The appearance of wellness

I don’t want to appear well.

I used to.

I used to be good at it.

Meet the expectations of society and family. Wear the right clothes. Speak properly. Sound smart. Appear humble. Do good things. My teeth looked good. My hair looked right. People “looked up to me”

But that was veneer. That was coating on plywood. A very weak structure with a short-lived outward appearance.

I don’t want to appear well.

I want to be well.

And to be well requires a level of acceptance and honesty.

I am learning.

And I must continue to invest in learning.

Practicing the acceptance.

Accepting when I fall, when something hurts, when something disappoints, when things are taking longer than I want, when I’m jealous, when I’m intolerant, when I’m pissed off.

Practicing the honesty.

Honest about my intentions – when I was doing something just to make me look good; when I really wanted someone else to fail; when I was too afraid to try.

All of this requires me to continue to learn. I must approach each day, each moment with a beginner’s mind and a beginner’s willingness.

This opens the door to wellness, not the appearance of it.

So, wellness in my body now looks like moving it with full respect of its limitations and fully embracing its possibilities in the here and now. Some days it wants to move more vigorously, some less. Some days it wants to explore very challenging postures. Some days child’s pose is all I can muster. But I return and practice. I don’t compare my body or my practice against any prior version, or another person’s.

Wellness in my body is loving my body and its sensuality and functionality as it shows up in this day. Did I like the tingle in my toes? Did I feel my waist and it’s suppleness? Did I appreciate the range of movement and flexibility that was there?

I want to be well mentally. I want my mind to be well and honest with myself about it. I want to feel what a well mind feels and expresses. I acknowledge when something is hard or embarrassing or shameful. I am honest when I’m in a loop and I share it. I enjoy the moments of quietude and peace in my mind when they happen. I remember I am human and perfection is not reality.

I want a well mind to serve my body, and a well body to serve my mind. I want them to know one another.

This is honesty and acceptance and that gives me true harmony and wellness, not the appearance of it.

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