6 Goopy Takeaways from the 2019 In Goop Health Summit
In goop Health, the wellness summit from Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle brand, came to Northern California over the weekend. San Francisco also got its first permanent goop retail store. It was a full day of all things "goopy." There were B12 shots, astrology readings, skincare lessons, and energy cleanses. And a lot of thoughtful conversations around self-reflection and how to improve our individual and collective impact on the world.
Topics spanned from love to death, and speakers including actress Sophia Bush and author and 2020 presidential candidate Marianne Williamson, emphasized that wellness is a journey that has many paths. Scroll through to see six key takeaways from the day.
1. Rethinking death can change the way you live. BJ Miller is no stranger to life-altering circumstances — he lost both legs below the knee and one arm below the elbow in an accident in college. Despite and because of that, he went on to become a doctor, specializing in hospice and palliative medicine.
Miller says he's interested in things that you can't fix or control, and one of the biggest examples of that is death itself. But it's also not something to fear. Miller says that once you recognize the mundaneness of death — how it's everywhere, all the time, from simple things like leaves falling off trees to actual loss of life — and learn to accept and have a relationship with a larger reality, death becomes less scary. "Be less surprised that you're dying someday," he says. His point: Death is inevitable so be kind to others and yourself, and appreciate what you have while you have it.
2. Compassion is good for the mind and body. You've probably heard the phrase that no man is an island. James Doty, founder of Stanford University's Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, has put real science behind that theory. Doty says, when you care for others, you are rewarded — literally, because the reward centers in your brain light up. He points out that one of the characteristics of blue zones (regions of the world that have a higher average lifespan) is that they have a strong sense of community. "Connection defines our life and makes us healthy," says Doty.
3. Reclaim your power via money. When we think about health and wellness, we tend to think about psychological and physical health, not necessarily financial health. Sallie Krawcheck, founder of Ellevest, an investing platform for women, wants to change that. Money is power, and simply put: Women have less of it than men. There's the gender pay gap. And women tend to invest less than men despite the fact that historically, women outperform men on investment returns. She encourages women to invest, support each other, and talk openly about money with friends. "It's hard to talk about money, Krawcheck says. "Here's what helps: wine."
4. Be an active participant in this world. Sophia Bush leaped onto our screens and hearts with One Tree Hill. Since then, she's become just as familiar for her activism as her acting. Bush uses her social platforms and new podcast, "Work in Progress," to talk about important issues in politics and the world at large. In our trying times, she emphasizes the importance of taking care of yourself. "We fail when we burn out," she says. Bush wants to inspire other people to get involved in helping the planet, helping each other, and working towards something bigger. "Life is too f**ing long to settle for anything," she says. "Look around, we're the adults now."
5. Fighting climate change is a collective responsibility. Tatiana Schlossberg, journalist and author, used to avoid the subject because it made her anxious. Not anymore. Through research, she became an informed citizen. And today she is a leading voice for action. Schlossberg advises everyone to educate themselves about climate change. It isn't going away anytime soon and the consequences are getting graver — "no matter who you are, this problem is going to affect everybody," says Schlossberg. One easy way to begin is to simply try to consume less (eat less meat, fly less, etc.) because now, she says, "every question is a climate change question."
6. Lead with love. In a world that seems more divided than ever, Marianne Williamson still has a positive outlook. "I think the average American is a good person." Author, spiritual adviser to Oprah Winfrey, and presidential candidate, Williamson thinks we have been too preoccupied with an "it's all about me" attitude that we've forgotten we need to work together as a community for something bigger. "We need to love with as much conviction as is displayed by those who hate." To do this we need to strengthen our emotional muscles. Just like strengthening our physical muscles, it takes daily practice to open your heart and stand on higher ground. If you're looking for guidance, Williamson says that it starts with intention. If in your heart, you truly want to cultivate love, she says "the universe will open up to you in unbelievable ways."
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Lesley Chen is a California native who writes about travel, health/fitness, and other lifestyle topics. She has a serious case of RBF and exercises mainly to balance out an aggressive candy addiction.