The InDependent Wellness Summit is our annual, online event for all military and first responder spouses- past, present, and future. Learn more about the program here.
Whether you listened to the full interviews or are catching up with these recaps, Day 2 of the InDependent Wellness Summit was another inspiring and thought-provoking day surrounding the two topics of productivity and creativity – two topics that really go hand-in-hand. (Did you miss Day 1? Don’t miss out by checking out my recap!).
For Day 2, listeners started off with an interview with Chris Bailey, who has many achievements but seemed the most excited about the title, “Productivity Fanatic.” His hobby is finding ways to be productive and discover how humans can increase their productivity. Bailey’s passion for this topic shined through the entire interview as he shared some surprising insights on how we can be productive.
The first item that caught my attention was when he shared Parkinson’s Law: our work and our life and what we have to do tends to expand to fit how much time we have available for its completion. He exemplified this by saying, “We often get distracted with [social media], for example, because we have some extra time and instead of spending it in an active way, because we have a lot going on in our lives, we spend it in a passive way.” Makes a lot of sense, right? We spend much of our day putting a ton of effort into our chosen activities. So it’s not surprising that we take the time to be distracted and let ourselves be passive for a bit as a form of a break.
While this can be frustrating, Bailey went on to share with listeners the second thing that surprised me during his interview: we shouldn’t feel guilty when our mind has become distracted. As a yoga and meditation teacher, this phrase is right in line with what I teach day in and day out. What surprised me was hearing this lesson from a productivity expert! Isn’t he supposed to be sharing with us the secrets to getting 110 percent out of every day?
Bailey went on to explain that we shouldn’t feel guilty because 1) our mind is wired in a way that makes us predisposed to respond to any reaction (because we get a little shot of dopamine every time we come across something new or novel), and 2) our minds are built to wander (think caveman looking for danger).
Turns out, getting distracted is part of being a human. And it’s nothing to feel ashamed or angry over. However, Bailey later on in the interview shared probably the key to being uber productive: “The more deliberately we live our life, the more intentionally we live our life, the more productive we become.” I smiled ear to ear hearing this message because it’s a fundamental truth of life! Where we put our time and energy is how we’re going to live our life. Much like Dr. Holliday talked about during Day 1, we cannot put energy into our projects and our loved ones if we’re not putting energy into ourselves – especially in the form of sleep!
Even though productivity seems like its own category of life that should be fueled by unicorn hair and fairy dust, it’s important we look at productivity as part of the greater whole of our lives. We cannot be productive if we aren’t getting enough sleep, aren’t putting healthy food in our bodies, are abusing caffeine or other substances, aren’t exercising, and aren’t participating in activities that fuel us physically, mentally, and spiritually. Really, when it comes to getting “more” out of our day sometimes we have to make small (or big) adjustments in other areas of our life. This brings us full circle to the idea of acting with greater intention in our lives. When we intentionally find time to sleep, eat healthfully, establish meaningful connections, and care for our bodies, our productivity will naturally increase.
From productivity, we moved on to hearing from Lindsay Swoboda on creativity. Swoboda, like so many listeners, is a military spouse in the midst of yet another Permanent Change of Station (PCS). She has a background in writing and performing arts, so many would think she’s a natural to speak on the topic of creativity. What I loved about Swoboda’s interview was right out of the gate she shared a fundamental truth about military spouses: all military spouses are naturally creative. Now, you might not be the next great painter or clothing designer or writer, but those aren’t the only fields in which a person can be creative.
If you’re like me, you have that one odd piece of furniture that has been with you for every single PCS that you have somehow found a useful home for at every duty station. Am I right? Mine is a tall metal shelf that’s square and fits perfectly in a corner. It’s been a storage shelf in a college dorm room; a “pantry” in a laundry room in a one-bedroom apartment; a “pantry” in the corner of a kitchen; and now it’s a yoga supplies shelf in my at-home yoga studio. Who knows what it will turn into when we move again! Finding ways to utilize this piece of furniture in each home we occupied? Now that’s creative!
All military spouses find creative ways to solve quirky, odd, and sometimes incredibly stressful problems. Creativity is all about perceiving the world in new ways. That doesn’t mean you have to bring a piece of “art” to life. I also loved when Swoboda said, “You take you with you everywhere.” It’s true that our surroundings, friends and careers may change, but who we truly are will not. We will go through different seasons of life, we will grow, but we always have a fount of creativity available within each of us. All we have to do is pull from within ourselves to be as creative as we want to be!
It was another great round of interviews during Day 2 of the InDependent Wellness Summit! Don’t forget to catch up on Day 1! If you want to listen to the interviews FOR FREE, you have until Mar 14th to register for General Admission. The interviews will then expire on Mar 15th. Or, you can register for 50% off an All-Access Pass! You’ll get access to all of the interviews and more for life!
Strength in Productivity and Strength in Creativity were generously sponsored by Legacy Magazine. Do you long to change the narrative of your service spouse experience? If so, Legacy Magazine is on a mission to help you do just that. Through a strength-based approach, they offer the voice of a friend and mentor during times of celebration, transition, and growth. Join them as they help readers unveil narratives of strength, resilience, and hope—even in the face of adversity. Learn more at www.legacymagazine.org and at @legacymag on Instagram. The InDependent Wellness Summit: Dimensions of Strength is presented by the USO. Learn more about the USO and it’s programs for military spouses here.
ABOUT ALEXIS MILLER
Alexis Miller is the Director of Communications for Warriors at Ease, a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to bringing yoga and meditation to the military community through a network of trained professionals and through free programs that support them in their health and healing. She’s also the writer behind the blog Wife in the Wild Blue Yonder, where she shares her travel and military life experiences with readers. Lastly, Alexis is a certified yoga instructor and specializes in bringing yoga and meditation to the Yokota Air Base community. When Alexis isn’t busy working, you can find her doing yoga, rock climbing, fly fishing or traveling.