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A Closer Look at Well-Being in Action

 

Tanya Bunger

 

Hailey Kennedy

 

Victor Lemus

 

Divya Pari

While the word “sustainability” is often strictly tied to a healthy environment, just societies, and vibrant economies, the Center for Sustainability also recognizes the importance of well-being as an aspect of sustainability. Well-being categorizes a group of topics including: individual health, families, self-development, and quality of life. By examining the sustainability of the inner person, we are able to assess the quality of our lives and how we can improve the environments that are our bodies and minds. To gain an insider perspective of how wellness and well-being are achieved here at Santa Clara, we interviewed several active members of the SCU community about well-being in their lives.

Tanya Bunger, Dean’s Executive Professor, Leavey School of Business (Faculty) 

Q: How does the concept of sustainability inform your vision of wellness?

A: Sustainability and wellness are inextricably linked. Wellness is the prerequisite to being able to sustain yourself. Sustainability is the key factor to achieving long-term success. I see this play out most explicitly in my work with leaders. Many leaders are depleted, unable to sustain the workload, and don’t see a way forward. They have given their wellness to someone/something else and are in a state of depletion. They may have made a deadline, but it came at a high personal cost.
We are entering finals. There will always be times when you have to push to get something completed. If this becomes a way of life for you, you will not be able to sustain it. Wellness has to be an essential component in any of your life.

 

Q: What is something you always make time for?

A: Sleep!

 

Q: What is your happy place?

A: Being in nature. Anywhere there are trees and/or water.  

 

Q: Anything else you'd like to add about well-being? What is your message for the SCU community about well-being?

A: We have a culture of being busy. I was profoundly impacted by a Leavey School of Business Global Fellow, Michaela Scanlon, who said: “What kind of answer is it to respond using busy when asked: How are you? Is busy how you are?”
Words have power. My message to the SCU community would be to notice how often you use the word busy to describe you. What alternative word can you shift to? (grateful, happy, vibrant) to support you in being on a path to wellness.

Hailey Kennedy, B.S. Environmental Science '17 (Undergraduate Student)

Q: How does the concept of sustainability inform your vision of wellness?

A: Sustainability and wellness go hand and hand. Today, there is too much separation between humans and the environment, mind and body, and self and others. This in turn has led to an imbalance of the planet. In order to be well, we must work on reunifying things and I believe that yoga provides a link between all of these disconnects.

 

Q: What is something you always make time for?

A: Yoga, because it is not just a physical practice, it is a way of life. In our culture it is often only represented as postures you do on a yoga mat, but traditionally, it is a practice that includes meditation, breathing, and the living out of certain precepts, such as compassion, in daily activities.

 

Q: What is your happy place?

A: My happy place is my Grandpa’s farm on the McKenzie River in Oregon. It is always lush and green and, in the summer, full of stone fruits and berries ripe for picking. As a kid I used to help my grandpa harvest from his vegetable garden and go fishing in the river. It is the most peaceful and grounding place I know of. I am always humbled by the beauty of the river and surrounding forest.

 

Q: What piece of the natural world embodies your spirit? 

A: A body of water. I love to be in water. I always have a constant need to move my body in a fluid motion. As a kid, I loved jumping in rivers and floating. Floating in the water has always brought me peace, I love the feeling of be being one with nature and letting the waves carry me away. 

Victor Lemus, Director of Retreats, Campus Ministry (Staff)

Q: How does the concept of sustainability inform your vision of wellness?

A: I think of the students whom I am privileged to serve on this campus. There is much emphasis and value placed on our students to be active citizens, initiators, givers, "do-ers", but there is, I believe, just as much a necessity for stillness, learning how to receive, learning a sustainability of the self which does not demand good grades, lofty weekend and spring break plans, prestigious internships, nor a clearly detailed blueprint for their futures.

 

Q: What is something you always make time for?

A: I usually try to make time for exercise several times a week. The care of my body is important to me, and it's fun!

 

Q: Is there anything you want to improve upon?

A: I want to continue to learn more about how I can help contribute to the environmental wellness of my communities, which include our beautiful campus.

 

Q: What piece of the natural world embodies your spirit? 

A: The beach. It always feel like home.

Divya Pari, M.S. Finance '16 (Graduate Student)

Q: How does the concept of sustainability inform your vision of wellness?

A: My vision of wellness is sound health of the body, mind and spirit. In terms of sustainability, wellness for me is a lifestyle characterized by many things such as consumption of sustainably sourced fresh organic food, investing in a sustainable schedule for enhancing physical vigor such as yoga and exercise, having a purpose which also serves the community in some way, giving back to the community, and in treading lightly on the planet even as I use its resources every day to achieve my purpose.

 

Q: How do you find time for wellness?

A: In today's fast-paced lifestyle, finding time for wellness activities such as yoga or exercise is challenging. I deal with it by restricting my time for these to 30 minutes per day so it does not seem like a huge demand on my time.  All other wellness activities as described above are integrated with my lifestyle and, as such, do not require specific allocation of time.

 

Q: What is your happy place?

A: My backyard garden where I grow a variety of flowering and vegetable plants. It is a place full of life, activity and positivity with blooms in a myriad of colors and fragrance, the ever-busy bees, birds, squirrels, and hummingbirds. A few minutes in the garden tending to plants and watching the antics of the squirrels and the humming birds deeply relaxes me.

 

Q: Anything else you'd like to add about well-being? What is your message for the SCU community about well-being?

A: There is a huge difference between well-being and being well-off. It is critical to invest in well-being as that determines your efficiency and success with the things that you choose to do in your life.

Sustainability
well-being, jun16