At OHI, we think of self-love as a holistic healing practice, and an ongoing process, rather than a simple affirmation. Self-love involves bringing body, mind, and spirit into harmony, and maintaining this alignment requires a great deal of focus and dedication.
Two of the key aspects of self-love are acceptance and forgiveness. We have all felt at one time or another that we—or parts of ourselves—were ‘unlovable’ in some way. We carry around powerful burdens of guilt, regret, shame, and trauma. And the spiritual and emotional weight of these burdens often prevents us from having the will or drive necessary to heal ourselves, or seek healing in the first place.
That’s why self-love begins with recognizing the crucial connection and interdependence of mind, body, and spirit. When we open ourselves up to self-acceptance and forgiveness, we begin to free ourselves from the many burdens that keep us from living healthy, joyous lives.
How a 3-Week Retreat at OHI Can Help
At OHI, everything we do is centered around this holistic approach to self-love. Through sharing, meditation, healthy eating, and prayer, we give our guests the tools to foster true self-love and continue practicing self-love long after they leave our campuses. Here’s a quick breakdown of how it works:
- Week One: In week one we focus on the mind, body, spirit connection by cleansing the body with a detoxifying, nutrient-rich diet, calming the mind with regular meditation, and renewing the spirit with daily reflection, inspiration, and prayer.
- Week Two: In week two, guests already have begun to feel the renewed energy and positivity that comes with cleansing and detoxifying mind, body, and spirit. This is also when we begin learning and exploring the various tools to support us in setting our goals, and making healthier choices for ourselves.
- Week Three: This is far and away the most popular week of the program because this is when our guests begin to deeply internalize the process of self-love and learn to integrate it into their lives, propelling them toward continued physical, mental, and spiritual health in their lives outside the OHI community.
The OHI community is a warm and welcoming place to explore one’s self-love journey. The program has holistic benefits that can be found throughout the body, mind, and spirit – all while strengthening those key aspects of ourselves in order to make sure we are giving love where it needs most attention: To US! Visit us at our beautiful retreat centers for more information about how this powerful experience might change your life (or just have some fun).
OHI 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.
Melissa Quimby is quite the world traveler. “I was born on a small farm in New York state, but have traveled far and wide,” said Melissa. “I first served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia, then worked with the American Red Cross as a health program manager in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, and Southeast Asia responding to hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunamis. Humanitarian aid work is quite difficult, and I burned out on a few occasions.”
In 2015, Melissa was still recovering from burnout from her last job when she lost her beloved father. “I really just wanted to get away, lose some weight, and rest for a while,” said Melissa. “I had a friend who was going to OHI, and she invited me to come with her. After reading more about it, I signed up for the full three-week program.”
Melissa was used to fearlessly jumping into unknown situations, and her first visit to OHI was certainly like nothing she had expected. “It was pretty overwhelming at first, but we first-weekers became a tight-knit group and really got to know each other well. I loved all the classes, and felt amazing by the end of three weeks. The best part of my stay was how positive everyone was. People say such lovely things to each other here, and kindly correct you if you say anything negative about yourself. I am still in touch with some friends that I made during my first visit.”
So what made Melissa choose to participate in the OHI Missionary Program? “I became a big believer in the OHI lifestyle after seeing how much better I felt in a few short weeks,” said Melissa. “There was a dynamic missionary that I really admired, and I thought she was a spry, healthy 30-year old woman. When I found out she was actually over 50 and had shown up in a wheelchair a few months before, I could hardly believe it. The transformation was amazing! I wanted to see a similar transformation in myself, and I wanted to be a part of that journey for others as a missionary.”
As Melissa soon found out, there is a very big difference between being a guest at OHI and being a missionary. “As a missionary, there is work to do,” said Melissa. “You have to take your call to service seriously. Of course, you need to take care of your own health and well-being, but serving others can be deeply satisfying. And for me, the best part of the missionary program is how deeply you bond with people — facilitators, other missionaries, and the guests. The people you meet at OHI are truly the best part of the program. When you surround yourself with wonderful people, you can’t help but see the positive in life all around you. The OHI program has certainly improved my health, but it’s the people that I think have changed me for good.”
Melissa truly has a heart for service, and OHI is all the better for her presence here. “The personal connections made at OHI are so satisfying for me, that this is my fourth time as a missionary. I keep coming back because I am fortunate enough to be able to take the time off, and I don’t want to stray from the OHI lifestyle for too long. Over the last few years, I went back to get a master’s degree which is a very sedentary pursuit, and between that and the pandemic, I really stopped taking good care of myself. I put on weight and for the first time in my life my blood tests were coming back abnormal — high blood pressure, pre-diabetic blood sugar levels, high cholesterol, and hyperthyroid numbers. That was a wake-up call, and I immediately re-incorporated OHI teachings into my life. Within two weeks my blood tests were back to normal. It was such a good reminder that the OHI lifestyle really works — and works quickly — even if you don’t do everything they teach. As soon as I was finished with my classes, I applied to be a missionary again and am so happy to be back!”
Melissa’s four turns in the OHI Missionary Program have given her a lot of life experience to fall back on, and she is happy to share what she’s learned with others. “I think the best advice I have for others is to incorporate just one or two changes into your daily life at a time, so that ‘healthy living’ doesn’t become an overwhelming process of trying to change everything overnight. That’s a setup for frustration and failure. If you start small, maybe just drinking a lot more water and stretching for a few minutes every night before bed, you will still see results and be motivated to incorporate other healthy practices. Start small. Stay positive. Be kind to yourself.”
