things that must be done today. Identify your top priorities, and then stop over committing yourself. Don’t get caught up in perfectionism, it is okay to take imperfect action. An easy method is to give yourself extra time in the morning, so you don’t start your day off rushed. Get up a smidge earlier for a little “me time”. Another great place to start is by identifying and addressing your basic needs; make sure they are being met before you start helping someone else. Like the flight attendant says, “Put your oxygen mask on first before helping others.” Take some time to feel your feelings; too often we try to ignore this important aspect of our emotional system.

    Getting organized is a big way to take care of yourself. De-clutter your space (home and office) and your time by eliminating stuff you don’t use and activities that waste your time (social media is an example). You might even consider making a Stop-Doing or NO list to help you remember.

    “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

    Here at OHI, we’ll show you many ways in which to practice self-care. You’ll learn about feeding yourself the right foods for good nutrition and health. Our Stretch and Alpha classes will show you how to focus, strengthen, relax, and gain clarity. You’ll find solitude where you can spend time in prayer, quieting your mind, contemplation, reflection, and practicing gratitude. You will also learn how to release the past and things that no longer serve you. Best of all, you’ll develop your own community of like-minded individuals with whom you’ll form a lifelong connection. Maintaining your OHI connections will provide you with a sounding board and support group of people who understand your particular self-care needs better than anyone else.

    At OHI Your Safety is Our Primary Interest

    As I mentioned above OHI is the safest place you can be outside of your own home. In essence, OHI has created a safety bubble for our community. We have taken every conceivable precaution to provide a safe and sacred environment. Back in March, we established a safety plan that follows CDC protocols and involves three major pillars: preventing infectious diseases from entering the OHI campus; sterilizing the campus, guest rooms, and public areas to reduce the likelihood of disease transmission; and conducting ongoing temperature checks and Covid-19 testing for our employees.

    Our safety measure include: 1) Pre-screening our guests at the time they book their reservation, before they arrive on our campus, and upon arrival to ensure they are symptom-free. 2) Covid-19 testing for our employees on a bi-weekly basis. 3) We installed special oxidizing Molekule air purifiers in all of our guest rooms and common areas. 4) We use electrostatic spray disinfection systems, and only safe, non-chemical cleaners. 5) We have smaller cohorts of guests on campus, including guests, staff and missionaries. OHI San Diego is limited to 60 program attendees on our 2-acre campus; OHI Austin is limited to 20 program attendees on our 14-acre campus.

    Additionally, we updated our guest rooms – we call them the OHI for Life Wellness Rooms. Our wellness rooms feature organic cotton bedding, and wood flooring instead of carpet. They are cleaned with natural products.

    We are open and optimistic about the future! You don’t have to wait for the pandemic to be over to visit us here at OHI. Come develop your personal self-care program for this new year.

    Wishing you health and wellness in this blessed New Year.

    Yours in prayer,

    Robert P. Nees, Jr.,

    Senior Pastor and Chairman

    Optimum Health Institute of San Diego and Austin

    At Optimum Health Institute, you will learn the value, benefits and tools for self-care so you can perform at your best and become more productive in 2021. During your visit, our caring team can help you achieve your physical, mental, 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.

  • Set Your Vision for 2021

    The New Year is here, and it is a time for renewal. With this new year comes new possibilities, unknown opportunities, and exciting new prospects. It’s a fresh start with boundless potential. Which means it’s the perfect time to check in with ourselves, discover what we truly want out of life, and set a vision for the future. But sometimes that’s easier said than done.

    What is a “vision” exactly?

    Much more than a set of goals, or a New Year’s resolution, a vision is an overarching and all-encompassing conceptualization of your ideal self and ideal life.

    Vision vs. Goals

    Vision – Your vision is like your mission statement. It’s a ‘big picture’ idea of how you want your life to look. Your vision could be greater health, more financial abundance, stronger relationships with your family and loved ones, or just more joy and love in general.

