Soul Sundays originated from the desire to create a consistent space that provides individuals the chance to connect with like-minded people, and to explore personal growth concepts. Our mission is to help guide people to live a more purposeful and joyful life.
When growing our events, we connected with Find the Good (FTG) – a purpose driven apparel brand devoted to promoting well-being and positivity. We were magnetized to their clothing and driving force behind their mission.
Although through different avenues, we recognized FTG and Soul Sundays shared a common goal of empowering their community to discover and reinforce healthy habits that cultivate joy and improve mental health. When two company’s values align, the rest is easy. Soul Sundays was excited to join forces with Find the Good for the July event.
The chosen theme for the event guided participants to “find their good” in everyday life. Each person has the power to make their good times a little brighter and their hard times a little lighter.
The event began as all Soul Sundays do – time for movement. After being led through a yoga flow, the community broke into small groups to dive into the power of gratitude. It seems in recent years, “gratitude” has become a sort of buzzword, casually being tossed around to describe one’s thankfulness. However, our goal for this event was to ensure everyone left with a better understanding of gratitude and how it can have major impacts on one’s mental health, physical health, and relationships.
Gratitude is both a mental state and a characteristic trait. It is something that, when practiced consistently, can be strengthened and can positively impact the neural network of the brain. Without getting too much into the science, there are studies that show when receiving or giving gratitude, the prosocial circuit within the brain is strengthened, releasing the brain’s happy chemicals 😊, such as serotonin and oxytocin (The Science of Gratitude & How to Build a Gratitude Practice | Huberman Lab Podcast #47, 2021). Those that practice gratitude become more inclined to find the surrounding good.
Following our reflection in small groups, the participants came back together, and as a larger community, we shared the good found in everyday life. From passing a graduate school final, to finding a moment to appreciate the sunshine, to adopting a baby, the Soul Sundays community celebrated the little and big wins over the past month. The thing about gratitude people sometimes forget is it’s not only for the good times. There is strength in acknowledging the hard times, and still striving to find the good. Our community expressed some of those tough times and shared their deep appreciation for the support they find through the Soul Sundays community.
An often overlooked fact is the most beneficial way to practice gratitude is to receive it! We gave all participants time to write a letter of gratitude to anyone in their life. The prompt was left open ended – recipients were people at the event, at home, and even across the country – after the event, we mailed the letters to places all over the world. Let us just say, there is something special about watching fifty people take five minutes to reflect on people for whom they are grateful – we got to see each smile, each tear.
We finished the event with our FTG prizes. We awarded a FTG prize to a standout participant, based on input from Find the Good founder, Jack Tarca. We were to choose someone who was a true light throughout the event, a person that showed up for themselves and for their community.
An incredible realization we had – thanks to Jack – was that the Soul Sundays community is full of lights. We have created a community that truly shines brighter together than we do alone. Choosing one person was impossible – so we chose two!
As we recap and write about our July event, there is a deep sense of gratitude for the connections made through the Soul Sundays community. To have the opportunity to connect with like-minded businesses, such as Find the Good, and to develop a community that continues to show up, be vulnerable, and connect with each other is something we cherish. Thank you to everyone that attends each event and allows us to cultivate the supportive community we had dreamed of. Thank you to the partners that continue to support us in creating this community!
– Julie & Tess