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Cultivating Ikigai: A Tool for a Happy, Fulfilled Life

With Jeanne Rosner, MD

Jeanne Rosner
Season 3, Episode 8 | May 11, 2021

“Ikigai” is defined as a reason for living — and it’s a tool Jeanne Rosner, MD, uses in her own life to nurture a greater sense of purpose. In this episode, she talks about this Japanese concept and how it can help us live longer, more satisfying lives. Plus, she offers guidance for finding our personal ikigai and suggestions for easy ways to cultivate it in our daily lives.

Jeanne Rosner, MD, is a board-certified anesthesiologist who practiced at Stanford Medical Center for 15 years prior to becoming a nutrition educator and founding SOUL Food Salon in the Bay Area. Her mission is to educate and empower us all to be healthier.

“Ikigai is the confluence of four main circles: what you love, what you’re good at, what the world needs, and what you can be rewarded for,” says Rosner. “What’s at the center is your ikigai — your sweet spot.”

You can use this concept as a tool to assess — or reassess — where you are and the direction you’re going throughout your life to help you become the happiest, most fulfilled version of you.

Ikigai venn diagram

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Transcript: Cultivating Ikigai: A Tool for a Happy, Fulfilled Life

Season 8, Episode 8  | May 11, 2021

Jamie Martin

Welcome to Life Time Talks, the healthy-living podcast that’s aimed at helping you achieve your health, fitness, and life goals. I’m Jamie Martin, editor-in-chief of Experience Life, Life Time’s whole-life health and fitness magazine.

David Freeman

And I’m David Freeman, the national digital performer brand leader for Life Time. We’re all in different places when it comes to our health and fitness, but no matter what we are working toward, there are some essential things we can do to keep moving in the direction of a healthy, purpose-driven life.

Jamie Martin

In each episode, we break down the various elements of healthy living, including fitness and nutrition, mindset and community, health issues, and more. We’ll also share real inspiring stories of transformation.

David Freeman

And we’ll also be talking to experts from Life Time and beyond, who’ll share their insights and knowledge, so you’ll have the tools and information you need to take charge of your next steps. Here we go.

[MUSIC]

David Freeman

Hey, everyone. I’m David Freeman.

Jamie Martin

And I’m Jamie Martin.

David Freeman

And we’re here with another episode of Life Time Talks, talking about a topic that I personally aim to bring into my personal and professional life every single day, purpose, and we have a great guest joining to share a tool from homing in on what it means for you.

Jamie Martin
Yeah, we have Jeanne Rosner with us today. Jeanne is a board-certified anesthesiologist who practiced at Stanford Medical Center out in the Bay Area for about 15 years, before, eventually, changing course and pursuing her passion for health and wellness and nutrition, and she became a nutrition educator out there in the Bay Area, starting with her son’s fifth grade class.

Since then, for the past decade, she’s taught both middle and high school classes and students about the importance of, you know, making good food choices, and then, in 2014, she went on to create SOUL Food Salon, and SOUL is an acronym. David, I know you’re a big fan of acronyms, and it stands for seasonal, organic, unprocessed, local, and her salons are these small events where she’s helping to educate and empower people to be healthier.

So, she is going to be talking to us about purpose today, and she introduced us to this concept called ikigai, which is a Japanese concept, and I’m going to let her explain that in the episode, but David, I’d love to know what your thoughts were. I know this is a topic, like you said, is close — you bring this into everything you do. I try to in my work, as well. So, what were some of your, you know, takeaways or insights from our conversation with Jeanne?

David Freeman

Yeah, she has so many, so many mic drops throughout this whole episode, and kicking it off, it was just the foundation of understanding the vision, creating that vision board. The thing that resonated the most with me is the simplicity behind all this and just taking that step in the direction of making it your own, and why you are here, and speaking to all those different elements has really stood out to me, and I’m really excited for our listeners to take it in and start applying a lot of what was said throughout this episode.

Jamie Martin

Yeah, I think what I really resonated with, same as that, is, like, what is my purpose? What’s my vision? How do I find it . . . you know, as someone who’s done vision boards and kind of tried to do values exercises over the years, I know it’s not always easy, but it felt like this concept made it kind of a good practice that you can do time and time again to help you to kind of really hone in on what those things mean to you, and I also love that there’s ways to make it a daily practice.

