There has been a huge shift in our world before and especially during COVID. Mental health is a topic that has gained momentum and steam over the past decade as we all realize what truly matters in life. Anxiety and depression are at an all time high! So, as a people we have to do better, and be better. Be kinder and gentler to ourselves and kinder and gentler to others.

Tonight we had some remarkable guests who are dedicated to the wellness space. David Newton has been teaching fitness including indoor cycle, weight training, and yoga for over 30 years.  Lisa Borden, is the owner of Borden Communications and much more than a marketing whiz. She is all about living consciously and developing strategies to living a better life. Together, they have created the ‘Akira Concept’, published a curriculum, published two books with another on the way, designed a website and a wellness app. They are determined to create a “Wellness Intelligence” movement and shared their thoughts with us 

What is The Akira Concept?

The Akira Concept is a collaboration of our life’s work.  It includes immersive wellness solutions to help everyone discover their Wellness Intelligence in 8 dimensions of wellness: Physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, financial, social, environmental, and intellectual. EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED. In the past year, we have  created 6 courses and just opened our online community. ALL ARE WELCOMED! In all we teach, we emphasize that you can’t really separate anything and that when you take care of your body, you are taking care of your mind.  When  you take care of yourself, you are taking care of the world.  There is a beautiful quote by John Muir that supports this … “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” And that’s the first thing we want you to take away… that everything is connected, and that EVERYTHING you do, matters.

What is Intelligence Wellness?

Wellness Intelligence gives you the ability to make the right decisions and take the right actions. It is about being connected to your own “right” and acting on it with confidence and resilience. We hope that we can inspire and empower you to look for more information and to learn as much as you can by asking questions. Curiosity is the most powerful force on this planet! Realize that you have the power to make your own choices, and that your choices really matter. It’s NOT about following the masses, it’s about being your OWN best expert. A quote we love from Cleo Wade is “We are the builders who are building a world that has never been built before.” Let that empower you!  It’s not about doing more things, it’s about doing more of the right things.

How do you do more of the right things and be your own best expert? 

It starts by being curious. When you live with an open mind and heart, you will receive so much information, use it! Listen to podcasts, read books, take courses, watch documentaries, ask people questions or spend time in nature. Our experiential knowledge is our most valuable asset as it serves us more than our formal education does. We encourage you to dive deep and chase experiences!

Be multi-dimensional instead of linear. It’s about thinking big picture or full-spectrum living. It’s about living with the understanding that everything we do matters and everything is connected. It is rare for someone to understand that an organically grown apple from a small local farm is not only better for you, but also better for our soil, water, air, and the people growing the apple. We tend to think about one thing or category at a time, like seeing the individual puzzle pieces rather than the completed puzzle or the big picture. Wellness Intelligence is all about seeing a bigger picture.

You are an activist just by the way you live your day! Even the shampoo you use matters. The shirt you wear … the sunscreen you rub on … the backpack you buy. When you see signs for “no fragrance” in a shared space, it’s not just about it bothering others. Think bigger! Every dollar that you spend, and all of your choices are a vote for the kind of world you want, your individual health, and for the world we all share. It’s about thinking: What is it made of? (the materials or ingredients) Who made it and where? (how are they treated?) How far did it travel to get to you? (how big is its footprint?) What is it packaged in? (and where does that packaging go?) Who am I buying it from? (and what do they support?) Is it necessary? How does it affect all eight dimensions of your wellness?  This is ‘Empathy Economics’ and empathy in living.  This is how we shape a better world and a healthier us! Thinking big about our purchases and actions contributes to our own wellness.

We also need to think bigger about our movement and adding dimension into physical wellness. It’s not just about being fit, it’s about being healthy. When you work out, incorporate mobility, strength and cardio in all dimensions into your workouts. Our bodies are multi-dimensional machines. So to build optimum physical wellness, prevent injuries and overuse, and to maximize your potential, you need to be “multi-dimensionally strong”. We are conditioned to live in linear ways; think of walking on fitness equipment: treadmills, stair machines, stationary bikes. They all train us in a linear, one-dimensional way. When you train in a linear way you use only primary muscles. The secondary muscles don’t have to work and because they are not working, they weaken and eventually destabilize. The “secret” to building and maintaining physical wellness is to, once again, think big picture.  Train your body in ALL dimensions; forwards, backwards, sideways, up, down and rotationally. Multi-dimensional movement builds spatial awareness, balance and enhanced mobility, strength and performance and brain health! Get off the equipment and get into nature, the greatest gym of all. And don’t forget to factor stillness and rest into your fitness routine, as recovery is where growth happens. It’s about starting where you are today, and moving forward from here with Wellness Intelligence .

What is the message that you want to leave us with today?

It ALL matters, and EVERYTHING is connected.

What will you explore in order to live your right life?

Take care of yourself, so you can take care of others, and our planet too.

Anything is possible when you live with Wellness Intelligence.

Check out more of Lisa and David’s incredible work at theakiraconcept.com

Our Shining stars tonight were Miley Greenberg and Joey Sieradzki.  When the world shut down last March, Miley and Joey, along with their junior competitive dance team at Rhythm Dance Studio, were devastated that they were going to miss their competition. Their team remained connected through ZOOM and quickly realized that their disappointment was nothing, compared to what was going on in the world. So, they decided to give back to all the doctors and nurses at UHN, who were working so hard.  The girls met every night on ZOOM to plan a fundraiser and came up with a virtual dance-a-thon.  They hit their initial goal of $1500 in less than ten minutes and in the end, raised over $20,500! They were on the news and even featured in a book called “What Kids Did”.  Many of the girls were Project Give Back alumni and said that it was the program that helped to inspire them. The girls truly believe that their dance team and the bonding that happened while they were planning their fundraiser,  is what helped them through this challenging year. Joey added that the whole experience taught her to keep a positive mindset. Miley noted, that even when you feel lost, you can always help someone else.  Seems like they truly found their own Wellness Intelligence!

Rae Fawn was our wonderful musical guest. She is a singer/songwriter who has been writing music since age 11 and recently graduated from Berklee College of Music. Rae shared a powerful message that, everything you do has an impact, including loving yourself.  Then she aptly performed, ‘Just the Way You Are’, by Billy Joel.   Find out more about Rae on her website, raefawn.com, Facebook page or her Instagram account.

Lindsay @one2giveto introduced us to a new Food Share Initiative through an app called, ‘Olio’. Olio  is a great tool which is designed to combat food insecurity and waste. It is a form of food sharing, where users can donate food items that they can’t use. So, rather than waste food, donate it; including opened products and even fresh items. Here’s how it works: Take a picture of food items that you have to donate and post them.  Leave the items on your doorstep and someone will come and pick up your food! Pick up is even contactless. Talk about empathy economics and a empathy living.

Remember, Kindness is Contagious!

If everything is truly connected, and we all can make an impact, then let’s do what we can to take care of ourselves and help everyone around us. Thank you to Lisa, David, Rae, Miley, Joey and Lindsay for making these connections.