How well we want to be is really dependent on us. We can say others or other situations we may be in are to fault, but ultimately control lies in ourselves. I want to explore more than 2 months into our new year some this idea of personal wellness. Wellness of course is all-encompassing and is not dependent on one thing like we tend to believe it is, it’s tied into many. We need a all-encompassing look in to really understand how our body, mind, and spirit create a feeling of wellness. Victoria Erickson has a great quote that gets us into this space with her definition of wellness:
When we nourish ourselves with good people, projects, surroundings, love, magic, beauty and self-care, we radiate light into the world and continually sharpen our vision, perception and clarity all at once.
Our awareness of ourself has to be first and foremost. With our world moving around us as quickly as it does, it takes making moments in our day that include reflection just as important on our calendar as the next big project at work. We don’t stop enough to see how we feel and usually only allow that happen when we feel something is wrong. What if we could feel and notice this before it happens? Often times we will find that our woes are created from within rather than what is impacting us outside ourselves in our daily travels.
It’s not always that easy to dive right into the hard questions that make us take a hard look inward, but that’s where we have to start. This has to happen before we can build a better path to being well. There’s really three levels I go through when I make this practice and I usually do it at the end of my week. Daily doing it is something I’m not really great at or have made the time to do each day. I’m still trying to balance my daily priorities to fit deeper reflection time in. But, at the end of the week I find myself with some solid time to do this.
Step one is really about just getting started. Not going super hard, but just taking a tiny next step. You will find like I did, sometimes you just have take a couple steps to really get into it. Here’s some simple questions to ask yourself. What area of focus of wellness (there are six dimensions of wellness: physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, social, occupational) do you find the hardest to the most challenging to maintain? One a little weirder to explore is if you woke up one day and lost one of your senses (smell, touch, taste, hearing, or sight) which would it be and why? Gives you a great perspective at which one you take for granted versus the others and tells you where you may be lacking in appreciating a sense.
Step two is where its time to really get honest now that you’re rolling. Being super honest with yourself will sharpen the your focus on what to do next with a gap you may have in one of the six dimensions. These two questions are great ones for me to really measure my self-awareness about how well I really think I am. I ask myself if I can easily identify what I am feeling most of the time. Next, whether I even think wellness can be achieved or not.
Step three if you get to it is where you go deep. Asking myself if I believe I have a soul and where in my body it lives in that moment can be a tough one to answer. Maybe I was an absolute jerk to most of the people I met that week. It would be really hard to me to say that week I had a soul (spiritual) that was healthy and I practiced great kinship (social) with or in others. Then I might ask how guarded I was for the week. I might even have had a reason to be one or the other so I might ask myself why I was that way.
I think each day we have and each week we go through offers us an amazing opportunity to check on our wellness. Jocelyn K. Gei has this to share:
Each day presents an opportunity to learn more, do more, be more, and grow more. Keeping yourself in ‘permanent beta’ makes you acknowledge that you have bugs, that there’s more testing to do on yourself, and that you will continue to adapt and evolve.
“Permanent Beta,” I love that and its a great practice to be in. It’s open and inviting as well as makes you self-aware constantly. At the end of it all its about balance, taking in a really great perspective of yourself, breaking it down to language you get or understand, and consistently checking in on yourself. We need to stop and give our mind and body a chance to catch up with us. Deepening our awareness in any single moment may not be possible, that’s okay. But, you certainly can find that time somewhere at the end of your week to log in with yourself. No one is busy every moment of the day, we choose to be.