Blessed to Have my #ThriveTribe
Building a network to support you — in your health, in your personal life, in your professional life, in any aspect of your life — is key to giving yourself the foundation to continually strive to move forward. I often jokingly say that it “takes a village” to help me live my life. And, in all seriousness, it really does.
I draw on the strength of my family, my friends, my colleagues to help me build a sustainable path forward and to create a more fulfilling life.
How does this all play into health? It is everything. . I discussed my health journey in a previous post. Each step of the way, I found the strength and energy to push forward — even in the darkest of moments for me — because of my “village.” These are the people that you can stop by, call, text, email, chat (you name it, any form of communication in today’s world) and they will be there to help you get through it.
For health, that support network is key. When you are making a dietary change, these are the people that will embrace it, support it, encourage you to continue on that journey. I will never forget how many of my family and friends embraced my elimination of all processed sugar. It was not easy. I remember going to a friend’s house for dinner. She had cooked everything — no processed food, everything made 100% at her house with ingredients that she had scanned, reviewed. And I asked questions, and more questions. (I was in a “bad” bout and extremely cautious with any food I would eat). She was patient, answering each question no matter how granular my inquisition became.
If an inadvertent mistake was made, or if I had decided I now couldn’t eat something because my stomach was not up to it, she would feel so bad and I would feel horrible. But, her level of attention to what really mattered to me showed me that embracing a health journey does not mean that I need to give up on the socialization around food. I can still go to a friend’s house for dinner — it just takes a little more preparation (for everyone!).
Sometimes, a person who becomes one of your greatest champions can come from a new and unexpected source. When I first started work after leaving law school, I was at one of the lowest points in my health: rapidly decreasing weight, intolerance of most foods, and a very depressed mental attitude. But, even amidst all of this, as I began to find a road to improved health, I found a co-worker who immediately embraced all of the health changes I was making. As I became more vocal about my health issues, she began to ask more questions and started to make health modifications in her own life. She cut out processed sugar (without having to) and began her own health journey, trading recipes with me and new sources of potential resources. In fact, she would often operate as a check on my own worst tendencies: reminding me to give myself a break, to step back, to calm down, and to reassess.
She fully embraced her own health journey at a time when I needed a daily partner in my own.
And, my family was and continues to be one of my greatest champions — completely changing the way they eat and think to embrace the health changes I was forced to tackle. My mother and brother even started to pursue holistic medical treatment, seeing one of the doctors who greatly helped me to start down this positive health journey. Candidly, my family were already cooking a large portion of the food we ate from scratch, and enjoyed challenges in the kitchen. But, they have embraced a whole new level of challenges: changing our “family favorite” recipes to accommodate my limited diet and experimenting in the kitchen to turn classics into “jordan friendly” options.
Ultimately, it is about creating your #thrivetribe, the saying that my friends and I have created after reading Ariana Huffington’s book, “Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder.” It is the term we use to designate those individuals in your inner health circle who positively impact your life journey.
So, find your #thrivetribe: those family, friends, co-workers who will cheer you on when you need it, will listen to you when you feel at your worst. Find those positive influences, cultivate those relationships, and help them grow. One of my friends who has suffered from eerily similar health issues constantly sends me positive quotes about embracing life — we send them back and forth all day. Sometimes, those quotes are the reason I can push forward, be it in work, health, personal relationships, family struggles, anything.
I challenge each of you to develop your own #thrivetribe. The family and friends who can give you support. Create this mutual support community to tap into when you need it and to be a resource to those that will need your strength.