DO YOU KNOW WHAT WELLNESS IS?
Sometimes I think people are confused by the term ‘wellness‘… I often get queried as to what a ‘wellness’ coach is, usually with an incredulous look on their face. They are usually the ones that think ‘wellness’ is a made up term to incite fear or to market illness and stress in order to create business.
Each to their own I say, but when I’m faced with someone who genuinely would like to know what I think wellness is… well, I have a few answers.
My own personal ‘feeling’ towards wellness is best summarised with this analogy.
Imagine you are a puzzle, a huge, amazing, breathtaking puzzle made of many little pieces.
When you are ‘in the zone’ – feeling healthy, whole, happy. You know, when everything is ticking along nice, things are working out as they should and you are feeling alive? Well… if you were to look at your puzzle it would look almost brand new. Of course, a few battle wounds here and there, but mostly, the picture would be clear. There wouldn’t be any pieces missing (or only a few!) The edges would be neat and each piece would fit snugly together, nothing forced, or broken or frayed.
Those pieces representing the pieces of you – your health, happiness, career, love, education, spirituality, movement, finances and so on.
You can see where this is going, right?
Now, take your mind back to that puzzle piece and maybe imagine or remember a time when you weren’t feeling so crash hot – broken relationship, poor health, emotionally draining friendships, uncomfortable home environment, bad eating… and sad to say it, but that puzzle is no longer so shiny and bright. Pieces are missing or squeezed into the wrong spot, bent out of shape or the edges are frayed. It’s hard to make out the whole picture, isn’t it. What you have is a not so happy puzzle, not living in its true glory!
For me, for some reason, that’s how ‘wellness’ comes to mind. It’s about trying, (if not always succeeding) to be in my true glory, living in truth – whole, content, happy. It’s a continuous balancing act, but it’s one that we all must do. Our body, breath, mind, spirit is what we are – what we should be honored to be! Which means it requires a little (if not alot) respect and kindness.
So, that’s my own analogy. Maybe that resonates with you, maybe it doesn’t. During my studies at Integrative Nutrition, I was so pleased to learn a concept that resonated with me and better articulates my ‘puzzle’ analogy.
In a nut shell, Primary Food is about everything in your life that feeds you, which doesn’t come on a plate. And, your nutrition, the food you fuel your body is called Secondary Food. It’s just as important, they are intertwined, really… but your Secondary Food – or at least your desire to eat well is greatly affected by your Primary Food or lack of it!
Wellness, to me, is the constant vigilance over the elements of your life that bring you into balance and true health. It’s about the understanding of who you are – what are your puzzle pieces – and that you are able to find happiness in all elements. No matter whether your life is perfect or not. It doesn’t have to be. It’s just about striking a balance. It’s fluid and your life is ever changing. Different stages of life bring about different priorities. So at each stage, reassessing and reviewing allows you to keep on top of your wellness.
For me, the shift in careers required me to reassess – I struggled a little to find my ‘new’ balance and feel 100% well again, but over time I find my pieces and I shined them up until I had that familiar sense of stability and health again.
Living well and nourishing ourselves includes food we eat and the choices we make in our lives. Everything that we take in is food for our body, mind and spirit. The choices we make can energize or drain us. Just as the food can.
Ultimately we are what we eat, but also what we do, think, feel, be, breath.
Signing off with an exhale.
Pause. Listen. Live.