Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States, once said, “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” Persistence is one of our “5 P’s” (Prayer, Purpose, Persistence, Patience, and Positive Mental Attitude), and having the support of belonging to community makes it easier to stay the course and persist until you reach your goal.
‘ There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus .’ Galatians 3:28We have found that there are five paths to belonging, and at OHI these help our guests mesh into our vibrant community. The first is Participation , the more one gets involved in the program and activities, the more likely they are to interact with the other guests, and in turn the greater their sense of belonging. Second is the Recognition of Gifts , those you need to acknowledge in yourself and recognizing them in others. You will do this during daily affirmations, and our classes such as You Validation and Your Life is a Gift . Third is via our Safe and Sacred Environment where you are encouraged to open up to your fellow guests as well as our counselors. Fourth is through the Physical Design of Our Campus where opportunities to bump into each other and exchange hugs and conversation, whether by chance or intention, will occur during our Daily Circles, at the garden, or at the pool. The fifth is Personal Ownership , where you create your own stake in the community by helping others, listening to others, challenging others, supporting others, and even donating your time and money.
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 experienced-hands, 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 giving them a hand up help them to achieve a sense of belonging faster.
Week 1 Journal Entry
One goal here at OHI is to trust that my years of parenting have not been fruitless, and have the faith to just listen to my daughter instead of trying to steer the ship all the time.
Week 2 Journal Entry
Ginny lives in DC, and I miss our every day conversations, so I drop everything whenever she calls to catch up. The phone rang very late last night, so I knew it must be something urgent. I could tell from the first “Hello” that she was upset. We made idle chit chat about the weather for a minute or two, and then she finally stopped beating around the bush. “Dad,” she said, “I have a grown-up question to ask you.”
Gulp.Her firm had been blindsided with a series of harassment charges. There were allegations going around about a VP and an intern spending time together at the company picnic…and after the picnic. Long story short, in this era of #MeToo and #TimesUp, repercussions within the firm were swift and severe. What they didn’t see coming was the repercussions from outside of the firm. They lost their top two clients in the same day.
“Dad, what should I do?” asked Ginny. “Do I stick with a firm that’s in chaos? Or do I quit without another job, and throw my life into even more chaos?”
My first response was a complete Dad move. “Have you been a victim of harassment at this firm?”
“Are you still learning?”
“Is the firm’s environment different from when you first joined?”
“Yes, far more gossipy and distrustful.”
“Do you like your clients?”
“Yes, they’re the best part of my job.”
“Then you need to maintain your professional demeanor, always be positive, and rise above the gossip and backstabbing. And most of all, get pro-active about your career! Network! Network! Network! At church. On the metro. At the DC Zoo happy hour.”“Thanks, Dad,” said Ginny. “That reminds me, I need to make sure I get to the next Zoo happy hour. Even if I just go to visit the giraffes for some peace and quiet.” We both laughed as we yawned. It really was late, and we both had to get up early the next morning. “Uh, Dad? There’s this other grown-up question I’ve been thinking about for a while.”
“How much work do you think a puppy would be?”
“Ginny, a puppy is as much work as a baby.”
“Yeah. I know,” she sighed. “I’ve just been thinking how nice it would be to come home to a happy little Corgi after a long day at work. Something to snuggle up to on the couch while I’m eating my Chinese.”
I groaned inwardly. It’s not just a big responsibility, I thought to myself. It’s a long-term commitment. She needs to know she’ll be walking that dog three times a day in the rain for the next 15 years. Honest-to-Pete, she’s going to screw up her first real job AND a puppy at the same time. And then I’m going to end up with a neurotic Corgi sleeping on my bed for the next decade.
This was it. I needed to be heard-hearted about this. This was the moment where I needed to shift into parenting overdrive, and steer her down the road of common sense and pragmatic decision-making.
And so I bit my tongue.
Why? Because all I could think about was how much Ginny had always wanted a Corgi. All her life. And she was right. It really would be nice for her to come home to a happy little Corgi. After all the darkness she had been through since she had graduated college, a small ray of happiness wasn’t too much to ask. She had been working hard for three long years. Kept her nose to the grindstone. Saved her money. Put in the overtime.
But the barking. And the training. And the vet bills. And the dog walks at night by herself.
“Dad? Did you fall asleep?”