    Goals – It might help to think of goals as smaller, more easily digestible pieces of your overall vision. Goals are clearly defined targets that exist within your greater vision and guide you closer to your ideal life.

    For instance, if your vision includes improving your health, your first goal might be to lose 5lbs., quit smoking, or change your diet. If your vision includes greater wealth, you might set a goal to pay off that credit card debt, or start your own business. If your vision includes improving your relationships, your goals might include forgiving an old grievance, or simply communicating more with those you care about.

    How to Set Your Vision

    When people leave OHI, one of the most valuable things we want them to take away from their experience is a renewed and strengthened vision for their lives. This happens in a variety of different ways. Here are three steps you can take:

    1. Meditation – A cluttered mind is perhaps the primary obstacle to overcome when crafting a solid vision for yourself. Holding and sticking to your vision requires focus.

    That’s why meditation is such a crucial part of the OHI experience. Consistent meditation helps to release pain and pent-up tension, and helps you to tap into your sub-consciousness by clearing away the muck and frustration that builds up over time.

    2. Acceptance – The many physical, emotional and mental struggles we encounter in life can sometimes hamper our ability to stay positive. But, through consistent practice, and purposeful dedication to self-acceptance, you can learn to maintain the positive mental attitude needed to push toward your vision for a healthier happier you.

    3. Visualization – One of the ways we try to bring our visions to life at OHI is with our vision board class. This gives guests the opportunity to tap into their creativity by building physical representations of their overall visions. By combining images and photographs with words and phrases that connect our visions to concrete things in the real world, we charge our visions with feelings of passion, and begin to attract those things into our lives.

    An OHI retreat can be an eye-opening first step toward making your vision a reality, but that’s not to say you shouldn’t get started on your own. The important thing to remember is to clear your mind, focus on a positive mental attitude and set your vision before setting your goals, because if your goals don’t serve a greater purpose, you are much less likely to achieve them.

    There’s no better way to start off the New Year than by taking time for yourself to create a clear vision for the life you want to lead in 2021. A retreat to OHI’s holistic health missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas allow you to step back from the stresses of daily life and re-focus on what is important to you.

    During your visit, our caring team can help you achieve your physical, mental, 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.

  • Claim Your Healing Transformation

    A brand-new year is only a few days away, and a new year offers an opportunity to make positive life changes. There is no better time to commit to a healthier, happier, more peaceful you.

    We aren’t talking about the usual New Year’s resolutions that people often make year after year … and then promptly break. Whether it’s losing weight, exercising regularly, or vowing not to get stressed so often, surveys have shown that fewer than 10 percent of people actually stick to their resolutions. And a common reason for that is, they don’t have a clearly defined plan to accomplish their goals.

    If that sounds familiar to you, we at Optimum Health Institute can help … because we already have that plan in place.

    In a safe space of encouragement and respect, OHI’s caring team supports guests by first inspiring and motivating them to make healthier choices in their lives. For many, it’s their first experience eating a completely raw, live, organic plant-basedvegan diet, or coming together with like-minded others in spiritual fellowship.

    People learn exactly how factors such as stress, anger, a sedentary lifestyle, and poor diet take a toll on their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. They also learn how to substitute healthier, more beneficial choices that lead to permanent positive change.

    Through in-depth classes and group exercises, guests are encouraged to explore healthy new ways of eating, moving, thinking, and being. Quiet time to meditate, reflect, and integrate all the positive and life-changing information is scheduled into each day.

    Healthy transformation takes place over a period of 21 days, with the option of doing the entire program at once, or a week at a time as the guests’ schedules allow.

    The focus during the first week is on the holistic body, mind, and spirit connection. To truly be healthy, all three components of a person must be in balance. For instance, a body revved up on sugar makes it difficult for the mind to focus clearly. Detoxifying the body includes a three-day juice fast.

    During the second week, guests receive the tools they need to help make healthier choices in all aspects of their lives. Learning how to create nutrient-packed sprouts and fermented foods, planning healthy menus, and experiencing the rejuvenating impact of conscious breathing all help guests make smarter and healthier lifestyle choices.

