Wellbeing Begins With the Decision and Commitment to Being Well

Very often I am asked to explain what my approach to healing is. I usually begin by addressing the question of health; specifically the definition of health….what is it that we’re actually trying to achieve? For many, this seems odd….it should be obvious, isn’t it….we want to be free of disease and live a long time without the need for doctors. But, to me, it’s much more than that.

Health, as a word, is derived from the ancient Anglo-Saxon root-word, Haelan, which literally translates to whole. It follows then that health, at its core, is a state of wholeness. Thus, living a long time, free of disease, as nice as that sounds, isn’t all that health is about. Yet, if that’s our approach, if that’s what we set out to pursue, we might actually miss the point of living to begin with.

You see our state of health is actually better defined by how well we are doing – how we feel in the moment; clearly determined not only with our body but with our connections to other people, the planet and our purpose in the greater far more grand interplay of life among all beings. The Slow Medicine Wheel of Health is an attempt to illustrate the interconnectedness of these different facets of our lives. And, the point is, to be healthy one must consider all of these relevant pieces and integrate a plan to encompass the whole.

I actually know many people, I’m sure you do as well, whose bodies are not in great shape, yet they have vibrant lives, filled with meaningful work and loving friends and family. And, the opposite is true. There are star athletes and beautiful starlets whose brilliance shines and mesmerizes us. And then there are those people fortunate enough to make a fortune that seem to have it easy. Yet, inside, their lives are shadowy and dark, they are filled with dis-ease. Once again, health is a state of being, a state of well-being, it is actually not quantifiable.

For that reason achieving health doesn’t begin with the “things”-counting calories in and out, swallowing scores of supplements and stacking up staggering numbers of sun salutations–of modern fad. It begins with the decision to be well and the unwavering commitment to that process, which requires a more modest inward pursuit. Health is a state of being –not some far off destination–that is better reflected in the current quality of our relationships and the real and complete answer to the common question, “how are you feeling.” And, as we think about that more, reflecting on our own experience, it is only when our body, mind and spirit are in a state of unity, in wholeness, do we feel as well as we’d like. For me, that’s the goal; and my approach to healing is to support you in finding your own path to being there.

Mitakuye Oyasin,
Michael

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