Last week my good friend and neighbor popped up for a visit with her adorable bouncy, baby boy. So very cute. When they left, Tina smiled and said, “Be well.” To which I replied in kind, “Be well.”
As I closed the front door behind them, I thought … “Be well …..” What exactly does “be well” look like. What does wellness mean?
Were we referencing the Flu, which seems to be circulating big time throughout the big city? Getting a good night’s sleep? Eating well? Or were we thinking in more psychological and/or spiritual terms? Or … all of the above? I am sure if I asked Tina, “What does ‘Be Well’ mean to you?” her definition of wellness would differ from mine. Words carry different meanings for all of us.
“Be Well” is an artfully vague term.
What does “be well” mean? What makes you feel well? What does wellness look like to you?
In the 1960’s, when Halbert L. Dunn coined the term ‘wellness,’ he was referencing “a lifestyle approach that pursued elevated states of physical and psychological well-being. He described it as a disciplined commitment to self-mastery.”
Wellness is an ongoing process. It is an approach to life that manifests ‘wellness’ as opposed to ‘illness;’ an approach that strengthens your immunity. But that’s just one sliver of the wellness pie. In addition to your physical well-being, wellness involves platters full of mental, psychological, emotional and spiritual health.
‘Being well’ implies that you are living a balanced life and experiencing a good amount of health, energy and a great sense of ‘well-being.’
There are a number of parameters to wellness that do apply to all. Healthy eating, moving your body (a.k.a. exercise), staying hydrated, getting the right amount of sleep, healthy relationships – the basics. And then there are the aspects of wellness that are specific to you.
The aspects of wellness that are yours and yours alone have a magical quality to them. They warm your heart; the illuminate your soul.
For some, curling up in front of roaring fire might ignite feelings of wellness; feelings of ‘all is right in the world.’ For others, a burst of wellness may come from getting lost in a good movie or book; a hot bath allowing yourself to simply let go.
Sitting on my front porch, listening to the birds chirp happy songs, while feeling the warmth of the sun on my face easily puts me into an altered state of “illuminated wellness.”
There is an ease to wellness; it is simple. We only need to let go of the struggle, stop our ‘human running’ act for a short period; long enough to dip deep into our inner-wells of wellness. Dig deep and, yes, listen. Pay attention.
What are those things that send ripples of calmness, happiness and a sense of wellness throughout your body? What creates a state of ‘illuminated wellness’ in you?
Henceforth, when I say, “Be well,” please know that I am issuing a special invitation to you to not only do those things that we all need to do in order to ‘be well,’ but I am also inviting you to take the time to explore and discover all that feeds your soul, warms your heart – creates ‘illuminated wellness.’
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