The Mental Side- Dis Ease.

Good morning.  

In prior blogs I shared some views on total wellness which includes being well: financially, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. 

Today I want to focus on the Mental side of the equation.  The definition of Mental is simply, of or relating to the mind.  If you can agree with me that what goes into the mind can affect how the mind thinks and manifest, then my question is what are you doing to nurture and strengthen the mind?  I am grateful I was encouraged to consider meditation.  For those that have thought it is unnecessary or a waste of time I challenge you to consider meditation as a method to ease your mind and bring you peace. 

I ask this question of you.  Regardless of what performance you are getting ready for, what state do you need to be in to execute your highest level of achievement?  Do you perform best in a state of anger, resentment, fear or anxiety?  Or do you perform better in a state of peace, gratitude or calmness? I submit the latter.  

Now I want you to think about the word ease.  The opposite of ease is not at ease or “DIS-EASE”.  Now put that all together DISEASE.  If a mind filled of dark, angry thoughts can wreak havoc on your body, can a mind filled of beautiful outcomes, relationships and blessings effect your experience in a positive way?  I owe the disease correlation to my friend Roy. 

While I have not meditated as frequently as I should-I am getting better.  Many experts recommend we should be doing 90 minutes a week.  There is a reason why Yoga has become so popular.  While there is a physical component to yoga it is not all physical.  There is absolutely a mental side of Yoga as well.  I was introduced to a simple meditation called “Release”.  It is on the longer side-20 minutes.  That said, check it out and if you do let me know how you feel afterwards.  We tried it the other day and even substituted our workout to try it, but I am so grateful we did.  

While this is all a work in progress to me, I do fully believe that if any of the wellness areas mentioned in the beginning: financial, physical, mental, emotional or spiritual are out of kilter, it can affect how at “ease” you are.  If you are not at ease, you are at Dis Ease. At that point are you more susceptible to disease?

 

 

We were blessed to have my sister, Moira Veech, her husband, Mike Veech and their son Luke visit this weekend.  Their presence kept everyone at ease. 

 

 

Happy Memorial Day and God speed!

Presence- Are you here?

This weekend I was so honored to be witness to my Nephew Liam Moran’s college graduation from Kenyon College. What a beautiful ceremony. The commencement presentation was given by Wynton Marsalis, the Legendary Jazz performer. What I took from the speech was the importance of being present. He said “as you age, time gets shorter and becomes more present.  Your experiences are condensed, and things that used to pass unnoticed have your full attention.”  I am witness to that fact.

 

I was witness to so much presence this weekend.  Thank you to all who were present for this beautiful celebration. My brother Bill and his wife Ann welcomed me into their weekend celebration.  Thank you.  I was able to enjoy the celebration with our brother Brion, their daughter Julia and The Winstel family. It was remarkable at how many beautiful people I met that were present to celebrate the graduates. Congratulations to Liam and all his fellow classmates. 

 

What amazed me was the presence of all the graduates that I interacted with.  Beyond their remarkable academic accomplishments, they learned what a blessing it is to be present.

 

At the post-graduation celebration last night, I was fortunate to meet one of Liam and Julia’s dear friends Will Smith. I know you are thinking Wow Will Smith actor. No, this Will Smith is more impressive than the one more public. This Will Smith is a paraplegic that contagiously draped us with his wit and spirit for life.  He met Liam and Julia at the aquatic center at Kenyon. Will swims three days a week. His mother or father bring him to the pool.  I am so glad I was able to meet Will this weekend. This summer he plans to water ski   I ask myself what is holding me back?  Could you ask the same question? 

 

Not long ago I blogged on the power of the smile. Pictured below you can see how contagious Will and my niece Julia’s smiles are.  Ironically Will’s mother is an oncology nurse in Columbus.  Beyond caring for her son, she passionately cares for her patients that fight the same disease I do. It was so awesome to make this connection. Will you are an inspiration to many!

 

The closing comments were given by Marc Bragin, Jewish Chaplain- Director of Spiritual and Religious Life.  He spoke of the Bible verse Isaiah 6:8 “here I am, Lord”.  He brought it back to Wynton’s comments. Please ask yourself are you present?  The greatest gift you can give someone is being present to them. Are you here? 