It’s little things, like stepping outside and taking deep breaths, and like, how do we create a culture of ikigai and purpose in our everyday life, and you know, it’s not always easy. We can get really busy, and life just happens, but what are some of the simple ways that we can kind of come back to and return to that deeper sense of purpose within each of us? So, it’s kind of where I landed with, and I’m really excited that she has a presentation that she’s going to share with us, that we’ll also share with our listeners, as well.

David Freeman

Yeah. So, let’s not hesitate anymore with this bad boy. Let’s go ahead, this episode. Get your pen and papers out, because it’s going to definitely speak to your soul.

[MUSIC]

Jamie Martin

Hey, everyone. Welcome back to Life Time Talks. I’m Jamie Martin. I’m here with David Freeman, my co-host. David, how are you?

David Freeman

I’m doing amazing. How are you?

Jamie Martin

I’m doing fine. I’m really excited about our conversation today. We have Dr. Jeanne Rosner with us, and she is going to be talking about ikigai with us, and I’m going to let her define that, but Jeanne, thank you for joining us. How are you?

Jeanne Rosner

I’m great. Thank you for having me. I’m really excited and thrilled to be here with you guys.

Jamie Martin

Well, we’re thrilled to have you, and I know you and I actually connected offline a couple of weeks ago. We got introduced by some mutual acquaintances at Lifetime, and I think we both agreed, at that time, we probably could’ve spent the whole day having a conversation. It was just we were talking health and wellness and all sorts of other things, and had a lot in common. So I’m, like, so glad to have you on on this specific topic. Before we get into that, I’d love for you to give us some background on how you got to where you are. You now have an organization called SOUL Food Salon, but how did you get there, because that’s not where you started your career?

Jeanne Rosner

No, it’s not. So, I am a medical doctor. I went to medical school and did a residency in anesthesia, and then I did a year of training, a fellowship year, in pediatric anesthesia, and then worked as a pediatric anesthesiologist at mainly Stanford Hospital. I live here in Bay Area in Northern California. I worked there for almost 20 years as a pediatric anesthesiologist.

It was really rewarding work, challenging work, exciting work, stressful work, and as I was doing that, which I really enjoyed, I was also a wife and a mom of three fairly young kids at the time and a friend to people, and I was just trying to, you know, really juggle kind of everything and try to be balanced and do the best I can in every aspect of my life, and I would say my sense of balance was a little bit off, and I’d say about, I don’t know, maybe 10 years into my work, or maybe a little bit longer that, I learned of a friend of mine who was a life coach.

I reached out to her, and my goal was to talk to her and kind of evaluate where I was and reassess where I am and you know, help me…I needed her help to create this better sense of balance. Like I said, I’m kind of a perfectionist, I would say, and I like to do whatever I do really, really well, and to have all those competing roles, it’s really hard to do everything really well and to feel balanced, and so my friend Kathy and I, we spoke quite a few times. We did some exercises, which I could share with you guys.

So, one of them was creating a vision board. I don’t know if you guys have discussed that before, and that’s something that I would recommend. So, what a vision board is, is essentially getting a big poster board at your local CVS or you know, grocery store, and then looking at different magazines and journals and newspapers and taking out pictures or quotes, phrases that speak to you, and put them on your board, and actually, the funny thing is, I was thinking about this today, that my board has a lot of things from Experience Life magazine in it.

So, I looked at my board, and it really spoke to me. You know, it shares, like, you know, my passion for health and wellness, my passion for living life to the fullest, eating well. There was an aspect in it about teaching, and as I was working in the hospital as an anesthesiologist, I taught a lot. We did lectures periodically, and I taught in the operating room, whether it be to medical students or residents, and I always really enjoyed the aspect of teaching, because I feel like, as a teacher, you are the quintessential learner.

Like, you never stop learning if you are a teacher, and so really looking at my vision board and evaluating it with Kathy, with a couple other exercises, we kind of put it all together, and that prompted me to approach my son’s then fifth grade science teacher to ask if I can come in and start teaching health and wellness with a focus on nutrition in his fifth grade class. She, you know, willingly let me come in, and you know, I think having a medical degree gave me a sense of credibility, which I’m grateful for.

