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The 6 keys to wellness

Wellness comes of balance and is the very base of a fulfilled life. It’s not a destination. It’s a lifestyle, a choice that we make, or don’t make, in each moment.

In the early 1980s — I was living in a spiritual community in the interior of British Columbia, in a gorgeous area of lakes, forest and meadows called the Cariboo – I suddenly developed a sore back.

I went to a local doctor, who looked at my situation and told me to lie down for three or four days. Complete bed rest, he said, was what was needed to get my back better.

Unfortunately, the reverse is what happened. My back got more and more sore, and within a week I was suffering from severe sciatica in my right leg. It hurt like hell to even touch my foot to the floor.

I retired from life

There followed a couple of months of pure misery as I kind of retired from life. Not a smart move at all. I got discouraged and depressed. I lost weight, and spent a lot of time hobbling painfully around the house until at last, one Spring afternoon, I rebelled at my self-imposed misery, and decided to go for a walk in the meadow at the back of our house.

As I was walking slowly and painfully along a forest path I stopped for some reason and looked at a small tree growing beside the path. “This tree is whole, and well,” I thought to myself, “why can’t I be whole and well too?”

My whole unhappy situation changed in that very moment. I think the tree reminded me to trust again. A friend had lent me a book of back exercises, and as soon as I got home, I began doing these exercises. I fell in love with them, did them earnestly every day and within a week or so was well on the way to recovery. I have not suffered from sciatica since that time.

Wellness is balance

What I have learned over the years is that wellness is closely related to balance. I agree entirely with some findings of Wayne State University in Michigan that I came across on the Internet the other day.

Entitled “Six areas of wellness,” the report from the Counseling and Psychological Services of WSU describes how wellness is an overall balance of social, intellectual, spiritual, emotional, physical and occupational wellness.

The report summarises wellness in this way:

 1.  A direction which by its nature, moves us toward a more proactive, responsible and healthier existence.

 2.  The integration of the body, mind and spirit.

 3.  The loving acceptance of ourselves today and exciting free search for who we choose to become tomorrow.

 4.  Living by choice; a completion of the daily decisions we make that lead us to that person we choose to become.

I’d be delighted to hear any thoughts or experience you may like to share on this theme of wellness. Surely, if there was ever a need for increased wellness in our midst — individually and collectively — it is now.

If you enjoyed this post, please give it a tweet or speak up for it on Facebook:-)

PS I’m sorry. I only realized yesterday that there’s a way to set things up with my e-mail provider so that my posts are sent out regularly to all my subscribers as soon as I publish them.  I hope you will enjoy receiving my posts in a more reliable manner from now on.  Blessings and be well.

Picture credit: Atakan Sevgi

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2338/2101509047_d3e7205c34.jpg

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Keith August 23, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Christopher,

There’s so much that’s good about this post..where do I begin?! This statement nearly says it all about everything, “What I have learned over the years is that wellness is closely related to balance” I think you have hit upon a pillar of existence with that one word. BALANCE. Oh how that applies to every area of life!

I also like how you took charge of your own health. The doc’s advice didn’t work but did you quit? NO, you took action and it paid off. I think it is so cool how your moment of “awakening” came as you were communing with nature, and seeing that little tree spoke a truth to your heart. It is worth mentioning that in order for such a thing to happen, one must have an open mind and heart. Obviously you have both. :-)

Thanks Christopher

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Christopher Foster August 23, 2011 at 7:25 pm

I’d love to meet you in person one day Keith, maybe listen to some of your music “live.” But in the meantime — I do sense the hand of a true friend and kind, compassionate man. Good to be in the way with you.

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Angela Artemis/Poweredbyintuition August 23, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Christopher,
I’m so glad you decided to rebel against conventional medical advise! I believe in taking charge of my health. Much of what we are told by the medical industry is not always helpful.
Angela Artemis/Poweredbyintuition recently posted..Are You a Human Being or A Human Doing?

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Christopher Foster August 23, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Thank you Angela. I’m thankful for what the medical community offers, but I do agree: we have a personal responsibility for our own health and wellness. By the way I love the title of your latest post.

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William August 23, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Wow! That’s about all I can say.

You’ve inspired me and others I’m sure and we all thank you :)

William

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Christopher Foster August 23, 2011 at 7:21 pm

William, thank you so much. So happy to connect with you. Blessings.

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Phil D. Malmstrom August 23, 2011 at 7:34 pm

What a wonderful look at wellness Christopher. :-)

Our Creator designed us very much with balance in mind. We’re carefully constructed beings; reliant on physical, spiritual and emotional components, all working in tandem to make us the beautiful creations we are. When any one of those pieces is out of sorts, the entire person suffers in some fashion. Only by focusing on God’s intentions for our lives can we regain that equilibrium that makes us “whole”.

Thank you for another wonderful post my friend!

Have a Blessed Day!
Phil D. Malmstrom recently posted..The Ground Beneath Us

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Christopher Foster August 24, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Phil, don’t know if I’ve told you this, but if I have it won’t hurt to repeat it. You’re one of my best friends on the internet and so much appreciate your gentle, strong calming words here and on your own blog. Every success and happiness to you. Yes, we have indeed been constructed very lovingly to reflect the balance that is the very nature of God. Blessings to you too.

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Galen Pearl August 23, 2011 at 8:30 pm

I, too, found wellness along a more intuitive, balanced path. Your story is so inspiring. Not just the story in this post, but your life story. Thank you for sharing your story with others.
Galen Pearl recently posted..God Bless That Ol’ @#&!

