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205: Redefining Wellness

On Air with Ella - episode 205

For the longest time, "wellness" was a finish line I was trying to cross, it was a box I was trying to check, it was a status I was trying to achieve. I wanted to pursue wellness, accomplish it, ...and then live happily ever after, obvi.

Intellectually, of course, I understood that wellness was not finite. But, I suspended that awareness of what I knew to be true - all the time. I suspended my knowing every time I purchased somebody’s program, or tried out their shortcut to wellness.

Buying someone’s program, following their protocol, or taking their supplement is not inherently bad, of course, but my intentions were misconstrued. I thought if I just cut out sugar, or maybe I needed high fat low carb, or maybe I needed more protein? I wanted what I saw other people had. And - and this is the thing - I kept trying to fix myself in order to have it.

Can you relate to this at any point in your life?

In my opinion, this confusion is extremely understandable and very detrimental. When we look at wellness as a tier that we strive to achieve or to qualify for, we not only end up with a lot of excess baggage that we picked up trying to get there, but we entirely miss the point -- and can end up farther from the goal than ever.

I had so many experiments and tried out so many behaviors trying to create wellness. Again that’s not inherently bad, but for me it was like I was trying to build a house made up of other peoples materials: if I used the right stuff, I could build this house and just move into it! I was collecting building materials and trying to manufacture wellness for myself.

And when you’re in this mindset, and someone tells you that wellness comes from within, or your body knows what to do, or your body will tell you what it needs...I mean, you just don’t have ears to hear that. You might reject it as ignorant, or naive wishful thinking, or just irrelevant to you. And you keep hacking, and nailing things together, and trying to build this house.

"I tried this for so long. And it took failing for me to start seeing this or what it was. I had a pile of expensive materials and time and effort in building this thing, and it just never came together."

So, What Next?

When you feel stuck, one of the best things you can do is to examine your intention and then align your goals to that intention. Getting stressed, becoming obsessed, unhappy, or unpeaceful (and therefore unhealthy!) in the pursuit of wellness is like getting mad when you can’t find a parking space close to the door at your gym! (It’s the gym! Why are you there? :-))

What is the intention?

If my intention was to feel whole and happy and at peace...then what the hell was I doing?

When I started to redefine wellness, I came so much closer to my true intention. For me (and you might define this differently), wellness to me means vibrance and resilience. This is pretty different from other words I used to use, like, vegan or gut health, or keto, or diet and lifestyle, or fitness and fat loss. Some of those words might still have a place in my wellness vocabulary, but my goal has shifted to VIBRANCE and RESILIENCE.

Vibrance... I want to bring energy into every room I enter, I want to live and love and dance, I want to enjoy food when I eat it. I want to be sexy sometimes, and really smart and sharp other times. I want to be a great friend and a good partner. I want to have a light that doesn’t dim over time. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Does that sound different, feel different in your body than saying “I want to lose a few pounds?”

It does for me.

Resilience... Now, I might be the only one, but just in case I am not, can you relate to having a different body every few days? Or different levels of comfort in your own skin? Or a different relationship with food or drink every other week or so? Do you feel like the bomb dot com on Friday, and by Tuesday you just know you’ve never been more hideous? Resilience is about far more, but includes the ability to recognize that I am a dynamic, living thing. It’s the ability to go through ups and downs in my physical body, my mind, and my general state and know that not only is that 100% normal, but that it’s all ok. And when it’s not, it will be ok again.

In a book I am reading right now, Emily Nagoski says “To be ‘well’ is not to live in a state of perpetual safety and calm, but to move fluidly from a state of adversity, risk, adventure, or excitement, back to safety and calm, and out again.”

This makes so much more sense to me.

Today’s point is to consider how are you going to define wellness for yourself.

What words will that comprise?

What does it mean to you, and what is keeping you from feeling that you are living it?

Let me hear from you! Comment here or even in Instagram. xx


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