Connecting For Our Health


Doro Bush Koch & Tricia Reilly Koch

It started with a gesture.

The two of us began our relationship as mothers, sharing our experiences and trying to support one another. When one needed a shoulder, the other offered. When one had a win, the other cheered. We traded stories of frustrations and of successes. After lots of conversations and morning hikes after school dropoff, we felt called to broaden our connections.

Tricia went to school to become a health coach and began sharing what she learned with Doro and then with the wider community of parents around us. Doro began studying mindfulness and sharing those gifts with others. Both of us got such joy out of touching individuals’ lives — hearing their stories and giving them strategies to make powerful changes in their lives — that we decided to found a company to reach out even further.

We’ve come to understand that true wellness is found in community. The quality of our relationships can have an even more dramatic impact on our lives than what we eat or how much we exercise. And those components can be much richer when we share them with others. Family meals and walks, jogs, or dance classes shared with friends are that much richer and more beneficial to our well-being.

Even just asking a person how they’re doing and clarifying that you want to know how they are really doing can help them feel safe and loved, which sets forth a series of chemical reactions in the brain that optimize wellness. These interactions make our nervous system better able to adapt to stressors and to frame things in a positive light.

Many of us learned through the challenges of the pandemic just how much we needed others and how hard it was to be cut off from support systems. This difficulty in maintaining connections took its toll on a lot of people.

We are a social species! It’s more important now than ever to strengthen our ties to others.

We believe so strongly in the importance of community that we have built our business on it. For a dozen years, we have been putting on the Achieving Optimal Health Conference each fall. We loved bringing together people in one space to share a day of inspiring talks and now we are thrilled to take these components and make them available even more widely via an online conference.

If you participate in the event, which will be streamed on October 15th and available also for later viewing, you will hear more about how community has been integral to our parenting, our personal wellness, and our life’s work. Everyone who registers will get tips for making a day of it, to have watch parties with healthy snacks.

For those who’d like to make a whole weekend of wellness, we are bringing some of these speakers to a special Foundations of Wellness Experience in-person event in November at Florida’s beautiful Gasparilla Inn. At this unique retreat, we emphasize connections among the participants so that everyone leaves not just with information but with meaningful shared experiences they can draw on for years to come.

We also love the community we’ve created with our Health Gig podcast where each week we interview a luminary every week and hear their insights on living with joy and purpose.

Even for those of us who are introverts, connection is vital to our well-being. Consider how you can reach out to someone for some shared time in nature or to discuss a book or even an episode of our podcast. You may make a profound difference in someone else’s day, and your own, too.

This article is featured in the October 2022 issue of The Growing Bolder Digital Digest.

Growing Bolder contributors Doro Bush Koch and Tricia Reilly Koch are sisters-in-law who founded the wellness company BB&R, Bright, Bold and Real over a decade and a half ago with a very clear goal: to share with others what they’ve learned about mindfulness and holistic living with the intention that everyone begin to live their best life. Learn more about their retreats, workshops, courses and popular Health Gig podcast at

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