To be here… what a blessing.

On Saturday morning, we were fortunate to be reminded of the incredible and abundant beauty of life to kick off the #trustwellnessweekend by none other than Michelle Aldana, with her powerful yoga and breath-work workshop. Reminded that we are boundless. Free.
Michelle shared not just her love of life with us, but taught us to refill our own wells, too, so that we are able to show up in places less thirsty.

After breakfast, our first speakers were Kate and Scott on the blessing and miracle it is to be alive.

Speaking about it together for the first time in front of a crowd, Kate and Scott recall that it was a beautiful winter morning on December 2nd 2016 that changed their lives forever.

On the terrifying journey back from brain damage, Kate spoke about leaving her life as a happy, independent, worldly woman and returning to it as a baby, and having to relearn how to do everything… how to do life.
“Walk, move your eyes, hold a pen, cut your food. Move your body.”

She sees more of life now than she ever did before, and shares an amazing story of people.

“That accident put me on my back. Literally and figuratively. And when you’re vulnerable, you have to look to other people, because you cannot do anything for yourself.”

What a truly remarkable story. We were inspired to  widen our gaze, see the wonder of goodness, and the strength in vulnerability as it connects us as humans.

Mrs. Elna VD Ham followed, with a critical conversation of ‘Plastics in Dentistry – Operate in Sustainable Wellness. Among the staggering reality, that most of us are probably oblivious to, was that the amount of plastic on Earth outweighs all land and sea creatures alive. Through various mind-boggling and heart-breaking documentaries, she emphasized the importance of educating patients on the environmental products we use and recommend in dentistry.

During this offering, we also had the privilege 0f meeting and connecting with the founder of Kindbrush, Chrismarié Barnardt. An incredible soul who is also a dental hygienist and nature lover. She has been deeply concerned about the impact of traditional oral care products on the global, growing plastic pollution crisis.

On optimizing mental and emotional wellbeing & resilience, Neil Tuck encouraged on us to get some baseline on what our natural preferences are, what we enjoy, what we find to be easy, and enforce clear boundaries.

Edward Burke followed for a relaxing meditation exercise and perhaps a key stand out was the intentionality and presence he puts into his day and gave the example that, when he kisses his daughter goodbye, he tries to make sure that he has the same kind of presence into that moment usefulness for the brain, it can be ten minutes before bed listening to some sleep music. Space. Solitary. Silence.

We had the most wonderful time at the La Bri wine estate  nestled in the imposing amphitheater of the Franschhoek valley.
The wine & Dark Belgian chocolate paired tasting was truly a match made in their haven. The Biltong and Wine experience was a uniquely South African experience that experimented with flavours and textures.

The wine tasting at Mont Rochelle was a one-of-a-kind experience. They nurture the finest grapes and their vineyards benefit from varied microclimates due to the region’s Mediterranean-like conditions-dry summers and 1000mm of winter rainfall. The south-easterly winds in the Franschhoek Valley usher in cooler air, extending the ripening period.

On Sunday, Dr. Yak Lindy spoke on Survival and finding his Ikigai. There were several stand-outs, but for the sake of brevity, we will only speak on the Ikigai.

“empathy is not expensive, it’s intrinsic.”
Ikigae, a Japanese concept referring to something that gives a person a sense of purpose, a reason for living.
Ikigai is about finding joy, fulfillment, and balance in the daily routine of life.

It is possible to be true to your passions, live a life of consequence, and still use business as a medium of expression.

It’s all too easy to fall victim to siloed thinking, that our job, family, passions, and desires are all separate and unrelated aspects of our lives.

The fundamental truth of Ikigai is that nothing is siloed. Everything is connected.

Another extraordinary presentation was offered by the incredible Dr. Lizaane van Vuuren.

“Being comfortable is overrated” – Dr Lizanne van Vuuren

Wow wow wow. We don’t have the words. Just in awe, deeply inspired, and incredibly blessed to have connected with one of the individuals who is part of the first team to row across the Pacific Ocean, breaking two world records.

We also learnt about Bernice Venter’s DNA testing as a tool to help individualise nutritional care and achieve improved health outcomes. We looked at Genetics, Working environment, Family environment, Diet Hx, Lifestyle factors, Previous blood tests as factors contributing to personalized healthcare, and how some of these are heart disease risks.

And last but not least, we had the privilege of hearing from Dr. Carla Pontes on the biology of stress, a mental health overview, stressors in dentistry, and stress reduction.


What a time!
Super grateful for all pockets of joy and learning. 💛

See you at the next one! ❤️

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