We are born with an innate instinct to survive, and a drive to thrive: to live successfully and comfortably in good health. Yet the markers of these goals, namely success, comfort and wellness have become increasingly elusive.
So what does “good health” really mean?
Throughout the history of mankind, we have sought ways to improve our health, increase our longevity, flourish and prosper. As we emerge into sentient beings, survival is defined by the resources that we may avail ourselves of. Unfortunately, the resources available to some are not available to many. Healthcare has become increasingly complex, increasingly harder to have access to, increasingly exclusive.
In order to live in a sustainable state of wellness, then, it becomes a partnership between self-care and integrated health maintenance. Wellness needs to be a choice of actions, not reactions. It must be addressed in terms of each individual but within the context of culture, examining the person within the context of their environment: physical, emotional, social and spiritual.
Observe. Witness. Release.
Below are the components of sustainable wellness that Dr. Geary has identified as a way to sculpt and address her vision for VedaHealth. Here is our offering on how to organize and examine the integral parts that contribute to the wellness in your life; and the framework that VedaHealth uses to shape our direction and content. These components help to focus our efforts to become even more dedicated and connected to the self.
1. Self Care: Self affirmation, Acceptance, Non-judgement, Embracing Self
We ask the question: Is it ok for parts of me to be out-of-balance, vulnerable or in need, and can I allow myself to reflect and accept where I am now, and find the strength to look at what I need?”
Reality of interdependence, rather than just self-sufficiency
Giving and receiving
The power of shame versus self-compassion
The epidemic of narcissism versus empathy
2. Gratitude: The Pause to Reflect on the Universe's Gifts
We ask the question: Do I remember all that is supportive and warm in my world?
Daily Gratitude versus momentarily feeling “lucky”
Respecting the place of self in the broader universe.
Replacing fear and remorse, resentment and greed with equanimity
Acknowledging the power of self and of others to love
3. Nourishment: Nutritional Healing for the Whole Self
We ask the question: Are we thankful for our body and aware of what it needs?
Awareness; mindful cooking and eating
Food as nourishment, not reward
Observation of Breath during eating
Centering thought: Thankfulness for the body we live within
4. Movement: Movement for Exercise, Movement for Spontaneous Joy
We ask the same question again: Are we thankful for our body and aware of what it needs?
Exercise as body strengthening: focused, consistent,
Exercise for Cardiovascular health and weight management
Spontaneous movement: dancing to music, skipping, twirling,
Moving for a sense of freedom and release
5. Intimacy: Closest Connection to Self and Other
We ask the question: How do I ask for connection to others and how do I give and receive?
Naked acceptance of self
6. Breathing: The Body's Centering Action
We ask the question: How does the gift of breathing guide us?
Breathing as barometer of emotions
Breathing as Miraculous
7. Awareness: Observation and Reflection on Larger Community
We ask the question: What is our place within the greater context of our presence?
Role of self within cultural expectations and norms
Reflections on equity, gender
Empathy versus Sympathy
Social consciousness and the Greater good
8. Joy: The Human Blessing
We ask the question: Are we thankful for the miracle that is our existence - our body as source of unfathomable wisdom, our minds as the vessel for infinite thought?
Joy as ultimate appreciation and gratitude
Joy as freedom from judgement and shame
Joy as spontaneous experience of pleasure
Joy as purpose
Sustainable wellness is a call to action: a commitment to peace. It is a commitment to behaviors, actions of self-care and thoughts of calm. It is breathing practices, it is finding a daily time to meditate. It is physical exercise that is built into your daily routine. It is nutrition that nourishes and protects. And it is thoughts of self that are free of judgement and negativity. It is the practice of gratitude.
So take this Sustainable wellness framework with you, question and reflect on whether you are engaging with these components and what resonates for you - areas to improve, areas to expand, areas to maintain.
I welcome your feedback.