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How to be well

I was driving across Sydney's Anzac Bridge towards the city the other day and from the west the city presents as this big wall of glass, steel and concrete. It made me think how challenging it is these days to be well when we are so far removed from our natural habitat and with so many distractions and pressures.

There are many characteristics of being well such as having self respect, a good sense of boundaries, trusting there is enough to go around, feeling alive from the inside, being aware of emotions and not enslaved by them, feeling satisfied, content and enough, caring about the wellbeing of others and much more.

But I like this really simple definition: "Wellness is waking up in the morning, in gentle anticipation of the day, feeling well rested." So how far from this is your experience? And what to do about it? Because it serves everyone else if we are well.

Here are some ideas.

  1. Seek to live more harmoniously. We are often divided within ourselves against ourselves so the first step is to create internal harmony and then to see how we can live more in harmony with others, with the earth and all beings. And to understand how we deal with disharmony.
  2. Manage expectations. Big expectations seem to be the order of the day, yet they can lead to disappointment, which is catastrophic to harmony. We are constantly disappointed and disappointing. For many people disappointment is a continual burden they carry. It's something I have pinpointed in myself and I find using tapping on it is very freeing.
  3. Nourish yourself. I think this increasingly complex, high tech, busy world with all that it offers in a material sense, is actually causing us to feel undernourished. Even much of our food doesn't offer true nourishment. In a time-poor world it is harder to feel nourished by deep friendships. There is material wealth but spiritual poverty. Spend some time reflecting on what nourishes you and then seek to give it to yourself.
  4. Look to what may be blocking you feeling nourished. One evening on my retreat in New Zealand, I laid down in the front of the fire after dinner. Delicious! And so comfy I decided to stay there instead of getting up to join the evening group - I could hear what was said but didn't contribute. Afterwards a woman came up to me and confided that she would have loved to have joined me but was scared of being "told off". Interestingly this woman was a feisty solicitor with an outgoing personality, but she had a fear of criticism - which in this instance prevented her from meeting her own needs.
  5. Bless the obstacles. What a wonderful practice to counteract our critical self! The Sydney flu caught up with me when I got back from the retreat which meant I had to miss out on things I wanted to do. I felt critical of my body for being sick - so an immediate lesson in having loving compassion for myself and blessing the obstacle. We always have a choice - blessing seems a better choice than being resistant.
  6. Use the resources that are now widely available to support you to be well. Whether it be a technique like tapping, an inspirational book, a meditation audio, a yoga class, a personal trainer, a health food store, I'm grateful we have so many opportunities to live a more fulfilled life and to keep ourselves well.

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