One of our favorite things here at Madefor is seeing our members not just engaging with the program, but fully embracing it and truly blossoming. One such member is Johnathan Hornig, a tremendously positive and encouraging influence on everyone he comes across. Johnathan is a Clinical Social Worker and Personal Chef but to us, he is a motivator, a companion, a teacher, and a connector. It’s that last one that really stands out.
One of the great benefits of the Madefor program is the community that you join when you sign up. Members share their progress, highlights, struggles, or anything else they want with their Class. It’s pretty much a private community just for Madefor members. And this is where Johnathan comes back into the story. He is such a powerful force of connection within the community, constantly sharing his own journey and encouraging others on theirs. Whether he is reflecting on how a monthly challenge encouraged him to plant an indoor garden, posting a video encouragement to someone considering the program, or just sending positive juju to fellow members, Johnathan is making connections all the time. When recently asked what he has been enjoying so far about the program, he wrote, “I continue to learn how to fit my parts together like a gorgeous Lego project. I’ve tapped into a well of courage, insight, and self-love by allowing for full immersion into each Challenge without self judgement. Trusting the advisors, my fellow Challenge companions, and the new monthly printed information. I dance with the notion that my whole being vibrates with a newness that’s made from sparkles of dreams.”
And it’s not just the good stuff either. He has really helped all of us to open up and lead with vulnerability at times. Recently he noted that, “My process of self discovery can be excruciatingly challenging at times. There are days I wonder why I try so hard to keep digging when I feel as if I'm still at step one. Once I acknowledge the difficulties I remember I have a choice, which is empowering in itself.” That’s not an easy thing to share, especially to a group of people you haven’t met before in person. But to Johnathan, the power of connection lies in turning strangers into sojourners and deepening relationships in ways both big and small.
The last 12 months have been pretty tough on the notions of community and connection. We are all doing our part to keep people safe by sacrificing physical social connection. Science tells us that social bonding improves our physical and mental health. But how can we form and strengthen these bonds when we are socially distant? Well, for starters, you can be purposeful in making eye contact with people that you do interact with. A simple smile and a wave can go a long way to brightening someone else’s day (and your own). You can make a point of helping a friend in need even if they haven’t asked for it. Order dinner to be delivered for a neighbor, or send a gift card to someone who could use it. Or, you can simply follow Johnathan’s lead, using the power of your honesty, positivity, and vulnerability to connect with others wherever you find them.