EDITOR’S CHALLENGE

Well-Nest: Tap the Mindset of Abundance, Community and the Magic of Wellness

By Lashaun Dale

After a year like this one, we all deserve a bit of respite and the space to dream. That is not to say that looking back, we don’t realize our great fortune. We do, and as we count our blessings, we also catch our breath and give space to the creation of the next to come.

December also makes us aware of the time that has passed and the miles we have run as we reflect on what has been done or not done and what lies ahead. So no matter what the moment calls for, be present. Give your presence. And no matter what you are up to, make a plan for your wellness. You can’t achieve much of anything without your health. Our minds and spirits can certainly transcend any physical experience with devoted attention and intention. But we want to encourage an understanding and collective agreement that the old way is no longer working. We need to level up our mindset and our accountability for our health and wellness and to create holistic solutions and systems that are successful and sustainable.

Success and sustainability may not sound sexy or exciting, but when you look deeper, you will find that they actually are. When you tap into the truth of the matter and you release the obstacles that are stealing your energy or your time and are holding you back, you can finally start moving forward—and frankly, that feels damn good. Having the energy and vitality to do what you want with your life is everything.

Fitness and health are a personal endeavor. Each of us is biochemically individual with unique requirements that stem from not only our genetics but also our lifestyle and our goals that rise from deep within each of our psyches and souls. The food we eat, our self-care routines, mindset techniques and workout plans will serve each of us best if they are personalized and customized, with our individual goals in the center. I love what author Marianne Williamson says: “No one can lift the fog in your mind except you, yourself. All of us need to do something that we know is the next step in the journey of our soul’s unfoldment, and most of us know in our hearts what that is.”

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So what is holding you back? This issue of 24Life has a few clues to help you unravel a sense of not knowing how to get started.

Our cover story features the ever-inspiring Naveen Jain—an entrepreneur and philanthropist driven to solve the world’s biggest challenges through innovation. He doesn’t believe that there are limits to what we can achieve, and he backs his vision with action. He shares with us the philosophy in his new book “Moonshots—just in time for you to think about how you can raise your ambitions and expectations for your health and your life, and get over the fear of failure. As the founder of many successful ventures, including Moon Express, Jain sees beyond the current business and technological landscape, creating companies that make a true impact such as Viome, a platform for his vision for a world where disease is optional.

P.S.—If reading the December issue wasn’t enough, don’t forget that you can enjoy the magazine and 24Life content (and more on-the-go workouts) through the 24GO app.

Editor’s challenge

This year, we have dedicated our focus to understanding the incredible landscape that is the human body—and what makes it light up and become the Body Electric that moves us throughout the world. We believe that mindset, movement, nourishment and regeneration are the pillars of good health, but nourishment is often presented with such complexity and passionate contradictions that it is often hard to sort where to start and what the best choice is in the moment.

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The 2018 Editor’s Challenge explored nourishment and mindset challenges because we understand how the nourishment we provide our body, mind and soul is a keystone habit that impacts every aspect of our lives. Feel free to revisit and repeat the year’s challenges—there is always something more to discover and uncover on our personal journey.

The challenge

This month is dedicated to wellness—or as we call it, the “well nest.” It’s the daily combination of activity, movement, self-care, relationships that support, deep rest and recovery, doses of nature, and a mindset of gratitude and wonder. All together, they create an environment—a nest, if you will, for wellness—a well of energy and resources to create the life of your dreams, whatever that is for you.

The challenge for December is to treat each meal as a wishing-well moment. Whether you are eating alone or dining with friends and family, introduce a conscious moment—a silent acknowledgment that you are alive and well and contributing to your life by fully engaging in this moment. If it moves you, here are a few other ideas and rituals to consider.

  • Set a sacred place setting. Move beyond the placement of dishes and flatware. Pull out your most beautiful dishes and a vase, hang some strings of colored lights, play music, light a candle—do whatever it takes to create an environment that makes you want to cherish the meal.
  • Dedicate the meal. Intention changes everything. As you prepare the food and sit down to eat, dedicate the meal to someone—hold that person in your mind’s eye and heart and wish for them an abundant and blessed life. Or with each meal that you eat, make a donation to a food bank, or order from buy-and-dine-in companies that also contribute to those in need.
  • Bless the meal. Mealtime is a great time to have a conversation with spirit, god, the universe—however you wish to name it. Take a moment to close your eyes and simply say thank you for the food in front of you, for those who made the meal and for the abundance of nourishment that’s possible.
  • Ring a bell. The ringing of a bell has been used for centuries to signify auspicious beginnings and or endings. At dinner, you can ring a bell to call the meal to begin, with the intention and invitation to create nourishing space in the day for family, friends and the good life.
  • Eat mindfully. Our constant digital distraction is part of our downfall—so set something on your table, a crystal or a vase, to remind you to put away the mobile devices and get present to the sensation of the meal
  • Cultivate conversation. Meaningful connection begins with conversation. Mealtime is one of the few times that we stop and sit and can make eye contact and converse with each other. Ask questions, listen, talk about everything and nothing. Don’t rush, just enjoy the company as part of the experience.
  • Digest in gratitude. In some cultures, there is a post-meal tradition of a digestif or distilled spirits with medicinal liqueurs to help aid digestion. Today, we often get up and rush away from the table without having to do so. Once the meal is done, take time to sit and feel the experience in a mindset of gratitude.

Share your rituals in the comments section or on social media. May the magic of the month be full of blessings for your life, and may all of the world experience a nest of wellness.

Video credit: Cinemalist, Stocksy
Photo credit: Cinemalist, Stocksy; Benjamin Davies, Unsplash; Paolo Nicolello, Unsplash

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Author

Lashaun Dale

Lashaun Dale loves yoga and fitness and finds magic in movement, music and mobs of people. She holds degrees in International Relations, Philosophy and Applied Anthropology, as well as an MPH from the School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York. With two decades of group fitness programming experience, Dale currently serves as vice president of content & programming for 24 Hour Fitness and editor-in-chief of 24Life magazine. A regular contributor to SELF and Women’s Health and Fitness, as well as popular blogs and podcasts, she’ll teach yoga anytime she is given an opportunity to get her om on.

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