YOU HAVE TO STOP SOONER OR LATER
For years people who have talked about wellness referred to weight loss, fitness, or smoking cessation programs. Later we identified the role stress plays in our overall health and wellness, so we developed stress management programs.
Although the wellness industry has spent the last 20 years designing programs and providing health promotion information to the point that most consumers are very well educated, health is not improving much — Not the kind of health defined by an overall sense of balance body, mind and spirit. Many people are exercising and watching their weight. Unfortunately, many people have given up and continue to spiral upwards. There is no loss of material on what constitutes a healthy diet or good fitness program. More self-help books are published than ever before to help us deal with our stress management.
Keeping all of this in mind, it is interesting that when I work with people as a wellness coach, their vision often includes a regular exercise program and a healthy diet. And it always seems to have the word balance and gaining more energy and enjoying life more. Yet that is the one place it is hard to concentrate. It is challenging to stop all of our activity, whether it is for our work or to keep the house managed. We keep going until our body can’t go anymore, and then we get sick. When we get sick, we question how we have been going about getting all these things done.
More and more people have said that they need to take time to meditate, yet less and less do. Why is that? I know I often feel that once this or that item on my to-do list is complete, I will be able to sit back and relax. However, sitting seems such a waste of time when there is so much to do. It is essential to schedule a regular time for meditation or relaxation regardless of what is going on in life or with work. It has to be as regular and routine as brushing your teeth. It has to be an everyday occurrence.
But what if we are not of the makeup to sit in a formal meditation? That is not necessary, but what is needed is to have some sort of practice built into your life for reflection on more than your everyday tasks. The fact is that one’s body and mind can’t keep on going without a break. Eventually, you will have to stop.
As you reflect on your own renewal as spring approaches, build into your day a time for silence, prayer, yoga, reflective reading, listening to peaceful music, journaling, or, if you can, sitting in a position of meditation, following your breath long enough to feel a difference in your body- a feeling of peace and quiet rather than rushing and a sense of urgency. If you practice enough, it will become a memory in your body that you will be able to tap into when life is speeding by. Like all of my clients, it has to be a priority and goal for change. Let that be now and not later.
Mary Claybon is a nurse, health educator, and licensed wellness coach with over 30 years of experience in health and wellness. Through her business, Promoting Health: The Middle Way LLC, Mary has facilitated wellness programs for companies and individuals and now offers telephone and web-based coaching nationally to facilitate lasting behavior change. Mary also facilitates A Course in Miracles group in Cincinnati, Ohio. Visit www.wellcoaches.com/Mary.Claybon or call Mary at 513-309-8377. Mary’s e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.