New Year’s Eve is always a special time for our family. We usually spend it in Iceland and throw a big party for friends and family. This is often a time to reflect on the year that passed and look ahead to the coming year. I have never been one to make New Year’s resolutions, but I am a big fan of reflecting on the year that is behind us—taking time to focus on the positive, learning from what could have been done better, and through that introspection, growing as a person.
Looking back at the blog posts I’ve sent out over the last 12 months I clearly see an underlying theme: Wellness! A few years back, I did a bit of soul searching. I took time to evaluate where I was in life and had some questions. How am I contributing? Am I doing good for others or focused only on my life, selfishly drifting without a meaningful direction?
I discovered that I am a nurturer. I love to help and take care of people, especially through food. About 15 years ago I was working in the financial sector in Iceland, and it was killing me. I felt unfulfilled and didn’t have the artistic outlet I needed. The money was good, but almost everything else was not—there was no greater purpose. I was lucky enough to have caring people around me to give me the push I needed to challenge myself and find my true passion. To do that, I needed to develop a greater understanding of self. What made me tick? What was I truly passionate about? Not everyone has the confidence, resources, or the support to follow their heart when it comes to pursuing what they love, but for me, most pivotal question was, can I afford not to?
I took the plunge and began my journey with chef training. After working with food for many years, I made a life-changing discovery, stumbling upon Marine collagen made from the skin of Icelandic and Norwegian Cod, and I knew immediately that I wanted to use it to help others the way it had helped me. I had found something so healing that it could help me fully realize my nurturing side. Since we launched just björn a little over a year ago, I have been so grateful to receive so many messages from our customers saying how much our marine collagen has helped them.
"This is it! This is the essence of who I am, and the reason I’m so excited to go to work every day. I really am able to help people."
Over the last months you, who follow my blog and receive my newsletter, have been introduced to my search for balance in life. I have tried to share the path or journey I am on, how I got there and where I see myself going in the future. This amazing and precious life is the only one I have—I want to make the most of it and experience it in the best way I can.
I invite you to follow my newsletter and blog, but as an exercise to start, I want you to draw/imagine a circle. In the middle I want you to write wellness. Wellness is the optimal goal, central to life. Surrounding that, you need to consistently work to unite these 6 things to achieve wellness:
- Good nutrition
- Exercise that you enjoy
- Good quality sleep, 7-9 hours a night
- Social connection
- A Roadmap – meaningful education and work
I challenge you to strip away your ego, go inwards, and ask yourself, “What am I doing to achieve wellness?”. Start small and be honest with yourself. When you focus on one thing at a time, you will begin to see how they are all connected. You need good nutrition and good night’s sleep to exercise. You get an endorphin kick from exercise, resulting in better sleep, and wanting to eat better. This helps you to be more focused, better able to do the jobs at hand, and to create more meaningful social connections. Your spirituality (meditation, faith, open-mindedness, trust, hope) helps you to connect with yourself at a deeper level, which supports your mental health. This, in turn, supports your physical health. Which leads us to your roadmap. The more you connect with your inner self—your spirituality—the better you begin to understand what it is that makes you “tick”, why you are here, and what is your purpose.
As I mentioned before, I am a nurturer. This would have been a tough word to use to describe me 30 years ago, and was maybe not the right fit for me then, but people change. Being in finance and playing competitive sports, defining myself as a nurturer would not have scored high on the masculinity scale. But with work, inner and outer work, I have discovered who I am. Do this work and you too will be able to create your roadmap. Yes, I said create—only you can and should control your life. The question is, do you want a life of wellness? And can YOU afford not to?
In these last days of the year, I invite you to look back and, learn, feel, and celebrate. Going forward, I challenge you to take a good look at your circle. Is your wellness central, in big bold letters, or is it fading into the background in your life.
Happy holidays, happy new year and thank you for all your support.