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Christopher Foster August 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Galen, I’m so happy to hear from you again. Thank you so much for your comment and I wish you every success and happiness in your journey. Everything is going to work out perfectly.

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sheila August 23, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Good day Christopher
Enjoyable post…
Balance in life is of utmost importance whether it is an individual life or the world at large… so much turmoil and imbalance that we live in at this moment so it is even more important to keep ones balance within themselves.
Nature can teach one many lessons and it simply takes one short walk in a forest, a sit down on a quiet beach, or listening to a rain storm along with an open mind .
As we found out today how nature can shows its strength it also shows us patience and peace.
cheers
Sheila

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Christopher Foster August 24, 2011 at 5:21 pm

Lovely to hear from you Sheila. You really have to bless nature, it’s doing its best, isn’t it? Doing all it can to keep a balance in an obviously distraught and troubled world. I sometimes think it’s amazing how Nature keeps offering the steadfast gifts that it does offer. Indeed it does show its strength sometimes as you say, but ever at its core is the patience and peace at the core of reality. Love and blessings to you.

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Marty August 24, 2011 at 1:04 am

Hi Christopher,
The concept of balance is something I promote too (as well as reminding myself of it. I sometimes lapse from this discipline!). Your testimony to noticing the tree as well is very profound. This caused you to take positive action toward recovery. That is a great lesson to learn. Thank you.
Marty recently posted..How Is Your Attitude?

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Christopher Foster August 24, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Marty, thanks so much for this input. Yeah, I think life is a series of shifts and corrections so that we can keep the best balance possible in this immensely fluid, changing world. Calls for a lot of care at the helm, doesn’t it, taking account not only of outside forces and factors but our own sometimes somewhat erratic thoughts and impulses. Very happy for the connection with you and wish you the best of everything.

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Justin | Mazzastick August 25, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Hi Christopher,
I haven’t been sick since 1997. I used to get sick all of the time before then including several times getting fevers of 104 degrees.

I started my personal development journey in 1997 and part of the new me was to never get sick again and I haven’t.
Justin | Mazzastick recently posted..Have You Given Up On Your Dreams

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Patti Foy | Lightspirited Being August 27, 2011 at 3:29 pm

This makes me laugh. When I was little, I used to get swollen tonsils a lot. One day the Dr. said if it happened again he’d have to take them out. That’s all it took! It never happened again, and I still have those puppies to this day.

Maybe a little different motivation than you two (Justin and Christopher), but hey, it says a lot for the power of our intentions, doesn’t it? Not to mention that wellness really is there all the time to support us — if we can only let it.
Patti Foy | Lightspirited Being recently posted..Your Magical Mind, Magical Body

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Christopher Foster August 27, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Now you’re making me jealous Patti. I lost my tonsils when I was 14 or 15. Heck, said the clever doctors of the time, tonsils don’t have anything important to do anyway. Your tonsils are a bit sick? Here, we’ll have them out of there for you in a jiffy.

Kind of sad really. But look, just to be clear, I’m not really jealous. I’m just glad there’s a few people around that do still have those puppies just as you say:-)

Christopher Foster August 27, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Justin, good for you. I think this is terrific, a very inspiring report indeed. Thank you so much for sharing and keep up the good work.

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Patti Foy | Lightspirited Being August 27, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Hi Christopher,

Great post! I couldn’t help but especially notice your statement “My whole unhappy situation changed in that very moment.” I’ve had that happen too, where it really does change in that very moment, with a new … what is it … sort of a declaration, I think! You feel it shift somehow inside, which is where well-being lives, after all! ;-) I just did this the other day. We can do it even with littler “issues”, which is probably good practice, besides.

Excellent points here and I love your stories. Thanks so much.
Patti Foy | Lightspirited Being recently posted..Your Magical Mind, Magical Body

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Christopher Foster August 27, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Patti, always such a pleasure to hear from you and/or read your thoughts at your blog. You chose the name of your blog well because you sure are a “light-spirited” being with a ton of wisdom to share.And the wisdom comes from experience, which is what really gives our life weight isn’t it. Love to you.

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Jimmy/Life Architect September 9, 2011 at 2:07 am

Great stuff Chris,

Hope you wellness is in balance now. I always find it so difficult to comprehend why people do not view their health seriously. Without it, there is very little you could do. It is really the foundation for all other aspects of life.

Cheers
Jimmy/Life Architect recently posted..25 Elementary Principles for Success in Life – Principle 15

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Christopher Foster September 10, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Thanks Jimmy. A real pleasure to hear from you. I agree absolutely. What better investment could we make than to care for our health as well as we possibly can given our own unique background and circumstances? With you in this journey.

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Jimmy/Life Architect September 10, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Thanks Chris and hope all is well with you.

Lets try and get more people looking after their health better. In my opinion everyone should have some form of exercise regime daily and eat their fruits diligently. Eversince I implemented my two fruit a day routine, I have not really fallen ill, and I am better able to take care of my family.

Cheers
Jimmy/Life Architect recently posted..EFFECTIVE LEADERS MUST KNOW YOUR TEAM’S COLOURS

Lyman November 1, 2011 at 6:14 am

I am giving comment because blog written very beautifully.

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Christopher Foster November 2, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Thank you Lyman. It was very kind of you to write. All the best and be well.

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