“No,” I said. “I was just pulling up Amazon on my laptop. Let’s see how fast Prime can get ‘Puppies for Dummies’ and ‘Dog Training 101’ to your door.”
“You really think I can do it, Dad?”
“Like I said, honey. Always be positive.”
Week 3 Journal Entry #1
I realize that I don’t want to feel like I’ve failed as a parent, so I don’t let my child fail at anything. I thought steering her toward the “wise” choice every time would model objective decision-making skills for her. In reality, taking the decision-making out of her control just made her doubt her own abilities in general. She didn’t end up learning any skills. She only learned that I didn’t have faith in her.
Week 3 Journal Entry #2 — Discover patterns from your own journaling
I didn’t have faith in my own parenting skills, so my self-doubt manifested itself in over-compensation. I micromanaged small decisions for my daughter to prove to myself what a great parent I was. But when my daughter was faced with a life-changing decision — to quit her job, to adopt a puppy — she couldn’t get off the fence and choose without making sure her choice had my seal of approval. I had paralyzed her because I was completely paralyzed with fear that I wasn’t doing a good enough job raising her. Did I teach her everything she needed to know before going out into the big, bad world? And would I miss her too much if I really do let her go out on her own?
I think I took the first step in trusting the work I put in parenting for the last 25 years by trusting that if my daughter chooses to quit her job or adopt a puppy she’ll put in the effort needed to succeed. I will relinquish control, trust her judgment, and give her support from a distance so she gains the confidence in herself that she deserves. My own self-doubt is my own problem. Not hers. I need to be more positive.
Affirming Your Life
“What I try to tell young people is that if you come together with a mission, and its grounded with love and a sense of community, you can make the impossible, possible.“ — John Lewis
Affirmation: Today I will reconnect with my OHI community friends by sharing my most recent successes with the healthy lifestyle program on the OHI facebook page.
So at this point, your last OHI stay is a happy memory, and you’re doing your best to continue following the healthy holistic lifestyle program at home. The great news is, that positive, powerful and healing support you felt from the OHI community is always as close as your keypad.
Nearly 5,000 members actively participate in OHI’s social media opportunities to stay connected, share information, ask and answer questions, and enjoy each other’s successes. Through blogs, tweets and facebook groups, the growing OHI community continues to be a positive force in daily life.
For instance, members regularly request, and receive, prayers and healing thoughts for themselves, family members and friends. It’s gratifying and empowering to know so many like-minded, compassionate people are seeing a request for support, and immediately responding.
Posting fascinating articles showing how the rest of the world is catching up with the core principles OHI has taught for 40+ years is another popular social media activity. Facilitators and other community members alike share stories they’re found, like why diet soda is addictive, or how the first vegan soccer team is tearing up the field, and debunking old ideas that animal proteins were mandatory for physical strength and endurance.
Many first learned about relevant documentaries, like HEAL on Amazon, and What The Health on Netflix, though OHI’s social media community.
One touching post last year paid tribute to the late Louise Hay, a holistic author and founder of Hay House. The Optimum Health Store carries many of her motivational books.
OHI facebook pages are a great source of shared laughs, too. One particularly funny post is an original song performed during a Talent Night in 2016 at OHI Austin. The singer cleverly delivered lyrics on ALL aspects of the OHI experience entitled, “No One Knows What It’s Like at OHI:” https://vimeo.com/191217233
Maybe the most popular topic in the social media conversations concerns healthy eating tips. Members frequently share photos of their OHI-inspired creations, like golden beet rejuvelac, a first batch of seed cheese, a jar of sauerkraut, buckwheat groats with berries, rainbow-colored salads and apple ginger crackers.
OHI team members are always standing by to answer questions, like is white growth on fermented salsa normal (It’s not!), and should seed cheese rise like bread (Again, NO!)
One community member shared a poignant post last year. She was feeling particularly homesick for OHI, and happened to run into an OHI Austin alum half a world away.
If you’re not already a member of OHI’s online community, visit our website at optimumhealth.org to see how to connect. And if you’re feeling it’s time for the real thing again, book your 1, 2 or 3-week stay today. Call us at (800) 224-2620 to make your reservation, and be sure to ask about our current promotions.
