Do you have a health-related intention? Perhaps to lose weight by summer, run a half marathon, or permanently swear off carbs?
I’m inviting you to widen and deepen that intention to include your general wellness. Inspired by a recent post by the awesome and hilarious intuitive eating coach, Jen Picicci, I’ve been dwelling on wellness lately, and have been doing some research on what it means.
Dr. Bill Hettler, co-founder of the National Wellness Institute, created a model of wellness that includes six dimensions, and as it’s my favorite model of wellness so far, let’s work with it. The Institute defines wellness as “an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.” The six dimensions are:
Emotional: self-esteem, emotional health, determination towards a particular course
Occupational: life-enrichment through work, interconnectedness to playing/living.
Physical: eating life-affirming foods, regular activity, personal responsibility, seeking medical help
Social: contribution to environment and community, building better living spaces and social networks
Intellectual: creativity and stimulation for your intellect
Spiritual: values, world-view, belief systems
The National Wellness Institute offers a free PDF download which goes into more detail on each of the six dimensions – you can pick it up here.
What I’ve found, both personally and professionally, is that we’re often seeking to heal a wound or address a problem in one of these areas by trying to ‘fix’ or improve another area.
Some examples of that – I recently met a man who screamed ‘emotional wound’ to my energy sense of him, who is physically at the height of wellness and making dogged progress on his spiritual wellness. I often have clients who are trying to solve an occupational problem, thinking it will solve a spiritual or emotional dilemma.
I myself spent more than a decade convinced that I could solve a physical problem by becoming emotionally and spiritually well.
The only problem is that it doesn’t work.
Don’t get me wrong, it helps your whole well-being – often a lot – to up-level your wellness in any dimension.
If you are bored out of your mind, becoming a triathlete is not going to solve that problem. However, becoming a triathlete is amazing an awesome and will no doubt improve your life as a whole. Once you cross the finish line, you are still going to need to address the intellectual atrophy going on in your life.
Drastically improving my emotional and spiritual health did not make me spontaneously start working out. I still have to address that directly. However, I am so grateful that I did address those areas first, as they caused a lot more pain in my life.
My clients often find that once they switch focus to address their emotional or spiritual issues, their occupational angst is minimal and easy to solve.
In order to come up with a wellness intention for yourself, try this out. First, choose the area that seems like it needs the most attention. Second, choose the area that you least want to work on. Finally, if you are trying to solve a problem in one area by improving another area, choose the actual problem area.
You should have one to three areas picked out. Pick the one you least want to address and create an incredible intention around it, using the seven step process. I’m going to demonstrate my wellness intentions but you can go back and read the detailed post on the seven steps here if you’d like more instruction on how to craft one.
Step#1: Choose Your Area of Wellness
I’m choosing physical.
Step#2: Name Your Ideal Outcome
I treat my body like a temple, feeding her delicious food which lights her up and brings her pleasure and energy and moving her in ways that are delicious, invigorating and life giving.
Step #3: List Things You’d Like to Experience along the Way
Wild pleasure, luxury, beauty, sensuality, electric energy, ease
Step #4: Decide How You Want the Experience/Process to Feel
Fun, sensual, joyful, pleasurable
Step #5: Write Your ‘Shitty First Draft’ (SFD) (thank you, Anne Lamott, for the term)
I am in the process of treating my body like a temple, having fun feeding her delicious, sensual food which lights her up and brings her wild pleasure and electric energy and allowing her to move in ways that are delicious, invigorating and life-giving.
Step #6: Refine it to the Essence
I am in the process of easily learning to treat my body like a goddess, having fun feeding her delicious food in luxurious ways which light her up, bring her wild pleasure, electric energy and allowing her to move in ways that are sensual, joyful and life-giving.
Step #7: Make it Juicy
I am in the process of treating my body like a goddess, having fun feeding her delicious, luxurious meals which light her up, bring her wild pleasure, electric energy and moving in ways that are sensual, joyful and life-giving.
What’s your wellness intention? Leave a comment and share it with us!