Sometimes I feel like a traveler on an ever unfolding, awakening life journey. Oh… I am!
An ongoing curiosity for me on this life journey is around well-being, and what it means. The meaning changes as I change, and my awareness and context change.
What’s well-being mean to you?
Words can have different meanings for people, depending on individual meaning-making. And this word covers a lot of territory, may mean different things to people. One’s meaning-making comes from personal perceptions and interpretations, impacted by things such as experiences, values, culture, economics and health.
There’s an evolving body of of science and findings around well-being, though it’s been explored for eons by ancient wisdoms and practices. Different words have been used to express concepts with similar meaning. It’s a subjective concept, with no consensus on a single definition according to an article by the Center for Disease Control on Well-Being Concepts.
According to the CDC article, these are different areas or aspects:
- Physical well-being.
- Economic well-being.
- Social well-being.
- Development and activity.
- Emotional well-being.
- Psychological well-being.
- Life satisfaction.
- Domain specific satisfaction.
- Engaging activities and work.
I’d add spiritual well-being to the list, though that may be considered covered in certain areas on the list above.
This week during an evening kundalini yoga class the question was asked, “What are you passionate about in life?”. Usually that question starts my mind running with chatter of different passions, or it freezes at the BIGness of the question. This time when the question was asked, the word ‘well-being’ floated to my mind. It felt right, light. And I felt that desire for others, for a collective community, as well as myself.
When the question was asked during class, I was sitting on my mat, physically and figuratively. My body and my mind felt relaxed from an afternoon in nature, river kayaking with family. While kayaking, we saw elegant leggy herons, smooth flat water turtles and a flock of Canadian geese that hardly flinched when we were inches away. The day was spent with loved ones in nature, a soothing experience for body, mind and spirit.
For me, well-being is an unfolding exploration of how to live and be, in my life journey. I believe professional and personal journeys are basically the same. I also see this desire as a key driver for many. This I observe in both my professional work as a coach, and as manager/ owner of Bend of Ivy Lodge, a holistic nature-based retreat center.
My coaching clients often explore desired changes to deepen their well-being, whatever that means to them at that point in their life. And it often covers multiple areas or aspects of life. People, lives, work and our world are complex. And seems lives are becoming more complex with ever increasing technology and information access.
How to better navigate for this? Build your toolkit. Learn to pause, observe, body scan and be present. Meditation is an excellent practice to build these skill sets. These are useful tools for building capacity to respond intentionally to life’s choices and complexities.
Most of our Bend of Ivy Lodge retreat clients rent our lodge property to offer work and experiences with a well-being purpose. This can cover many realms such as physical, emotional, health, developmental, wellness, spiritual and social well-being. Often these aspects overlap, as they impact each other.
- As life and moments change, continue to be open and explore supportive practices such as meditation.
- Build a toolkit of supportive tools such as pausing, observing, body scans and being present.
- Support a collective well-being by supporting others, as that adds to one’s individual well-being.
Susan Walters Minker
Certified Presence-Based® Coach