We all know that if we want to achieve something, we have to practice. We have to dedicate our time and energy to that which we want to see happen.
For example, my son, who is really into soccer and takes his soccer ball nearly everywhere, has a coach who encourages him to practice, practice, practice.
And then, there is my seven year-old daughter. She loves music. She recently shared with me her dream to sing on stage in a Broadway musical. (Adorable!) And guess what her piano teacher stresses to her each week – to practice.
Helping our bodies to heal in the face of a health challenge is no different. If we want to achieve a sense of feeling better, we must practice wellness.
Yes, I know there are those people who get away with a relative degree of health without seeming to try. But these days, this is becoming more of an exception rather than the rule.
Indeed, in our world today, our bodies face an onslaught of toxins in the environment, improper nutrition from the post-industrial food industry, and an overwhelming degree of stress. And as a society, we have an epidemic of health problems. In fact, nearly one out of every two adults in the USA has at least one chronic health condition – things like hypertension, heart disease, allergies, cancer, autoimmune disease, and diabetes. Look around and you will see that we live in a world today that is painfully out of balance.
This is why the practice of restoring balance and wellness is more important than ever.
It took a breakdown of my own health for me to begin practicing wellness in my life. For years, I took my health for granted. As a young adult I got away with sleep deprivation, poor nutrition, inadequate exercise, and boatloads of stress. Indeed, I expected my body to rise to meet the demands I placed on it. And for years, despite living in a toxic world, my body remained relatively healthy. Until one day, it didn’t.
Illness, for me, felt like being lost in the middle of a cold, dark, and unfamiliar sea.
When modern medicine failed to restore my wellness, I faced many a dark night where I nearly lost faith in medicine altogether. Until I realized that my treatments were simply doing what they were designed to do. The medications I took were designed to treat my symptoms. They were not designed to restore my wellness. And in this way, my medicines and treatments were like a buoy that kept me afloat. But despite having a buoy, I still felt stuck in the cold and lonely sea of illness.
Until I realized that wellness is not something that someone else can give you. The restoration of wellness is something very different than the treatment of illness. Healing and wellness come from within our own bodies. Sure, there are treatments or catalysts that we can receive from others that can help, but it is our own bodies that have the potential to create greater wellness. And greater wellness can happen more readily when we provide our bodies with the optimal conditions. This is why the practice of wellness matters.
We can align right now with the things that help the body, mind, and spirit feel as healthy and as well as possible. This is not about getting better someday. Healing doesn’t happen in some future that we can’t necessarily control. Healing is an active process that happens now. And by practicing wellness, we can focus on all the healing potential that we can bring into our lives today. When we practice wellness, we give ourselves the gift of being more fully present to right here and right now.
I have found the tools of Mindfulness, Food, Relaxation, Movement, and Joy to be the most beneficial and effective ways of aligning with what produces the greatest degree of health, wellness and feeling good. (See the Nurture Healing Wellness Programs.) And I believe that despite the challenges we face in the world today, these tools can help to cultivate greater balance, harmony and health.
Greater wellness starts with each and every one of us. And when we bring greater wellness into our own lives, we also bring greater health and wellness into our families, into our communities, and onto this planet.
Practicing wellness is about realizing that we only have this time. It is what we decide to do with this time that matters most.
As we practice wellness, we can ask ourselves, “How am I going to choose to live today?”
If you would like support, guidance and ongoing inspiration in your practice of wellness, you are most welcome to join me in the Wellness in Practice Programs and Workshops. For more information visit nurturehealing.org.