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headshot of Jamie Martin, editor in chief of Experience Life magazine

A couple of years ago, one of my daughters’ favorite activities was doing DIY treasure hunts. With their friends in the neighborhood, they followed a series of clues — created by either the supervising adult or one of the kids — that ultimately led to a prize. Sometimes it was a treat, sometimes a favorite toy, but more often than not, it was simply a random object or place.

Working together, the kids would analyze each riddle, word by word, and once they figured it out, you’d hear them all stampede to the determined destination, eager to solve the next clue. Their conversations and laughs along the way were hilarious.

Despite their age differences, which spanned about six years, the kids collaborated and cheered each other on . . . for the most part (what game doesn’t have the occasional debate or disagreement?). While the older kids would read the clues, the younger ones got to find the next hint in each location; they discovered and leveraged each others’ interests and knowledge as they pieced together the information, which was often pretty cryptic.

The first time I witnessed the game, I was surprised by how creative and challenging the clues were. Yet time and again, the kids connected the dots and reached the treasure — and were usually ready to start the next hunt posthaste.

In the spirit of the creativity of those treasure hunts, I’ve decided to take a different approach in this month’s column and send you on a little hunt of your own through this issue. What follows is a series of quotes from various articles. The challenge? Find each one, jot down the article title and author of the quote, then identify the common theme between them all.

Ready, set, go!

  1. Working out with a partner can help encourage, motivate, and push you past your comfort zone as you both work toward a goal together.”
  2. “The most important thing to ask about your giving is, What am I trying to help with? What am I trying to address?
  3. “Your mind is your main social organ. You can feel lonely or grateful, just from the power of your mind.”
  4. “Hands down, laughter is the most fulfilling outlet for connecting with others. It signals to both parties that you see the world in the same way. It’s connective tissue between you and even a stranger.”
  5. “Sometimes it takes someone outside of us to help us see our full potential.
  6. The courage to apologize, and the wisdom to do so wisely and well, is at the heart of having good relationships and a solid self.”
  7. “This is a class where you start on the floor, find a collective breath, then rise together. In the darkness of the room, the rhythm of the music and pounding of feet began to synchronize, creating a physical, almost sacred alignment.

If you played along and found your way back here, I’m guessing you pretty easily picked up on the common thread of nurturing connections and understanding — with yourself, with loved ones, with your community. It’s the theme that’s woven through many of the articles in the September 2022 issue and one of the most important factors for building and maintaining optimal health for the long term.

The reality is, we need each other, and if we can find ways to connect in spite of our differences, we’ll be on the path toward the real treasure: deeper, more meaningful relationships that do so much good for our health, our happiness, and our quality of life.

Jamie Martin

Jamie Martin is Experience Life’s editor in chief. Follow her on Instagram @jamiemartinel.

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