#MSWS19 Day 1 | Growth Means Keeping It Simple

by | Mar 5, 2019 | Blog, MSWS19


The Military Spouse Wellness Summit: Life With Purpose has finally arrived!

Once again I’m sitting down in front of my computer for my own private wellness conference — but this time I’m enjoying it from Japan! Before I dove into the interviews for Day 1, I went back and listened to last year’s interviews — thanks to my all-access pass.

Last year was a terrific event, filled with important lessons for avoiding burnout and living a life that can only be described as thriving. If you’re interested in going down memory lane and reminding yourself of some of the important lessons and topics covered during last year’s summit, click here.

This year’s theme made me so excited, as living a life with purpose is something I’m constantly working on. When we bring intentionality to our thoughts and our actions, it’s amazing how easy it is to live a life with purpose. So join me this week in slowing down, reflecting and absorbing all the delicious advice and support this year’s speakers have to offer.

Main Point

#MSWS19 started off with two delightful speakers, Peter Docker and Mike McGrath, who both spoke on the topic of growth. Peter spoke about our emotional growth and Mike spoke about physical growth — in our gardens.

While both of these speakers talked about different approaches to growth, there was a underlying lesson in their advice: keep it simple. From finding your “why” to starting your very own garden, keep things simple. As Peter Docker said, “Create a space into which others can step, which can often can mean not doing anything, but how you’re being, how you’re occurring to someone.” And that includes letting plants grow in that space, too.

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Thoughts from Peter Docker

Upon learning that Peter was a member of the Royal Air Force and that he’s worked closely with Simon Sineck, I was thrilled to hear more of how he lives his life to its fullest potential. And given all of his experience and the stories he shared in his interview, it’s not surprising I took away so many gems.

We can always tell when something feels right; it’s only when we can put it into words that we can be intentional.
— Peter Docker

YES! That’s what crossed my mind when Peter shared this statement with our host, Corie. We instinctively know what’s right and wrong for us personally. But when we’re operating from a place without intention, it can be hard to make decisions and take actions that are right for us. Intention is the guidepost that keeps us on the right path. Instead of crashing through the woods and hoping for the best with each turn we take, intentionality allows us to pause at each “y” in the forest and consider how our subsequent actions will bring us closer or further away from being the person we truly want to be.

The value of discovering your ‘why’ is that it helps you to reflect and recognize the value of the times that can bring you joy. And it gives you a tool to find other moments that can bring you joy.
— Peter Docker

This is a lesson I’ve learned over and over again from my mentors and one that is constantly brought up in the yoga and meditation world. To hear it again from Peter reaffirmed how having intentionality in your life can make space for joy to flood in and pervade everything you do.

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Thoughts from Mike McGrath

The second I heard Mike’s voice I knew I could listen to him all day long. His laugh is infectious, as is his passion for gardening. As someone who believes she has a “black thumb” (a euphemism for a “plant murderer”) I felt encouraged and inspired by Mike’s interview to get back into my yard this year and give gardening another go.

When it comes to gardening, hard work is for chumps.
— Mike McGrath

There was a wave of relief that washed over me when Mike made this statement at the beginning of his interview. From that moment on, he had my full attention. Gardening, to the uninitiated, can seem like a difficult and daunting task. It took Mike all of five minutes to reassure the MSWS19 listeners that gardening actually shouldn’t be back-breaking work.

Plants that grow in compost are street smart; plants that grow in chemical fertilizers are like a drunk that has staggered onto the wrong street, in the wrong neighborhood and has $20 bills spilling out of his pocket as he looks for his handkerchief. That man is going to have a poor outcome.
— Mike McGrath

I giggled so much at this quote that I had to pause the interview so I wouldn’t miss any other hilarious or precious aphorisms from Mike. What Mike wanted the audience to know is that we don’t need MiracleGro or any other products to successfully garden. Even if we live somewhere filled with bugs!

Mike is a huge advocate for letting plants do their own thing. From getting rid of pests to helping them yield a successful crop, we as gardeners really don’t need to go overboard with helping plants grow. As Mike pointed out in his interview: chill out about gardening. Plants were here before us. Plants will be here after us. Every dead plant is a lesson learned and an opportunity to grow (pun intended) from that experience. Don’t let it get you down!

I’m already amped up and inspired by the first two speakers of the summit and I cannot wait to hear the rest of the interviews this week! Make sure to share your comments below on what you loved most about Day 1 of #MSWS19 and what takeaways you’d share with others!

Grow With Purpose was generously sponsored by Military Benefit Association. Military Benefit Association is proud to honor the resiliency of the military spouse by sponsoring the fourth annual Military Spouse Wellness Summit. Military Benefit Association has been part of the military support network since 1956 offering affordable group term life insurance, TRICARE supplements, financial educational resources, scholarships, and many other benefits designed to look out for your economic welfare. To find out about how MBA can bring financial wellness and security to your family visit their website.

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.

Connect With Alexis

Instagram: @wifeinthewildblueyonder | Twitter: @Wife_BlueYonder |  Facebook: @wifeinthewildblueyonder | Web: wifeinthewildblueyonder.com | Email: wifeinthewildblueyonder@gmail.com

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