• 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