We had the good fortune of connecting with Julius Boatwright and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Julius, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Throughout the pandemic, how I think about and approach work-life balance has evolved for the better. I recently started doing yoga multiple times a week and it’s transformed my perspective on wellness. I’m learning that it’s necessary to prioritize my mental health while serving as an advocate in the field. In fact, my yoga practice is showing me how important it is to slow down, breathe, and meditate. If my mind, body, and spirit aren’t nourished, I can’t be a supportive husband, leader, or friend.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The most important part of my work is the value I place on nurturing relationships. About six years ago, I developed the habit of telling everyone I encounter they’re appreciated. When it first started, I felt awkward and some people responded in a perplexed way. Over time, the expression became more natural, genuine, and heartfelt. At that point, I realized that I really did appreciate people for their essence and existence. When you lift folks up in this way, they tend to reciprocate the sentiment. Your commitment to honoring their humanity will then take you wherever you want to go in life.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
As of late, I’ve been blessed to attend quite a few sporting events around the city (Pittsburgh). Depending upon what team was playing, I’d take them to a game and create a nice experience (with good food, drinks, and seats). Afterwards, we’d likely end up at a cigar bar to relax, watch the games, and grab a few drinks.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to give a shout out to my wife for inspiring me to grow and evolve over the past 13 years. When we became friends back in graduate school, I was a completely different person. She was patient enough to stick with me when a much wiser woman would’ve chosen to walk away from the relationship. I wouldn’t be blessed with any of the opportunities that are in front of me now if it wasn’t for her commitment to nurturing my dreams. I thank God for her love, tenderness, and motivation.

Website: www.steelsmilingpgh.org

Instagram: @TheBlackMentalHealthGuy

Twitter: @MentalHealthJul

Image Credits
Lavender Leigh Photography

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