Your Well-being Checklist
I saw a quote the other day, and you know how much I like and live for just the right quote, and I wanted to share it with you: “It is not what we carry with us, but what we let go of that defines who we are.” The author is unknown which means we can play with it and make it our own.
With autumn having had its grand hurrah and the cold air settling in for the long haul, I’ve been thinking about all of the books I would like to read and get lost in when winter comes around. I started to think about how each chapter takes me on an adventure and as I get closer to the middle of the book I get deeper into the adventure of the story. In most fiction books the explaining of a characters’ story weaves its way into the deeper chapters and near the end the main character learns to let go or change the thoughts and feelings of the past. I thought about how decades of our lives mimic chapters in a book.
Each decade is like a chapter in a book and so I asked myself what am I carrying with me into my next chapter? Some people think of every age as a new chapter and on some level I do agree with that way of thinking but being a life coach I have learned to look a bit deeper than just one year at a time. Now I like to look at every age within a decade as a sub chapter. It takes a long time to change and perhaps change is not quite the right word. It takes a long time to evolve, to grow, to become, to learn, to adapt, to settle in, to get cozy, to mesh with a thought, an idea, a concept, a good quote, or an understanding.
So how about this: “It is not what we carry with us into our future but what we choose to let go of that helps define who we are and who we want to be.” Much like a sculptor that chisels away at the marble to reveal its true essence, we too are the sculptors of our lives as we try to reveal the unchanging platform we stand on to define and chisel and smooth a pathway to who we are.
So why this thought today? Well, I am taking a wellness class this semester and the depth of the wellness class is titled, “All About Me”. In order to understand the scope of wellness, the entirety of wellness and well-being each student takes on the role of client and we all work through real life wellness situations using tools we never imagined we had at our disposal. For example, where are you right now in self-care or “me” time or self-confidence or in letting go?
The National Wellness Institute defines overall wellness like this: “Wellness is a process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a more successful existence. Health is not the mere absence of illness, but a continual striving to live a life that is full, meaningful, zestful and exuberant. Wellness is the experience of living life with high levels of awareness, conscious choice, self-acceptance, interconnectedness, love, meaning and purpose. Wellness is an individual’s life journey.”*
Chapter after chapter, decade after decade, we tend to bring with us hurts, ills, beliefs, old stories from the past that prevent us from moving forward. It takes bravery, courage, perseverance and hope to move away from limiting beliefs and stories that never change in order to free ourselves to breathe deeper, see clearer and stand taller. Self-esteem plays an important role in letting go and championing wellness. Self-esteem says, “I care enough about myself to take stock of my life, make the necessary changes and find the support to maintain my motivation.” As a life coach it is my honor to stand where you stand, in the here and now with you, and uncover your true essence in all things; your true wellness. One by one, sub-chapter by sub-chapter, together we make your platform strong and your purposes meaningful.
Just one week into the class I came across a concept that really, deeply resonated with me. There is a tremendous difference between I-llness and WE-llness. That is coaching. Everyone needs support through tough times, happy times, challenging times and discovery times. I hold sacred the WE in wellness.
This week in my wellness class we have to start to develop a personal wellness plan. The plan starts with our credo, our manifesto and the credo starts with the words, “I believe….” These beliefs have to come from the platform or the foundation of who we are. They come from our core values. Doing this exercise has been fun but frightening. It has forced me to face some inner critic beliefs that I really should throw away by now and this credo asks me to state firmly who I am. So here is how I started to help develop my wellness plan. What do you think?
There are 10 Tenets of Wellness* that I would like to share with you. See if you can choose just one tenet to incorporate into your life right now that can help you move this chapter of your life forward. I am here if you need me. Ready?
1) Wellness is holistic. Consider yourself whole in mind, body, spirit and environment.
2) Self-esteem is a critical factor in moving forward. Everything we do comes either from love or fear. Can you pinpoint where your wellness perspective comes from? For example, Is it rational fear like a cliff being too high above the water that causes you to determine not to jump or is your fear based on your little negative voice inside making False Evidence Appear Real?
3) Positive peers encourage wellness. Who do you surround yourself with? Who you hang out with most of the time has a lot to do with your own personal wellness. Do you get support or criticism? Do you feel threatened or accepted?
4) Live consciously. Become aware of all the choices you have and start acting on them. Conscious living knows that it is ok to take our time to enjoy what we eat or to break out of our time vacuums like choosing not to watch TV tonight in favor of reading a great book or hanging out with the kids or doing some kind of creative project that requires our undivided attention. Living consciously involves the true essence of FLOW.
5) Connectedness. Getting out of our fear of meeting new people and discovering that we each have something we can teach each other. It could also mean connecting to the pulses of our environment such as in gardening, weather patterns, moon phases, landscape changes, etc.
6) We are the first responders of our health. Outside of genetic risk factors and toxic environments out of our control, our emotional and lifestyle choices determine our health and well-being.
7) Self-sufficiency over shadows fear. The more we learn to do for ourselves the more empowered we become toward wellness. Pass on what you have learned in taking care of yourself. The world will thank you.
8) Being alone is a good thing. Everything in moderation is the meaning behind this tenet. Solo time helps us relax. When we allow ourselves time alone we are allowing our bodies and minds to absorb all that it has seen and experienced through our senses. Most of all it creates space for clarity and vision.
9) Perfectly Imperfect. My favorite of all sayings. Did you know that perfectionism has its roots in shame? Perfectionism shows up as anorexia, workaholism and other addictive behaviors. Perfectly imperfect means not lying to yourself or hiding from issues that need your attention. It means showing up and getting messy with it (life).
10) Play. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Children learn most and best through play. Why should it be any different for adults? Give yourself permission to play to maintain a balanced life.
I have started my wellness plan with these tenets and so far so good. I hope it helps you get a good start on your personal wellness plan. Don’t forget to start each wellness plan step with the words, “I BELIEVE”. For example, “I believe that I am worthy of one hour this week to allow myself to take a nap, read a book of my choice, eat a chocolate dessert, turn off the phone, etc. Then go and do it. How did it feel?
This isn’t a concrete wellness outline but it is a great start. You are the only one who can determine which of these tenets really work for you, which ones you have a hard time with but want to work on more consciously and which ones you just can’t relate to right now in this chapter of your life. All I ask is that you stay open-minded and hopeful to whatever may come up next.
“Human life is a journey whose end is not in sight. Searching, longing and questioning are in our DNA. Who we are and what we will become is determined by the questions that animate us, and by those we refuse to ask. Your questions are your quest. As you ask, so shall you be.” – Sam Keen
I’d like to leave you with a copy of the Serenity prayer so that while you journey on your road toward wellness, toward letting go of old chapters and toward happiness you can truly embrace perfectly imperfect.
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Lisa has been featured in Parent Magazine and in the book Stay-At-Home Mom’s Guide to Making Money by Liz Folger. Please visit www.journeyoncoaching.com. or contact Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org. Coaching is a great vehicle to help navigate through those sticky, tough, tumultuous times of parenting, career and life itself. All it takes is a spoonful of sugar and a desire to move forward with passion. If you would like to see how partnering in coaching can help create your best life so far please call or write to me and let’s start on that journey. Your personal discovery awaits….