    For the final week at OHI, guests learn how to continue to follow the program when they return home. Everything from the best knives for chopping vegetables to the most effective appliances for juicing and blending to how to get the entire family on board are shared during the third week.

    Tying together all three weeks are the core classes and activities, like circle time before all meals, daily wheatgrass juicing, gentle exercise to start the day, and a release ceremony, where guests can burn a list of anything from the past that no longer serves them. A closing class provides guests with a helpful review of information and tips for achieving and maintaining optimum health.

    Friday morning testimonials are an opportunity to share inspirational stories of healing. Then, it’s a celebration of fellowship and laughter for Friday Night Live, when guests and members of the enthusiastic OHI team entertain with songs, a skit, or other talents. Saturday evening is movie night, where friends old and new gather to enjoy an inspirational film.

    With a brand-new year upon us, you can experience for yourself why thousands call OHI’s healing lifestyle program “transformational.” Our caring teams at Optimum Health Institute in San Diego and Austin, Texas, can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual goals for optimal health. Consider it an opportunity to claim your personal healing transformation.

    During your visit, our caring team can help you achieve your physical, mental, 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.

  • How to Have a Joyful Holiday

    During the winter holidays, many people experience a mixture of emotions. They may yearn to focus on the true meaning of the holidays, and resolve that this year they will keep things simple and uncomplicated. But as strong as their resolve may be, they often find themselves pulled in too many different directions, spending too much money on gifts, and feeling stressed much of the time.

    In an article titled, “The Real Meaning of the Holidays,” spiritual advisor Sanjeev Verma writes: “Though this time of year is especially festive, it can also bring up stress, conflict, and financial struggles for many people. Whether it’s apprehension of tense family gatherings or anxiety over not purchasing the right presents, it’s not uncommon to feel a sense of burden when contemplating the holidays and what they signify.”

    The reality is, it’s difficult to remain unaffected by the pervasive commercialism of the holidays. It can cause us to lose focus and challenges our mindfulness. We are barraged by advertising, including images that make us wistful for the magical days of our youth. At the same time, anticipation and hope can increase our sense of stress … when all we really want is to gather together and experience the love and joy of friends and family.

    Many of us find ourselves saying, “I’m just not ready for the holidays.” This year when you find that thought surfacing, replace it with one of these: “This holiday season I give myself permission to do what brings me the greatest pleasure,” or “Divine guidance makes everything around me align perfectly for a pleasant holiday season.” The idea is to take a moment and set your intentions for the holidays now, so that you can relax and enjoy them. That way, you will feel centered, calm, and balanced throughout the weeks ahead.

    It’s perfectly okay to feel the feelings we get this time of year—as long as they inspire us and bring us joy. But when they create depression or anxiety, it’s time to move back into the present. Remember, you have the power to choose how you spend your holidays. You should feel free to take time for yourself, to reset your system, and allow yourself to fully relax.

    A great way to do that is to take a holistic holiday here at Optimum Health Institute. You will enjoy the love and support of your friends and family in the OHI community. You’ll be surrounding yourself with people who treat you well and won’t judge you. You’ll spend your holidays with those who approve of you, and encourage you.

    Whether you observe Christmas, Hanukkah, or simply the giving spirit of the season, commemorate it at OHI. Here is the perfect environment to rediscover the place within you that is peaceful and harmonious. Even better, share your experience with a friend. When you give the gift of healing body, mind, and spirit, you show your friends how much you really care.

    Then, we invite you to join us again for New Years week. At OHI, you will learn to create more balance in your life every day … what an amazing way to kick off a brand-new year. And if you like to make resolutions, you will find the support you need from people who will help you keep those resolutions.

    Spend some time at OHI during the holidays. You’ll create holidays to remember—holistic holidays of health and happiness. And when you think about stress? You’ll be thinking about something from the past, not the present.

    We at OHI wish for you a happy, healthy, loving, and peaceful holiday season.