However, just because I had a medical degree, didn’t mean that I was really capable to really teach nutrition. I mean, as you may know, in medical school, nutrition education is very deficient, and thankfully, things are starting to change, but I mean, in my medical training, I think I got the requisite 20 hours of education, but it was all, you know, the biochemical pathway of how fats are metabolized, but not which fats to eat, and it was more about, like, vitamin deficiency, but not, you know, what to eat to enhance your vitamin B content in your body.

So, I had to learn a lot to teach, and so I did, and so I taught about 6 or 7 lessons that year. These students were amazing. There were like sponges, and they, you know, grasped everything that I was teaching them, and I then, from all of this, had to make some changes in my own life. I thought I was leading a pretty healthy life of what I was eating and whatnot, but when I learned, you know, how to really navigate ingredient lists, for example, I then went through my pantry and threw out things, and my kids were like, well, I’m not going to eat blah blah.

You know, I had, like, pancake mix or waffle syrup, actually, and I think the first or second ingredient in the waffle syrup is, like, high fructose corn syrup. So, I threw it out, and my kids were like, well, I’m not going to eat pancakes again, and I was like, well, so be it, and I brought maple syrup into the mix, and then they eat the maple syrup. So, I evolved in the process, and so, over the year of teaching, it was like my ah-ha moment. Like, this is what I really want to do.

I then went to the head of my anesthesia department and explained that I was going to leave anesthesia and that I wanted to focus predominantly on learning and teaching health and wellness with a focus on nutrition to my community, and that’s been my primary focus for the last 10 years, and I still teach at the same fifth grade class. My son is now a second year in college. So, now I teach kind of throughout the Bay Area. I teach in the middle and high schools kind of health and wellness, whatever.

Various people learn about me, and they ask me if I could teach classes, and I do, and it’s been fun, and my journey continued. In 2014, I started a venture I call SOUL Food Salon, and the SOUL stands for seasonal, organic, unprocessed, local, and salons are small gatherings, and so, I started this kind of with the intention of educating maybe the older audience. Like, I teach in the middle and high schools, but this was more for the adults in the community, and originally, we started . . . I did the events in my home, and now I do them now virtually this past year.

But we moved to a rec center in my local community, and I try to alternate between a talk . . . so, like, a didactic lesson from a professor at Stanford, for example, or an MD or a chef or a cookbook author or whatnot, and I alternate between that and like, a cooking event. My mission and my goal is to educate and empower us all to be healthier, with the hopes of our planet being healthier long term, and I do a lot on social media. I do a lot of writing. I do…kind of this is my whole world.

So, it’s been really fun. I’m in this world, and I would say, kind of like, it’s organically evolved, and I just have allowed it to evolve. I don’t know where even this conversation will take me, and I’ve been very open to that, which is very different than the mindset that I had when I was in medicine, which was a bit more structured and formulaic. So, I like the freedom that I have now to pursue what I want to learn and what I want to teach. So, that’s kind of my story.

David Freeman

I love it, and can I say wow. Let’s go back to the foundation of what you said as far as the vision board. So, a vision that allows you to be able to create the experience, and through that experience, you’re able to grow, and I love the acronym SOUL. I missed the L. So you got seasonal, organic, unprocessed, and what was L?

Jeanne Rosner

Local.

David Freeman

Local. I was going to say love just because I loved everything about it, right? So, with that, I want to go to the focus around the nutrition. I’m huge on that as a father, and I literally posted about this the other day, and I talked about generational health, because we focus a lot on, you know, wealth and this, that, and the third, but health is wealth.

So, instilling those values into my kids and to the youth, because they are our future, you kind of explained a lot of that as far as why it’s so important and why you value it, and with your background, it all makes sense. So, what would you say to those parents out there that might have the struggle as far as a syrup that’s being thrown away and the kids not wanting to eat a lot of these foods? How can you break through? What tips would you give those parents?

Jeanne Rosner

First of all, I think, as a parent, we’re role models, and so I think, you know, I don’t eat the waffle syrup. So, you know, I think you have to be the right role model, first of all, and I think, perhaps, understanding the science or the health behind some of the choices is important. I mean, we all have backgrounds in science and what we do in the health and wellness world, so we have a basis of why it’s better to eat fruits and vegetables versus something that’s processed.

So, personally, I always need to understand the why, and so, I share the why often with my audience, whether my audience be my children or my dad or my husband. You know, I’m hoping I’m not doing it in a preachy way. I mean, that’s never what I want to put forth, but I’m doing it in a way that’s out of love and as a role model and with health and science at its core.

