Who are your VEEPs?
Uh oh—am I really going to stray into politics on a health coaching blog?
No, not entirely, but with the news focusing so much on the administration’s attempt to rid the country of illegal immigrants and people starting to drop incendiary terms like “cleansing,” I got to thinking about the concept on a more micro level.
Cleanses and detoxes and decluttering are hot topics these days—and as the alternative health field grows in leaps and bounds, the words have started to appear in reference to much more than just practices we perform on the tangible, physical body or space. The most recent trend seems to be to use the words when talking about relationships: relationship cleanse, friend detox, etc.
It is important to think about who is in your community—and I don’t think that “detoxing” or “decluttering” is necessarily the answer. Too reminiscent of mass deportation and erecting walls to keep people out (or is it in?)—and I believe that every relationship we have exists for a reason.
Perhaps a more constructive and positive word would be “curating,” which just happens to be another term that has come into general use from a previously field-specific one.
Mother Nature abhors a vacuum, and a vacuum is precisely what seems to come into being when a cleanse is successful: we’re left with a whole lot of white space.
Have you ever noticed that in our high-octane lives, white space and stillness are almost entirely absent? We seem to be deeply uncomfortable with emptiness and silence, and once our “detox” is done, we very quickly revert to collecting and even hoarding—whether we’re talking about appointments or stuff or even people.
Like someone who does a physical detox, we quickly and sometimes imperceptibly slip back into our old dietary habits—we haven’t changed our eating style, we’ve just gone on (and off) a very intense, time-limited diet.
Curating your community is about adding people—the right people—to your village. And in case the word “right” makes you nervous, check out last week’s post on what is right for you … right now.
It’s sort of like the Integrative Nutrition® principle of “crowding out,” which is a way to improve our food choices—not by eliminating the less ideal foods (read: junk) but by adding in the most nutritious foods, which tend to bring our nutritional status up to a level where the junk food becomes less appealing. (It really does work, and it’s something I’m happy to talk about with you if you’re interested in trying it.)
You don’t necessarily need to throw out people who are dragging you down (oh yes, there are exceptions, of course—some of them really should go); rather, release their hold on your time and energy and invite in what I call your VEEPS: your Very [Empathetic, Enlightening, Energetic, Encouraging—pick one!] Peeps.
Leave me a comment with your thoughts on curating community, and if you’re curious about how this relates to being a working woman over 40, join me July 17 for a FREE webinar—curating community will be one of our topics!