I’ve been developing a certificate program to train people in the Centered Wellness Framework and I’ve been excited and thrilled, and terrified simultaneously. There are dips and peaks in life and how there is nothing wrong with it, it’s just the cycle. I work too much, and then I remember to rest and go inward. I get excited about something, and then doubtful and mired in sadness about how it won’t work. It’s just part of the cycle, so there is no judgement.
Health and wellness has a similar cycle too. I was reminded of this with one of my current clients that is doing so amazingly well in her health and wellness journey. When we started working together, the idea of changing what she ate seemed like an impossible goal. In fact with most of my clients, we don’t talk about food until the 3rd or 4th session because we all have such complicated relationships with food.
And to be clear, health is not just about what you eat. The body will send all sorts of messages including pain and illness when you are on the path that is taking you away from your purpose. This is important to note, because sometimes addressing just the food ISN”T going to get you to health. That’s why looking at things holistically is so important, and it’s why I use the Centered Wellness Framework.
During our sessions, This particular client has worked on learning mindfulness and how to be present in the body. We have also worked together to clear energy, ancestral connections and childhood patterns that were limiting her from making changes in her daily life. She has learned to support the younger parts of herself. She has watched the thoughts and how they influence how she feels and the actions that she takes. And now, she is reaping the rewards. She’s feeling better and she has more energy. Her times of not being able to function due to chronic pain are happening less frequently. Her husband has noticed a difference!
This is when it can get really interesting with someone who first comes to me with health issues. The questions that she started asking are fundamentally different now- it starts with looking how something can even be possible, and it shifts to wondering what else is possible. There is an opening that happens where I see people start to look forward and up instead of looking down. Their mood is more optimistic partly because they have seen that they can do this hard thing, and now it makes other hard things seem not only possible but within reach.
What I’ve seen with clients and my own life is that there are two different things that are occurring.
1) is that when we feel exhausted, not well or in pain, we are in survival mode. We have to focus just on the bare minimum to get by. There is nothing wrong with it, it’s similar to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs-= the very base of the hierarchy is physiological needs (air, water, food, shelter, sleep). The second layer is not only safety, but also health. We have to focus on taking care of basic needs first. It’s only when our basic needs are met that we can move to the next stages.
2) The top 3 tiers of Maslow’s hierarchy include Love and belonging, esteem, and self-actualization. When you feel loved and connected as well as have respect for yourself and others, then you can begin to look at achieving your full potential. This is the work that I do with my clients and it’s very exciting to watch. When the conversation in your head is one of encouragement, and you have evidence that you will show up for yourself compassionately, you begin to to see openings in the world that seemed impossible previously. You can begin to focus on being who and what you want to be. The challenging or difficult tasks or dreams aren’t quite as overwhelming. There is a momentum there, and you can start to see the potential for what CAN happen. This is very exciting to see clients move through this and see the possibilities available to them!
So while health and purpose can seem like separate and unrelated topics, they are really intricate intertwined. You can’t have purpose if you don’t feel well AND I believe that you can’t feel well if you don’t have purpose. When you feel well, then you can start to look forward to what you WANT to do, instead of what you need to do to survive. Both of them are necessary and beautify spaces to work, and it’s all part of the cycle or progression of health, wellness, and wellbeing.
Your health and purpose are directly correlated. So many times, I encounter clients who are in survival mode – everything they do and every decision they make is just to get by. Everyone experiences this at some point in time, but when you can transition out of that mode, you start to see the possibilities for your health and for your life are endless.
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