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08.24.23 | Community

Forgiving Oneself and Others

Forgiveness is a cornerstone of one’s personal growth journey, and its importance can’t be overstated. At the very core, forgiving yourself starts as a choice, a conscious decision to release the weight of past regrets and to make peace with your actions and decisions, and with that choice comes the foundational elements of empathy, understanding, compassion, and kindness.

Empathy plays a crucial role in this journey. By putting oneself in another’s shoes, we not only gain perspective but also allow for healing to commence. It helps us to see beyond our narrow viewpoint and understand the broader picture. It reminds us that everyone, including ourselves, is fighting a battle that we may know nothing about.

Alongside empathy, understanding is pivotal. This means recognizing our mistakes, learning from them, and accepting that everyone has their journey filled with both ups and downs. Acceptance doesn’t mean we forget or condone mistakes, but rather that we recognize them as part of our growth.

When we look at our past with love and understanding, rather than judgment, we begin to heal. And once we show compassion towards others, even when it feels undeserved, we often find that we’re lightening our own burdens. It’s a mutual process of healing – for ourselves and for others.

Kindness is the thread that stitches together the fabric of forgiveness. It could be in small, daily acts or larger gestures. Whether it’s being gentle with oneself on a tough day or showing kindness to someone who might not have treated us well, these actions have a ripple effect. Kindness not only fosters an environment where forgiveness can thrive but also nurtures our own soul.

Despite understanding these foundational elements, we must remember that the act of forgiveness is fundamentally a choice. It’s a decision we make, transitioning from denial or resentment to a state of acceptance. This choice isn’t always easy; barriers often stand in our way. Yet, with determination, these barriers can be overcome.

Even after choosing forgiveness, the journey isn’t over. It’s essential to realize that forgiveness isn’t a one-time act or a destination but an ongoing process. Making peace with past mistakes, allowing ourselves the grace to move forward, and embracing the future with resilience are all parts of this continuous journey.

While the path of forgiving oneself and others can be strewn with challenges, it is a necessary step towards achieving inner peace and profound personal growth for your own Vibrant Living. So, as you move forward, reflect upon your journey, choose forgiveness, and embrace the healing that it brings!

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06.29.23 | Arts & Culture

The Healing Power of Nature: Embracing Botanical Gardens

Life sometimes feels like it’s zipping by, doesn’t it? We often get so caught up in the rush that we forget to pause and simply be. But the beauty of vibrant living is in those pauses. That’s where we step in at Sage Collective – to invite you to stop, breathe, and immerse yourself in the vibrant living that nature offers. With its rich colors, textures, and diverse life forms, Mother Nature brings an oasis of tranquility and peace into our lives.

Our relationship with nature isn’t just a primal instinct. It’s a two-way street – nature nurtures us and in return, we protect and preserve it. Just think about how a simple walk in a park can melt away your stress and energize your spirit. That’s the healing power of nature, promoting not just our physical well-being but also boosting our mental health.

Think of botanical gardens and conservatories as front-row seats to the spectacle of vibrant living. They’re not just clusters of plants but treasure troves of biodiversity, acting as sanctuaries for plant conservation and research. At the same time, they give us a chance to explore, appreciate, and understand nature’s beauty and the significance of biodiversity.

Imagine strolling through these green havens. It’s more than just a pleasant walk. It’s an education, a stress-buster, and a celebration of global biodiversity all rolled into one. Plus, it’s good for your heart health too!

The best thing is you don’t need to step into a botanical garden to connect with nature. You can experience vibrant living right in your backyard or even on your balcony. A simple walk in your local park or some quiet time spent gardening can be your quick escape to nature. And don’t forget to engage your senses in these moments – feel the breeze, listen to the bird songs, or simply admire the greenery around you. These simple acts of mindfulness can bring an immensely calming effect to your day.

Vibrant living is all about embracing the healing power of nature. Whether it’s through visiting a botanical garden or finding moments of connection in your everyday life, it’s essential to let nature soothe your soul. Amidst the fast-paced chaos of our modern lives, let’s take a moment to step back, breathe, and find our peace in nature. Because when we connect with nature, we connect with ourselves, and ultimately, each other. So let’s celebrate our symbiotic relationship with nature and continue on this journey of vibrant living.

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06.15.23 | Community

The Importance of Mental Health for Men: Breaking Down Barriers and Stigmas

As we embrace Men’s Health Month this June, we at Sage Collective aim to draw attention to an often-ignored aspect of men’s wellbeing – mental health. The stigmas and misconceptions surrounding this topic can often sideline it, but we believe it’s essential for everyone to pay attention to mental health just as much as physical health.

Traditional societal norms might suggest men should suppress their emotions and maintain an exterior of strength, thereby inadvertently neglecting their mental health. However, mental health issues do not discriminate between genders and can affect anyone. Acknowledging and addressing these issues is crucial for overall health and wellbeing.

The concept that men should endure their mental health struggles silently continues to prevail. These outdated notions not only undermine the severity of mental health issues but also discourage men from seeking the help they need. This is a narrative we, as a society, must strive to change.

