What is Wellness?

Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Last month in conversation with a friend who works for one of Fast Company’s top 10 companies to work for, the topic of Wellness was at hand. Maybe because I am obsessed with the topic — but apparently so are her clients. In a world that is becoming more aware of our lack of peace, love and happiness, she mentioned that almost every account is wanting “to jump on this Wellness bandwagon.”  Companies that are wanting to design better products and better business models are recognizing the consumers interest in the Wellness factor.  How can they incorporate it and package it? How can they convey to their audience that they have their wellbeing in mind? My first question to her was, “What do they think Wellness means?”

When first hearing the word, Wellness is usually lumped into, taking your vitamins, getting exercise and eating healthy. While that is generally the case, it also means so much more. As someone who has done a lot of work on themselves, I think Wellness can reach much deeper levels. Being well to me means, being self-aware, in touch with your truth — mindful of your behaviors and habits and generally being a loving, caring, compassionate person.  Those character traits are left when all the other BS our ego creates no longer rule us. Peace of mind, general contentment, walking through life with grace and ease reside when we become masters to our ego and no longer it’s slave.

The 4 elements, Fire, Air, Water and Earth resonate so deeply with the foundation of everything that exists, it seems only natural to use them as the building blocks to breakdown what I believe to be the fundamentals of Wellness. Let’s take a look at how the mind/body/spirit can thrive and a few tools I have learned that can help create the balance we desire.

FIRE
Mind-
Never stop learning and discovering. I find when I am not evolving mentally, my concept of what’s possible comes to a stand-still. Have you ever though about taking a class in something that has nothing to do with your current occupation? It’s never too late.

Body- I love the principles of  ayurveda, especially if you have digestive issues. Here is what the Chopra Center has to say about agni.

“Agni or the ‘digestive fire,’ is one of the most important principles in the ancient science of ayurveda. It refers broadly to our ability to process all aspects of life, including food, experiences, memories, and sensory impressions. Agni is responsible for absorbing the nutrients and essential elements the body needs while burning off waste products (agni is the root of the English word ‘ignite’).”

You can read more about creating agni here: http://www.chopra.com/agni

Spirit- What are your passions? What ignites your soul? Don’t have the courage to do some karaoke but love to sing in the shower? Try something new, step out of your comfort zone. It’s amazing how inspired you’ll feel when you face your fears.

AIR
Mind-
Clear you mind. Once you can commit to having a daily practice, meditation is shown to have countless benefits. There are so many different types of meditation too. If you want to get started I am happy to recommend a style for you. Just ask!

Here is what Deborah King has to say about it. She is a big fan of mantra meditation:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4YSsY6ltvM&w=640&h=390]

Body- Did you know most of us don’t breath properly? We’ve become a world of shallow breathers. Taking at least 10, conscious, deep breaths a day can help you live a longer, healthier life. Try some breath work like SRI, Somato (Body) Respiratory (Breathing) Integration™ . Yoga focuses on breathing as well.

Spirit- You’ve heard it before, “Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses.”

This is a photograph I personally took when Wa...

Dr. Wayne Dyer

WATER
Mind – Go with the flow. In his book, Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life, Dr. Wayne Dyer talks about the Tao Te Ching.  ‘Be like water’ is a common theme throughout that it’s hard to pull one quote. This article does a good job summarizing. It’s from You Can Heal Your Life!

Body – 8 glasses of water a day. It’s the best thing you can do for your body. It detoxifies, gives you energy, helps your metabolism and is the most nourishing thing you can do for your skin – – especially when you are getting up there in years.

Spirit – The cleansing and clearing properties of water are almost imbedded in our subconscious. Have you ever had a dream where waves are crashing over you? Like tears, or a baptism, a fresh new start awaits. Too cold to go for a dip in the ocean? Try adding a pound of Epsom salt to your bath- – don’t stay in longer than 10 minutes.  As the water drains out of the tub, imagine everything you want to let go of, going down the drain with it.

EARTH
Mind –
What’s your carbon foot-print? Are you recycling and composting? Are you mindful of where your waste goes and how you can minimize the impact your lifestyle has on the planet? Be kind to Mother Earth.

Body – Spending time out in nature is good for all aspects of the mind/body/spirit. I find heading above 4,000 feet can give you a whole new perspective on nature too. There is a stillness that is completely different than at sea level. Go for a walk in the forest. Hug a tree. Strap on some cross-country skis and head out in the snow.

Spirit – What have you learned in the many years of your life here on earth? Do you still have unresolved issues with friends or family that occupy space in your head? Walking though life with beliefs about yourself that no longer serve you can eventually cause disease. Therapy is awesome! Working out your issues now can save you from medical bills later.

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