I’m sitting here, thinking about my next post topic and wondering what WELLNESS even means. What does it mean to like yourself, to have self appreciation? How do you know and value your self-worth and how do you stay responsible enough to love yourself? And this is all just scratching the surface of wellness. Because, if you don’t like who you are, how can you take care of your health-- mental, physical, emotional and spiritual? This is tough work. Especially because it’s not about you.
One thing I’ve learned from reading Man’s Search for Meaning is that “pleasure is and must remain a by-product”. I think that what Viktor Frankl means is that by being responsible— by answering to whom, to what, and for what am I responsible, and then living by our valuable responses, pleasure is inevitable.
In other words, if I take responsibility for my role as a mother and I strive to live by my own vision of what my role as a mother should look like, then pleasure will naturally happen. But, if I try to seek pleasure by trying to do all this self care stuff before I take care of my kids, it starts to feel selfish. It is short lived. It’s not satisfying.
I want to bring this full circle back to wellness. Google defines wellness as ‘the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal’. Wellness then, is something we are trying to achieve. It is something we are striving for. This is a beautiful thing. I like to think of it as a practice. Much like a lawyer practices law, a yogi practices yoga, I practice wellness.
To me, a pursued goal is one that doesn’t necessarily have a finish line. We just keep pursuing. We keep practicing. I think the best way to practice life is to be responsible. To like yourself. To have self appreciation. To know your self-worth. These all go hand in hand, but I’m going to speak to each one individually.
- do it for you
- let people say no to you
- show up
To like yourself you need to like you for your own sake, not for how many ‘likes’ you get or ‘friends’ you have. You need to like you for who you are and know that some people are not going to like you, and that’s okay. It just means that you’re not a good fit for each other. When you like yourself and you show up for you as yourself, people will notice and find you attractive.
But you have to like yourself for any of this wellness stuff to work. If you don’t like yourself, then you’re not looking hard enough. If you’ve never practiced (remember it’s a practice) liking yourself, then this is something new. You will have to work harder at changing your brain’s thought patterns.
The easiest way to do that is by taking your negative thought (I never do anything right) to a neutral thought (that’s just a sentence in my mind) and then to a positive thought (I’m actually really intuitive) over time. You must give it time.
When you start liking yourself, you will start discovering even more things that you like about yourself. You will start noticing what your personality is really like. When you like yourself, you start to have self appreciation.
- it grows
- nurture it
- spread it
Self appreciation is something that grows. Think about how the value of your house appreciates. It appreciates more the more you care for it. When you do landscaping, your home appreciates. Maybe you put in new windows, add some stone to the front, or perhaps a new roof. Take this concept and apply it to yourself. How can you grow in value? How can you appreciate yourself?
Look for what you do well. This is easier when you like yourself. Start noticing what you do well. Maybe you’re really good at organizing. Maybe you know all the best places to eat out. Maybe your cinnamon rolls are so good you could put Cinnabon out of business. Start a running list of the things that you do well, and then start noticing what other people do well.
Appreciation is multiplied with gratitude. Express gratitude to those around you by noticing what they do well. What does your spouse do well? Your children? Your parents? You don’t even have to tell them if you’re not comfortable doing that yet. Just notice. Tell them when you’re ready.
You’re so good at coming up with new ideas! I love how you like sharing all your stories with me. I always know I can depend on you to get the job done, thank you.
Did you know that when you express gratitude to someone about something, especially a service they are doing, it makes them more likely to do it again even better. Find things you like about others and appreciate them.
If you’re finding it difficult to appreciate but you want to love and appreciate something, inspect it. This goes back to liking yourself. If you want to appreciate + love yourself, inspect yourself. Do you like your feet? The shape of your fingernails? Your hair? Maybe it’s your legs. Inspect yourself and find ways to appreciate yourself. Don’t tell me there’s nothing. Go neutral if you have to. Keep looking. Find. Appreciate.
- not up to you
- decide to believe it
- you are worthy
Self-worth is not a choice. Self-worth isn’t something you get or something you do. Self-worth is being worthy of you. It’s what you think about yourself. But guess what, the fact that you are worthy has already been established. You are here, you are breathing life. You. Are. Worthy. You don’t get to decide if you’re worthy or not. That was established with your first breath. You are here, you are worthy. Your job is to decide how you want to feel about yourself, how you want to think about yourself.
Choose to believe that you are amazing even though you can’t take credit for it. It is a beautiful thing to believe. I think I’m amazing and I can’t take credit for it. Believe these words from Brook Castillo when she says, “Deciding that you want to believe in your worthiness will be the most important decision you make in your entire life. Transferring that same belief to the other people in your life will be the second most important decision you make in you entire life.”
Do not doubt your worthiness.The decision has already been made. You are worthy, start feeling it. Remember to go back to inspecting yourself, to liking yourself. Are you seeing how this is all wellness?
Sometime when we start examining our self we think it is all about me. We see how important it is to take care of me so I can take care of everyone else, but remember that thing about pleasure. It is and must remain a by-product. We cannot seek ourselves and find happiness. We seek ourselves so that we can be better leaders. So that it’s easier to be responsible, to know I am worthy. To appreciate myself. To be likable.
I am practicing wellness so that I can better serve you because when I serve you to the best of my abilities according to my values, pleasure is given to me. Pleasure and grace. How we go about this is different for each one of us as we have different beliefs and values. Examine yourself. Be responsible. Be well, and enjoy your pleasure.