Ways of Wellbeing

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In the interests of full disclosure, this is not a representation of how I feel right now – certainly not physically anyway, but I am just a little bit excited on the inside about what has been brewing in my heart over the past couple of days, a culmination of ponderings and musings that have been simmering away for, well, for a long time.

As I wrote in my previous post, I am making a commitment to improving my wellbeing by making purposeful, intentional changes to live a wholehearted life.  And I actually have a plan – well, somewhat of a plan, anyway!! It might be better to say I have some sign posts, some markers to guide me along a path of discovery which I believe will lead me to a life of thriving, the abundant life that Jesus speaks of when He said the enemy comes to steal and kill and destroy, but He came, Jesus, the Son of God came so that we may have life and have it to the full.  To the full.  The definition of ‘full’ is ‘containing or holding as much or as many as possible; having no empty space; not lacking or omitting anything; complete’.  

Having no empty space.

Not lacking or omitting anything.

Complete.

This is how I want my life to look.  Full of Jesus.  Full of life.  Life abundant.  Just as God intended. Just as Jesus promised.  Who am I to turn away from that, to reject it in preference for anything that cannot fill me, cannot satisfy me no matter how appealing it might look at the time?

As I thought about all this, I read about a blogger’s year of wellness journey, and the idea of focusing on a particular area of life a month at a time really appealed to me, having time to explore that part of my life and working out what works and what doesn’t, what changes would benefit and what could stay the same, what can stay and what can go.  Then as I was out walking yesterday morning (I’ve already started making some changes!) the particular areas I want to focus on became more clear, and I knew I had the bare bones of the journey ahead – and I even had a name for it.

And thus, the Ways of Wellbeing came to life, and for the first time in a long time, I began to feel excited about something, truly excited about possibility, the good ‘what ifs?’ of life, the potential of lasting change and what it would mean to thrive rather than just survive.

So what is wellbeing?  The dictionary definitions of wellbeing generally describes it as the ‘state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy’.  But that doesn’t sit with me as a thorough definition, because I believe an abundant life is about much more than just being comfortable, healthy and happy, that thriving is more than just feeling good.  It’s also about accepting that much of life *doesn’t* feel good and learning how to not to let circumstances define our feelings and actions, challenging deep-seated habits that aren’t healthy and pushing out of our comfort zones. My list of life areas gives a much more wholistic overview of what makes up a full life, and I’ve opted to focus on one area each month, starting with what has been my biggest frustration – moving (or the lack thereof!).  So here’s what my journey in 2018 looks like –

January      – Move      (Increasing daily movement)

February    – Sleep      (Improving sleep habits and quality)

March         – Eat          (Refining what my body does and doesn’t tolerate)

April            – Grow     (Personal and professional learning and development)

May              – Play       (Bringing more fun into life)

June             – Create    (Prioritising daily creating)

July              – Spend     (Budgeting and financial planning)

August         – Give       (Exploring ways of serving the community)

September  – Pray       (Focusing on daily spiritual growth activities)

October       – Think     (Challenging unhealthy thought patterns)

November  – Breathe  (Slowing down, being intentional, noticing the world around me)

December   – Love       (Intentional connections in my relationships)

I plan to document my experiences on Instagram with a few posts each week and a weekly review here on the blog, and each month I’ll share my ‘why’ for choosing that area of life to focus on, why it’s important to me and how I believe it contributes to wellbeing.  I’ll also share resources, podcasts, blogs and articles I find helpful for each topic, and I plan to read a book relative to each area during that month, some that will be new to me and some I’ve already read and found beneficial. And because I love to hear people’s stories, I’ll be talking to people whom I admire in these areas for their experience and skills, and who inspire me with their love for what they do.

I would *so* love for you to join me, because you are part of my why – the reason I’m embarking on this journey is much bigger than just my own transformation, it’s about encouraging and uplifting others in their own journeys, fulfilling the calling God has placed on my life to love and serve others whenever I can, in all the ways I can (however imperfectly that may be).  Please join in the conversation on IG at @alison_jane_again, or leave me a comment here, I would love to hear what wellbeing means for you and perhaps what areas of your life you’d like to see transformed.

‘If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together’

– African Proverb

 

 

 

 

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I have a fondness for the semi-colon, how it allows a bit longer pause between sentences without interrupting the flow of the story, how they allow related parts to remain connected but can also allow the story to take a different turn while retaining its relevance to what has already taken place. And how it means the story isn’t finished, but there’s more to come.

The beginning of 2018 feels like a semi-colon, a pause in the story right before it’s about to take a new direction, taking me along a path toward a destination I don’t see clearly yet. Which is at the same time exciting and daunting, but in the best way!!! I’m comfortable with change (in fact I get antsy when thingsstay the same longer than I’m used to!), and I’m used to dealing with the unexpected and stepping into the unknown, so not having a step-by-step plan for the year ahead is not unfamiliar territory, and I’m learning to embrace this reality. But this year, I’m determined to be intentional in what I *can* do, what I *can* make happen, and for me that’s about my wellbeing, seeking the fullness of life Jesus has promised us.

I’ve lived reactively and in response to what goes on around me for most of my life, and while I’ve made significant changes in some fundamental areas of my life, my wellbeing is not what I want it to be. It’s more surviving than thriving, and that’s not what my life has been created for.I know, I know, anyone who knows me or has followed me here for any length of time has heard this before, has been witness to my intentions to change and the subsequent loss of momentum. And I can’t promise it won’t happen again, but I can say today, this is where I am, and this is what I intend to do. Well, I will when I gather all my thoughts and pull them into some semblance of a plan 😊 But for now, I’ll leave this as my intent for 2018 – to improve my wellbeing by making purposeful, intentional changes to live a wholehearted life. Will you join me?