    During your visit, our caring team can help you achieve your physical, mental, 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.

  • OHI Program Tip: Difficult Emotions, Part 2

    In last week’s article, we talked about the difference between emotions and feelings and gave you steps 1 and 2 for mindfully dealing with difficult emotions. This week, we share steps 3-6. Here is part 2 of our 2-part series…

    To refresh your memory of the first two steps:

    Step 1: Turn toward the bodily reactions to emotions with ACCEPTANCE.

    Step 2: IDENTIFY AND LABEL the emotion.

    Step 3: ACCEPT your emotions.

    Acknowledge and accept that an emotion is there, and your body’s reaction to it. If a friend or loved one was having a hard time, you wouldn’t shame them about it. You need to show that same kindness to yourself, and say “I did the best I could.” This difficult emotional response will not last forever. Once you accept the emotion and treat yourself with compassion, you should feel some of the tension leave your body as you calm and soothe yourself.

    Step 4: Realize the IMPERMANENCE of your emotions.

    Even if your body’s response to the emotion feels overwhelming, remember that it will pass. Opening yourself up to your body’s response grants your mind and spirit permission to work through your feelings toward that emotion, and makes the whole event more fleeting/ less permanent. The reality is that every emotion and your feelings about it are impermanent, but that’s easy to forget when you’re in the midst of a crisis.

    Step 5: Inquire and INVESTIGATE.

    After you have soothed yourself from the physical impact of your emotion, take a moment to explore your feelings about it. Perhaps you had a hard day at work or difficulty dealing with your family. Maybe you feel unappreciated, lonely, or disconnected. Investigating the root cause of your difficult emotions and the associated feelings will help you gain insight into what you are experiencing. To begin the investigation, ask yourself these questions:

    • What triggered me?
    • Why do I feel this way?
    • Was this event a result of my critical mind, or is it in reaction to something external?
    • What were your expectations surrounding the situation?
    • Is this a pattern that keeps repeating itself?

    Step 6: LET GO of the need to control.

    The key to mindfully dealing with your difficult emotions and their ensuing feelings is to let go of your need to control them. Step outside yourself, and really listen to what your heart has to say about the situation.

    Mindfully dealing with your emotions and their connected feelings takes time. Be patient with yourself. OHI shares many transformative classes and tools with guests to help them manage and process difficult emotions.

    In these uncertain times, look to OHI as your safe haven. As we celebrate 44 years of holistic healing, we can teach you how to process difficult emotions and complicated feelings just as we can teach you how to achieve your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual goals for optimal health. Stay safe, and be well. Above all, embrace positivity!

    At Optimum Health Institute, we teach you all about detoxifying emotions. Learn how to feel, process, and understand the important role your emotions play in creating and maintaining health and well-being. Discover the healing power of forgiveness.
    During your visit, our caring team can help you achieve your physical, mental, 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.

  • OHI Program Tip: Difficult Emotions, Part 1

    Difficult Emotions And Their Complicated Feelings (Anger is the bugaboo we all struggle with…)

    While some people use the terms “emotions” and “feelings” interchangeably, there is a distinct difference. “Emotions” are associated with bodily reactions that are activated through neurotransmitters and hormones released by the brain. “Feelings” are the conscious experience of emotional reactions.

    We identified the topic for this blog well before the current pandemic, but it certainly seems timely as we deal with quarantine worries, working from home stress, distance learning challenges for our kids, and just overall sadness resulting from social isolation. So how do we go about physically coping with difficult emotions, and productively dealing with the range of feelings they can elicit?

    No matter the emotion — anger, depression, confusion, sadness — EVERY emotion is valid. Anger is a tough one for women because we’re taught that anger is unbecoming a woman, and we should just “be nice”.

    Stop! You are entitled to your complicated feelings about a polarizing emotion like anger. So how do you work through uncomfortable feelings, and come out the other side positive and affirmed? The key is non-reactivity and mindfulness.

