What is Wellbeing?

The Journey

Wellbeing is often described as a journey, and this is a fair analogy, so far as the journey is not just a means to an end. Perhaps it is better to think of wellbeing as the path you choose to walk in your life – it develops, offering many opportunities along the way, leading you one step at a time to where you need to go, rather than to where you think you should end up. A fulfilling life is not an imagined position or an end point, it is an unfolding wisdom and love.

It’s good to pay attention to the path you’re currently walking – to have your eyes open in the experiences. No-one should have to walk in confusion, not understanding their own body, thoughts and emotions – never really knowing themselves.

If you feel tension, anxiety, physical discomfort, symptoms, boredom, disappointment, frustration, apathy, isolation, lack of emotional fulfilment, fear… this is the journey for you.

A Return to Inspiration

What does ‘Inspiration’ mean?

Inspiration is the energy within you that creates things. It is not an external thing, it is the part of you that sees possibilities and responds with energy.

In some ways, the whole point of wellbeing is to reconnect you with your inspiration: to move away from using the mind as the driving force, and towards allowing inspiration to be the guiding aspect.

How many times have you found something that feels good to you… only to decide intellectually ‘I shouldn’t’, ‘That’s self-indulgent’, ‘What’s the point?’ ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I don’t have the necessary talent or skills’…

If the mind shuts down inspiration, you are in conflict with yourself, you are confused – of course – because without being aware of why two aspects of yourself would be at odds with each other – how can you discern which is true? Which is authentically you? The side which is inspired and energised by something, or the side which wants you to step away and hide…

 

The basics

Touching the surface of a hugely complex area…

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Photo by Geetanjal Khanna

Mind

The mind becomes your authority, the director of your journey, and in theory you couldn’t be in safer hands – its primary goal in any circumstance is to keep you safe from any perceived threats.

But what if you really have no input to your travels? What if you’re not sure why the guide is making these decisions on your behalf? What if its decisions are based on past experiences, or imagined future outcomes – it could actually be making decisions that deprive you of what you really need: love, creativity, peace, understanding….Basically, it will keep you on the long flat tarmac for as long as it can to avoid the unknown, but that’s not always the best road.

Any time you experience funks, energy drains, boredom, ennui, doubt, anxiety, fear… it could be that you’re being protected from change, but at a huge cost to your wellbeing.

Understanding who’s really in charge, the real motives behind your actions and attitudes, is fundamental to living your real life – the one most fulfilling to you.

How much of your ‘self’ is actually just a set of emotional responses to your environment and the people around you, effectively to your perceptions of the past? There’s nothing nurturing about living in the past, and there’s nothing energising about living in dread of imagined futures. This is the expression of the mind, not the wisdom and inspiration found deeper within you.

Fears and desires taint assurance and creativity. Moving out of the mind and appointing inspiration as your director is the biggest shift you can make on your wellbeing journey. This cannot be done in spectacular leaps, rather small steps, perception acquired from a dedicated process of refined observation. Of what? Only of you and how you respond to everything. When you discover these limiting emotional responses (irritation, self doubt, apathy, hurt, disappointment, frustration, loss, fear, guilt) you seek understanding and inspiration to release them over time.

Body

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Photo by Kristopher Roller

The body is receptive to all the messages you give it. And it expresses them eloquently. It is both your vehicle and knowledgeable guide. Its greatest value is in directing you to understand emotional conflicts that seek to be resolved and in appreciating the beauty felt with the senses.

The process

Wellbeing isn’t about a set of cast-iron rules you can follow or fail at, it isn’t about contradictory information thrown at you from all angles and sources. It’s about creating that sense – that undeniable and unique feeling – that you’re getting it right for you.

Guidance

Bringing these conflicts to your awareness and offering insight. When the ‘programmes of response’ are seen and acknowledged they start to diminish. This leaves ‘space’, for all the inspiration and peacefulness to come to the surface. And then everything starts to open up….

 

This week’s recipe – Gratifying Greens!
Important: While we hope to inspire you with new and clean ingredients, you MUST make sure that all ingredients you use are compatible with your own individual medical conditions, medication, allergies and goals.

Spinach Crepes With Goat’s Curd + Courgette and Pea Salad from Donna Hay’s new book Life In Balance

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Serves 6

Organic Ingredients for the Spinach Crepes

  • 1 cup (160 grams) buckwheat flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups (500 mL) almond milk
  • 3 cups (75 grams) baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Organic Ingredients for the Salad

  • 2 medium zucchinis (courgettes) (260 grams), shredded
  • 1 cup (120 grams) frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 cups (25 grams) snow pea tendrils
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 200 grams goat’s curd (or cheese)
  • lemon wedges, to serve

Preparation

1. To make the spinach crepes, place the flour, eggs, milk, spinach, parsley, salt, and pepper in a bowl, and, using a handheld stick blender, blend until smooth.

2. Heat a little of the oil in a 20-cm nonstick frying pan over high heat. Add 1⁄3 cup (80 mL) of the batter, swirl to coat the base of the pan, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until just set. Remove from the pan, set aside, and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining oil and batter.

3. Place the zucchini, peas, snow pea tendrils, oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl and toss to combine. Divide the crepes between serving plates and top with the goat’s curd and salad.

Serve with lemon wedges.

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