Jamie Martin

I love that so much. I think, you know, I just had a conversation with my daughters, who are 10 and 7, recently about, you know, why we talk about strength and movement and that in our lives and why that’s important, and it’s something — and you know, you can talk about this with food or with your activity levels and why you move your body. My youngest asked, why do you exercise, mom? And I really wanted to make it clear.

Like, it’s so I can do all the things I want to do with my life, and what exercise does for my body, both on a physiological space, but mental, as well, and I tried to explain those things, and you know, I didn’t grow up with that way of thinking. It was like a lot of it was focused on aesthetics. So, it’s like the why. I think we can do that in a variety of different ways.

And that kind of gets to I think why is going to be part of our conversation today, a big part of it, like, purpose and why and what’s behind all of this. So, I’d actually love to transition right to that and this concept that you brought to us, Jeanne, on ikigai. It’s this concept that you have done some presenting on, and I would love for you to tell our listeners what this is, how you learned about it, and why this is a concept that has resonated with you so much.

Jeanne Rosner

Alright. So, ikigai is a Japanese word that means, essentially, like, what is your reason for waking up in the morning? Like, what is your sense of purpose? What inspires you? And I’ve been thinking about where did I first learn about it? And I must’ve maybe just stumbled on the Venn diagram that I will share with your audience. Honestly, I can’t remember exactly where I heard it, but I just grasped it and ran with it.

So, basically, it is this concept of understanding what your sense of purpose is, and it originated in Okinawa, Japan, which happens to have the most centenarians in the whole world, and a centenarian is a person that’s 100 years old or greater, and this culture of centenarians, they abide by this concept of ikigai. So, essentially, what ikigai is, it’s the confluence of four main circles. The first circle is what I love. The next circle is what are you good at? What are your strengths?

The third circle is what does the world need? And then the fourth circle is what can you be rewarded for? And it’s when those four circles overlap kind of in the center, is your ikigai. It’s your sweet spot. It’s where you find flow, and it’s interesting because I feel very grateful. I feel like I have found my ikigai. Learning and sharing my love of better health and wellness for the world is my mission and my goal, and I would say when I’m in flow, which is really, truly talking to you guys right now…

Like, kind of like a blurred line between work and pleasure. Like, this is really pleasurable for me to talk to you guys, but is this also work? Like, I don’t know. I think when that line is blurred and I am just totally in my zone and element of sharing my love for better health and wellness, then I’m happiest. I feel my greatest sense of purpose. That is, essentially, what ikigai is. We can go into each of those circles, if you’d like.

Jamie Martin

Yeah. Absolutely. Let’s dive into those.

Jeanne Rosner

So, the first circle is what do you love? And I would say to pursue that question, I pose to your audience to pick a weekend, perhaps, that you don’t have any responsibility. You don’t have to take the dogs out. You don’t have to cook a dinner for your family. You don’t have to go to work. You have freedom to do whatever you want. What does that day look like to you, or what does that weekend look like to you? Are you going to go out and photograph nature? Are you going to go take a hike? Are you going to go to the animal shelter and hang out with the abused animals?

I mean, what is it that’s going to inspire you? Are you going to go into your studio and develop film? Are you going to do ceramics? I mean, what are you going to do? Are you going to work with your friends? You know, tap into that, and so, in answering that question, I present to you to try maybe the vision board. So, maybe that weekend, you go and create your vision board, because it might help give you some insight onto, like, really, what is it that you really love? What is it that really drives you and are you passionate about?

A couple other things that perhaps could be helpful are there are definitely, like, a ton of classes out there, but one that I think that’s really helpful is there’s one that’s here offered at Stanford University. It’s through the design school, and it’s called Designing Your Life. They have a book. They have curriculum online. I know that they used to have conferences in person. Because of COVID, they’re now online, I believe. So, it just kind of helps look at your life in more of a design perspective.

And then there are a lot of different books all about ikigai, which will ask different probing questions. So, those would be some things that perhaps I could suggest to your audience to answer that question, like, what do I love? The next question is where do your strengths lie? So, looking at that, it’s, you know, are you more cerebral, or are you more creative? Do you work better in a group, or do you work better alone? You know, kind of thinking about where your strengths are.

