Wellness or Illness?
We are surrounded by polarity in life. Day and night, light and dark, up and down, near and far, expanded and contracted, hot and cold, positive and negative, love and hate, male and female, doing and being. We are constantly being drawn towards something or pulling away from it. “I like this food / person / vocation / feeling / exercise / location,” or you don’t like it.” We have a perpetual system of filtering events into a ‘like or dislike’ category. We will often move towards scenarios that we consider favourable or pleasing and much of our life is devoted to attempting to create more ‘pleasing’ or steadfastly hang onto the ‘pleasing’ we already have. The ‘pleasing’ that we move towards does not always equate with the option that is best for our ultimate wellbeing.
What are you being drawn towards? Do your choices bring you wellness or dis-ease? Stress or joy? Do your choices have some basis of consideration behind them or they are an immediate knee jerk reaction that moves towards something pleasurable? What does that even mean? How would it feel if I offered the idea that you examine each choice that comes towards you to see if it will enhance your life and grow your wellness or in some way detract from that.
Can you do a little inventory of your life and look at a couple of categories like food and exercise? These two areas play a pivotal role in your wellness. How are you going with them? Is there any discomfort inside of you as you consider your relationship to these categories or can you honestly say that there is nothing further you could do to increase your wellness there?
Food has so many associations with it that lure us into unhealthy territory. Food can be used as a ‘reward,’ (pleasing) because it’s been a really tough day. I ‘deserve’ that biscuit / ice cream /chocolate / cheese because I felt (under pressure, sad, victimised, lonely, tired, etc……….) If you were to honestly examine this dynamic and ask the question, does this enhance my wellness or detract from it, the answer is simple. So is it truly a reward or an encumberence? We often tell ourselves that ‘it’s only ONE.’ Yes, but how often is it only one? One every day, every second day? We can move towards something that is contributing to poor health on the proviso that it makes us feel good. The good feeling from eating your ‘reward’ will last for as long as the food is being tasted. Minutes and seconds. What about the guilt that chases it up from knowing that it was a poor choice? The cumulative effects of that choice made regularly, may lead to years of poor health.
Exercise contains it’s own challenges. We can put it off perpetually on the pretext that there isn’t enough time, money or will power to get started. It’s ‘easier’ to just put it on the back burner. Sit on the couch for another day. “I will get to it, when things quieten down, I have a bit more energy and the weather improves or I find the right mind set.” So how do we feel when we don’t exercise? Sluggish, tired, ‘physically impoverished’ and not in the right mindset! It’s a viscious circle. What are you moving towards?
For most of us there are definitely things that we can do to enhance those areas. So how do we go about it? The first step is determining that there needs to be some changes made and an inner level of courage to takes some steps towards altering our current patterns. This can be viewed as positive and exciting or strenuous and difficult. Honesty needs to be present. You can lie to yourself very convincingly that all will be well if you just have one more piece of chocolate or don’t worry about going for a short walk today. Doing something differently does require courage to get started, but then the miraculous creeps in. You start to feel a bit lighter, both physically and emotionally. The feeling of ‘I can do this’ is often a reward in itself, far greater than anything that you can put in your mouth. Move towards the path of wellness and watch how it adds to your motivation. One step at a time. No great leaps required unless you feel up for it. One step at a time – moving towards wellness.