DANA PRESTON

Dana Preston

Development and Partnership Lead at The Wellbeing Project

Mexico City,
Mexico

Dana has had the privilege and pleasure of weaving her personal interests, passions and values into her professional career. A love of Latin America and the Caribbean led her to study, live and work abroad in the region for more than 12 years. She ended up in Mexico City where she’s been residing for over a decade.

Her deep commitment to intersectional feminism gifted her the chance to work with and for diverse gender justice non-profits in North and Central America. Feminist movements taught her about self and collective care which inspired her to take her first “work intermission” to pause, rest and replenish.

Benefitting enormously from time off, Dana decided to look for ways to work at the intersection of inner wellbeing and social change. This journey led Dana to The Wellbeing Project where she currently leads development efforts building out a broad base of financial and non-financial resources for greater wellbeing and mental health in the global social change field.

What does inner wellbeing mean to you?

My inner wellbeing journey is an ongoing invitation to observe without judgement and to practice compassion with myself and with others. It’s gifted me the ability to be truly present in a diversity of moments affording me greater connection to my own body, to those around me, and to my environment. Along the way, I am more plugged into my own curiosity, pain, creativity and pleasure which helps me know myself better and become a more authentic version of myself. It’s from this place that I feel I can be kinder to myself, my partner, friends, family, community and the planet.

How would you define wellbeing in one word?

Peaceful

Are there any rituals or practices you use to enhance your wellbeing?

  • Connecting with my physical body through mindful movement like stretching or walking
  • Noticing and being with my breath
  • Tending to my garden and observing the small changes that unfold every day
  • Hugging and talking to my pets
  • Long phone calls with friends
  • Talking to the moon
  • Dancing like no one is watching
  • My mindfulness community
  • Journaling
  • Thinking about my ancestors
  • A good hearty laugh
  • Being in service of others, trying to reduce their suffering

Why is it important that we prioritise individual and collective wellbeing?

You can’t have one without the other! We are deeply interconnected. The wellbeing of any group, community or society depends on the wellbeing of those within it.

Do you have any favourite books, podcasts, or articles that you believe support, promote, or educate on wellbeing and related themes? 

  • Pleasure Activism by Adrienne Maree Brown
  • All things Tara Brach!
  • A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
  • Lisa Olivera newsletter Human Stuff

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