    There are 6 steps to mindfully deal with difficult emotions and complicated feelings…

    Step 1: Turn toward the bodily reactions to emotions with ACCEPTANCE.

    First, identify where you sense tension in your body. You may feel it as a stomach ache, a tightening of your throat, or the pounding of your heart. Next, try to name the emotion you are feeling that is connected with this tension. Don’t push the emotion away. Stuffing it down will only cause it to bubble up and explode in different ways later. Listen to your body, and the difficult emotion it is trying to make you aware of. It is trying to help you wake up to what is going on before a major crisis occurs.

    Step 2: IDENTIFY AND LABEL the emotion.

    Try to acknowledge the presence of the emotion, but remain detached from it. Calmly say to yourself, “This is anger” or “This is anxiety”. Try to “just be” present with that emotion. Don’t let your feelings connected to your body’s physical emotional response catapult you into worrying about the future or the past. There’s no need to blame yourself for choices you made that brought you to this moment. Just identify the emotion for what it is.

    Join us next week for the second part of this article where we lay out steps 3-6 for mindfully dealing with difficult emotions …

    At Optimum Health Institute, we teach you all about detoxifying emotions. Learn how to feel, process, and understand the important role your emotions play in creating and maintaining health and well-being. Discover the healing power of forgiveness.
    During your visit, our caring team can help you achieve your physical, mental, 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.

  • Scholarship Recipient Recovers From Cancer Diagnosis

    Christopher Toussaint has been an independent filmmaker for over 40 years, creating dozens of documentaries over his career. Some of those documentaries covered non-conventional health therapies. When he was diagnosed with 3rd stage Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, he immediately knew that he didn’t want to pursue chemo.

    “I saw first-hand through documentaries how devastating chemo can be,” said Christopher. “Chemo was going to turn my entire body into a battleground. I just felt there had to be another way.”

    In 2007, Christopher had worked on the film “Raw For Life,” and he understood the benefits a raw diet could have for a body in crisis.

    “OHI’s program sounded perfect,” said Christopher. “They look at your current condition as a healing opportunity, not a crisis. It’s that positivity that really spoke to me. I’m semi-retired, so a scholarship was the only way to make OHI a reality for me. When they called to say I had been awarded the scholarship, I could feel my stress starting to drain away.”

    Christopher arrived at OHI San Diego in January 2020 for his 3-week stay. “The first thing I saw in the Optimum Health Store was a DVD of the film ‘The Cure Is — The Power of Belief in Healing.’ I was the editor and associate producer on that film. I knew right away that this was going to be a productive 3 weeks for me.”

    Christopher dove right in, and found the wheat grass juice and raw food energizing. “So much of what we eat and learn about at OHI resonates with me,” said Christopher. “The raw diet makes total sense to me. The daily word, the journaling, and the dinner blessing all really spoke to me on a spiritual level. The colonics were so powerful in cleaning out impacted toxins that were probably residing in me for 40 years. OHI has completely turned my prognosis around. I feel my lymphoma is in remission. I have no night sweats, no itching. I’ve lost 30 pounds. The size of my lymph nodes is way down. I am truly grateful to the staff and missionaries at OHI for this experience, and will do everything in my power to maintain the body/mind/spirit improvements they have guided me to.”

    Share the Love, Share the Feeling, Share the Gift of Healing

    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 44 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 with 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.

    To all who have donated to the OHI Scholarship Fund – Thank you for your generosity!
    During your visit, our caring team can help you achieve your physical, mental, 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.

  • Belonging Is a Basic Need

    Community is something we spend a lot of time thinking about because it’s such an integral part of who we are at OHI. People who come to stay at OHI are seeking a healthier, more holistic lifestyle, and they find that … but they also find something more: a wonderful sense of community. They no longer feel alone because they have bonded with others in a way that transcends the time they spend here.

    The OHI community is the one place where people truly work to love their neighbors as themselves—just as God calls us to do. Community is so important to humans that it is actually in our DNA. In his famous hierarchy of human needs, Abraham Maslow put “Belonging” at the third level alongside “Love.” Needs associated with this level of the hierarchy include acceptance, feeling supported and understood, and having relationships and friendships. When these needs aren’t being met, we can feel rejected, neglected, and lonely.