Thirdly, what does the world need? So, what social good do you see, whether it be a big issue or a little issue, a global issue or a local issue? What is it that you see that is an issue that you want to perhaps attend to, because studies have shown that those that do give service to others lead a more purposeful, more fulfilling life, which, I think that’s our goal in all of these things, and then, finally, the last circle is what can you be rewarded for, and reward could be monetarily for someone.

For me, I would say my sense of reward is really the currency of education and sharing inspiration, education for others. So, let me go into, like, those four circles really quickly, once again, and I’ll use myself as the example. So, what do I love? I love health and wellness. I love teaching, and that’s kind of like my passion. What am I good at? I think I am a good teacher. I think I’m a good connector, a good communicator. What does the world need?

So, one thing that I do — I do these events, the SOUL Food Salon events. They’re monthly health and wellness events where I feature different experts in the health and wellness arena. I don’t have any of the attendees pay to come to my events, and I don’t pay the presenters for the events. Really, any money that is transpired is out of my pocket to pay for the venue, what I’m doing, or to pay for my Zoom account right now, keep my website alive. However, I do ask my audience every year to help me with whatever nonprofit I’ve partnered with.

So, every year, I partner with someone different, and I try for it to be something local and for it to be something that’s along the same lines of health and wellness and nutrition, perhaps. For me, my currency is really sharing this wealth of knowledge I think that I have acquired and just educating and empowering and inspiring other people to be healthier. That’s my currency. So, that’s me as an example on those four main circles.

David Freeman

Love it. Love it. Let me break it down, because I want to reiterate a lot of the things that you said for our listeners to dial in on that. So, you know, what do you love? What is your strength? What are the needs of the world, and what can you be rewarded for? And me, as you’re saying all these things, I’m writing things down and how I interpret it, because that means a lot in a sense.

So, what do you love, right? Identity is what I heard from there, and you got to be able to love yourself and understand who you are before you can start to serve others. So, the passion to serve, I love to do that. I’m a servant leader. So, identity, that hits home with me, and then your strength. My superpower, I’ve shared this a lot, maximizer. So, if you are familiar with Tom Rath, StrengthsFinder, maximizer, and what that is, is being able to tap into individuals and bring the most out of them.

So, that is my superpower, and that is my strength. So, the needs of the world, taking that superpower and connecting it to those around you, now you go back to that serving mindset, and then what you can be rewarded for, and you just said this. You’re creating movement, positive movement, to others, and that’s going to be able to be passed on to generation to generation. So, I loved how you set that up and how you broke it down.

Another piece that you actually mentioned, we had another guest on, Dan Buettner, and he was talking about the Blue Zones and the centenarian is and all of that as far as the mental state probably with these individuals, was probably a lot — it was not a lot of stress going on, right? The way they eat, the way they go about their day. So, that goes to say a lot as far as not only what we’re putting in our bodies, but how we are controlling the things between our ears and how important mental health is, as well. So, I’m glad you actually brought that up.

Jamie Martin

Yeah, there’s a whole mindset component there, as well, and I think, you know, a lot of ikigai is a mindset, and I had written down in some of my notes as I was prepping with this. I mean, they call it the culture of ikigai, because it’s a way of life for, you know, that community, and I think, how do we bring elements of that into our own lives, and we’re going to talk about that shortly. One thing, so, you know, there’s a Venn diagram about this ikigai. So there’s kind of the four questions on the outside, but there’s also kind of an inner circle, Jeanne, with these other four things.

And I think you get into this, too, about passion, mission, vocation, profession, and that really is another way of looking at these. One thing that resonates for me, and I’ve done a lot of exercises with vision boards and other…like, the gaps exercise, but values is something that’s so essential in that first part, too. So, what are my values? And I know our listeners cannot see this, but I can see behind Jeanne on the screen that her vision board is sitting there behind here.

And I have one, actually, in my office here, and it’s amazing how, even subconsciously, as you’re selecting images and things, all of a sudden, there are some patterns that come out time after time. So, Jeanne, I’d love for you to talk about — you know, you’ve already talked a little bit about this, but when you’re working with people, if they struggle with identifying, you know, like, what do I love or my strengths, have you helped coach people in terms of identifying that?

Jeanne Rosner

I’m not, like, a formal coach, per se, but I always really…even when I’m teaching the young students or the older people if I’m talking with them, is, you know, start small. Like, just try something. You know, it might work. It might not work, but it’ll be a growth experience. You’ll learn from it, and I think so many people are paralyzed in perfection. I’m not. I mean, I’m a perfectionist.

