Communities are helpful to join or create because they provide support to the individuals who are impacted by the daily stress, struggles and chaos of modern life. Consider the five questions that I noted as you determine what type of community you are looking to build or join.
Currently with the spa industry losing 5-30% of retail revenues from anemic sales it is clear that the time is perfect to try something new. But are the decision makers willing to embrace a brand new viewpoint that is the polar opposite from how they've been operating?
Most parents with adult children seem reluctant to discuss - or admit - to their children's problems, even with close friends. I understand that. First - and for me foremost - I'm a private person and don't feel an Oprah or Maury Povich-like itch to reveal my personal reality show to the world.
We see people's highlight reels and think they have it easy. The mom who lost 50+ pounds and looks amazing; it had to be easy. The mom who seems to have it all together, who has been told, parenting just comes naturally to you. The business owner who seems to have it all.
I remember when I got a salad after losing 20 pounds, and the cashier rolled her eyes. I remember losing 50 pounds and being able to hear the click of the seatbelt. I remember losing 80 pounds and being able to wipe myself.
The amount of time that we spend in the early stages of this process and the slope of the learning curve has to do with our willingness and ability to learn the lessons that relationships are continually providing us with.
My happy days don't give me immunity from depression, nor does my very abundant life. Beauty, money, fame, and even hordes of admirers don't keep anyone safe from this mental illness. It can affect anyone, and when it does, we need help.
Today I am battled-scarred, but proud that I fought hard for my mental health and won. Yet even now, decades past the days when The Black Dog was my constant companion, the threat of depression pursues me like a shadow, visible even on the brightest days.
What I really want you to know is what you already know: when your insides are chugging along efficiently and things are working in harmony and balance you feel better. And when you feel better on the inside, your outside shines even brighter.
To sum up, whether you live in the United States, Rwanda, Nigeria, or anywhere else, our journey as humans is universal: A large part of our success and happiness rest on the battles we choose to fight. The bravest and smartest among us decide what's worth fighting for.
Recovery takes many forms and has many causes, but the common denominator is realizing the need for change. It's the most powerful and human ability -- the ability to be aware, to choose, to change, to recover (and repeat). It's essentially the will to grow every day.
Sarah Lewis helps us to reorient our thinking around the concept of mastery and the process that develops it. And it's the process that seems to be her real interest, because the process of growing in mastery of anything inevitably involves uncertainty, courage, failure, persistence and struggle.
You trust in saving graces like this. You trust that one day soon, you'll be able to laugh about this -- life's tragedy and consequent comedy. Because, at nearly 31, all you can do is accept that this is the life you're living.