Overall wellness can be such a broad topic to cover. To me, wellness is comprised of three parts (mind, body, and soul) that work together like mechanical wheels. If one part is not working well or in tune with the other two parts, then the whole machine either isn’t working or isn’t working to the best of its ability. Overall wellness is achieved by taking care of our minds, our bodies, and our souls. If we tend to two parts but not the third, we still haven’t gained complete overall wellness.
My mind cannot stay sane unless I have a body that is moving and active. I cannot have the body moving unless I have first taken care of my soul. In my opinion, the order of these things should go as soul, body, and mind, but that doesn’t quite slip off the tongue as easily as mind, body, and soul. But, for the sake of my blog, let's flip it and start with soul.
So, what is soul to you? Is it defined above? I will tell you what it is to me. Soul is having the fire within you to ‘do life’. Yes, life is hard. We’ve all struggled and have fallen. Sometimes these struggles can even attempt to extinguish our fires. I hope to be able to help teach each and every one of you how to reignite your ‘soul fire’ and how to continue to see the beauty in life and living despite adversity. One of my favorite quotes is “Everybody dies, but not everybody lives.” This past October, I was faced with one of the toughest trials and tribulations I’ve had to endure. My brother Dylan passed away. At one of the memorials, we had in honor of Dylan, a good friend of my family said, “I think Dylan subconsciously knew he only had 24 years to live, and that is what he did.” Though it may seem a bit backward, losing my brother doubled my desire for life and made my soul burn just that much hotter. I realized Dylan had lived a big, exciting life. Me, and many others I know, are just doing the same old ordinary things every day, and Dylan would probably have called us pathetic. He would literally laugh at me for enjoying sitting on the couch and watching movies all day. Now, I’ve realized the world and this life have so much more to offer to you that you cannot experience or witness for yourself if you are sitting at home watching TV on the couch. Don’t sit around watching a Kardashian cry because her earring was not insured. Go out and watch a meteor shower. I guarantee it’ll sparkle more than that Kardashian earring ever could. Find and fan your fire. That is soul to me. What makes your ‘soul fire’ burn?
*Yes, I realize soul fire is corny, and it would make a cool name for an 80’s hair band, but go with me.
So we have the soul fire... the passion for life, and we have been given a body, but what do we do with our bodies? When I think of my body, there are two aspects that stand out. The first is activity. Whether it is going for a walk, run, lifting weights, playing softball, dancing, or whatever it is you choose to do to stay active, do something with your body. Staying active helps a lot with your mind. You only have this one body, so take care of it by using it!
The second aspect I think of when I talk about body is taking your body. Take your body to see new things. No, that does not mean you have to jump in a plane and go to Asia. Travel happens when you take your body to a new place. Go explore. Open your eyes to the beauty of this world. One thing I do when I go for a run, I stay in the same neighborhood and run the same roads, but I look for something I have never seen. I am taking care of my body while I take my body somewhere new. Yesterday, on my run, I saw a 30-something man with a Chocolate Lab that he was trying to train to go duck hunting. It was a beautiful thing to watch. I saw how eager that dog was to please but how bad that dog wanted that ball, too. That was my something new for the day. I took my body while I took care of my body.
The last component to our wellness machine is our minds. The mind component is simple to explain... it’s just mental. Mind, is what is going on in your head. Everyone has to make a million decisions a day that can all lead to very different outcomes. Having mental clarity is crucial when it comes to making decisions that are best for you and yours. I cannot have mental clarity without my body being active, and my soul being on fire. Let's be honest, the world can be damn crazy and stressful at times. If we are being realistic, we’re not always going to be able to see the beauty in everyday life, and that is where mental discipline comes in. Our minds have to be strong enough to push us onward. Yes, it would be easy to never leave our comfort zones, but when we get out of our comfort zones, we expand our minds and learn new things. We need to have the discipline in our minds to step back and say, “wait... it’s just a bad day, it’s not a bad life.” We must have the discipline to say, “I need a release,” and, when things get hard, we must find our release. For me, my release is dance. I will tell you more about me and dance in a later blog, but we all have a release. You just have to find yours. When you find a release, hopefully, one that helps keep you active, you’ll also find a passion. What happens when you find a passion? Your desire for life burns a little brighter and a little harder which brings us back to soul!