You owe it to yourself to try OHI Austin
Welcome, or welcome back, to Optimum Health Institute (OHI) Austin, a place of beauty and healing nestled in the spectacular Texas countryside . Whether you’ve never visited, or it’s been a while, come experience the difference of newly renovated rooms that are environmentally friendly, private, and extremely comfortable. Find yourself lost in thoughtful contemplation on our wooded trail, in peaceful repose in our meditation gardens, or floating in the luxurious pool and spa that overlook a kaleidoscope of flower gardens. Savor the new menu of live, raw, organic vegan dishes that rival the best vegetarian restaurants – now a palate-pleasing different recipe for every lunch and dinner of OHI’s entire three-week program.
While the lush environment and the delicious meals are exceptional, it’s the caring team at OHI Austin that creates the heart of the experience.
In this supportive ‘safe space’ of encouragement and respect, our compassionate facilitators and missionaries are there every step of the way on your journey to optimum health. Each class they teach includes a minute of Alpha meditation to help you relax and tune in. They’ll guide you as you work to detoxify the body, quiet and mind and rejuvenate the spirit. They’ll also share the most effective ways to take OHI’s healthy lifestyle program back home with you.
Need to talk about some emotions that bubbled to the surface during a vocal toning session or meditation? Our spiritual counselors are there for you. Want to get some of those amazing recipes to make for your family and friends? We’ll take care of it. Need someone to walk with, or a reassuring hug? We’ve got that covered for you, too.
Our service providers are available all week, and now Saturday, too, to melt away any stress with massage, reflexology and chiropractic care. Speed up your body’s detoxification process with gentle colon hydrotherapy.
Cowboy boots aren’t required for a visit to OHI Austin – just a sincere desire to nourish and balance your body, mind and spirit. Find out what real southern hospitality is as our caring team helps you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health. Visit our website at www.optimumhealth.org , and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.
Affirming Your Life
“The more people share their own experiences feeling God’s grace, the more everyone starts to feel more secure in themselves, and truly embrace the opportunity for holistic healing.” –Pam Nees
Affirmation: Today in meditation, I will express the deepest gratitude for how my spiritual community strengthens my will, and provides unwavering support.
OHI’s 5Ps in Community
Being in a like-minded, God-centered spiritual community like that at OHI is scientifically proven to help reduce stress and boost self-confidence. On a daily basis, we also see how the community supports members in following OHI’s 5 Ps for Optimum Health.
1. Purpose: to achieve a natural balance and reconnection to the Divine.
It’s not just the facilitators, missionaries and staff at OHI who are eager to assist. Guests consistently jump in at every opportunity to be of service to others. Whether it’s helping a first-timer master cutting and juicing wheatgrass, including strangers in a lunch conversation or suggesting inspirational books in the Optimum Health Store, members of the OHI community are happy to be of service. That generosity of spirit creates a compassionate atmosphere of purposeful intent.
2. Positive mental attitude that supports the healing process.
While detailed stories about enemas and implants are not usually popular topics of conversation, within the OHI community guests have even written and performed hysterically funny songs about them for the OHI Talent Show! Sharing a laugh is a frequent — and very healing — occurrence that helps people stay connected, and positive.
3. Persistence in following the holistic disciplines of the OHI holistic healing program.
Particularly for guests transitioning from a ‘burgers, beer and Netflix’ lifestyle, sticking with the 21-day program can be a challenge. Knowing that everyone else is being asked to make the same dramatic changes makes it easier to stay on track. The encouragement and support of others also helps.
4. Patience with your body and yourself as you allow your body, mind, and spirit to heal.
The Friday Morning Testimonials are rich with shared stories of sometimes miraculous changes in body, mind, emotions and spirit. Everyone present knows the transformations didn’t just happen — they took real patience and perseverance, and the non-judgmental, unconditional support of the entire community.
5. Prayer to a higher source who will share the load with you.
The power of “two or more” gathered in prayer is lauded in the Bible. Sharing joyful time in sacred gratitude before meals, in group meditations and throughout one’s stay at OHI adds another dimension of grace and love to every prayer.
Draw on the strength of the vibrant OHI community to assist you in applying the 5Ps to your daily life. Come back for an extended stay this summer, and feel the love. Call us at (800) 224-2620 to book your reservation. Ask about our current summer promotional discounts.
“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”
— John Lubbock
Affirmation: Today, I will let my summer happiness brighten the days of people around me
How To Do Nothing on Vacation
Ahhh, summer. When you were a kid, summer fun seemed to turn up in the most unexpected ways. Lying in a hammock, giggling as a ladybug tickled your arm. Practicing cartwheels until you were dizzy. Catching fireflies in a jar. Listening to cicadas sing you to sleep.
