Are You Well or Are You Whole?Aug 06, 2021
This is a summary of my latest video. If you’d rather watch that, you can do it here.
Wellness has become kind of a buzz word these days. There are wellness coaches (been there, done that), included wellness checks in most insurance plans, and a lot of corporations have wellness programs for their employees. I’m a big proponent of wellness — don’t get me wrong — but there’s something more. You see, wellness is mostly about the health of the physical body (although good wellness plans include mental wellness, too). But, the body is just one piece of our whole being. There are also mental, emotional, and yes, spiritual pieces that we need to address. The whole-being perspective I’m talking about here is what I call wholeness. If we’re not taking care of the mind, body, spirit, and soul, we’re not moving forward. I think of wellness as maintenance, and it is definitely important. Wholeness, on the other hand is about growth or expansion. You know that old saying that if you’re not moving forward, you’re falling back? That’s the difference between wellness and wholeness to me.
I’m not the first person to talk about wholeness, of course. Carl Jung had theories about wholeness, which he defined as the principle that people, throughout their lives, strive for harmony between the conscious and the unconscious. In other words, it is becoming more aware of their unconscious thoughts and how this plays a role in their lives. One of my favorite Jung quotes is “Wholeness is not achieved by cutting off a portion of one’s being, but by integration of the contraries.” This reminds me that I don’t need to hide or get rid of the parts of me that seem to not quite fit the “good” model I’ve been conditioned to believe. Instead, I need to fully acknowledge and accept those parts as making up the perfectly imperfect me that is currently experiencing life as a human being. Then, I can integrate those parts, and even contribute something unique and special to this world from those parts. My perceived weaknesses can become strengths, and so can yours!
Many different religious and philosophical systems address the idea of wholeness. Judeo-Christian beliefs include a wholeness component, as does the very different Way of Taoism. Yoga addresses the mind-body-spirit connection. I look for commonalities across belief systems, and when I find them, I pay attention. There must be something to them, if diverse belief systems share a common theme.
Because of that “good girl” model I mentioned earlier, I need to remind myself pretty often that I am perfect exactly as I am, and so are you. There is nothing we need to fix, and there is nothing we need to wait to become. “I am holy, wholly complete” is a phrase I learned from my dear friend Mellissae Lucia, and I use it as both affirmation and goal. We are each divinely-designed (holy). That statement alone is enough to prove we are each wholly complete. There’s nothing missing that needs to be added. We are exactly how we are meant to be. Think about that the next time you’re striving for perfection in an imperfect world. So many of us have unrealistic expectations of ourselves and others. If we can stop that and just accept and appreciate each other for who we are in our perfectly imperfect wholeness, this world will be a lot more full of grace and ease.
I have six principles of wholeness that I’ll be sharing over the next few weeks. They are built upon a foundation of love, joy, and peace (I know it’s cliche, but there’s a reason for that), so as you consider the principles, keep the foundation in mind. The six principles of wholeness are grace, alignment, perspective, discernment, unity, and balance. Be on the lockout for those videos. They are on the way.
Do you see how wholeness provides an opportunity for growth and expansion? I hope you are both well and whole.
Do you agree? Do you want to hear more? You are always welcome in my Power in Stillness Facebook group. Right now, we are planning our first in-person retreat in almost two years. You can find all the details about that by going to Lost In Wonderland Weekend Retreat. We’ll be experiencing new ways to care for ourselves, accessing our own inner wisdom, and remembering who we are. I’d love it if you can join us.
All my life, no matter what change I’ve experienced, I’ve been able to use journaling to remember who I am, begin to understand what I can learn from this change, and how my experience can help other people going through something similar. Get my free prompts, “Journaling for Answers,” and start finding your own answers within.
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