Promoting a culture where mental health is openly discussed, where men are encouraged to express their feelings and seek assistance when needed, is vital. The first step in doing this is to encourage dialogue. The act of sharing personal experiences and listening to others can go a long way in fostering understanding and empathy.

In addition to fostering open dialogue, we also need to focus on educating ourselves and others about mental health. Knowledge about the various mental health issues, their symptoms, and how to seek help is an essential tool for early intervention and recovery.

It’s also important to dismantle the misconception that mental health care is a sign of weakness. On the contrary, it’s a demonstration of strength and self-awareness. It takes courage to acknowledge personal struggles and seek help.

Recognizing the importance of men’s mental health should not be confined to Men’s Health Month alone, but it’s a good place to start. It’s an opportunity to bring men’s mental health into focus, challenge the existing stigmas, and advocate for mental health as an integral part of overall health.

At Sage Collective, we’re dedicated to this mission. Join us this Men’s Health Month as we strive to spread awareness and create a society where mental health, for both men and women, is prioritized and discussed openly without prejudice.

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08.25.22 | News

Introducing Our Newest Team Member, DeShunn Bray

With an impressive passion for forming rich connections with others and making significant impact on the communities in which she interacts, DeShunn Bray has always been a catalyst in her field. From working as the former site manager at Willa Rawls Manor to various security and programming roles, her extensive experience and radiating energy made her the perfect candidate to lead our Vibrant Learning Program at Chicago Commons. We couldn’t be more thrilled to announce DeShunn as the newest addition to the Sage Collective team. Get to know DeShunn in her introduction below: 

Can you talk a little bit about your professional background and how it has made you an expert in your field?

I have over 20 years of experience working with seniors and managing senior properties. I’m also a certified manager of senior housing, so with that has come other responsibilities of managing and securing properties. Not only was I managing one-on-one meetings with clients, but I also had a chance to discover their needs. One of my key responsibilities was making sure that everyone has a healthy, clean environment that helps them live more independently. So as a result, I was also responsible for helping provide services that would enhance their living space and every aspect of their quality of life.

What is your role with Sage Collective and our pilot program at Chicago Commons?

My title is Manager of Programming and Community Engagement. So when I walk into an assisted living program, or any program that deals with housing or providing a service with senior citizens, I make sure I come in with my “arsenal” — some excellent references and connections to vibrant living. I ensure that Sage Collective has the resources to carry out the different programs that we provide, including putting together an outline to touch on themes such as health, wellness, culture and arts. 

By tapping into that good vibe that we possess at Sage Collective, I also help our participants believe that life hasn’t ended and that every day is a great day. So when our participants’ family and friends see them thriving, it’s a way for them to say, “This is what I still like to do. I’m just a little older, but I am still the same person.’’ Through the programing, participants gain the ability to say with assurance what they need and I’m elated to provide them with that type of confidence and language they need to be able to communicate better with everyone. 

You’re also doing grassroots outreach throughout the community. How meaningful is this type of outreach for organizations like Sage Collective?

Well, you can talk about it, but our thing is to be about it. We have to go out in the field and connect with people on their level, sit down, have a conversation with them, have a conversation with the community, and say, “This is what we need in our community.” So connecting with the public, the Aldermen, builders, and even larger corporations allows Sage Collective to advance our service to others that may be in real need of tackling isolation and depression. If we come in and show them the type of programming we’re doing, we could get funding. And so connecting with different organizations and bringing those resources to the community, where there are underserved seniors or disabled communities is key to what we should and will be doing.

It’s very fulfilling work to walk out of the door and have a purpose. And that’s one of the things that we at Sage Collective make sure people understand — that they do have a purpose in life —  and it should extend beyond what the nation is saying or thinking.

Speaking of purpose and along the lines of Sage Collectives beliefs and values, what unique values held by Sage Collective drew you to work for them?

The fact that Sage Collective has implemented a new way of thinking. Humans have to constantly think differently to allow themselves to change. I can go to YouTube now, and I can download two-minute workouts, 15-minute workouts, and 20-minute workouts and Sage Collective helps put those resources out there so that seniors can know that they don’t always have to tap into their budget and do something expensive to improve their health. Why wouldn’t someone want to be a part of an organization that’s not trying to buy them, not trying to make them spend a whole lot of money to improve their lifestyle, to improve their health, to help connect them with others?

What are you most looking forward to most as a new member of Sage Collective’s team? What do you hope to accomplish in your time ahead?

Making change leaves a legacy. So it’s a great feeling coming on board with a team that shares the same beliefs that I have and takes them to the next level. Even though I am living with the purpose of securing myself and others, I’m also changing the way people look at their futures. And there’s not a lot of people preaching that or teaching that. And I love the concept of being that person that can walk through the door and make you smile and laugh. 

One woman in the Vibrant Living Program made me smile last week when she told me that I had brought out a feeling she had been missing because she was listening to blues music and remembering their younger years. So I think knowing that somebody cares, and then incorporating their feelings into the next lesson, into the next program, into the next adventure, who doesn’t want to be a part of that? So I see myself being that person, taking the time to understand my clients, and then being right there on the level with them. And as far as Sage Collective, as long as they’re in business, I want to be there.

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