I’m starting this year all clean, pure, and jazzed by confessing where I’ve fallen into life’s mucky pits with the intent of sidestepping the same pitfalls in 2019.
But I'm gonna slowly ease into the confessions, alright?
My latest consulting gig as the event coordinator for the Northland Community Wellness Day initiated the desire to google the heck outta "Wellness".
Before getting this job I'd never thought much about the topic.
So, why do actual work when you can have fun online and discover loads of info on a new subject?
I love it because I've been absorbing sooooo much about becoming a calm, content, and self-realized person.
Dana, a feral human, is now focused on well-balanced living.
Hey! Good on ya, ya maniac!
Well, thank you very much! I'm really enjoying this aspect of my new job!
So, let's start off with a definition.
The National Wellness Institute states that wellness is "a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential."
I’ve gotta say, every single word in that sentence rings my bell. Seriously. Can you get a more empowered, higher vibe phrase than that?
It’s great because it's directed by you. It's not your family's or culture’s idea of wellness. It's your very own idea of what evolving to your full potential looks like.
I mean, collecting info on what other people value is incredibly helpful in assembling a bigger picture of life than what I may already have. Yet, blindly adopting my culture, religion, or family's values without questioning them at all is a road to living someone else’s vision. It doesn't honor my authentic self or soul. Sure, it’ll probably result in less outer conflict but the inner conflict eventually catches up with the body.
I would know.
My 27 yearlong dance with rheumatoid arthritis is a powerful effect of having the right genes + loads of inner conflict.
Having RA hasn't been a barrel of laughs, but on the upside, it's been a rich source of growth and wisdom - a lil' silver lining as a result of suffering.
Hey, that's some wellness right there! I've used the challenges of my chronic illness as a ripe opportunity to evolve.
So, I scoured the internet for even more wellness information and I came upon several sites listing dimensions of wellness.
I love lists because they help order my thoughts, yet some of the lists didn't seem quite complete to me. Then I stumbled upon my favorite wellness resource so far - the University of California Davis' site where they describe eight different aspects.
Dig, if you will, this magical wellness list for human earthlings:
1. Physical wellness relates to maintaining a healthy body and seeking care when needed.
2. Intellectual wellness involves having an open mind when encountering new ideas and continuing to expand knowledge.
3. Emotional wellness relates to understanding feelings and coping effectively with stress.
4. Social wellness helps to perform social roles effectively and comfortably, and create a support network.
5. Financial Wellness involves the process of learning how to successfully manage financial expenses.
6. Occupational wellness is about enjoying one's occupational endeavors and appreciating the contributions made to the world.
7. Environmental wellness inspires a lifestyle that is respectful of our surroundings.
8. Spiritual wellness allows the development of a set of values that help seek meaning and purpose.
More details on each aspect here: https://shcs.ucdavis.edu/wellness/what-is-wellness
Can you see any areas of life that aren't covered by this list?
If you click on the link to UC Davis, sexual wellness is under social relationships with intimate partners, ya horn dogs. :)
I'm pretty satisfied with the list, but let me know if you find anything else that seems more expansive and inclusive, okay?
When I review this list, I feel pretty good about some of the areas but not that great in others. If a definition of wellness is "a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential," I know I'm nowhere near my full potential. It seems like I've even brought growth to a screeching halt in some cases.
Like with my decades-long, former Diet Coke habit that was covering up a lifelong sugar addiction. Essentially, since I was a kid, I've been eating non-nutritious food when I'm not hungry as a way to numb emotional pain. This coping technique served me well and helped me survive childhood when I was powerless to alter my environment, but as a powerful adult, it's been slowing my personal evolution.
It's had a negative impact on my health and I'm still fumbling along, sometimes successfully and other times not so much, as I continue to learn how to get through the days without sugar numbing.
Even as I write this, I'm not hungry and I'm craving a frosted cinnamon roll. I’m glad it's sitting nearly a mile away in the bakery case at the grocery store and I don’t feel like leaving the house. #laziness4thewin
Ya know...I bet addiction is simply a way to cope when any of the eight important dimensions of wellness are being stunted.
The life energy that animates us and everything else wants to evolve, right? That's what we naturally do in our human bodies.
We all want to learn and experience new things, explore our power to create in the physical world, and enjoy our continued growth.
Yet when we feel powerless to change our circumstances and can't figure out how to grow in the ways we naturally feel moved to evolve, we find ways to survive and that's what addiction addresses. Addiction provides temporary relief from the pain of stunted emotional, intellectual, spiritual, social, physical, environmental, financial, and occupational growth aaaaaand, simultaneously, it continues to stunt our evolution in those areas.
Sure, it totally feels amazing when that cinnamon roll hits my tongue. But what's really happening is my soul/life energy is temporarily losing out on the excitement and joy of expansion and growth. The energy in my body is being dulled and numbed so it doesn't have to deal with life’s conflicts that need to be resolved for my evolution.
And this is the game of being human! We were born into an environment and culture where all eight aspects of wellness present ever-changing challenges that are always seeking brand new ideas and solutions.
So how will I use my energy to address unhealthy dimensions of my life and evolve to my fullest potential?
I have some thoughts which I'll keep exploring on my new blog, Energy Playhouse, that'll go live in early 2019.
This is the last My Wife Yells post because the title no longer suits who I’ve become. I’ve decided that I’m nobody’s possession/wife. #feminineawakening And I’m also doing my best to chill on all of the yelling, which to be honest, isn’t going very well, but it’s still a goal. #quietdreams #nevergiveup
This blog has been all about letting go of a strong sense of shame by admitting and uncovering my many conflicts. And now it’s time to let the blog go.
Old ideas, habits, and blogs have to die to make room for the new life that wants to arise in their place.
And the conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential is my new life interest - minus all of the yelling.
Energy Playhouse will still involve confessions, but only until I'm 100% shame-free. I'm at like 91% right now. :) I’ll confess my way through that wellness dimension list and keep clearing away stuff I no longer need as I focus on discovering the possibilities of our wondrous human energy potential.
Thanks for reading and for offering feedback, both positive and negative, because I learn from every single comment and message I receive.
Happy New Year and happy evolving, friends. It'll be fun to keep growing into our fullest and most joyful selves together.