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Health Class

Five things to study this fall to expand your personal continuing ed.

By Dr. James Rouse

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“If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything, it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.”
Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind (Weatherhill, 1970).

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a student again? What if you could go back to school and choose classes on happiness, longevity or compassion? It’s very likely that your busy day-to-day life is a deterrent to your ability to get to a classroom, so we’re bringing the curriculum straight to you. Here are five things to focus on learning this fall to support and enhance your well-being in the “classroom of life.” 

Stemming from the Latin cor or French coeur, both of which mean “heart,” courage is the foundation for all people pursuing the best version of themselves. It is the first quality to study on how we live from our heart, how we trust from our heart and how we use full-hearted living. It takes courage to be uncomfortable and outside what is familiar, but it’s also when we begin the journey toward true optimum wellness.  

A positive emotional predisposition is a great way to help lower systemic inflammation, which is associated with unhealthy aging and disease. As part of your back-to-school, back-to-your-best self, what intention will you set every day? Maybe it’s moving more or eating well. If you follow through on that intention, you’ve automatically cultivated a greater level of optimism. 

The Harvard Business School shares that the number one asset in today’s workplace is a sense of curiosity and creativity. More Fortune 500 companies are seeking employees with this innate sense. What can you do to make yourself more curious and creative? Think of what you would like to learn more about and pursue it. Get involved with some kind of art. Did you know that many people who have won the Nobel Prize in science are typically people who have a personal outlet and interest in the arts?

The happiest, most influential people are the ones who are mindful and present. Work on mastering the art of single-tasking versus multitasking. Taking a few minutes every morning to meditate, pray or simply focus on breathing sets the tone psychologically and neurochemically for presence. 

Our goals around well-being tend to be best realized when we connect to expressing a version of ourselves that is aligned with everything in our heart that we know to be true. It’s natural to lose your sense of comfort and become more complacent. That’s life. Giving ourselves the moniker of “possibilitarian” allows us to re-engage in the power of possibility, the experience of greater purpose and a reignition of our personal passions.


The co-founder of Optimum Wellness, Dr. James Rouse has a doctorate in naturopathic medicine. He is an inspirational speaker, personal coach, author and the co-founder of Skoop, a line of powdered superfoods.

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