Wellness Can Come In Many Forms

>> Monday, August 31, 2009

There are many dimensions to our own personal wellness .... mind, body, and spirit are the most broadly defined areas but there is so much more to it than just that.

Take spirituality, for example. Jeff Schwarz, our agency's head of CRM Operations, shows us a surprising side to his own spiritual wellness.

Hope this finds you well -- Jim.

Take the wheel, Jeff:

We all know that spiritual wellness helps contribute to our overall health and wellness. If your mind is in a good place, then your body has a better chance of following along. Let’s face it – if you are in a crappy mood, chances are good that your physical self also seems out of whack. A good example of this is that a bad mood can make a seemingly regular headache feel like a migraine. And vice versa – if you are in good spirits then you can more easily deal with the minor aches and pains of everyday life.

Everyone who knows me knows that I am not a very spiritual person by any means, but that there is one thing in my life that makes me a very happy camper and keeps me in good spirits – Jeeps. Outside of the work world I am known as Jeepin’ Jeff. Over the years I have owned more than 25 Jeeps – many of them from the 1940’s. I bought my first one brand new right off the showroom floor in 1983 and haven’t looked back since. It was my first new car and I kept it for 15 years.

I am in a few local Jeep clubs, won trophies for ice racing, written articles for national magazines, consulted with Chrysler/Jeep, and own one of the largest collections of historical Jeep memorabilia and literature. I also started and ran the Jeep Registry for ten years, a national clubs for Jeep owners. Around my home are old Timex watch cases that house more than 600 toy Jeep models. Yes they light up and revolve. (I have a very tolerant family!) My kids have known since birth which Jeep toys were theirs to play with and which were mine that they could not touch (or else!).

I’m a real Jeep freak.

But what really flips my switch is four wheeling. There is nothing like being on a trail in a topless, doorless Jeep with a bunch of other Jeeps where it takes us all day to go fifteen or twenty miles over rough terrain. The more challenging, the better we like it.

I’m sure a lot of you have SUVs – have you ever driven with your transfer in low range? In my current Jeep, top speed in sixth gear low range is about twenty miles per hour. Crawling over huge rocks, fallen trees, through mud or water crossings up to your headlights, up thirty degree hills that look impossible to climb is what I call fun.

And it takes great concentration to make it over or through these obstacles so while you’re wheeling you tend to forget about everything else going on in your life. I find it a very spiritually cleansing activity and it helps me get spiritually recentered.

Both of my sons also have Jeeps (no surprise there). My seventeen year old just got his first one, a 1995 Wrangler. The first order of business was to take off the hardtop and full steel doors and swap them for a soft top and half doors. He is so into the Jeep life that it scares me. He’s started reading my Jeep magazines, he’s scouring eBay and Craigslist for parts and accessories, texting me questions, wants to go to a club meeting, etc.

Jeep freak #2 in the making! And I love every minute of it.

What’s the moral of this story? Increase your wellness quotient by finding what it is that makes you spiritually happy. Then engage in it as often as possible and weave it into the fabric of your life. It will help you through difficult times or when you have to do any of those little things in your life that you are not crazy about doing, but have to do. You might as well do them with a smile while you think about that special thing you do to boost your spirits.
- Jeepin’ Jeff, Jeep Freak (Jeff Schwarz, VP CRM Operations at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness)


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