Is well-being something you search for and happen on like the fountain of youth?
Is it something you stumble on or, even better, purchase on Amazon. Maybe you push the easy button and add well-being to your shopping cart. At home you click the down load button and install the file. A warm glow of grounded happiness, harmony, and abundance settle over you.
Maybe it happens that way for you but not me. My search for well-being started over 20 years ago. The obsessed chase the result of a chronic illness. I believed well-being found external, and I had to find the feeling before my body succumbed to paralysis. I pushed the accelerate button and ran a couple sub-four-hour marathons; summited several fourteen-thousand-foot Sierra peaks; and led teams to build web applications that launched start-ups and revolutionized companies.
Individual will powered my search for the elusive feeling found in moments after a crossed finish line, on the summit of a peak, and the day an application went live. This is what it meant to be alive. After a six-year odyssey to live in denial and push life’s limits, this seemed the answer to well-being. I thought this was the focus of my first book—how to live a great life with chronic illness. Deny its existence, push life’s boundaries, and find well-being in moments of victory but that never happened.
My manic search had un-intended consequences. I realized the impacts of the ego fueled obsession over the next two years. At the bottom of stairs after I fell mid-flight my body off balance. In the front of a computer screen in anguished agony after I failed an exam I had the experience to teach but mind didn’t keep concepts straight. Embarrassed In front of a room of colleagues paralyzed with fear as my mouth and mind didn’t connect. In the dark, quiet confines of my mind as I lay awake at night terrified of what had happened and what might be next.
I needed a way to arrest the downward spiral and took 4 months off from work to visit a natural healing retreat center. I unplugged from the world and immersed myself in a healing cocoon where I aligned my mind, body, spirit and emotions with well-being.
While there, I found four essential well-being elements, mind, body, spirit and emotions. I learned practices and ways of being to nurture each.
I went back to work but discovered I lacked a few key elements. Over the next eight years, I found three additional well-being elements. Profession, Financial and Social to complete the circle.
I read Anodea Judith’s book The Wheel’s of Life and discovered each of these well springs centered in various regions of the body. I realized we’ve known this radical common sense for eons. The lightbulb went off— I’m responsible for my well-being through my being, my thoughts as well as how I respond to my emotions combined with my actions because they generate what I have. The sense is nurtured from within rather then something chased down. Its manufactured from within mindful of ways of being and doing that generate the feeling. This was a huge relief because I stopped the search and began to focus on how to create the feeling from the inside out rather than from the outside in.
Be + Do = Have
I put a contemporary name to these elements and refer to them as the 7 VIBRANTs which have been part of native human consciousness passed in Sanskrit through the ages. My memoir Shadow Summit tells of my journey to find well-being to find well-being within.
Over the next two months I will post insights into how to nurture each of the 7 VIBRANTs that assist you to generate well-being from within.
Do you generate well-being from within? What are your practices?