Home' Spa and Clinic : Volume 63 October 2015 Contents WELLNESS
Before you read this article, it's not for
everyone. If you find the relentless
pursuit of perfect wellness a never-
ending propulsion to happiness, then turn the
page. If however, you're stressed trying to be
"perfectly calm", then I invite you to read on.
We live in a world of desirable perfection
- the perfect skin, body, hair, children,
perfect, perfect and perfect home - all under
the umbrella of self- expression, choice,
freedom and self-determined success.
Being suitably mindful is the new wellness
mantra, and we celebrate it with a green
smoothie in a jar, a raw cacao brownie and a
salute to the sun. We only eat organic, gluten
free, compostable, and biodegradable.
Our beauty products are fair trade, we
shun parabens, we strive to perfect our
downward dog, and our goddess within is
hungry for recognition.
We meditate, affirm, check our heart
rate with a Fit Bit, take our probiotics, post
sunsets on Instagram, and write in our
We're pure, we're light, we're organic and
Well, let's just for a moment, take a breath.
What if we're barking up the wrong tree?
What if living in a bubble of Stepford
Wife wellness perfection is making us
unwell? What if in the process of pushing
our bodies to be their disciplined "best"
with schedules, rules and sanitised purity so
righteous we forget to be human?
Too many of us are driven by fear: that
we'll age, die, fear we'll get cancer, get
sacked, fear we'll have tuck shop arms, a
Deirdre Light* urges us
to eliminate the words
"guilty pleasure" from
our repertoire forever to
achieve true wellbeing
It's really okay to let them eat cake -- our bodies, that is. Remember the childish relish
we took in enjoying what we wanted and not punishing our bodies to be "perfect"?
sloppy butt, fear we'll be overtaken by some
slothful, over weight and wrinkled stranger
we never saw coming.
Purity and discipline are our bedfellows,
and falling off the wellness wagon is a sin.
But what if we just got off the wagon
and walked in our own direction? What
if we stopped listening to the WellnessTM
marketers and listened to our bodies for a
change? And I mean really listen.
Shouting above the need to be designer
queen green is a greater you. A version
of you so delectably unique, so defiantly
permanent, so utterly present, that once
inhabited will change your life forever. And
you find her by letting go.
I don't mean letting go and scoffing
Tim Tams. I mean letting go of perfection,
getting off the treadmill of pre- ordained,
relentless wellness routines, and just asking
our attention- star ved bodies what THEY
want, for a change.
Pleasure awaits - and I'm not talking guilty
pleasure. I'm talking full- on, rounded mature
pleasure that comes with satisfying exactly
what your body wants to eat, wear, how it wants
to move, sit, lie and express itself. How it wants
to be coiffed, what perfumes pleases it, what
music soothes it, what exercise enlivens it.
Instead of pummelling it, star ving it,
punishing it and pushing it, try caressing it,
consulting it and including it in all you do.
Now this is a challenge. It's the opposite
of all we have been told. I know that it's
counter-intuitive to let go. Maybe your body
will become feral, will have a mind of its
own, will take off screaming naked down
the street, will gain 10kg and turn to a soft
pudgy blimp overnight. Or maybe it won't.
Homeostasis sits at the very core of
wellness. It's our centre of balance where
our body functions at its optimal best. It
repairs itself, protects itself, rests itself,
restores and cleanses itself, all automatically
with a complex brilliance so mind boggling,
our simple minds cannot keep up.
Back to pleasure. I'm going to ask you to
take an immediate step. Please eliminate
the words "guilty pleasure" from your
Guilt stif les life. It contaminates
pleasure, flattens desire and dirties the
landscape. Just deal with it. You are entitled
to pleasure, to nourishment, to enlivened
living on a level not seen before.
Ask your body, not your ego. For ego's
take on pleasure is indulgent, hedonistic,
narcissistic and eventually destructive.
The Joy Of
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