Last week I had the privilege to attend the first “She is Sustainable” conference in the North of England at Lancaster University. I guess your first question, is what does that have to do with chiropractic, or with health or wellbeing?
I was drawn to the conference by the speaker list. It looked like it would be inspiring. And as a chiropractor, sometimes our world just becomes about chiropractic and the challenges we face, and I wanted the opportunity to hear some different perspectives.
The conference was aimed at women working in Sustainability, or for those of us who know less about it, women who want to save our planet. The 2 days more than lived up to my expectations and included some great speakers (I’ve picked the ones that spoke to me the most, they were all great but too many to mention).
· Caroline Gatrell spoke on Work/Life Balance
· Cat Smith, MP for Lancaster spoke about her experiences in parliament
· Anne Selby, CEO of the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Merseyside and Manchester
· Caz Graham, Journalist and Farming Today
· Professor Gail Whiteman, Director of the Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business. Lancaster University
· Paula Helena de Oliveira – Sustainability in Business
· Rebecca Willis, Environmental Politics and Policy Making
· Pam Warhust, founder of Incredible Edible
So the biggest question that came out of this for me was:
“How do I make sure that I’m Sustainable?”
Assuming we save our planet and our environment is fit to sustain life, how do we look after ourselves along the way? Many people who are very successful professionally often end up in failed relationships or with major health challenges. They are often unfit to enjoy the fruits of their success. That struck me as doubly unfair on people who were working to save the planet and keep our environment healthy and sustainable for future generations.
I always look at personal health and wellbeing from different perspectives.
There is your physical health and wellbeing – does your body work well enough to support your life? Do you have lots of energy? Can you do all the things you want to?
But there is also Emotional and Mental health?
Are you able to express yourself? Do you feel good about yourself and your life? Are your thoughts mainly positive and happy, or is there a huge amount of inner negative self-talk?
And the over looked area when it comes to health is spiritual health and wellbeing. For some people this means having a religion or faith. I personally believe that a faith can be a huge source of support and growth. For me spiritual health is more about are my dreams being met? Am I connected beyond myself to others and to my environment? Am I making a difference in the world? Am I sharing my unique gifts so that others can benefit? Am I loving a lot? Am I grateful and thankful for everything I have? Do I see joy in the small things? Can I celebrate my life?
So what does being sustainable mean to you? When you look back on your life, will you feel a sense of gratitude, of joy of happiness or will it be filled with regrets? For most, it’s probably somewhere in between, so how can it be more fulfilling?
I don’t have the answer because it’s different for everyone. The 2 days in Lancaster gave me a lot of food for thought. A group of inspiring women focused on changing our planet for the better. I hope that they all find their own magic recipe for sustaining themselves through their journey.
Doctor of Chiropractic, Expert in Reorganizational Healing
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