2010 Vitality Project kicks off with life purpose workshop

Published 6:05 pm Saturday, February 6, 2010

The first major event in a series of 2010 Vitality Project initiatives will kick off Saturday at First Lutheran Church in Albert Lea.

The event, a life purpose workshop, is designed to help people reconnect with what energizes them, to simplify their lives, to find and appreciate their unique personal gifts and to clarify their personal life vision, among other topics.

Albert Lean David Larson, a psychologist and life coach, and Kate Sholonski of Pennsylvania will teach the course.

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Larson said he and Sholonski have worked together for eight years to present similar workshops in a number of other communities.

The workshop will take participants “much broader and deeper than last year’s workshops,” he said, and give people the tools to implement their new ideas into their lifestyles.

The importance of having a purpose was emphasized in 2009 during the pilot AARP/Blue Zones Vitality Project, which encouraged people to make simple environmental changes to their lives to help them live longer, healthier lives.

Project leaders stated research shows that people with a strong sense of purpose live a good seven years longer than those who don’t.

Vitality Project Life Purpose Workshop

When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; participants will provide their own lunch

Where: First Lutheran Church, Bethany Hall

Cost: $39

Registration: Call Albert Lea Community Education at 379-4834

“If we’re living our life purpose, life tends to be easier, more enjoyable, more gratifying, and we tend to be healthier,” Larson said.

A sign that people are not living their life purpose is feeling depleted of energy, he added.

Larson said this workshop is intended for people “who want to live exceptional lives, for people who want less stress and more energy, who want to go to bed every night knowing they’ve made a difference, who want less chaos and more peace.”

“Living our life purpose is about being energized with what we’re doing and who we are,” he said. “It’s about maximizing our joy, maximizing our feeling of contribution to the world and maximizing our overall good feelings.”

The workshop should be a major boost to people’s energy at this time of year, he added.

During the workshop — which is the first of three planned for the year — there will be new exercises for people to complete, he said. It will focus on helping people identify their natural gifts and discover a way to implement those into their lives on a regular basis so that the contributions they make come easy and are enjoyable.

All three planned workshops for the year will have different emphases.

He encouraged everyone in the community — even if they attended the purpose workshops last year — to attend the purpose events planned for this year. They will learn new things that will help them live their purpose not only through volunteering, but also at work, in their family and at every moment in their personal lives, he said.

As the weather improves, other vitality initiatives, such as the walking school bus and walking moais, will be re-emphasized.

Larson said the Vitality Team wants the community to not forget that Albert Lea is still about vitality.

“The intention was never, ‘Let’s have some excitement for a few months,’” he said. “The intention was how do we make our lifestyles more alive, so that we’re not only living longer, but healthier lives.”

A new Web site is also being developed for the new National Vitality Center, which is being constructed as a place where people both inside and outside the community can go to find out about vitality initiatives and to be supported in their changes.

The Web site is www.nationalvitalitycenter.com.

The date the Vitality Center will open has not been announced.

The workshop is sponsored by Alpha Orthodontics, Albert lea Medical Center, Institute for Wellness, Triumph Leadership Training, and Tri-State Tax Service to keep the costs down for participants.