On Thursday May 27th, I’m launching the first of a series of practices on the Switchism YouTube channel. In each weekly practice we will be exploring our relationships with ourselves with the intention to rediscover the fullness of who we are.
The World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. And what defines wellbeing? In simple terms, having good living conditions, and feeling good. Although that may be simply stated it’s by no means a simple achievement, even for those of us who are enjoy the privilege of living conditions that meet all our basic needs, and more.
I spent years defining my health and well being by what I thought society defined it as, that is, maintaining a certain size and shape and muscle tone, presenting an inscrutable emotional front, being powerful (but not too powerful) in my career, juggling work, home, children, and social life without making any mistakes, keeping a clean house with vegetables in the fridge, striving to be independent and never-ever needy. All these things are what I thought would make me feel happy and fulfilled and all these things I felt I failed at, again and again. Even the goals I did hit, I never felt secure, fulfilled, or genuine about, and therefore I did a lot of things that made me feel unwell: worked too hard, drank too much, avoided my emotions, racked up debt, alternatively binge ate and dieted, avoided my messy house and messy kids, and so on.
What is Self-Health?
I’ve come a long way since those frenetic days (for more about this journey please see Why I’m a Coach). I realize that who I am now, has been here all along, and in fact was never lost. I was simply too busy looking away, too busy looking to others, my peers, the media, even the self-help industry, to tell me what I was missing, what I was too much of, how to complete myself. And yet I was complete all along.
Self is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection”. Self-Health is the knowledge that the answers to our wellbeing lie within us. They are us. And they are essential to us.
Our Essential Beings
Even though our relationships with ourselves and our essential beings are individual, there are certain common collective needs that are foundational to our wellbeing. To state only a few examples: trust, belonging, autonomy, and love. Every week we’ll be exploring and deepening our relationship to ourselves by looking at these (and more) aspects that are important to Self-Health. I’ll begin each practice by talking a little about the weekly theme, inviting some questions to hold as a framework for consideration, turning inward for a meditation, and finally leaving us with some questions for reflection. Each week’s session will build upon the last one as we open towards our fullest expression of our essential beings.
I’ll be broadcasting these videos live on my YouTube channel and will follow each up several days later with a writeup on this site. I’m excited to embark on this journey with any fellow explorers that wish to join me!