Are you well?
I used to think I was well. I could still fit into my high school clothes even though I was on the far side of 30. I exercised more days than not and had become a decent runner. I ate a pretty healthy vegetarian diet. I avoided most chronic disease and only visited the doctor on the occasions when my body could not fight off some invading microorganism. I even managed to sneak in some meditation and yoga on occasion.
I thought I was well.
But I wasn’t.
It turns out that wellness is not measured by the number of miles that you run. Or the amount of broccoli that you eat. Or even the number on the scale.
It’s great to be fit and to eat healthy, but that is only a small piece of the wellness pie. Wellness is as much about what happens inside your mind as it is what happens to your body.
So, what is wellness?
Wellness is Acceptance
Wellness begins by accepting what is. If you constantly fight against some truth, you cannot win and you cannot be well.
Wellness is Balance
If you focus too much one way, you will automatically neglect something else. Wellness is centered. Wellness doesn’t play favorites.
Wellness is Attention
If you close your eyes to the truth, you are the embodiment of a lie. Rather than turning your gaze away from those areas where you struggle, turn towards them and let your attention focus.
Wellness is Perseverance
It is easier to be sick than to be well. Wellness takes effort. You may fail. That’s okay, failure is not inconsistent with wellness. A lack of trying is.
Wellness is Personalization
Wellness is not what works for your neighbor. It is not what the media dictates to you. Your wellness needs to be custom tailored for you.
Wellness is Freedom
Wellness, at its most basic, is freedom from disease. But it is also freedom from addiction. From fixation. From fear. From discontent.
Wellness is Ongoing
You may be well in one moment and not in the next. That doesn’t mean that you’re a failure. It means you’re human. Unlike a turkey, wellness is never done.
Perhaps we should measure wellness by the number of smiles as well as the number of miles. The amount of true friends as well as the amount of broccoli. The number of hours slept and the number on the scale.
Perhaps the best way to recognize wellness is by its corollary: peace. When you are well, you are at peace.