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OHPF Day 6

As is often the case after departure from a course, reintegration into the “real world” can prove challenging. Stimulated by full immersion in concepts and projects, the synergy of a like-minded group of individuals is brimming with potential energy that can slam into the brick-wall of reality Monday morning. Learning how to harness that vigor and fuel the process alongside the everyday responsibilities of personal and professional life occurs along a steep curve.

Timing in this instance has been particularly challenging as it coincides with the school year’s beginning and, for my family, this involves a transcontinental move for the fourth time in 365 days and logistics that prove daunting at times. Rather than submit to the overwhelm, which for a part of the day yesterday was the path I was taking, we can kick up for a breath and use the lessons learned as a beacon to our next destination.

One key lesson that transpired over the course of orientation was the broadened perspective of health and the vast array of opportunities to positively influence the health of communities and individuals. Health actually is all around. Health happens in the most obvious and the least likely of places. In the clinic and the hospital, though it can be hard to see through the fog of disease. In homes and schools, if we can catch a glimpse through the swirl of busy. In communities and on farms, magnified through sustainable practices. In offices and gyms and streets and hillsides and everywhere in between.

Camouflaged in the hectic landscape of everyday life, we sometimes have to look a bit more carefully to see where health might be hiding and get creative in how we can bring it to light. Consider the most unexpected place you might find health and take the time to make a detour and go there, honor it, admire it, nurture it, learn from it. Think of the place in your community most in need of health and bring it there with you, making a gentle introduction while listening to those who have managed to survive with a short supply. See the connections created through health in a wide variety of settings. Make health a constant in your experience of each moment of the day.

There are opportunities to serve the health of all things on the most basic and the grandest of scales, allowing for both intense and casual participation. Look within, look around, look beyond. Harness the energy that comes from those unique riveting moments highlighting ultimate human potential – a convention, a conference, a retreat, a speech, a book, an article, a video – and apply it where you are with the time, talent and treasure you can afford to give. May this new school year find us all ready, willing and able to gain in connection, knowledge and action, serving the health of mind, body and spirit.

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