    Belonging Is a Primal Need

    For our ancestors, being part of a community was integral to survival—the difference between living and dying. And all these centuries later, that need to belong really hasn’t changed much. Even though we’re not threatened by saber-toothed tigers anymore, our mental health is wholly dependent on belonging.

    In today’s busy society it’s easy to miss opportunities to connect with our fellow humans. Then, if or when we happen to run into some difficulty, like suffering a loss or finding ourselves stressed or fearful, we lack the kind of support we need. Suffering alone seems to make any problem worse—and if it continues, it can even be harmful to our health.

    According to a 2020 report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, loneliness has been associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide. People who are socially isolated and lonely have a 29 percent increased risk of heart disease and a 32 percent increased risk of stroke. And social isolation has also been associated with a 50 percent higher risk of developing dementia.

    The bottom line is, human beings need each other. Albert Schweitzer put it aptly when he said: “At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”

    The First Step in Belonging: Making Genuine Connections

    According to Dr. Albert Mehrabian, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at UCLA, when you are engaged in a conversation with someone, and the two of you are genuinely interested in the topic and each other, you will point your navels at each other. Observe people talking in public sometime, and you’ll see that this is true. People will be facing each other, even making eye contact, but their hips will be turned away from each other. Neither of those people is really interested in the other person or what they are saying.

    Conversely, here at OHI we see many people leaning into each other and having genuine conversations. It’s a beautiful thing to see.

    Belonging begins with acceptance: accepting others, and being accepted by others. In a Psychology Today article titled “Create a Sense of Belonging,” psychologist Karyn Hall writes: “One of the best ways to communicate acceptance is through validation. Validation builds a sense of belonging and strengthens relationships.”

    Belonging to the OHI Community: How It Begins

    When our guests share their thoughts about the belonging process, they describe it as a learning journey of coming into wellness and wholeness … a path that is a collective effort but also has individualized objectives.

    Guests have also mentioned that as part of the OHI community, they found themselves sharing things that were more intimate than anything they’d ever shared before. People even say, “I can’t believe I’m telling you this.” It’s an emotional outlet that enables people to feel and share their emotions freely.

    Everyone is exuding this positive energy, and this release of energy helps you transform. You feel like you never want leave because there is a sense of safety while at OHI. And the people you meet; many will become lifelong friends. You build friendships that last for years because you let your guard down and felt free to share your most intimate concerns. The next time you feel stressed, you might want to pick up the phone and call one of your OHI friends.

    Belonging to OHI’s Community Helps You Persist and Succeed

    Renowned psychologist Albert Ellis once said, “The art of love is largely the art of persistence.” Persistence is one of OHI’s 5 Ps to Optimum Health, and having the love and support of belonging to a community makes it easier to stay the course and persist until you reach your goal.

    Each week when people attend our program, there is a great balance in the community as some people return for a second, third, or fourth week. These returning guests help the newer up-and-comers by sharing helpful tips and how-to’s that enable them to quickly assimilate into the OHI culture and community. Veteran guests understand—physically and emotionally—what the first-weekers are experiencing and, by offering support, can help them achieve their goals and their sense of belonging even faster.

    When you have a sense of belonging, you want to give back or pay it forward. It’s not only lending a helping hand but also a sharing of wealth. So, as you enjoy these crisp autumn days, and refine your sense of community and belonging, we ask that you please remember the OHI Scholarship Fund when planning your year-end donations.

    Share the Love, Share the Feeling, Share the Gift of Healing

    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 44 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 with 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.

    To all who have donated to the OHI Scholarship Fund – Thank you for your generosity!
    During your visit, our caring team can help you achieve your physical, mental, 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.

  • Meet Jennifer Inman, Facilitator at OHI San Diego

    Today we are so proud to put the staff spotlight on Jennifer Inman, Facilitator at OHI San Diego.

