Walking with a friend last week, we noticed a large bird soaring in the sky. Admiring how peaceful it looked, we pined for the ability to soar.
The past two months, we have been exploring some elemental parts of living well, so elemental they get lost in the flood of information from self-help books, fitness apps, weight-loss programs and stress-reduction techniques.
The fact is, every part of you is innately set up for you to survive and thrive now, in this and every moment. When you look at these parts separately, calling your brain ‘monkey mind or ‘the storyteller’, believing your body is working against you when it can’t lose weight or sends pain signals, or thinking your heart is leading you astray when emotions are pulling you off course, you are interrupting this innate drive to Be Well Now.
Being healthy is so much more simple and sustainable when you remember you are whole, and that is enough.
You are Whole. View every physical sensation, every emotion, every thought, every nudge from your gut as a guide to being well now. The key is remembering these are not isolated events that need to be managed or overcome. When you allow what is happening in your whole person to be your guide, you can tap into your whole-person drive to thrive.
For example, yesterday you decided tomorrow was the day to get back on track with your weight-loss plan. Today you overslept, didn’t have time to exercise or make a healthy breakfast. As you race to get ready, your head is filled with all kinds of self-criticism for hitting the snooze button too many times this morning.
A ‘parts’ approach sees this as your body and brain and life working against your weight-loss goal. A whole-person approach keeps you curious about what happened. When you pause, open to learning, you see it—you stayed up to watch a show with your family because it’s the only family time you had all week. You acknowledge this is important; in fact, it’s the whole reason you want to lose weight. With that clarity, you take a moment to stretch to release the tension and can move on with your day doing the best you can to take care of yourself with the time and energy you have today.
In that state of well is when your body is most likely to shed extra weight. If you stay in a state of stress, your body is most likely to hold on to weight, even if you ate right and exercised, because the stress response is your body telling your brain there is still a threat to prepare for.
That is Enough. In our world of endless information about everything—especially health, living well, being your best—knowing you are doing enough is a rare commodity, but also the first step of being well. When you realize that your whole person is hardwired to help you thrive and survive, you can find your level of enough each time you exercise, leading you to be well now, even as you strive toward a goal.
It really is that simple. From this vantage point of knowing how to Be Well Now, you can set goals, make incredible progress, do what your heart desires with less struggle and greater satisfaction, sustainability, and joy.
When you start to slip back into believing you need to overcome your body or brain to achieve a health goal, look up in the sky and watch a bird in the seemingly impossible act of soaring. Let it remind you that every part of you is set up for you to survive and thrive. Only when you trust this fact can you soar, getting where you want to go with less effort and more enjoyment.
Trust your whole person is enough to be well now and soar, my friends, simply soar!