But I don’t know. Like, for example, when I started SOUL Food Salon, I met with one of my neighbors who does something similar to this on a more spiritual level. She did kind of more, like, meditation salons, essentially, and I met with her, and she said to me, Jeanne, if one person comes to your event, then you’ve educated one person, and I really took that to heart, because when I started this, I didn’t know if people would want to attend, and they have, and I’ve created a really awesome sense of community, and I think I’ve used myself a bit as an example.

Like, I didn’t know. I took the leap of faith, and truly, if it didn’t work, then maybe I would’ve leaped somewhere else or I would’ve tried something else, and I think people have to be open, obviously, to trying something new. They have to have, you know, the growth mindset, mentality of if it works, it works. I’ll learn from it. If it doesn’t work, then it’ll be a stepping-stone, perhaps, to something else that’s maybe meant to be or something maybe greater than where I was supposed to be.

So, I think it’s really just kind of baby steps and just to give it a try. Like, I try to encourage people that way, and I do that all . . . like, even in my social media stuff, I’m really into cooking and food photography and inspiring people to eat healthy, and I mean, I preface many of my recipes that I’m not really creating. That, generally, they’re someone else’s recipes.

They are easy. Like, salt and pepper are two of the five ingredients that I’m going to use today in my recipe, and the hope is just to get people engaged and to enjoy it and to try it, just to make the effort, and you never know where it’s going to take you, and I think people have to do that stepping stone and enjoy the journey and not necessarily have that destination, that goal in mind. I mean, I think we all have to . . .

I think if I had to summarize a lot of this, it would be just really enjoying the moment, being present, enjoying the journey. That alone will give you the greatest sense of purpose, and maybe there’ll be, you know, the golden prize at the end, but the golden prize truly is enjoying that whole journey and that whole process toward a greater sense of purpose.

Jamie Martin

You got to just try. I think that’s what you’re saying. These are baby steps, and you’re doing that, too, and I love your attitude as an educator of being a learner and that openness to constantly giving feedback, getting reviewed, because that’s what helps us grow, too, right?

You know, there’s the whole thing with the . . . you mentioned the growth mindset, and I kept thinking about Marilee Adams and the whole learners versus judger, and it sounds like you have this whole idea of, like, I’m going to learn along the way versus judge myself for not doing it quite right or how I think I should’ve done it. So, that’s an interesting takeaway there. One thing, you know, we talk about this whole idea of the culture of ikigai, and you think about, oh, that’s in Japan.

That’s something they do over there, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some elements of that concept that we can bring into our own daily lives, and I know that when you’ve presented, you’ve offered some opportunities for people. So, can you share some of the suggestions you have for bringing this into our lives, and you know, it might not be every single day, but it might just be on occasion, you do a baseline about where I am.

Jeanne Rosner
So, one thing, though, about ikigai is it is a concept that you could revisit throughout your life, and it will probably change based upon circumstances, based upon opportunities. So, it is kind of a tool to use as an assessment or as a re-assessment. You know, maybe if you’re in a funk, think about, OK, so am I doing what I really love, or am I stuck in a job that’s, you know, keeping me in a place where I’m not content?

So, creating ikigai on a daily basis, I would say, for me, it’s really getting outside in nature, and as I mentioned, I love learning, and I listen to podcasts a lot. However, I do find that if I can go out and take my walk or go out on a hike without my AirPods and my phone, oh my god, I notice things that I never noticed before. I hear the birds singing differently.

I see a different flower that I never noticed before. I’m definitely more present and definitely more mindful, and I think that that’s really helpful and grounding for me, and then I get really creative, as well, when I’m on my walk. Like, my head is spinning with 18 ideas, and I come home, and I write them down quickly. So, then I used to have my phone with me just to actually transcribe the things that I was thinking about on my hike or my walk.

For me, getting outside, getting movement in my body every day is really helpful. You know, eating well is paramount for me. I know people always quote this 80/20 rule. Like, 80 percent of the time, I eat really well, 20 percent, I don’t. I don’t even pay attention to that. I just try to eat pretty well most of the time, but I do have chocolate pretty much every day. I might bake something, and I will eat what they are. You know, nothing’s really, truly off limits to me. I don’t drink soda.

