You are standing in line at the grocery store and look over to see a fitness magazine. The front cover dons a woman in the latest workout clothing, smiling, with dew kissed skin, shiny hair, toned muscles and exuding a strong sense of self. You look down to consider your basket of grocery items and realize your selections aren’t going to get you to that place of wellness you are reaching for and this woman smiling at you from the cover of the fitness magazine is not helping.That woman, however, is a model, touched up and made-up and dressed up to give a certain vibe. You are feeling that vibe as you gaze at the picture. It makes you want more for yourself, yet how do you get there and do the recommendations within the pages work? Will they work for you? Are you considering every aspect of health and wellness when you look at this magazine? What we can’t see is what’s on the inside of a person.
“Happiness is the highest form of health” -Dalai Lama
We are all unique individuals. We each have unique needs for creating health and well-being. Sure, we can do P90X, we can mix up a Shakeology smoothie every day or we can do a weekly Yoga class. However, do these truly fit us as individuals? Are these becoming a drudgery or are we coming down hard on ourselves for not following through? Health and well-being are not as simple as exercise and diet. Researching what makes us thrive plays an enormous role in how we become optimally healthy and strengthen our well-being.
Digging deep to uncover our needs is an essential aspect of wellness. We know we want transformation; we have an idea of how we want to feel, how we want to look. Do we know what fits us best? Do we consider that our mind, our spirituality, and our emotions have as much a part in our health as does our physical body? A decision to bring about change is the first and most vital choice, and where do we go from there? Self-help book? Magazine? Exercise program?
“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped” -Tony Robbins
Consider taking time for self and learn in a more detailed light what makes you feel whole? Start with a deep breath, and another. With pen and paper near close your eyes and notice how your body feels, decide what areas are calling for more support. Is it your heart, your right knee, your stomach? Is it your emotions, your need for spiritual connection, are you lonely? Jot things down. No order, just random notes about you. Learn what contributes to your joy? Take note. What causes you stress or anxiety? Jot them down. What are your strongholds? What are your
gifts? Essentially you are creating a blueprint. Soon you will have a more profound understanding of your needs as your body and mind communicate with you……. you are more fully aware and, in a place, to listen. Speaking words of affirmation daily will encourage the body-mind communication through self-love.
“I honor my body with loving thoughts and healthy choices” –Affirmation
You now have your outline of you. As you read over your notes you might find you are not truly satisfied with your current choices. Maybe you struggle to get out of bed every morning to go for a run and really don’t feel good afterward, yet you continue hoping for results. You might realize you are more drawn to Yoga, yet never felt it would give the physical results you want. Sit with this for a moment. Breathe into this realization. Is running causing undue stress? If you are drawn to Yoga, there is a reason. Make a change in your exercise choice. Experience what
changes in you when you choose to partake in a yoga practice instead. The objective is to recognize what works for you as an individual. Take note of how you feel physically, mentally and spiritually and make changes as needed. Do this little by little using your blueprint. Try working on one per week. Adjust as needed. Take a step at a time and sit with each item. Breathe into each part of you that is calling for change or yearns for a new perspective. Really
consider what health and well-being look like for you.
“With every experience, you alone are painting your own canvas, thought by thought, choice by choice”. -Oprah Winfrey
Another aspect to consider is mental health. We may be pouring ourselves into working on the physical side of our health all the while ignoring signs such as depression that might be causing negative symptoms. There are mental/emotional symptoms that show up physically in our bodies. If we are only working to heal the physical symptoms without considering the mental/emotional, we may never learn our full wellness potential.
There are countless ways to become healthy and well, and it’s not one-size-fits-all. To truly find what fits us we need to take time, listen, ask questions, adjust, breathe, respond and love. Go ahead and read the article about what food regimen or exercise or supplement made the woman on the magazine look and feel so amazing. Try it out, see how it fits you while also listening carefully, taking stock of what your body-mind is telling you and enjoy your new journey
to health and well-being.
Editors Note: Layne Kay is a current student at SWIHA and will be graduating from the Mind-Body Practitioner program in March and submitted this article as an assignment for a SWIHA class. She says: “The ‘About’ page expresses SWIHA’s values of Honoring Individuality, as well as, Renewal, Wellness, and Wholeness, which is at the core of the blog I have written. My hope is that this article will uplift and encourage while shining the core values ofSWIHA.”