For a long time I have been engaged in wellness training. That is to say, I have been invested in trying to live my best life, in cultivating peace, in exploring causes of dis-ease and just generally being committed to ‘walking the path’. I have been so hesitant to share this process, and more hesitant to ‘put myself out there’ as a person who can potentially help others with their wellness training. But things have begun to settle recently. So at the risk of overusing Star Wars metaphors, allow me to offer this perspective on how.
I used to think about wellness as a kind of checklist. If I do my yoga, drink my smoothie and meditate (check, check and check) then I will be well, or more importantly perhaps, I will feel well. If I accomplish or achieve X then in the future I will feel peaceful and happy. If I help others transition through the difficult things that I didn’t have help with, then I’ll be compassionate and benevolent, and therefore a ‘good person’. All of these external motivators do provide a kind of fulfillment and reward, but in the end, I just ended up making another checklist. Wellness became like chasing rainbows. Sometimes it still can be because when my motivation is to resist being seduced by the dark side, then I am living in fear. Finally I am developing the perspective to say, “Stop looking over your shoulder, worrying about the red light sabre, Cathy! Look ahead and you will see the path towards the green light sabre.” Or as Master Yoda said, “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” If I am constructing my life around fear of the wrong path, then I am not present and available to invest in and experience the wellness path.
No matter where I am on the journey, I am committed to the green light sabre. In some areas, such as my relationship with sweets, I may be a Youngling; I’m aware of the need to explore and improve and I’m learning from myself and others how to do this. In other areas, such as scheduling my time, I am Padawan; I have developed some skills and preferences that I can put into practice with reminders from Knights and Masters. I could say that I am a Wellness Knight in the area of self-awareness; I am very in-tune with my emotions and the messages from my body, and I can help others to develop in this area. Master status? For me this means alignment – just being and knowing without thought. I can see myself as a Master in knowing what and whom I love. This has taken some major training since for years I designed my interactions so I could be the object of other people’s love. I am so grateful to have Knights and Masters who are my colleagues and mentors. They help me remember that the force is strong within me, and that I can use the force for good. They help keep me on the path.
But it’s all the same path. Stages of the Jedi. Stages of wellness. Many times those who are further along than me have been my mentors. Maybe I can mentor someone who is at an earlier stage than me. We just need to show up and commit to use the force for good rather than evil. Relax, allow, be patient. The rest is details.