Wellbeing is something I learned late in life. It was easier to avoid adversity by following desires for comfort. When I was a child I climbed a tree to escape. Avoidance behaviors kept me from becoming who I was meant to be. Here and now I’m profoundly thankful. Especially with reflection of people and experiences life brought. Awareness of each moment slowly drew me away from avoidance through comfort-seeking to becoming more aware of purpose-seeking. Wellbeing began with accepting I fall short. It taught me compassion, forgiveness, and to creatively self-express within all my life roles.
Often I reflect on my ancestors and family influences. My grandfathers humbly invented or crafted objects. My grandmothers breathed a lineage of faith and morals into each of us. Dad was an engineer and academic while Mom’s discipline included freedom to act. Siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins share my history, celebrating our shortcomings with forgiveness and faith. Home is less of one place but more of being surrounded by family crafted objects, irritable moments when one disagrees, and where life is celebrated. I’m grateful for these influences. Craft, time, purpose, and people are necessary to achieving healthy goals.
As a teenager and through my twenties I diversified friends and moved often. I was comfortable doing everything I wanted and thought little about gratitude or consequences. In 1997 I worked with a sixty-something woman, a smoker dying from emphysema. She asked if I smoked. I was her therapist. I lied. That memory sticks with me because it brought awareness to the fact I wasn’t just lying to her but to myself. Comfort has consequences: body, mind, soul.
Twenty years later I no longer climb trees for solitude. Peace is found with gratitude. I’m grateful trees stand still from deep roots with branches that reach toward the sun for the purpose of nourishment. I’m grateful for adversity and those feelings of discomfort to recognize something is off purpose, needs time, and people to get there. I’m grateful for hand-written or crafted objects from thoughtful dedication, personalized creativity, precision of movement.
Today I’m 42 and pioneering a wellbeing method. This often frightens me. Wellbeing is often perceived by external accomplishments: a tight physique, financial stability, committed by marriage, accountable in attendance, witty, wise…I may fall short through the eyes of these standards. Body, mind, and soul work has fragile elements. Its both personal and relational. Interacting with awareness and gratitude identifies patterns or standards that may throw me off purpose. Creative expression unites and liberates changes for better health. Through a holistic wellbeing method freedom from shortcomings rewards movement towards purpose.