So, I try to eat nutritiously pretty often, every day. I try to sleep well. I mean, these are all, like, aspects of…one thing that’s huge is the whole gratitude and a gratitude journal. So, one thing I’ve done, and maybe your audience can relate to this, I have tried and failed gratitude journals and journaling for, like, years and years of my life. However, at the beginning of COVID, I’m like, OK, I’m going to do this again, and I started doing it every night. I have a journal next to my bed.

And I kind of was bullet pointing, almost, my day, like, what I did, and I would maybe write an emotion for what I did, and then I tried to create three things, at least, that I was grateful for for the day, and then I tried to answer three questions. What brought me joy today? What brought me peace today? And what inspired me today? And that really helped me, at least . . . it helps me every day still. So I’m now, like, 400 days into this, or 370 days into it. I may have missed maybe one day since COVID started. So, I’m proud of myself with that.

There were definitely days at the beginning of COVID, with all of the uncertainty and whatnot, that I sometimes couldn’t answer those questions, and that was scary, and I’m not an anxious person, but that created a little bit of anxiety for me. Like, just the uncertainty of where are we, and where are we going, and how long is this going to last, and I don’t have food insecurity, but I felt food insecure at some points, actually. It was just a very strange feeling for me, but I do think that the gratitude journal has helped me bring in more gratitude into my life.

And I know it’s like if I am in a funk for a day or for a moment or whatever, I will take a couple deep breaths, and I will think, what do I have to be grateful for right now? Like, I am taking deep breaths in this beautiful environment. I have clean air to breathe. You know, I’m not food insecure. Having a gratitude practice is helpful, and it’s really helped me create a better sense of balance and just especially through this uncertain time that we’re all experiencing.

Jamie Martin

It’s interesting. You kind of described it as starting with almost like a bulleted list of your day. I did something similar. I have just a little thin notebook that I just was like, here’s what’s happened today, and I was circling things that were like, oh, this brought me so my joy or whatever, and I completely fell off the wagon with that a little while ago, and I’m, like, almost 400 some days, I’m inspired. I need to get back…it’s right by my bedside table. It doesn’t have to take a long time, but I do know that on the days that I did it and when I go back and look at it now, I’m like, oh, yeah, that was really rewarding, and those were those little moments that really do matter and add up over time.

Jeanne Rosner

Yeah, and actually, it was interesting. If I go back, and the days that I felt most maybe energized and happier, were the days that I had a sense of purpose. They might’ve been days that I had maybe a salon, or I did some more writing, or I learned something new. So, that is a huge driver for me. Just having a sense of purpose motivates me for my happiness and for my sense of fulfillment.

David Freeman

So, I want to go back to what you said. So, guys, write it down if you’re listening. At the end of your day, what brings you joy? What brings you peace? And what inspires you? Gratitude. I love it. Love it.

Jamie Martin
Oh, goodness. OK, so, we’re going to have lots of resources on the website for everybody, the show notes page, for people to grab this stuff, but Jeanne, before we get into David’s two-minute drill, is there anything else you want to leave our listeners with in terms of this concept or just health and wellness in general?

Jeanne Rosner

I just hope that you all could live your day in a more purposeful, present space, and I think if you can, being open to what comes your way, you never know what will transpire, and just having that growth mindset and that sense of curiosity to learn, just allow yourself to continue to grow. I think you will find your own ikigai, perhaps, and you will live a very satisfying and hopefully a long, healthy life.

Jamie Martin

Awesome. Alright. David, it’s time for the two-minute drill. Are you guys ready?

David Freeman

I’m born ready.

Jeanne Rosner

I’m ready I guess.

David Freeman

Yes. Yes, you’re ready. After everything we just went through, yes, you were born ready. OK. Alright. So, it’s time for the two-minute drill. I will ask you 10 questions. Here we go. First question, pet peeve?

Jeanne Rosner

My biggest pet peeve is when I’ve met somebody numerous times and they still don’t remember who I am.

David Freeman

Good one.

Jeanne Rosner

That’s a negative, but that’s a pet peeve of mine.

David Freeman

Your favorite style of dancing?

Jeanne Rosner

Kind of freestyle I guess. Just dancing to the rhythm. My kids would laugh at me and say I don’t have any rhythm, but just kind of getting into the groove of things.

