So is our approach to wellness working, or does the fact these figures are so monumental, in combination with the apparent unceasing rise in discontent and dis-ease, suggest that we have quite decidedly missed the mark?
Being truly vital today has become something of an enigma, thoroughly trampled amidst the new norm of exhaustion, anxiety, stress and the strain of keeping up with life as we currently know it.
Is it any surprise then that in 2014-15 more than 11 million Australians (50%) reported having at least 1 of 8 chronic diseases. (2)
By their own definition “happiness”, “wellness” and “well-being” are interchangeable terms, and I suspect we can all agree that to feel truly happy, is to feel well, and vice versa.
And so, by popular demand, a health and well-being industry of phenomenal breadth has formed, offering every possible remedy, modality and self-help solution to what ails us. But for these gargantuan efforts, what change do we see in the quality of our day-to-day lives that suggests this industry is truly serving what’s called for? Are we managing to restore our natural and true state of well-being, a state we are born with and often recall only from our early years of life?
The response from the Global Wellness Summit 2018(1) in which 600+ international delegates and presenters gathered to offer their insights, clearly shows we have not yet touched the sides of what is really going on. The summit’s outcomes were to propose merely a whole new pantry of ‘super solutions’, simply more extreme ways in which we will (apparently) seek ‘wellness’ over the next decade.
Among those outcomes from the summit, sited as possible answers to our global well-being woes, are the following current trends.
- The use of ‘medicinal’ Magic Mushrooms to provide a ‘reset’ of the brain and body to treat those with anxiety and depression. In other words, take a currently illegal, hallucinogenic drug, with well-known potentially harmful side-effects.
- Transformational travel – travel that “challenges people on a deeply personal level, creating emotion through the powerful medium of storytelling”. In other words… enter a fantasy world and become swept up in it emotionally, mentally and physically, as (somehow) some form of restorative, transformative experience results.
- Introducing the importance of paternal (in addition to maternal) nutrition during pre-conception to ensure ‘gene expression’ is maximized. The premise being that it’s all up to your parents and if that didn’t happen, then you can just blame your health problems on genes, i.e. you’re behind the eight ball with no way to catch up.
- Extreme Wellness (fitness) through ‘brain ‘hacking’ – toughing it out in extreme ‘mind over matter’ workshops in which the body is put under extreme conditions to endure. Ostensibly because “extreme challenges and experiences will bring a wealth of super powers to everyday, ordinary humans.” The premise being that hammering your body, often to the brink of exhaustion, is somehow good for it.
The thing is, what well-being ought to be referring to, relates to the entirety of our being and not just to a particular marker or point of so-called health or fitness we might choose to measure it by.
After all, we have the triathlete who ends up with a chronic viral infection, the corporate high flyer who’s relationship at home is loveless and falling apart, the ‘keep it all together working Mum’ who’s developed a thyroid condition because her body barely ever switches off. That list can go on, and on, and on.
The standards by which we could truthfully call ourselves healthy and well today have slipped so low that our measure has for most become merely the ability to say ‘I don’t have cancer, heart disease or diabetes’!
So what is going on when statistics show we are getting sicker by the day, and our efforts to feel truly well and healthy are so decidedly missing the mark AND our proposed remedies for the coming decade include taking toxic hallucinogens and measures that put the body under (further) extreme duress as seemingly viable solutions?
Well… despite the apparent complexity of the situation we have at hand, the answer is in fact, very, very simple. So simple that amidst the plethora of alternate solutions available to us, it is all too readily overlooked.
Simply put, the answer lies within us, and not in any quest to ‘do wellness’ through an activity or pursuit. We have in essence, gotten lost in our human-DOING-ness and forgotten that we are a human-BEING first.
We have further overlooked the fact that the state of our BEING is key in determining the way we feel throughout a day; our inherent capacity to feel vital, happy, settled, content, purposeful, to handle our lives with awareness, confidence and competence, as well as our inherent capacity to restore and rejuvenate our bodies every day in order to sustain it’s vitality.
It is our being that is responsible for our sense of WELL-being.
This inner essence that IS the being, is responsible for the gamut of what it is we deeply crave to feel, it is who we truly are and in fact is the only part of us we can truly call ‘me’.
It is responsible for:
- The ease and settlement we can feel within ourselves
- The harmonious function of organs and body systems
- The clarity and awareness that has us feel equipped to deal with life around us
- The energy to sustain ourselves through a normal work day without the need for stimulants, sugar and carbohydrates
- The capacity to love those around us, as well as our capacity to allow ourselves to be loved
- It is the part of us that does the restorative healing while we sleep, ensuring we wake refreshed and enthused for the day ahead
- It is the part that gives us our sense of belonging to something greater than our immediate family and that we are all inherently the same deep down
- It is the part that knows we are worth it, without question or justification
- It is our sense and knowing that there is much more to us than flesh and blood, and
- That we are precious, sensitive and magnificent at our core
If we are to seek a sense of well-being, then it is this BEING we must first seek a connection to within.
All else follows, including and especially the health and vitality that eludes us so decidedly in our current way of living.
When we restore a connection and relationship to this inner BEING, fostering it, nurturing it and above all, listen and honouring how it feels and what it communicates to us through the body, we restore a true sense of WELL-Being.
When we nurture what it takes to sustain a connection to this part of us in daily life, a sense of ourselves emerges that is unshakably robust and self-confirming. This newfound state of being inevitably flows into every aspect of our lives.
Start with this, and well-being becomes once again, a natural and effortless state from which life can be lived.
Esoteric Teachings & Revelations, p 249
1. 2018 Wellness Trends, from Global Wellness Summit
2. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
3. World Happiness Report 2018