In the last post, we talked [very briefly] about how physical wellness can cost the earth, but mental wellness is completely free. I wanted to flesh that out some more—well, from the inside out, at least!
Creating our free-dom
When we focus on physical wellness, there are lots of things that cost money, right? Gyms, fitness classes, treadmills, running shoes, food, special diet recipe books, chiropractors and physios and acupuncturists and massage therapists, doctors, dentists … the list goes on.
Obviously, when it comes to our mental wellness, there can also be costs involved, if we need to consult with psychologists or take medications, but there are a greater number of things we can do for ourselves—that don’t cost anything at all.
And, the first thing is—choice.
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
~ Viktor E. Frankl
This is a powerful statement—that, no matter what happens to us, we have the freedom to choose how we react.
It’s even more powerful when we consider that the “given set of circumstances” Dr. Frankl had to respond to was incarceration in WWII concentration camps—an experience that the majority of us just couldn’t even imagine.
Wouldn’t wish to imagine.
Yet, despite the incredible odds and unbelievable brutality forced upon him, the loss of life as he knew it, his captors couldn’t take his ability to choose his response.
His choice to believe in—
Clearing the fog
So, we have this choice—we always have this choice, but we often forget it.
In the noise and stress and bustle of life, we don’t realise that there is any choice other than the noise and stress and bustle that we’re surrounded in.
Why? Why do we forget our choice in the matter?
We’re looking outward.
Looking outward for inspiration, for confirmation, for peace.
But, we’re never going to find peace, out there, in the noise and stress and bustle.
It doesn’t exist out there—it’s an inside job.
Now, that can be mightily discouraging—to find out that peace and wellness are not where we have been looking for them, that they’re actually much closer to home, yet feel so incredibly out of reach, right?!
And, we’re going to throw a cat among the pigeons here and say—
Peace and wellness comes from within, but we’ll never find it.
Say, what now?!!
Just stop looking
Stay with me—there is hope!
So, there’s a documentary called On Yoga: The Architecture of Peace—in it, Dr. Dean Ornish talks about a time when he was feeling incredibly low and he heard a swami say that we’ll never find lasting happiness.
We’ll never find lasting happiness, because—
We have it already.
And, the question becomes—what are we doing that’s taking us away from that sense of happiness?
I reckon it’s the same with wellness—we are well beings, we are born well beings.
So, what are we doing to take us away from that state of wellness?
What are we doing that takes us out of that state of wellness?
We’re not trying to become something we’ve never been—striving to be a gymnast or an astronaut or an applied biochemical engineer.
We’re just trying to be something that we’ve always been, that we’ve just forgotten in the hustle and bustle of life.
We need to turn in—
Away from all of our external stresses, noises, distractions, expectations, and judgements. Costs.
We need to turn in—
Toward our natural inspiration, happiness, peace, contentment, wellness. Freedom.
We need to turn in.