Rachel Reeves

Blue Zones workshop to explore power of purpose

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People in the Beach Cities are busy.

It is not a surprising revelation, given the community’s affluence; people have to work, and they have to work long hours. But despite the fullness of our days and our social schedules, most of us struggle to answer a question that is at once simple and profound: Why do we get up in the morning?

It’s a question that forms the basis of a community workshop being held in the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center on Saturday.

Hosted by the Blue Zone Project, a public health initiative headed by Beach Cities Health District, the workshop is dedicated to the exploration of purpose and its implications for the lives of Beach Cities residents.

“For some people it will be the first time they’ve ever even thought about the question of ‘Why are you doing what you’re doing?’” said workshop facilitator Kathleen Terry. “I talk to a lot of people and if I say, ‘How are you?’ then [they] say, ‘I’m really busy.’ Busy doing what? We’re very busy, but what’s our busy-ness about?”

rb purposePurpose does not have to relate directly to professional pursuits; rather, it is a reflection of personal values, beliefs, and priorities. As someone who is civically engaged and professionally satisfied, Terry knows firsthand the power of purpose to weather life’s storms and guide big decisions.

For 15 years she has been facilitating Leadership Manhattan Beach, working with Leadership Redondo, and simultaneously running a business that focuses on corporate training, coaching, and team building. She is also president of the Manhattan Beach Rotary Club.

“If you have a clear purpose, it helps you decide, for example, what volunteer things you want to do, whether you should take one opportunity or another, whether the job you have really has meaning for you,” she said. “It just makes your life so much easier because it helps you align the decisions you make with what’s important to you.”

The first portion of Saturday’s workshop comprises a civic engagement fair, which gives attendees the opportunity to peruse ways they might be able to use their skills as a volunteer.

The workshop portion is devoted to helping each attendee discover his or her purpose. By the end of the session, each should have written a short statement capturing the essence of his or her life and mission.

“I think that if people can take just two hours out of their day to reflect about what their life is about or what all the busy-ness is about in their life, they’ll reap major rewards,” Terry said. “It’s a small amount of investment for a large pay-off.”

Last year, Blue Zones Project ran a launch workshop, similar in format and content to the Jan. 18 event. In the months since, the project has been running smaller-scale workshops on the topic of purpose in small groups, churches, schools, and businesses.

Beach Cities Health District will be hosting Power of Purpose at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center from 8:30 to noon on Saturday, Jan. 18. The cost is $20 at the door and $15 for pre-sale tickets. Register online at www.bchd.org/purpose18.

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