Today I write to you from my trusty stand-up desk amidst the warm glow of my Himalayan Salt Lamp. I now find myself at a place of balance. I have the energy and confidence to walk to the beat of my own drum while supporting others as they explore what wellness and healthy living means to them. But how did I develop this competency you ask?
Generally speaking, our perspective of wellness and healthy living evolves as we evolve over our lifetime. For me, as a lifelong athlete, I often equated physical fitness to health and wellness. That limited perspective served me well as a high school and college athlete. But the shine slowly began to rub off that apple and was ultimately tossed into the compost bin in June 2012. It was at that time that I noticed a bump on my nose that had overstayed its welcome. I decided to go see a dermatologist and soon discovered that the uninvited visitor was what I have almost endearingly come to call “my little nugget of cancer.”
Long story short (not my forte by the way), I had a basal cell carcinoma growth on my nose that needed to be removed pronto! Part of that urgency was due to the fact that I was getting married in two months and wanted it to be healed as much as possible for the impending and timeless wedding pictures (Wow that sounds super vain!). Suffice it to say that all worked out in the end with the aforementioned pictures to prove it. By no means would I say that my nugget was a life-threatening situation but it was life-altering. It served as the pivotal point in my health and wellness journey.
A switch was flipped somewhere in my being and I became a man obsessed with health and wellness. If you were to ask my wife, family, and friends, they might even say at times I was a man possessed. I dove into any and all research that I could get my hands on with this insatiable need to figure out how to be healthy. It was and continues to be a passion of mine. At first, I spent my time identifying the things in the immediate vicinity of my life that needed to change (diet, habits, environmental factors, etc.). I then began to implement the things that resonated with me into every aspect of my life that I could. Yes, even work, which I’m sure was (and still is) strange and amusing to many of my coworkers.
As time went on though, I realized that there was more to this Health and Wellness Pie (mmm, pie). So I expanded my explorative efforts to be even more holistic in nature. I ventured into a motley assortment of Eastern practices and philosophies about health and wellness; e.g. meditation, yoga, and various energy healing modalities such as Reiki (of which I am now a Master practitioner), to name a few. Today, I continue to integrate what resonates with me and I discard that which no longer serves me. This integration is evident as much in my personal life as it is in my professional life.
HOW TO DEVELOP COMPETENCY IN WELLNESS & HEALTHY LIVING
I think it is safe to presume that we have all heard the age-old adage “knowledge is power.” I believe this to be true. I would add, however, that we all have within ourselves the power to obtain said knowledge. We are more than capable of being our own “gurus,” “mentors,” “teachers” and/or “role-models.” It is a simple 3 ingredient no-bake recipe. (Allergy Info: Gluten Free, Raw, Vegan, Non-GMO, Organic!)
Self-Empowerment No-Bake Sponge Cake
- 1 Cup – educating yourself voraciously in the areas that you are passionate about
- 1 Cup – identifying and integrating what resonates with you into every aspect of your life
- 1 Cup – supporting and encouraging the baking efforts of others
- Mix then shape however you’d like – Enjoy! (Reshape as desired.)
So be like your own No-Bake Sponge Cake. Soak up all that excites you and puts a smile on your face, and even (maybe especially) what makes you question all that you believed to be true. Seek to find out who you truly are and become BFF’s with your SELF. Be an explorer of life. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, to be a pioneer, or to challenge the status quo. Change is most often initiated by a fresh set of eyes and a willingness to dream.
Make your life an adventure; YOUR adventure! Know that you are more capable and powerful than you likely give yourself credit for. So what are you waiting for? Go get your Sherlock Holmes on and uncover what wellness and healthy living means to you. From there, find your balance so that you can embrace perhaps the most important component – Living. Because, at the end of the day, no one else can be or will be the author of your story. So waste no time in finding what makes you happy and pursue it with relentless vigor! *(Cue mic drop)
This post is part of our #SAcompetencies series for February. Ever wish you knew then what you know now? #SApros pay it forward to #SAgrads looking for advice on soft skills and professional competencies before they job search this spring! For more info, please see Kim Irland’s intro post. Be sure to check out the other posts in this series too!