David Freeman

My last name being Freeman, I appreciate that. Freestyle, I love that. OK, if you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Jeanne Rosner

I love the mountains, and I’ve never been to Switzerland and to Austria. I would love to go there, hopefully, when COVID is finished and we can travel more freely. I hope to travel there and hike there, maybe ski there. Yeah, I love the mountains.

David Freeman

Alright. Hot or cold weather?

Jeanne Rosner

Hot.

David Freeman

Hot. I like it.

Jeanne Rosner

I hate feeling cold.

David Freeman

I like it. If you could breathe underwater or fly, which one would you pick and why?

Jeanne Rosner

That’s an interesting question. I think I would like the underwater. I love being with the fish and just the colors and just really seeing life in its truest form. It’s just stunningly beautiful. I’m a very visual person, so I really like the visual or snorkeling. Yeah.

David Freeman

Favorite color?

Jeanne Rosner

Blue. Like, a purple-y blue, periwinkle blue.

David Freeman

Favorite TV show?

Jeanne Rosner

I love Friends. That’s kind of the first one that comes to mind. Just fun and quirky and community and family and humor and yeah, I like all that.

David Freeman

You told us pre-recording that your husband does not like to dance, so I need to know the song that you danced to at your wedding.

Jeanne Rosner

This was many years ago. I can’t remember the exact name. I’ll have to get back to you on that one. Sorry.

David Freeman

Two questions left, and we start to get deep here, OK? What legacy do you want to leave this world with?

Jeanne Rosner

Hopefully feeling inspired, energized, empowered to be healthier.

David Freeman

Last, but not least, what would the now Jeanne tell the 10-year-old little Jeanne?

Jeanne Rosner
You can be anything that you want to be. Just set your mind to something. Give it a try, and most likely, if you don’t succeed in whatever you’re doing right now, just pivot to something that you enjoy, and I think you will succeed, and you will be happy.

David Freeman

Yes. There it is, ladies and gentlemen.

Jeanne Rosner

Those are good questions. I like those questions.

Jamie Martin

He always has some good ones that always get me thinking. I’m like, I don’t know how I would answer that. So, Jeanne, thank you for coming on. Before we sign off, where can people follow you if they want to stay connected with you and your work?

Jeanne Rosner

Great. So, everything I do, everything is @SOULFoodSalon, all one word. I have a website, SOULFoodSalon.com where, really, everything I’ve done since 2014 is there, all my salons. Many of them have been recorded. I have a YouTube channel at SOULFoodSalon, as well. Most of the information that I’ve put out, whether it be a digital email or whatnot, everything is on my website SOULFoodSalon.com, and you can, from that, access my Instagram, which I post quite a bit. Follow, please. Again, my hope is to inspire and educate as many people as I can, reach as broad an audience as I can.

Jamie Martin

Awesome. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us, Jeanne.

Jeanne Rosner

Of course. Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it.

[MUSIC]

David Freeman

Thanks for joining us for this episode. As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on our conversation today, and how you approach this aspect of healthy living in your own life. What works for you? Where do you run into challenges? Where do you need help?

Jamie Martin

And if you have topics for future episodes, you can share those with us, too. Email us at lttalks@lt.life, or reach out to us on Instagram, @lifetime.life@jamiemartinel, or @freezy30, and use the hashtag #LifeTimeTalks. You can also learn more about the podcast at el.lifetime.life/podcasts.

David Freeman

And if you’re enjoying Life Time Talks, please subscribe on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Feel free to write a review, and also let others know about it, too. Take a screenshot of the episode, and share it on social, share it with your friends, family, work buddies, life coach, you get the gist.

Jamie Martin

Thanks for listening. We’ll talk to you next time on Life Time Talks. Life Time Talks is a production of Life Time, healthy way of life. It’s produced by Molly Schelper, with audio engineering by Peter Perkins, and sound consulting by Coy Larson. A big thank-you to the team who pulls together each episode, and everyone who provided feedback.

We’d Love to Hear From You

Have thoughts you’d like to share or topic ideas for future episodes? Email us at lttalks@lt.life.

The information in this podcast is intended to provide broad understanding and knowledge of healthcare topics. This information is for educational purposes only and should not be considered complete and should not be used in place of advice from your physician or healthcare provider. We recommend you consult your physician or healthcare professional before beginning or altering your personal exercise, diet or supplementation program.

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