At the Heart of Well-Being

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Well-Being… just the sound of the words makes you sigh kind of blissfully, doesn’t it? Do you picture softness and ease? Clean spaces and fresh flowers, being fully rested and clear for your day/life ahead? Well-being is my favorite way to describe what I have been striving for, for the past 20+ years, probably more. Well-being is a bit like balance. It’s a moving and flowing state. We achieve it and then it eludes us, again and again. I have found myself there many times and it is always changing.

So, what is well-being? I believe it starts with an awareness of what we each need. What do I need to be well? What do you need? Our answers will be different from each other’s and different for ourselves at various times.

I know at times I need quiet down time. I also need to be with people. I need to be able to communicate openly and honestly. Small talk doesn’t do it for me. I need to move my body and to rest. I need to eat well and drink water. I need ice cream and wine sometimes too. I need time to simply be.

At the heart of well-being is knowing yourself.

Knowing yourself requires being still enough to listen and open enough to hear and feel what your truth is. From the seemingly trivial details of Do you want music on in the car or silence? to What activities energize you? What foods feel good in your body? and bigger inquiries of Who do you want to spend your time with? Well-being is an individual state for each of us. But what is true for everyone is that at the heart of it is simply being and knowing what makes you feel well.

Once you know it, though, this blissful state doesn’t just materialize. Sometimes improving your well-being means doing things you don’t necessarily want to do in the moment with the promise of future gain. You may not want to get out of bed for an early exercise class, but as you have the experience of doing so again and again you may discover that you feel energized all day long on those days. You may resist spending an hour clearing the clutter that has accumulated in your home, but when your counters and kitchen table are clear, you suddenly feel lighter.

Yes, to experience the flowing state of well-being, you have to look past your immediate moment of desire and know the desires of your true self.

And then… being well becomes a practice in life.

Once you begin to know and listen to your true self, a space of well-being isn’t far behind.

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