By Valerie Driscoll, Lead Coach and Coaching Program Developer for Apollo Health

In the ’70s, the late Wendy Wasserstein wrote a play called “Uncommon Women and Others.” The play dealt with young women looking at their lives and roles as feminists, building on the work of other generations of women who fought to create acceptance, respect, and equality in the world. All these uncommon women were striving to make the mainstream realize that their uncommon ideas were just common sense. I love this play and what it represented to me as a woman in my twenties — it connected me to a cause outside of myself and made me bolder in that cause.
In so many of the conversations I listen to or am part of as a ReCODE 2.0 coach and a member of the Apollo Health team, the phrase ‘common sense’ gets bandied about quite a bit. The Bredesen Protocol® approach to preventing and reversing cognitive decline through healing mind, body, and spirit does seem a most common-sense approach, doesn’t it?
And yet, as I spent a good bit of time socializing both home and abroad this summer (abroad in this case meaning outside of the state of New Jersey), I came to realize that just the opposite is true: practicing this protocol requires an abundance of uncommon sense, for living this lifestyle is anything but common.
An early stop on my travels was with a friend from college, and we caught up about many of the uncommon women we knew at school. And then onto aging, because almost any subject now comes around to this subject. Aging led to the floodgates of ReCODE, and somewhere in the middle of my exuberance and spewing of information, the term Uncommon Healers and The Others popped into my head. The phrase is still here because it perfectly parallels what uncommon women have been doing forever:  bucking the mainstream of The Others with uncommon sense. And the more I walk out among The Others, and I realize how truly uncommon we are. We push against the resistance of ‘common sense’ both as individuals and as a movement, and we are not only in the fight of our lives, but we are also fighting for the health and a new standard of care for all those following behind us.
This work is so important, and as a habit-change coach, I use the weight of being a small part of the Uncommon Healer community to keep my resolve and that of my clients, especially when things get tough. I use the image of us all linked arm and arm behind a banner reading Uncommon Healers as we march over The Others whenever I look into the Ben and Jerry’s case, where the Chubby Hubby still beckons to me in ever-quieter tones. I use it to be more forthcoming and strategic in delivering all the knowledge and experience I have regarding another way to approach Alzheimer’s besides that of The Others when faced by naysayers. In my practice, I help clients who may feel as though they are alone on this journey to know they are part of a growing movement and every good decision on their part makes us stronger by proving this uncommon sense to be true. I am better prepared on every front to be one of The Uncommon, and I am so proud to be with you.

So, what is your place among us, Uncommon One? In your own way, how can you harness your power being one of many fighting this battle, and have it pull you forward or keep you steady? Whatever your method, take a little time out today to celebrate your Uncommon-ness among The Others!

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