From the feedback I received on my last blog, it seems there’s a few of you out there asking the exact same question that I’d written in my journal… “Fantastic! Now, where do I START?” – great minds huh?!
And honestly, I entirely get why this maybe our first thought, after all there’s just so much information out there… even just trying to understand what’s really meant by the term “wellness” could send us on a journey to infinity and beyond… joining good old Buzz Lightyear! So maybe get your lycra ready, or maybe not?!
If you really wanted to dive in though, there is – ironically – a website called definitionofwellness.com from where you could START the journey. It provides an explicit and thorough definition that might really help set the boundaries so we can begin immersing ourselves in a mine of information.
But R E A L L Y… must w e !??
There is – truthfully – no universally accepted definition of the term “wellness” as it’s just such a tough word to try and define. So why must we feel the need and put our energy into defining it at all?
Instead of opening Pandora’s box and letting all that information spill out… only for it to send us off on tangents to collect yet more, and more information until yup – we reach overload, why don’t we simply define what’s important to us, in our own lives… and work outwards from there?!
This has gotta sound better than potentially ending up in a heap, questioning where the freaking hell we fit in with all the “wellness freaking wonderment” that’s out there, right?!
If there’s one thing that my experience working with chronic mental health patients and seeing some awesome wellness practices taught me, and secured in my beliefs… it’s that getting the basics right is key!
In short, don’t bloody over-complicate things for yourself… keep it simple!
In support of this, Svend Brinkmann of Stand Firm: Resisting the Self-Improvement Craze recently wrote:
“Those who reject the find-and-develop-yourself ideology have more chance of putting down roots and living a life of integrity – with joined-up and enduring identities – and sticking to what is important in their lives. …. Let’s try to be decent human beings instead of chasing a narcissistic dream of uniqueness and individuality.”
What do you think does he have a point?! Can we find our “START” in seeking what is important in our lives, as opposed to how we do it in our own unique and individual freaking way? Well that’s how I interpreted it anyway, correct me if you see it any differently please. I suppose simply put, do we need to stop looking for “greener pastures” and initially just focus on our own “grass roots” as such?!
Many years back now whilst I was training, I was introduced to Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs and while I don’t agree with everything in Maslow’s theory per se – especially his view on the systematic movement through the levels – I do fundamentally agree with the levels themselves, which is why I began to use Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as my own personal anchor, to focus on my own “grass roots”.
So, with help from Maslow, the level that I focus on is that of “physiological needs” which represents hunger, thirst, air and sleep and these are where I personally make my “START” – without having to lift the lid off Pandora’s Box!
To clarify this, that I’m sure you’ll relate to, even feel at home with … let’s think about needing to go shopping but you’re both hungry and tired – and you don’t have a shopping list! We all know how disastrous that can be, right?
So, why do it… give yourself a break and take the time to write up a shopping list! Keep it simple…
Ohhh and BTW: If you want to read more on about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs which covers other levels of: safety needs, needs for belongingness and love, self-esteem, or the need for self-respect and self-actualization, then you’ll find it here.
So, without jumping right in and looking for solutions, resisting that initial need for self-improvement per se, can you identify and list your basic needs? Do you really want or need to “reinvent the wheel” or just get it turning… a little bit smoother?
Anyway, as they say, I will show you mine if you show me yours next time we meet. So, with love and wellness hopefully see you next time?