By: Patricia R. Hamilton, MS, LMFT & Merrissa Hughes, M.Ed.
In the most romantic sense, movement is the most essential element of life. Falling in love, losing a friend, birth, death, forming ideas, starting new habits, gaining and losing weight…. The universe, as well as the human condition, are developmental and dynamic. Life is a process involving continuous movement which requires an ongoing balancing act.
This time of year, many set weight loss goals, start up new organizational systems, or vow to begin a healthy habit. However, often these resolutions quickly fall by the wayside. That’s because many times a new habit is created in isolation instead of being integrated into a holistic system of wellness. For lasting change, the mind, body, and spirit cannot be considered in isolation. A key to balancing the ongoing changes of life and having new habits flourish is creating a plan of personal wellness. So often, the adjustments needed for wellness are small. Learning to see life through a different lens, listening with a more empathetic ear, making a space for acceptance and forgiveness, patience with the process, gaining new perspective... These are the quiet, subtle changes that can lead to profound shifts and peace of mind. Ironically, wellness may be illusive because we are charging through life, reacting, exhausted, stressed out, and wildly over-subscribed in our desperate search for balance and personal satisfaction.
As a society, we are obsessed with change, convinced that if we are not happy, perfect, and at the top of our game, it is surely evidence of failure, or worse, mediocrity. While it is true that stagnation can lead to dysfunction, perhaps it is our frantic race to nowhere that is truly the culprit and robbing us of our very humanity.
If you plan to make some changes this year, consider first assessing your personal “big picture.” Wellness requires honesty, vulnerability, courage, and a willingness to stop and listen to your inner voice. With time and invitation, the mind, body and spirit will move within you, on its own steam, and with perfection. It isn't frantic, it is contemplative. It is mindful and needs rehearsal. Sometimes it helps to have someone partner with you to help unearth your true North, find clarity, self-compassion, and alignment with the world around you. Whether this partner is a professional, a friend or family member, it is important to create a dialogue focused on your personal goals.