The 12 Tenets of Wellness (Episode 277)
There is a lot on health and wellness. And I'm a huge advocate of your physical health being in direct relationship to your mental and emotional health. Last week we talked about who was writing your story, and how to create a life with meaning.
Now, how can you focus on health and wellbeing...and truly stay well? We've compiled 12 tenets to keep happiness, health, and flow in your life.
#1: Do things that validate your own worth.
Oftentimes, in our disconnection of self, we spend so much time focusing on others we forget our own worth. We shower our kids with love and affection, and think about being a good partner to our significant other. What brings you fulfillment, joy, and purpose? If you are creating a life you thrive in, how are you filling it with joy and positivity? See your life as your own creation, and fill it with what inspires and delights you.
#2: Prioritize you.
Showing up as an exhausted shell of yourself that's maxxed out on life isn't really doing anyone any good. Pay close and loving attention to yourself, and prioritize things that contribute to your own self care. It may be art, journaling, taking a bath, going on a walk, meditating...how are you taking care of yourself so you're showing up fully present in the moment?
#3: Release the feelings that hold you down.
This doesn't mean the denial of feeling; it's freely expressing, letting go, and moving on. I saw this post on instagram recently and loved how it captured the range of emotion. I'm imagining this little girl is asking for "more" of something, and was told no. And she experiences the range of emotions as she navigates her disappointment. And yes, she comes out on the other side of it.
Meditation really helped me learn how to stay focused without suppressing. You can't fully meditate if you're stifling your thoughts. It's about acknowledging all those emotions you have, and letting go of those that no longer serve you well.
Go ahead and feel freely. Just don't hold onto it. We are seasonal all the way to our core. Emotions will come and go, and it's in the contrast that we're better able to appreciate the good that can come.
#4: Focus on what you want
We have a natural negativity bias. It's okay, as this is what helps us remember that it hurts when you touch a hot pan on a stove. It's not okay when this bias is what becomes your main focus.
It can be really easy to know what you don't want. You don't want to be taken advantage of. You don't want to be rejected. You don't want insecurity or criticism.
But have you considered what will replace that? If you're simply focusing on what you don't want, and you haven't identified what you do want, how will you know when you find it?
Hold positive images and goals of what you want in your life - what you visualize is one step closer to becoming a reality.
#5: Make love the purpose and primary expression in your life
Yes, it sounds cliché. It's super simple. Love yourself, and love everyone else. Just start with that. It doesn't mean every action a person does is lovable. Just find what you can love, even if it's just that you recognize their humanity.
#6: Create fun in your life
Yes, bring some joy in! How are you adding some fun in your life? Think about how you feel when you're truly having fun vs. muscling through to-dos. How can you have some fun?
I've blasted 90s grunge bands music in the car with the windows down, singing at the top of my lungs like I was back in high school.
I'll chase back when a kid goes to tag me for a spontaneous game of tag.
I took up hobbies of my own beyond my kids - embroidery, cross-stitch, and reading my own books that weren't kid-focused.
What is fun for you? Bring it in. The more joy you find in it, the more that trickles out beyond you. Joy is a wonderfully contagious emotion.
#7: Heal the past and let it go
This doesn't mean dredging up every wound in your history, confronting all who wronged you, and then eliminating them all from your life.
I did some major soul-searching and healing this year, and it involved myself and my old journals. Simply reading through my past and giving space to acknowledge what was and where I've come was really powerful.
I listened to this book and it was my therapy as I walked down my own road of the past. I healed in "micro-dose" increments, where I processed a little bit at a time.
Yes, my story includes others who have hurt me. Everyone has some element of hurt from others in their past. And we have our different ways of healing. Healing doesn't always include everyone in the process - sometimes it causes more harm to dredge things up - you may be ready, but there are others involved.
Pay attention to what you need to heal, beyond any expectation of what others will do. Regardless of whether you speak to another about your pain or not, the focus is on your acceptance of what was and letting go of what holds you back. Your healing doesn't have to be based on if someone else is ready to make an apology.
Forgive. Let go. You don't have to carry it with you anymore.
#8 - What do you contribute?
The truth is, helping others feels good. It's not just a service to them; it's a reminder of the positive impact you can make. And when we feel like we're making an impact, we feel more worthy. We feel purpose, hope and value.
When our children are coming to us with any issue, our first question is, "what did you contribute?" What was their part in the situation? How did they add or take away from the experience?
When we think of others and how we impact them, we become more conscious and aware of the bigger roles we all play in each others lives.
Whenever someone is feeling down or hopeless, I first ask if there is anyone they know they can help. Helping others affirms your own worth. Pay attention to whether your contributions to society are dragging others down or lifting others up.
#9: Commit to health and wellbeing
If you don't believe in the potential of total health, you aren't going to achieve it. You have to be committed and confident that it is possible. If you're struggling with your health, develop your own healing program.
Yes, you can draw on the support and advice of experts. Just don't be enslaved to this as the one and only solution. Ensure you are in the driver's seat of your health, knowing that it's a mind/body/soul connection.
Modern medicine can only do so much. If you believe you're unhealthy and can't recover, no amount of pills and regimes will change that for you. Your mindset is a powerful blocker for progress if you get stuck in one thought.
#10: Accept growth opportunities
Are your trials and tribulations your excuses you're trapped in, or stepping stones for growth? Life is messy, and things will not always go as planned. We can sit and stew in our disappointment and injustice, or we can choose to learn from it. What does it make possible? What have you learned from this that can help you moving forward?
#11: Laugh often
Keep your sense of humor. Find things that make you laugh. Watch a silly video. Play a game. Do something awkward - try throwing a ball with your opposite hand and see how silly it can feel. Laugh at yourself. Laugh with others. True laughter - not at the expense of others, but joy from within - it feels good.
#12: Pay attention to what you reinforce
The universe has a wonderful way of affirming what we focus on. If we expect bad things to happen, I'm sure they will. If we expect to be mistreated, disappointed, happy or worthy, we'll unconsciously seek out confirmation of this expectation. What are you reinforcing in your life - abundance or scarcity? Hope or fear?
What brings you hope? what brings you joy? What are you doing to bring this into your life? Are you reinforcing the LIFE you want to live, or the death you want to avoid?
Yes, trials and tribulations may still find you. And in them, powerful lessons and ways to grow. I can't unpack in one blog post the complexity of illness and mindset. Yet I believe in the power of mind/body/soul to be our most powerful healer - the more we align the three, the more they all work together for our good.
Pay close attention to this list:
- Do things that validate your own worth
- Prioritize you
- Release the feelings that hold you down
- Focus on what you want
- Make love the purpose and primary expression in your life
- Create fun in your life
- Heal the past and let it go
- What do you want to contribute?
- Commit to health and wellbeing
- Accept growth opportunities
- Laugh often
- Pay attention to what you reinforce
Start reinforcing the good you want, expect and deserve in this life. Go through this list and pay attention to where you feel most stuck. Maybe there is some inner work to do. Get the support you need. Read books. Watch motivational videos. Get a counselor to process your past. Get a coach to intentionally create your future.
If you wish things were different than they are right now, know they won't shift until you start making the steps of intention to get out of it. Take a little step at a time. You're worth it. And, as Marie Forleo says, the world needs that little something that only you have. So shine bright, show love, and remember, the uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us.