How Marie Ford Thrives by Creating Meaningful Connections
I find that well-being is a journey. It requires intentional focus and a circle of folks who create a safe space to revive and restore. For me, it starts with my mindset. How I think fuels how I show up every day; and I’ve learned to view every small investment in myself as progress along the journey. I am at my best when I invest time in giving back to my body, but I often find myself making excuses about why I can’t. When these thoughts creep in, I turn to my Black Girl Magic Peloton group for motivation. They have a unique way of helping me get off the couch and invest in me. It’s a Facebook community filled with motivated women investing in themselves for a healthy lifestyle. I also find mental peace in taking small walks. At work, the small walks help me digest my thoughts between meetings. It’s natural “think time” for me and it often helps me get back into a comfortable mental space.
My family is a constant contributor to my THRIVE circle. I am so blessed to be surrounded by a host of positive people all cheering me on in my journey. When I feel stressed, my first line of defense is my husband. He is full of personality and the funniest guy I know. When life throws me a curve ball, or negative thoughts start to creep in, one phone call to him helps ground me in the reality that life is too short and every moment wasted on negative energy is one moment taken away from experiencing something positive.
Several years ago, as my kids were entering teenage years, I noticed them wanting to spend more time with friends and less time with family, so I started what a tradition called “bonding time.” It’s a Wednesday night tradition where we all commit to being available for one hour of bonding time a.k.a. group FaceTime. This turned into a family tradition that has lasted for years. It has kept us connected through college, COVID, and everything else life tries to throw at us. Listening to how their life is evolving brings me so much joy. As a parent it gives me a glimpse into their world, helps me see things from their perspective, and it helps me exercise patience — because some of the chats get deep and there are shocking revelations that I am not always prepared for.
I am also intentional with fostering meaningful connections with my CVS family. I try to get beneath the work to understand what brings them joy. We are intentional about nurturing moments that matter to each of them, individually and as a team. A soft mention of it before a meeting, a quick text about it, and creating the space for them to be present during moments that matter are small acts of care that build lifelong connections.
One of my superpowers is my contagious energy. I am committed to transferring positive energy and having fun while getting the job done. We start every meeting with recognition because it’s a simple way to make people feel good. We all have widely important jobs, and I I’ve learned that positive energy helps the team work through the hard problems in unity and with a little laughter. Watching our team solve our most pervasive issues with energy and fun naturally keeps my thrive alive.