Now you’re all grown up, and a single empty day rarely stretches before you, let alone a week with no work and no plans. So what would be the value to taking a Do Nothing Vacation? It’s a chance to be thoroughly present in the moment. To reflect on what gives meaning and purpose to your life. An opportunity to find joy in the little things.A Do Nothing Vacation starts with 3 easy steps:
- Banish the To Do list.
- Turn off your cell, and power down your computer.
- Let your mind wander. What would you like to do today?
Gather seashells — open your eyes to what’s right in front of you.
Take a walk, and stop to pet each dog that passes you. Dance to the very first song that plays on the radio. Stroll through a farmer’s market, and smell everything from flowers to melons. God is in the details.
Go fly a kite — do something that you haven’t done since you were a kid.
Skip stones on a pond. Walk to a playground, and see how high you can swing. Bounce a ball against the wall. There is joy in simplicity.
See a penny, pick it up — embrace good fortune when it finds you.
Strike up a conversation with someone on a park bench. Stop and listen to the school marching band practicing. Enjoy the beauty of a rainbow after a summer storm. Serendipity is a blessing.
A Do Nothing vacation may seem like a luxury, but it is a luxury we need to afford ourselves every now and then. It’s a chance to stop, breathe, and appreciate the journey we are on, how far we have come, and all the positives we have to look forward to.
For many who have experienced the 21-day healthy lifestyle program at Optimum Health Institute, summer is the perfect time to share your happiness with others just as you share the milestones on your journey to optimum physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
The joyful act of sharing happiness gets the spiritual green light from God. Proverbs 17:22 tells us “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” So open your cheerful heart, and share that “good medicine” with others. Let your summer happiness brighten the days of people around you all year long. There are blessings in every seasons of the year, of course. But it’s interesting to remember that even the progression of seasons is a gift from God. That’s something God wanted Moses to remember after the devastation of the flood in Genesis 8:22, “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” As you enjoy the bounty of fruits and grains this season, remember this key promise from God.This summer, take a moment to honor your own progress on your spiritual path. Life is a journey, not a destination. Be grateful that you have been given the gift of carefree summer days to reflect upon your life, your choices, and your future. Know that no matter what fork in the road you choose to take, you have the support and love of a God-centered community lining that road, and cheering you on to find the lesson in every choice.
Affirming Summer Happiness
“Give thanks for the heavy perfume of wild roses in early July, and the song of crickets on summer humid nights, and the rivers that run, and the stars that rise, and the rain that falls, and all the good things that a good God gives.”
— Ann Voskamp
Affirmation: I am so grateful to breathe in this season. I am soothed by the sound of cicadas. I attract new and exciting adventures every time I feel the warmth of the sun.
Road trips are one of the true hallmarks of summer. It’s a chance to pack up the car, pull out the atlas, and see what small town America has to offer. From the world’s largest ball of twine to a 1,700lb chocolate moose, the random road trip pit stops are silly fun, but are they renewing your spirit? Never fear, you don’t need to go on a retreat to discover an awareness of the world and energy around you. It’s easy to turn any car ride into a spiritual road trip with these three techniques that will help you calm your mind, find inner peace, and learn more about yourself.
1. Bullet Journaling Stop
Follow tiny hand-made signs along the side of the highway. Is the universe trying to tell you something? Or is the sign for “Fresh Corn” nothing more than that? You’ll never know until you get off the beaten path, and follow the arrow. Sometimes you have a revelation, and sometimes you end up with a cooler full of fresh veggies. Either way, it’s worth the detour, and bullet journaling keeps you in the moment without taking too much time.
2. Guided Meditation Stop
Most people spend a road trip driving during the day, but there is a soothing peacefulness to driving at night. Use the Star Chart app to identify the stars and planets you see in the sky, and have a talk with God while you’re at it. He’s a good listener. At the next driving break, take a few minutes for a guided meditation. The healing properties will calm any lingering anxiety or stress that is clouding your spiritual journey.
3. Soul Stroll Stop
Stop the car, and straddle a state line. Now walk that line, and listen to some music with empowering mantras. What thoughts come to you as the music ends? Are you pondering the differences on each side of that line? Or have the positive mantras helped you realize that there is no divide too large that can’t be bridged with love?