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.
Lisa Williams was facing a life-threatening health opportunity. “I had 5+ months of aggressive chemotherapy for breast cancer, and was also placed in an international clinical trial with an immunology drug. I had lumpectomy surgery with lymph nodes removed, and while no cancer was found, I had complications and collateral damage from the chemo and the surgery. I suffered from debilitating arthritic pain and could barely walk or sleep. My doctors wanted me to continue with aggressive radiation, but my WBC (white blood cell) counts had never recovered from chemo. All I wanted to do was detox from all the drugs and heal my body. My friend, Elena, who had been to OHI several times, told me about the scholarship program, and encouraged me to apply. Within days I was accepted. It was a true miracle!”
Lisa fully embraced the program. “My first week at OHI was a little rough,” she admitted, “but I followed the program, attended all the classes, exercised every morning, and did the juice fast. On the fifth night, I realized my pain was completely GONE, and my hands were no longer numb from neuropathy. On the eighth day, I walked eight miles and could sleep through the night. The second week I had a blood test done and found my WBCs had nearly doubled and were in the normal range. This program truly gives the body the ability to heal itself.”
The emotional component to Lisa’s healing was also vital to her overall health. “As soon as I arrived at OHI, I allowed myself just to feel it all — the tears, the grief, the stress. The energy sessions at the massage center also helped me a great deal.”
Lisa’s gratitude for the OHI scholarship is palpable. “I feel so blessed to have been able to come to OHI for the full three-week program,” she said. “My time there gave me my life back. I am grateful to be alive and enjoying every precious moment. It takes courage to go outside your comfort zone and invest in yourself. But OHI’s amazing health and wellness education is a game-changer. YOU ARE WORTH IT!”
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 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
Thank you for your generosity!
Optimum Health Institute is a non-profit, religious organization. Your donation is tax deductible.
Some people are lucky enough to be able to travel the world. But then there are a few like JoJo Lewis who are lucky enough to have been able to live all over the world. “I was born in Munich, Germany,” said JoJo. “My mother’s family comes from Austria and Germany. My father’s family hails from South Carolina and Georgia in the United States.
Growing up, we moved throughout Europe quite a bit, and I lived in beautiful places in Germany, Austria, and Italy. I didn’t move to the United States until I was 28. Once settled in the States, I started a real estate appraisal business. I poured my heart and soul into that career for 30 years, and loved every minute of it. But you have to be a workaholic to succeed in real estate, and after weathering so many ups and downs in the market over the years, I decided enough was enough. I closed my business, sold my house, and retired. My dream was to travel the world visiting extended family in the United States and Europe. But after all the work of shuttering my business and closing escrow on my house, I was completely exhausted. I couldn’t imagine walking around the block, let alone traveling around the world.”
JoJo needed a plan, if not for her extended future, at least for the near term. “I remembered reading in a Dr. Mercola newsletter a few years prior about a health center in Lemon Grove,” said JoJo. “I did a little research, figured out that the health center I had read about was OHI in San Diego, and made plans to attend the next Sunday Open House. That Open House was the lifeline I needed. After touring the campus and learning all about their body/mind/spirit program, I booked a one-week stay on the spot. That one-week stay turned into two weeks, and those pivotal two weeks literally saved my life. Being a first-time guest at OHI opened my eyes to how physically and emotionally exhausted I had let myself become. I threw myself into the classes, I bonded with the other guests, I leaned hard on the staff and let them teach me all the ins and outs of a raw food diet. The juicing and detox cleansing is overwhelming for most people, but I loved it. The whole concept of the body/mind/spirit connection was already very real to me, so the detox made complete sense as I could feel my body coming alive again, my mind clearing, and my spirit reaching out to others for connection. During the second week, I came out of my cocoon and took note of the wonderful people supporting the guests and staff. They were the missionaries, and I was fascinated by their ability to connect to people one-on-one and still have the time to work on their own personal growth. The idea of becoming a missionary and spending an extended period of time at OHI to recharge mentally and physically, and really dig into what I wanted to do with the next stage of my life was something I just could not let go of. I left OHI after two weeks as planned to visit all of my extended family throughout the United States and Europe, but I left my heart at OHI. I returned a few months later to complete the third week of the program so that I would be eligible to formally apply to the OHI Missionary Program.”
JoJo’s transition from guest to missionary was seamless. “My first missionary experience was amazing,” said JoJo. “I formed long-lasting friendships with the other missionaries that I still have today. I hold them all dear to my heart and consider them my found family. The OHI program is structured to build true connections, and I feel like we are all one big OHI family — guests, missionaries, and staff — all with the common purpose of helping others heal while healing ourselves. To me, there’s no greater reward than helping others. For the next five years, I served as an OHI missionary once a year, all while continuing my travels. OHI makes it easy to be my authentic self while there. I give myself over to vulnerability and try to be as open and trusting as I can. In return, I feel completely supported and safe with fellow guests, missionaries, and staff. That true interaction with other human beings is all anyone really needs and wants out of life, and I try to carry this purpose out into the world each time I leave campus. To feel truly seen and heard as a spiritual being is something quite special that I’ll never take for granted, and I feel completely validated each time I return for a stay at OHI.”
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.