“My mom always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” (from Forrest Gump)
And to further that quote…
“You get what you settle for.” (from Thelma and Louise)
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” (from Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring)
“It’s what you do right now that makes a difference.” (from Black Hawk Down)￼
Take this mindset everyday.
Wellness is a daily job because it encompasses the choices we make each day to further our goals; whether it’s in our health, diet, career, relationships, or spiritual practices. It is a minute-by-minute, second-by-second decision- making process.
We can choose the potato chips, or we can choose an apple.
We can choose to work, or we can choose to rest.
Book or television. Walk, run, or bike.
This sounds intuitive, right?
Believe it or not, as much as we may think we know the best choices in regards to our Health and Wellness, often times we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the day and move on autopilot.
Even if autopilot means you opt out of junk food in favor of fruits and vegetables every day (or no snack at all), it does not mean you are always making the best choice. I’ll explain this in a moment.
Wellness requires awareness and presence. It requires knowing how you feel in each moment and responding accordingly.
Here’s a personal example:
In my Journey over the years, I have tried to combat eating out and constant snacking on cookies by meal prepping.
It worked sometimes. That, and the constant reminding (read: badgering) myself that I am saving money and calories, all while eating healthy.
How did this affect my Wellness?
I was slim and fit. However, I was often frustrated because I restricted my diet by removing the food I enjoyed. I became very disappointed with myself when I didn’t adhere to my own rules of eating. I made myself anxious worrying about calories and unwanted pounds.
Was my nutrition on par? Yes.
Was I happy? No. I was hungry, unsatisfied, and stressed out.
My life was routine. My eating habits were routine. My workout regimen was routine. During the time where I felt I was my best, healthy self, everything in my life had a dedicated time and place. Autopilot.
Again, this is a personal example. I use this particular example to illustrate my lack of awareness of the why behind my cravings and habits, as well as my inattention to the present moment while eating.
Back to the idea that Wellness is a daily job because it is a minute-by-minute, second-by-second decision-making process.
I say this with the caveat that we don’t want to stress ourselves out and get obsessive trying to be aware, present, and intentional about every decision. It does help to be on autopilot sometimes for some things. It does help to prepare, organize, and follow a plan.
The Wellness process I am referring to involves being aware and present enough to know when an automatic decision may need to be re-evaluated; Being so aware of lifestyle choices that we see the effects our choices have on our emotional and physical well-being; Being cognizant each day of the activities we partake in that will influence the next day.
And most importantly, being informed enough about Health and Wellness to know:
- The reality of the effects that change and inflexibility have on our emotions, physical body, spiritual beliefs, social life, etc.
- What it means to change sustainably
- What it means to detox emotionally, physically, nutritionally, mentally, etc.
- Identifying personal intentions
- What it means to flow in and with life
With awareness and presence in mind, let’s revisit the earlier comment of reaching for fruits and vegetables automatically instead of junk food. Why isn’t that always the best choice? Thinking holistically with awareness and presence, the question becomes, “Why are you eating that apple right now? Are you thirsty? Tired? Stressed? Seeking comfort? Looking for an alternative to working? Or is it a scheduled snack?”
At first, evaluating your choices can feel tedious, but with practice, you begin to shift your mindset to be more present. Being present allows us to make the best decision in each moment – which can ultimately bring us in tune with our most authentic, healthy, joyful selves. The selves we need to live our best lives.
Please feel free to reach out for more information on tuning in and being present during your Health and Wellness Journey.
May the odds be ever in your favor (from The Hunger Games)