Mind, Body, Money, & Spirit – January 2016

Turning Vision into Reality

Portico’s president, the Rev. Jeff Thiemann, recently called the ELCA to a wellness reformation. In support, this year’s GO! Challenge invites you to create a vision for a healthier you and act on it. But does that little process really mean much?

After taking last year’s health assessment (which noted, yet again, that my stress levels and terrible sleep patterns were making my life a lot more difficult than I wanted it to be), I agreed to work with a Mayo Clinic health coach. In one of our first conversations, he asked me to spell out how I hoped things could be different. We identified a few strategies that would help me achieve my goals. But breaking old habits can be hard — especially when your goal is out-of-sight, out-of-mind.

When I next returned to my personalized view of Mayo Clinic’s myHealthyLiving site, though, I noticed that my coach had added my wellness vision to the very top of the page:

My Wellness Vision

I’ll admit, in the past, I went to the Mayo site just long enough to earn my wellness dollars. But this year, I’ve checked in a few times a month. Re-reading those words has reminded me that I want to — that I can — feel better. It’s kept me on course to actually make change that lasts.

Shaping a vision for your health is a lot like having a vision for your church or organization. It has to be aspirational enough to draw you into the future, but realistic enough to feel achievable. You have to commit to doing the things that will make it a reality. You have to take time to measure your behaviors and decisions against it. And you have to be willing to say no to things that get you off track.

With that in mind, can you name one or two ways you’d like to be healthier? It could be keeping your fitness and flexibility before the effects of aging kick in, or staving off the need for a prescription medication. Whatever it is, write it down and put it somewhere you’ll regularly see it. It’ll motivate you to stay on track.

To help kick off the 2016 GO! Challenge, this month’s issue is all about being intentional, shaping a vision and creating healthy change. Find inspiration here. Use your GO! Challenge materials (online or arriving by mail this month) to take action. This wellness reformation will come into being one decision at a time. Let’s do this together.

Signature of Pastor Shelley Cunningham

Shelley Cunningham

P.S. Worried you can’t do this on your own? Read below how Tammy Devine will be sharing her journey this year to help inspire you. And know your efforts will be a part of my Monday morning prayers this year.

Tammy Devine

Tammy Devine, the ELCA’s Wellness Manager, has bravely agreed to publicly share her GO! Challenge journey this year.

Email Tammy

GO!ing Deeper Into Emotional Wellness

By Tammy Devine

When this year’s GO! Challenge arrived on my desk, my first thought was to aim for 10,000 steps a day beyond my morning workout. This goal felt like a totally doable way to become a healthier me. Yet inside I felt a nudge … that there was a more important issue I needed to attend to.

I first remember experiencing self-doubt in third grade. A popular girl asked me how I answered a test question. I was so sure my answer was right — only to later learn that I was wrong. As silly as this sounds, this misstep led me to second-guess myself in other areas of my life. I began to depend on others to direct and make decisions for me. For many years, I have been able to deal with this self-doubt. But in recent months, I’ve found it harder to let things go. Worrying about negative outcomes paralyzes me and keeps me from turning to and trusting God.

As I was reading my Daily Text recently, one prayer spoke directly to my struggle: Lord, there is nothing that happens that goes unnoticed by you. Even though today I may feel as if I’m worth less than a penny, by your grace I know that, in you, I am a priceless treasure.  Help me extend your love to others today so they too can know how precious they are in your eyes. AMEN

What I need this year, I’ve decided, is to become more emotionally resilient. With a strong family history of depression and mental illness, it’s important for me to be proactive. After reviewing my GO! Challenge packet, I prayerfully considered people, practices, and tools that have helped me navigate challenging times in my past. As a result, I’ve identified three things that will help me gain greater self-awareness and confidence this year:

  • I have registered for Roy Oswald’s EQI (Emotional Quotient Inventory) workshop.
  • I plan to reflect by journaling a few times a week. I’ve had fits and starts with this discipline in the past, but know how helpful it can be.
  • I’ll turn to my mantra, “I am a priceless treasure,” when negative self-talk surfaces.

We can’t be healthy alone, so I ask: Please check in with me, by email or if we cross paths in person. If you ask, I’ll check in with you. We all need accountability partners on this year-long journey to wellness. I hope you, too, will courageously discern what abundant life looks like for you. This could lead to a real reformation.


That You May Be Well

Community Brings Resolution Into Focus

As ELCA leaders join the wellness reformation, Tammy Devine will occasionally be sharing her space to showcase their efforts. This month, she invites Pastor Dirk Stadtlander, who set out to be healthy alone but discovered that the perspective of others can make the journey richer.

Read More

Wellness Voices

Giving Up the “Balanced Life” Fantasy Set Me Free

Once she stopped striving for perfection, Pastor Erika Uthe found making intentional choices about her schedule allowed her to empower others and gave her peace.

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Your Health Matters to Others

All ELCA health plan members are encouraged to take the Mayo Clinic health assessment as a way to take stock of their health. ELCA-Primary members will earn $150 wellness dollars when they complete it.

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Understanding the Fed’s Actions

John Treptow, Manager of Portico’s Retirement Specialist Team, provides quick insights on the Federal Reserve’s recent announcement to raise interest rates.

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Turning Social Justice into Social Purpose

The ELCA’s teachings come to life as they impact policy decisions. Want an example? Read about why ELCA social purpose fund managers will no longer consider private prisons for future investments.

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© 2015 Portico Benefit Services | A Ministry of the ELCA