Happy #WellfieWednesday! This week’s post is brought to you by @FreestylePhysio. Enjoy!
This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending a men’s spiritual retreat called Men’s Cornerstone Weekend. I was invited by my friend and co-worker, Eric, and I blindly accepted without asking many questions. I didn’t have any expectations or goals for the event. I assumed I would I listen to men’s stories about their own spiritual and religious journey and be invited to share my own. Somewhere in that process I might just learn a thing or two. But having been mostly disconnected from my own faith practice for the last decade or more, I wasn’t sure how much I’d be able to participate or gain from the weekend. Nonetheless, I went in with an open mind and felt deeply moved by the entire experience. This post could easily turn into a novel, but I’ll try my best to keep it brief and discuss a couple personal takeaways I left with.
Life is hard.
I was reminded of this simple fact about life again and again listening to the stories shared this weekend. Adversity throughout life Is inevitable. Life’s challenges often seem to be dealt at random without reason or fairness, and at times may feel insurmountable. I was amazed to hear the trials and tribulations that the men at Cornerstone had gone through and were going through. It helped give me perspective on how relatively easy my life has been thus far, and a good reminder that challenges I can’t see are on the horizon. I’m not confident my current spiritual/faith practice is strong enough to guide me through extreme difficulty. It’s easy to go on cruise control in many aspects of life, and I certainly have been regarding my spirituality/faith for a while now. This weekend provided a helpful nudge toward exploring that aspect of myself. Sometimes catastrophe forces us to explore that aspect of ourselves, but I think it’s ideal to consider it prior to a disaster striking.
Be Kind. Always.
My perspective of others also changed this weekend. The vulnerability and courage displayed through sharing emotionally jarring stories was enough to bring me to tears. This unassuming group of men turned out to be some of the strongest men I’ve ever had the privilege to meet. And I don’t believe they came to be that way by chance. They’ve consistently worked on themselves and continue to do so, and in doing so have helped countless others grow into better versions of themselves. I’m reminded of this quote, “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be Kind. Always.”
Throughout the weekend we were asked to reflect on what God’s invitation was for us in relation to how a story impacted us. I interpreted this as a moment to consider a personal call to action based on lessons learned from another person’s life experience. First, I thought of one of my own battles. As I mentioned earlier, I feel adversity in my life has been relatively minimal and mostly self-governed meaning I’ve sought out and accepted challenges on my own terms rather than it being dealt to me regardless of how I felt. However, one consistent challenge I’ve faced throughout my life is social anxiety. I’m not sure it’s appropriate to call it that as I’ve never been medically diagnosed or treated for it. But those who’ve known me the longest and know me best, like my parents, know that I tend to avoid social interaction. I’ve always admired people like my Dad who seem eager to strike up a conversation with a stranger and can talk to anyone for hours. Relating this back to my Cornerstone experience, I realized that if I were to come across any of the men attending anywhere else, I would have never said hello and asked about their life. It was hard enough to do so this weekend when I really had no other choice. I think of what I miss out on by not doing that. So, my call to action is simple, just say hello. In doing so, I might end up speaking to and learning from the most interesting man (or women) in the world. That’s how I would describe the men in attendance this weekend, the most interesting men in the world.
Thank you to the men who attended Cornerstone this past weekend. Special thanks to Eric for the invite. I arrived with minimal expectations and left with a better understanding of myself and a stronger connection with my spirituality that I would not have otherwise sought out. I also learned I can survive without my phone for more than 24 hours. It’s ironic that to truly connect you might first have to disconnect. I hope everyone has similar opportunities and takes advantage of them. Cheers.
Thanks for all of the support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio, @Eric_in_AmERICa, @FreestylePhysio, @DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!
- WW Crew