To be native to a place we must learn to speak its language.
~ Robin Wall Kimmerer
When I read Robin’s words, it was like a revelation—a revelation of something that’s so obvious but, maybe, not realised?
To be a native of wellness? We need to speak its language.
And, what language do we use right now?
Busy, right? Swamped. Stressed, for sure. Frustrated, frazzled and overwhelmed? Tick. Tired—exhausted, even. Under strain, in too deep, over it.
Not exactly words of wellness.
So, how do we change it?
We might argue that the activities of our lives are just that—busy and stressful and exhausting, so how do we call them anything else?
We learn. We learn the language of wellness. Just as if we’re learning Italian or Yiddish or Hindu. We learn. We learn by doing.
And, the first thing we need to know about doing? It’s hard. It takes effort.
Remember our definition of wellness?
wellness n. the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of deliberate effort.
If we want to learn the language of wellness and use it, it’ll take some grit.
And, a shift in perspective.
Notice that wellness is a noun? In her book, Braiding Sweetgrass [which is sensational], Robin also says that the English language is made up of only 30% verbs, doing words, and 70% everything else.
So, as we learn this new language of wellness, we need to pay attention to what we’re doing because our language doesn’t pay that much attention to it.
To create our state of wellness, we have two options—and it’s not really an either/or situation. We can do a mix of both.
We can change our language and embrace the way we’re living—busy and stressful and exhausting has to become active, challenging, and exhilarating. If we can’t change our life, we’ve got to change what we think about it.
If we can’t change what we think about it, then we most definitely need to change the way we’re living because busy and stressful and exhausting ain’t worth it, my friend.
Let’s also add another doing word to our vocabulary—start to try and shift the balance.
wellness v. the act of consciously creating our health in body and mind, moment by moment, with attention, effort and care.
Because we know that wellness ain’t just the name of a thing.
It’s an action.