Set an Extra Chair

By Annette Demeny

A meal that was served at an event that the highly respected Dr. Zach Bush was a guest speaker, would forever change his life. The 5-course Greek-inspired meal was prepared by items that were forged in the Virginia country side. The couple who forged for several days to collect the ingredients and prepare the meal were from Ikaria, Greece, one of the five Blue Zones.


The Blue Zones are five places in the world where people live the longest and are the healthiest. The Blue Zone concept grew from a study by National Geographic Fellow, Dan Buettner. Dan has since written multiple New York Times bestselling books about these areas and what their secrets are to longevity. The Blue Zones are: Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece, and Loma Linda, California. To learn more about this fascinating study, grab the book, The Blue Zones!


At the end of the delicious meal, Dr. Bush stood up, toasted the couple,  gave thanks for the food and then began his speech. His topic was the relationship of the microbiome, human health, and consciousness to longevity. After his speech, Dr. Bush notice the gentleman from Ikaria, Greece stood up to speak. “Thank you doctor but you’re completely wrong. The food that we prepare in Greece isn’t why we live long. The reason we are a Blue Zone and many live past 100 years is because every night we always set an extra chair at our table, hoping that someone unexpected will show up for dinner. In Ikaria, we never ask, “What did you eat last night?”. We ask, “Who did you eat with last night?”. The secret to longevity is connectivity to your community.”


Dr. Bush was blown away from what the man said. Since that day, he replays those valuable words in his head and sets an extra chair at his table every night, hoping someone unexpected will show up for dinner.


In 2021, I encourage you to set that extra chair and think of who you can invite to the dinner table to expand your consciousness and generosity.


Happy New Year!!!


SFY Resources

Dr. Zach Bush

The Blue Zones


Are you planning to set a chair at your dinner table in 2021? Let me know in the comments.



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