    Q: Give us a little background on yourself, including your work experience prior to joining OHI.

    A: I have a Bachelor’s degree in Allied Health, and a Master’s degree in Complementary & Integrated Medicine. Before coming to OHI, I was a Holistic Health & Nutrition coach for 14 years, as well as a Nutritional Microscopis for 12 years. I am also a registered yoga teacher, and have had my own studio for 6 years.

    Q: What made you decide to join the staff at OHI?

    A: I had wanted to work at OHI San Diego for 7 years. Their philosophies really aligned with my own, and it just seemed like the ideal place to work and learn. I stayed as a guest in April 2019, and I recognized the CEO walking across campus from his photo on the OHI website. I’m not going to lie, I shamelessly ran after him just to have a personal chat. I told him how OHI’s curriculum resonated with my own background as a nutritional coach and yoga instructor, and he generously offered to hire me on trial to teach stretch classes. I joined OHI full-time in December 2019, and I’m now certified to teach 18 different classes including Mind/Body Connection, Digestion, Elimination, Lymphatic Exercise, Stretch, and more.

    Q: Describe your current role at OHI.

    A: As a facilitator, not only do I teach the OHI curriculum, but I also counsel guests. I meet with them 1-on-1 for a 30-minute coaching session. I answer any questions they may have, we talk about nutrition, how a detox diet impacts the body, and how eating living raw foods can fundamentally change their health, their immune system, and more. Frequently, the conversation turns to emotional detox, so we talk about the benefits of various meditation techniques, journaling, etc. I really love the 1-on-1 coaching sessions because I feel like I have the opportunity to make a personal connection with each guest. It’s an honor for me to provide a safe space to hear their concerns, and to be able to start them off on the path to better health.

    Q: What do you look forward to experiencing most each time a new cohort of guests arrives?

    A: I love watching people heal and transform. Every time I teach a class, I look forward to the experience of watching people “get it.” You can see individuals that put in the hard work to plug back into themselves and peel away the layers of comfort connect with their own growing spirituality. It’s an “a-ha” moment that is just amazing to witness. I always emphasize the science of how the body and nutrition works, and seeing how the body/mind/spirit connection all comes together in a single moment of realization really helps solidify my own faith.

    Q: What is the biggest change you’ve noticed in yourself since you started working at OHI?

    A: Before I came to OHI, I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease, panic attacks, and heart arrhythmias. I always ate a healthly diet and did lots of exercise, but inside I was cynical and unhappy. Now that I’ve worked through the OHI curriculum, I truly understand the mind/body connection, and can see how negative thoughts and beliefs directly contribute to poor health. Now that I’ve learned to let go of the attitude, looked for the lesson, and found gratitude in every situation, I feel I can live my best life.

    Q: Do you find there is a connection between food and spirituality for you?

    A: Absolutely! Food is a gift! It’s what makes the body work at its best, and the better the food we put in our bodies, the more we get out of life. When I grow my own food, I feel like it’s watching a baby being born. There is something miraculous about planting a seed, and watching that seed grow into a plant that will go on to nourish our bodies. To pick lettuce right out of the garden, feel it still warm from the sun, and be able to turn that into a beautiful salad for dinner is heaven.

    Q: For those seeking spiritual evolution, do you have any advice that might help pivot their journey in a more productive direction?

    A: Some people grow through journaling, others through meditation, and others through exercise. Spiritual evolution is a very personal journey, and you should find the means that is most meaningful to you. For me, yoga is how I heal. It brings me joy. It brings me strength. It brings me closer to God. I hope everyone keeps looking for the means that best speaks to them, because the healing they will find on the other side is wonderful.

    In these uncertain times, look to OHI as your safe haven.  As we celebrate 44 years of holistic healing, we can teach you how achieve your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual goals for optimal health.  Stay safe, and be well.  Above all, embrace positivity!
    During your visit, our caring team can help you achieve your physical, mental, 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.