The Power of We
Point to Ponder:
Where in your life do you need to the “Power of We?”
Last week while putting myself through a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout that San Diego Leader Rory Smith sent me, I not only struggled to finish each round of exercises, I also struggled to stay motivated. Despite being able to turn off my brain by having a dry erase board listing each exercices, a great playlist and a timer telling me when to start/stop, I had to take multiple breaks and was only able to complete half of the workout. True—it had been about one month since I completed consecutive iGnite workouts and I know some de-training occurred, but in the midst of my difficulty and frustration came this thought: there is an undeniable superhuman “Power of WE.” How do I know this? Despite a little bit of muscular atrophy, there is no way my body declined so rapidly that I couldn’t complete the workout. However, what I knew before, which is what iGnite is built upon, was reinforced in my pathetic attempt to workout. We are better together and despite our season of life, circumstance or challenge; having people to listen, love, support, walk with and cheer us on is critical. Furthermore, the Power of We can and does impact happiness, longevity, life and pre-mature death. Here’s proof:
Dr. Dean Ornish, a heart and diet doctor wrote a fascinating book called Love and Survival. In his book, he states research and science-backed facts that “love saves lives”. Despite heart disease, diabetes and cancer, Dr. Ornish says that loneliness, isolation and depression is the real pandemic we are facing. In fact, the #1 category of prescription drugs in the past twenty years has been antidepressants. People who experience loneliness, depression and isolation are 3- 10 times more likely to get sick and die prematurely than those who have a sense of love, connection and community. The reason for this is because when lonely and unconnected, “love voids” are created and we attempt to fill these vacancies with unhealthy means such as excessive food, work, exercise, as well as alcohol drugs, and cigarettes. Dr Ornish also states that according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association that evaluated men and women who suffered heart attacks, approximately 17% of those who were depressed died six months after the attack, whereas only 4% of those who were not depressed died. Also, when we are depressed, lonely or isolated, our immune system is also compromised and weakened, which might explain the next finding. In the book Younger Next Year for Women, a group of California women with metastatic breast cancer were divided into two groups: a support group and a control group. The support group met for ninety minutes, once a week for six weeks to talk about their cancer, how their treatment was going, etc. while the control group was not given the opportunity to communicate with others about how their treatment or how they were feeling. The study found that although the support group sessions weren’t long, there was intense bonding among the women and they came to love and care for one another. The result of this love and connection was amazing as the women in the support group lived twice as long as the women in the control group.
As far as the Power of We and exercise is concerned, I know I’m speaking to the choir as the majority of you reading this are iGnite members who experience how the Power of We affects your ability to exercise, live in community and be supported by other amazing women. However, I also know each of us have areas in our life where we need the Power of We, even if it means doing something we don’t want to do or aren’t comfortable doing. Let me share what I’m forcing myself to do, despite cringing and having to kick my own rear to go:
Having just moved to Tulsa and with two kids in school, my expectation was to be able to meet other moms and connect the social dots at drop-off and pick-up, just as I did in San Diego. However, this opportunity is unavailable, as there are only two ways to drop off and pick up your kiddos, which is via bus or car pool lane. While discussing my dilemma with one of my neighbors, she validated my concern and recommended the best way to meet other moms was through the PTA or PTO. Let me first make this strong statement: if you are a member of the PTA or PTO, please know I admire and appreciate your work. However the PTA/PTO has never been something I’ve been interested in and therefore, I’d rather have my teeth pulled. That being said, I’m also prejudging because I’ve never been involved and I have plenty of amazing friends who volunteer their time in both of these organizations. What I do know is if I want to meet other moms, know the parents of Durant and Malaine’s classmates, connect, make friends and experience the Power of We in Tulsa- I have to check out this Tuesday’s PTO meeting.
So, how about you? Where in your life do you need to the “Power of We?” Like me, are you cringing at the thought of going to or participating in an event that you are unsure will benefit you? Maybe it’s networking to enhance your career or start a new career, attending an AA meeting, church, a bible study or marriage counseling. Or, maybe it’s a support group for infertility, postpartum concerns, anxious children, learning disability, a loved one with porn addiction, infidelity, chronic illness, grief, managing a new season of life, eating disorders, or a group designed for primary caregivers. Or maybe you have all of the love, support and friendship you need but you have a friend/friends who really needs the encouragement, empowerment and inspiration from iGnite, because she struggles in the exercise, fitness, health and friendship department. Maybe you’ve already invited her to join you several times but to no avail. Now could be her time and she’s open to another invite and is ready to say yes?
I know I’ve touched on some pretty heavy areas, but it’s life and these are real issues that none of us are equipped to navigate through alone. Ultimately, we know doing anything in life alone is unhealthy and simply out of the question and our life as well as the lives of others are enhanced and maximized when we are connected and experiencing the Power of WE!
Connect with someone or connect someone to a group in order for both you and she to truly experience
the Power of We
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