Fifty years ago, I recognized the declining state of our food, agriculture, climate, and culture; to reverse that, I have worked tirelessly to create a better living through nature and community, rather than through chemistry. All my endeavors have been collaborative. That is a big part of my teaching. We can do more together when we are mission-driven than we can do alone when we are looking to create fame and fortune. In 1970, I along with four friends bought and worked a 160 organic farm in Western Massachusetts. There is no better way to learn about nutrition than from the ground up! We also hosted the first Buddhist Vipassana meditation in the US – a great way to incorporate mindfulness into my daily practice. Being more of an activist than a monk, I started a rural community food buying club which morphed into Home Comfort Restaurant, an organic seafood/vegetarian restaurant, where I cooked and taught a Soup to Nuts cooking class on how to ferment food, dehydrate produce, and use culinary herbs for medicine. Popular now, relatively unknown 45 years ago.
In 1976, I left the farm and to be on the west coast, where health innovation was in the air. I co-founded the Berkeley Holistic Health Center, a fully integrative health/medicine clinic, and co-wrote the Holistic Health Handbook, that helped put holistic health on the new age culture map. Research has since shown that an active body, mind, spirit-centered lifestyle could manage and resolve 85-90% of illness caused by chronic stress and toxic environments. It was forty years ago that I figured this out. For me, holistic health was no alternative, but rather an authentic approach with deep roots that had been displaced by processed food, toxic agriculture, and mass marketed modern medicine.
My next mission was to create a legitimate, commercial-free form of nutrition education. Having earned 2 Masters degrees and a Ph.D. in Health Education, I was dismayed by the USDA food model and politics of enabling farmers to grow pesticide-laden crops, and subsidize hormone enhanced meat and dairy products. So much misinformation to counter. Therefore, I created the Eating for Health approach to whole food, climate-friendly, mindful eating. To train health professionals who want to be whole food nutritionists, I founded and directed Bauman College: Nutrition + Culinary Arts, still going strong 30 years later. Now, many people shop and eat for health. I am proud of that. The next frontier is to feed whole food to the poor and homeless, a real part, and suffering part of our community.
This leads me to my current mission, the Bauman Wellness Optimal Performance Program. My intention is to demonstrate that wellness practice + facilitation = optimal performance. Health, while a gift, does not come with a passive attitude. It is earned through daily practice. Wellness is an essential key to innovation, growth and sustainability. The old paradigm of work out till you burn out is not agile or smart. In traditional cultures, elders were venerated. Spiritual practice came from years of contemplation, prayer and service. It was passed on from generation to generation. Currently, it is often more fashion statement than deep practice. I have developed an Inner Wellness Workout to complement physical and mental training.
As time goes on, I predict that the paradigm of survival of the richest will give way to survival of the most well. Companies or teams with players who are prone to illnesses and injuries do not perform well under pressure or for an extended period of time. Turnover at the top or on the playing field is a recipe for losing. Self care is emerging as the basis of health care.
With a sports or business team, the culture created provides the context for communication and performance. A dysfunctional culture creates stress that leads to conflict that leads to inflammation and illness. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Meditation and mediation can be used in lieu of medication to resolve anxiety, pain and uncertainty. Herbs and natural remedies can be applied for health promotion and optimal performance.
The Bauman Wellness Optimal Performance Program is designed to teach groups how to be aligned in their vision, purpose, thought and action. My Wellness Practice Survey provides feedback on individual and group wellness masters of five essential areas: (1) Eating for Health, (2) Balanced Lifestyle, (3) Mindfulness Practice, (4) Collaborative Communication, and (5) Spiritual Practice. Organizations lacking in a team commitment to wellness mastery lack coherence and consistency in wellness practice. The most successful teams, such as the Golden State Warriors, have put their individual egos aside to embrace a scheme of open communication, mutual respect for one another, their opponents and game, and to play at the highest level of collective intelligence and execution. I look forward to bringing the Bauman Wellness learning technology of Wellness Practice + Facilitation = Optimal Performance to your company, team, family or organizations to kick in a new paradigm of Creating Wellness together, and revolutionize the way we work, play, age, heal and solve personal and global problems.