One thing that used to standout for me when I initially met with a new client was how they really didn’t have a relationship with well-being. They didn’t actually know what health was. Their relationship with sickness, being overweight, feeling constantly drained was very well developed, but when I asked them about the flip side, they usually only got as far as "relief," or "freedom from __________."
Of course, I was the same way, long ago at the age of around 25, when I learned that health was not "the absence of disease," rather it was "a state of complete physical, mental and spiritual freedom," or years later, as the WHO stated, "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being."
So, in order to have a relationship with our well-being, it is helpful to break wellness down into different dimensions in order to better define it first. Dr. Peggy Swarbrick (Northwestern.edu/wellness/8-dimensions) developed a framework titled, "The Eight Dimensions of Wellness," and I find that this interconnected model helps create the proper perspective:
This is "The Eight Dimensions of Wellness" list.
I think you will agree that this is a comprehensive bird’s eye view, and one that has a great deal of potential power to it. One of the keys to developing that power is respecting the inter-relatedness of each dimension, as they cannot be separate. Yes, we can work on them separately, yet ultimately we must integrate them fully into our being. That is when we are optimally well, or fully Actualized as a human being.
The fuel for this process, what keeps us going, is self-love. That is the cornerstone of how we stay in the game, and without it we only achieve low levels of wellness in the categories. I always told my clients, "It is a game of self-love. It looks like taking supplements, changing our diets, creating different habits but underneath it all, it’s a game of self-love."
I personally find that conscious breath work, along with the cognitive technology over at Immortal.ai to be a magic formula to keep me winning in the self-love game. As long as I am stable and in my flow state, I am operating out of love. The moment I realize I have "fallen” from that graceful state", I implement a tool to quickly re-center myself and get back into that exquisite state of well-being.
Once I started to achieve a certain state of freedom, particularly in the emotional and physical categories, I wanted more and more of it, and wanted to protect what I had earned. A more balanced Jessie then became more capable of doing things like extended breathing sessions, fasting, and other things that enhanced my consciousness, and progressed me spiritually. I started to seek out other people, who wanted to do the same types of breath work, and yoga, etc., which enhanced my social health. And so on from there, I am still developing my dimensions, which are likely infinite in possibility.