May is Mental Health Awareness Month and therefore the perfect time to tell you about a partnership that is sure to help staff process emotions and gain understanding of how to let their personalities shine both professionally and personally.

Since the very beginning Living Well Disability Services has been dedicated to the wellness of the people we serve. Wellness and inclusion were just two of the reasons the founders wanted to find a better way to care for their children living with disabilities. The goal for over 50 years has always been to make it so that the people who called Living Well home or used our services could fully thrive in their lives and communities. Then a few years ago we rewrote our vision statement to read, “A day when all people impacted by disabilities and our employees live well.” We have always believed our staff deserve the same benefit of inclusion and support, and intentionally added them to the pillars of our mission, vision, and values.

We wrote about our commitment to our wellness program back in February 2023, and then about our Living Well-ness rebranding of the program in September 2023. Now we want you to meet Nirav Sheth with Stratosphere, LLC. Nirav is a former Living Well board member who spent decades in corporate America, then back in 2019 redesigned his career to concentrate on helping individuals and organizations lean into mental fitness.

Meditation and nature, two incredible ways to be present..

Nirav has been practicing meditation for almost 20 years and has been a meditation teacher for 13 years. His career switch was equal parts a long time coming, and perfect timing. After he left his corporate job and Covid hit, and the world went quiet, he was gifted time to reinvent his career and redefine his purpose. After years in a job he liked, he was ready to lean into what he was passionate about. Now, four years later he offers coaching via several programs and workshops designed to help people meet their potential while reminding them to relax and not live and work rooted in anxiety.

Nirav at a Living Well Leadership Meeting.

Last year he partnered with Living Well and started sessions with the executive leadership team. Once they understood the messaging, Living Well offered sessions to managers. Recently he worked with our leadership team during a collaborative Sage Leadership workshop on how to recognize, label and work with the inner traits that form our relationships with self and others. Staff loved the way he tied their personal outlooks and tendencies to the way they work through personal and professional relationships. Regional Director, Ali Goepfert, had this to say about the experience, “Nirav’s sage leadership training has impacted both my work life and personal life. Over the past six months I have really focused on trying to find the gifts and opportunities in even the difficult situations that arise.” As a former board member, Nirav knows our mission well, but as a coach he can bring collaboration to all businesses searching for ways to work well as a team.

Results from a Saboteur quiz. People learn about themselves when they understand how they respond to stressors.

Nirav helps people label their Sages and Saboteurs, basically the good and bad parts of how people respond to situations. He utilizes an app called Positive Intelligence then mixes it with his coaching. The app is a culmination of research, and it makes his work easier to digest for people unfamiliar to the concept of mental fitness or the way small things can make a big difference in perspective and performance. He invites his students to create new habits relating to mental fitness. He then helps people redirect thoughts into more productive mindsets and outcomes. This is important in both professional and personal relationship building, as the more we know about the ways we respond to stress and how we tend to process emotion, the better equipped we are to manage teams successfully.

Nirav and his family.

So why is all of this important? The US is one of the worst countries in the world when it comes to happiness. And Nirav points out that happiness is directly tied to mental fitness. In a global survey, the US went down significantly on how well we score on happiness compared to other countries. And sadly, people under 30 were the largest group affected, showing up at the bottom in that age group. Nirav believes the term mental fitness is a better way to spread the message that taking care of our mental health and reducing stress is not just fluff we should do in our free time. Taking care of our emotions is in fact working on overall fitness. We have to eat right, exercise and nourish our minds, and if we apply the same attitude to mental fitness, we can understand it better. Fitness is good for everyone, and Nirav says, “I like to use mental fitness so there is more clarity for the people I work with.”

Over time Living Well will roll out more layers to the work with Nirav. For now, we are happy to know that our Living Well-ness programming is out there, that staff leaders are learning new tools to help themselves become better leaders and given resources to share with their teams, and that in ways big and small our staff are benefiting from access to amazing wellness awareness.

Interested in a few free resources? Nirav believes in the 3 Ms — meditation (his volunteer service), mental fitness (fulfilling work), and music (his passion). With that in mind, you can join a weekly 30-minute Positive Vibes with Nirav video chat on Tuesdays from 7:30-8PM CST with this link. You can listen to his uplifting trance and instrumental music on Spotify, here. And he also hosts free virtual meditation classes on Saturdays, you can email him to sign up here,



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