There is a spectrum of being that runs from illness to healthy and ends with actually living your potential. Wellness is what happens when you live your potential. It is the optimal embodied expression of you. Most of us would settle on healthy which assumes our bodies are physically functioning normally without any conscious pause for concern. Basically nothing hurts, everything works, and looking in the mirror is not too distressing.
Sometimes we do not feel well even though our doctor cannot find anything physically wrong with us. Some of us know we are physically healthy and yet do not quite feel well. It is very likely that we shame ourselves out of pursuing wellness by saying, “ I really shouldn’t complain but _________. At least I have my health.” Ouch! What resides in that fill in the blank is not well. It is the unrealized potential we are longing for. Diminishing this and pushing it away is the door that leads us down the road of unhealthy.
Many times, what is in this fill the blank will be directly related to our body, our sense of happiness, work, relationships or outlook on life. Distilled even further it is likely an emotion, belief or a state of being that is not in alignment with our essence. The point is, wellness and staying healthy is more than just the state of our body. When we are taking inventory of our life and our experience of it, this checklist is longer than our body parts. It includes how happy we feel, whether we are living our purpose, how optimistic our beliefs are and our sense of connection with others. When we are not happy, chronically tired, just getting by, perpetually pessimistic and experiencing aloneness than something is desperately needing our attention. More importantly, it is a two way street. Ignoring this sense of wellness leads to illness.
I’m not sure when it happened, but somehow expecting wellness became expecting too much. Most of us unconsciously stopped and just hope to stay healthy, leaving wellness behind as an unobtainable pipe dream. It is time for us to reinstate a standard of wellness if we want to prevent illness.
As we start the New Year, I encourage you to take inventory of your life. What is in your fill in the blank? Is there some secret desire you long for deep inside? How does that line up with the resolution you set for yourself this year? What about the resolution you didn’t even bother with? Naming this is an essential first step towards wellness. The answers to these questions are a window into being well and also potentially moving you away from illness. What is the story you tell, that says this is not possible? Write it down. Look at the words and tease out the facts from the fiction. Is this impossible for everyone or just you? What is in the way? I encourage you all to share in the comment section below and invite the possibility of wellness in you this year.