I’ve had to really think deeply about what I believe about wellness over this past year. Wellness is the path, health is the destination: mental health, physical health, spiritual health, financial health, relational health. Wellness is a mindset involving implementation of attitudes, information, willpower, choices and values. Fitness is an outcome, only one aspect of physical health. Thinking holistically, I’ve come up with 8 more and different areas of wellness …

  1. Stress Resiliency
  2. Solid and Enduring Relationships
  3. Awareness of self as a part of a surrounding environment
  4. Freedom to make choices using a moral compass
  5. Self-empowerment to make a difference in the world
  6. Access to the truth for decision making
  7. Pain Free movement
  8. Financial Peace

Stress happens to everyone, but it’s the coming back from being knocked down, that is resiliency. Stress resiliency is being willing and able to get rid of your old stress load, un-useful thoughts, having emotional freedom and being able to shift your mindset.

Having someone to lean on during tough times is important. Everyone needs someone they can trust, someone who has your back, someone who is available for you and someone who you can have a healthy give and take relationship with. Some are blessed with good family relationships and others find their soul mate. For some people, their pet or a dear friend may be their treasured relationship. And others depend on God.

Number 3 on the list is really about finding health and reducing toxicity. This can include an environment of good nutrition or getting out of a toxic work environment.

Everyone wants the freedom to make their own choices. It’s actually our God-given right called freewill! But with choices comes responsibility, our choices should not cause harm to others. We need a solid enduring moral code on which to make choices and God has laid those out – not to kill others or to steal, not to covet your neighbors stuff or another’s spouse and so on. It’s not always easy, but a just society depends on this point and the 10 commandments start off with putting God first above all else. That’s the only way we can have peace and the freedom of choice.

Number 5 on the list is to have the power to make a difference in the world, to take an active stance for those who need our help and to bring attention to the wrongs around us.

How can we make good wellness decisions without the truth? We need access to what chemicals are in products and we need accurate information about what those chemicals do to the human body over time. We need the whole truth!

For number 7, I’m not sure anyone ever has totally pain free movement all the time. But those moments of flow and freedom from pain feel like bliss. I live in a low level of chronic pain but it’s gone from spikes of 10 out of 10 to mostly a 1 out of 10 now. I still move through the pain but boy do I treasure those moments when it seems to disappear into fluid movement.

Last on the list is financial peace … there is nothing like being debt-free – well, maybe it’s like being at your ideal weight and feeling buoyant and healthy. There’s a sense of ownership of yourself when you’re debt free, your basic needs are met and you can sometimes afford a little something extra.

Those are 8 things that I’ve been working on over the years – using natural methods like animals, nature, essential oils, emotional freedom, getting weekly bodywork … I’m drinking a “green drink” smoothy every morning, avoiding heavy metals and endocrine disruptors (no fluoride in my toothpaste, no aluminum in my deodorant, no parabens  in my cosmetics or shampoo) … small steps each month.

I’m not on any medications or prescriptions and I sleep well through the night so why was I worried this past weekend when I went to the onsite portion of the Wellness Coach Certification? I was worried because the course was hosted by the International Weightlifting Association and was mentored by a physical therapist. I was worried because I thought their definition of wellness would be narrow and encompass weight and fitness exclusively. I was worried because I’m a person who enjoys a slower pace, I don’t lift weights, and I’m slightly overweight right now. I was worried because I felt I would be judged on wellness based on what I’m not rather than what I am.

But I went anyway, fear and all. I took a deep breath and an open mind to learn even more and share my own outlook on wellness with others. There was no need to worry, the class was very holistic and I’m happy to say I passed my certification. I’m officially a Certified Wellness Coach! Unofficially, it’s what I’ve been offering in my therapy practice for over a dozen years but it still feels like an accomplishment.

If you’re curious about a holistic and nature-based approach to wellness coaching – please check out my webpage. You can subscribe free to a short once a month email providing coaching tips using animal archetypes.

Certified Wellness Coach


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