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When wellness becomes a long lost friend

Two is the magic number. There are two ways to do wellness. The easy or the hard way.

When the planets and stars align and you’re firmly positioned on a wellness warpath, it’s easy to stay on it. When one foot slips off though, it very quickly pulls the other and before you know it you’re cascading down a steep chocolate and alcohol drenched cliff.

How many planets have to line up in order for wellness to be sustainable? Time, money, kids, family, work, free mat at yoga.  The next question is how many of these planets do you have control over? Potentially all if you orchestrate your life down to the wire but at best probably only two.

There are two ways to do everything. There are two ways to do a backbend, force the shoulders backward or elevate the chest forward. There are two ends of a spectrum we dance with in yoga, the strong end and the flexible end. There are two ways to create length in a posture, reach up taller or push down lower.

What’s highly desirable for wellness but isn’t easily attainable…

  • Gain another four hours in the day that doesn’t belong to anyone but you
  • Find an on-call babysitter that works for free
  • Morph your yoga teacher into your home once the kids are in bed

Instagram, wellness conferences, gurus and 12 week challenges make wellness really hard. They give wellness a specific “look”, that it needs to be a certain way and you need to hit a certain benchmark in order to be doing it. Maybe the challenge lies in how we define it rather than how we do it.

Ayurveda, yoga’s sister science gives us a really empowering definition. “All dis-ease and illness starts in the mind.” The most important part of the definition is the tiny little hyphen. It creates a separation between a state of ease and a state of disease. Our natural state is one of wellness, we’ve just added layers of crap. So what’s the easiest way to work with the layers of crap? Rather than suffocate them by forcing wellness, simply peel them back.

You want your definition of wellness to empower you because being empowered will get you out of bed at 5am to run or meditate or do whatever you do. The 12 week challenge will get you out of bed exactly 84 times but then what?
Working with layers…

  • Peel back 30 minutes of TV each day and you’ll score an extra 3 and a half hours each week
  • Peel back the confusion about where and how yoga has to happen. Not every session has to be an hour and happen in a studio. Think of all that can happen in 20 minutes, a house can burn down or a ship can sink. But you could also blend a smoothie and drink it, read a few chapters of a book or do some yoga.
  • Peel back your definition of wellness. Strip the social media out of it, strip the aesthetics out of it and then see if what’s left is empowering. Empowering enough to get you out of bed at 5am.

"There are two ways to be rich. You can earn, inherit, borrow, beg or steal enough money to meet all your desires or you can cultivate a simple lifestyle of few desires” (Dan Millman)