When I started down this path 4 years ago I was definitely focused on my physical fitness. Not just weight loss in terms of numbers on a scale but I wanted to reach a place where I had improved cardiovascular health and mobility for daily tasks.
I started my health journey building exercise and nutrition habits, but looking back now I realized that the scope with which I was viewing my health soon broadened.
As my physical health improved I saw changes in my mental health. I was less stressed and far less anxious. But I still didn’t feel quite right.
As I became more mobile I became more inclined to go on long walks and hikes. I started to spend my Sundays at Mount Royal and long weekends camping where my husband and I filled our days with increasingly challenging hikes. Being outside felt freeing and relaxing in a way I can’t remember ever feeling before. Those days ended with a deep sense of satisfaction and a heavy restful sleep.
Being outside felt great and was another way to manage the mental health issues I had struggled with for so long.
But still, things felt off.
So I kept searching.
As fitness, eating real food and spending time in nature became engrained parts of my life I realized that most of the changes I finally succeeded in making had one thing in common.
They were all natural.
People are meant to move. We are meant to eat unprocessed food and we are definitely meant to be where we can experience the natural world that is our home. This is the way our ancestors lived for millennia, only in the last 100 years have we shifted severely in a different direction.
That is how I stumbled onto meditation and keeping a gratitude jar.
I started to feel that I didn’t spend enough time just in silence with myself. I was always plugged in either to social media or listening to podcast in the background. My mind was constantly thinking about everything I had to get done in a day. I was never taking time to just be silent and turn everything off for a little bit.
Everything is always go go go, and on top of that we tend to focus on what we don’t have or what we haven’t yet accomplished. Ten minutes of mediation followed by writing down one thing I was grateful for every morning helped me start my day from a positive mindset that had a reminder ready to go of what good I had in my life when something went wrong during the day.
A tight hip was how I came to practicing Yoga. For me this new practice is another way for me to turn down the volume in my head and just focus on my breathing and how my body is feeling. Bonus is that my hip pain is gone and I feel a lot less stiff.
The most important thing Yoga reminded me of though was how important it is for us to be responsible for how we consume whether it be food, screen time, negativity or our worlds natural resources.
For a long time I didn’t realize that many of the changes I had already made like going vegan, reducing the amount of new stuff I bought and limiting my screen time had impacted my overall wellness. I also now realized that I had other areas of my life where I should monitor my consumption more and thus new habits are being cultivated as I type this.
For too long I thought that my 100+ pound weight loss was down to just food and exercise. But thats not true. I made a lot of changes to not only improve my physical health but also my mental wellness. Both of these things are so connected and I want to work with women by incorporating all of these components of wellness.
I want to broaden our view of wellness and I believe the pursuit of these 6 Pillars are the way to do it.
Exploration of Nature