 

Thank you to all who were present and made the weekend experience so beautiful.

 

Congratulations to Liam and all of his fellow 2019 classmates.

 

Keep being awesome!  God Speed!

 

Friendship

36 years ago I met Doug Drenik in our freshman year of high school. Our first meeting was on the hardwood during a pick up basketball game. Today he walks with me on the hardwood of life.  I was blessed to have Doug join me for my treatment this morning.  Doug is a survivor of this disease and an alumni of Dana Farber.  I know I will be a graduate someday. It gave me confidence having him at my side. 
High School is an amazing transitional time. We grow up so quickly during those 4 years that the bonds created are as strong as steel. Doug is one of the many classmates that have supported me on the journey I am now on. I am so grateful for the support. Thank you class of 1987.
That said, one thing I have learned post high school and college is while we might graduate we must KEEP learning. This is a perfect time to think about this given it is graduation season. 
Graduates you should be proud of what you have accomplished. That said, things will evolve and with that you will need to evolve if you want to remain relevant.  Hopefully what you learned in college is how to learn. If so this will be a gift you will use the rest of your life. 
I will use a simple analogy with you. Take technology for example. The year I met Doug was 1983. The internet was invented that same year. We had no mobile phones, Facebook, instagram, snapchat, ITUNES etc…..  
Today, in my career I could not imagine using 1983 technology. Each evolution was a bit more efficient than the next. Graduates, your most successful peers will be the ones that embrace change and adapt. Adaptability is crucial to your success. 
One thing that will not change is the bonds you built.  I am witness to this today. I have been amazed by the support that I experience each day for high school, college and even grade school friends.  While I may not see these friends often I am grateful to you all. Thank you for your love and support. I am reminded to continue to nurture and value my relationships. 
Going to the mountaintop is a lot more fun with friends.
Congratulation to all of the 2019 graduates.  I look forward to following your celebrations and future successes.  May your dreams become real.
The world is your oyster!

Wellness?

In the investment industry we use the term financial wellness often. We assign wellness scores to clients. Fiduciaries emphasize how they will assist their clients in obtaining financial wellness. Also, clients often view financial wellness as being able to successfully pay their bills and live comfortably in retirement.

I have a question to my industry peers. Is there more we could do in this category?  Should we be thinking of wellness in a more holistic way? I introduced you to a friend of mine Dr. Roy Vongtama in a previous blog. In his book, “Healing Before Your Cured”, he discusses the importance of nurturing four houses that encompass physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellness.  

I now have a better understanding of Roy’s four houses as I walk through my disease and I begin to heal. I also realize that his concepts can be applied to the financial services industry.

I applaud the movement we have seen in helping individuals take responsibility for their own financial wellness. I simply think we could do more to assist them in having a more satisfying and complete retirement.

Do you know someone who reaches the age of 65 with substantial wealth and they find themselves weak in other areas?  How would you feel if you reached retirement and you are sound financially but weak physically, mentally and spiritually?

Also, as advisors, is it our objective for clients to have enough money to fill their coffins with $100 bills?  I know this is extreme, but I want to challenge our thinking.  We live in a fiduciary industry.  It is all about the clients we serve and building TRUST.  If we are aware of a more holistic approach to benefit them, aren’t we obligated to share it with them? I would argue, yes. 

If we think about wellness from a complete perspective it should include physical wealth, mental wealth and spiritual wealth.  I think there is an enormous opportunity to build into seminars,meetings or even individual consultations an element of wellness beyond just financial wellness.  We can educate clients on ways to attain wellness in a more holistic way. I challenge our industry to think beyond financial worth.  While I feel we have done the proper things needed from an investment perspective, my cancer diagnosis has motivated me to think outside the financial world “box”. I have worked in the financial services business for over 25 years and I feel very blessed for the opportunities it has provided me. However, that said, I challenge us to consider a way to provide more holistic information to our loyal clients who seek our advice. 

Where I sit today, I am compelled to challenge our industry to expand our worth into broader wellness.  If you think like I do, we as FIDUCIARIES need to act.  Let’s think outside the box and make an impact. Thanks for reading and continuing with me on this journey. 

God Speed.