As I get ready for hosting a table at the Rosemount Writers Festival, I am conscious that I am – in some ways – packaging myself. Who am I as a writer, artist, and person with chronic illness and disability? These days, people talk about branding. I fear that is a side effect of monetizing, which is something I don’t particularly like. We need to be free to be who we are and do what we love without worrying about how to get paid for it. But that’s not the real world.
If I am going to spend my days in a way that enhances my well-being, I need to know what makes for a healthy life. I think in the good old days, many people got their minimum daily well-being requirements without effort. They moved their bodies as part of their work, ate vegetables and a little meat (and prayed over it), connected with their family members in the evenings and the larger community at church on Sundays. They sang and danced and told stories. Of course, I’m romanticizing. They also got sick and died young. If I lived in the good old days, I would be dead by now – to put a nonsensical sentence in place.
That paragraph tells me what I think makes for well-being:
- moderate physical exercise
- healthy eating (lots of vegetables, a little protein and starch and sugar enough for joy)
- connection with the holy
- family togetherness
- spiritual community
- participation in the arts
As I seek ways to enhance my own and others’ well-being, considering that list seems like a good place to start. What am I forgetting? How do you define well-being? Let me know in the comments…
Whenever I feel lost, I rely on strong friends, beauty, and laughter, along with the factors you list, to bring me back to well-being,. Reaching out to my friends, I use arts, humor, my own creative work, and the holy.
Thanks Sue. Good points! Friends, beauty and humor are all so important. It’s easy for me to forget to reach out and then wonder why I feel isolated. Thanks for the reminders.
I found a spiritual path many years ago and that has given me a framework to hold on to thru life’s difficulties. Eyes on heaven, feet on earth.
Donna, what a wonderful mantra – thank you!