Mulan – The Spiritual Wellness Spirit Animal

Hey Sunshine, 

I was having a conversation recently with a group of coworkers about religion & politics. As a black woman, sometimes it can be extremely difficult for me to have conversations like this because in the past it has completely drained me to the point where it takes days for me to recover. Both are currently hot topics in 2018, so I was extremely surprised at how civil the conversation was, even when we disagreed with one another. The smoothness of the conversation reminded me of one of the most important components of our wellness; our spiritual wellness.  

In the previous post, I referred to spiritual wellness as a moral compass. A moral compass is used in reference to one’s ability to choose right from wrong in the decision-making process. Think of it as the good angel who sits on your shoulder helping to guide the conscious. Typically, we get these values and morals from our family, community, and culture, however, it’s not uncommon to steer away from the values your parents may have. Let’s use the classic Disney movie, Mulan, as an example. Mulan comes from an extremely honored family and she has beliefs and traditions adapted from her family’s Chinese culture and religion. It is clear that she does not necessarily have the same values as her parents, who in the beginning, pressure her bring honor to the family by going to the matchmaker to find a husband. Although she tries her best, it’s clear that her heart and soul aren’t fully aligned with what her family expects of her. For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, (shame on you) I won’t spoil it, but it is amazing seeing the transformation Mulan goes thru as her spiritual wellness guides her to her destiny.

Keeping a healthy and progressive spiritual wellness is simple. The point is to be comfortable exploring your own thoughts and beliefs – even if it doesn’t align with what your family thinks. Having an opinion on things like religion and politics, not just the ones passed down to you from your family and friends, is so important to who you and where you are going. Your spiritual wellness is bound to improve if you take the time to dig deeper look into the meaning of life and who you are. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but luckily for you, I am going to share with you my beginning steps on how I strengthened my spiritual wellness.

Here are a few basic tips to having better spiritual wellness: 

  1. Find a wellness sanctuary and use it as a safe place for you to grow your wellness. You need a safe space to process your emotions and thoughts. Maybe your sanctuary is your car on the way to work, or maybe it is a quiet place at home in the morning before anyone else wakes. Find a space safe enough for growth.  
  2. Read more. (And not just what is shared on Facebook.) The more you read the more you will know.
  3. Respect your beliefs as well as the beliefs of others. 
  4. Stop and take a breath! Meditate! Do Yoga! Balance yourself. 
  5. Search for you purpose in life. Find out what makes you whole, then pursue it!  

Pouring into your spiritual wellness has so many benefits. It’s imperative that you develop a stronger sense of who you are spiritually and what you believe. Start here and you’re journey will thank you for it! 

Until next time,

jasbee

Back 2 Business

Hey family!

To recap, last week I talked about spiritual wellness and overcoming my fear of sharing. The post was simply the end result of creative inspiration. Now we are finally back on track, this post is long overdue! Let’s talk about what I mean when I say #BeeWell!

#BeeWell is a movement to empower those in their journey to better wellness while inspiring positive conversations about total body, mind, and soul wellness. In my introduction post, I discuss how I view my total body wellness in 6 different dimensions of well. Each dimension is extremely important and they all tie into each other.  This post is going to read more like a textbook; but I think it’s important that we all are on the same page. Below is a breakdown of what each dimension of wellness demands from us on a day to day basis.

Spiritual Wellness – A set of guiding beliefs, principles, or values that give meaning and purpose to life.

I like to compare spiritual wellness to a moral compass. It is how someone would establish right from wrong, what drives them, and their beliefs. It’s what gives life purpose, meaning, harmony, and balance. Because spiritual wellness is a reflection of your thoughts/desires, and to me, it is most influential of the 6 dimensions. Spiritual wellness will ultimately drive the results in other areas of your wellness. For this reason, I believe that your spiritual wellness is the center of your wellness.

Mental Wellness – A state of emotional and psychological well-being in which an individual is able to use their cognitive and emotional capabilities to function in society and meet the ordinary demands of everyday life.

I cannot express the importance of stress management enough. The job ones mental wellness, at it’s core, is to keep your mind unclogged. This is the part of your wellness that controls emotions, reactions, self-esteem, etc. It is so important to put attention on self-care Stress-reduction activities so that you can develop inner resources to ensure learning and growth from these experiences.

Remember, how you view yourself in the spirit, will transfer to the mind.

Physical Wellness – Maintaining a healthy body and seeking care when needed.

Physical wellness encourages us to care for our bodies through physical activity and proper nutrition. We all know that diet and exercise is important. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week while consuming around 2000 calories per day. Personally, my woes with diet and exercise come and go, but what really sticks out here to me is the end of the definition – seeking care. 

Seeking care when needed is vital to ones physical wellness. Before we can do that we have to understand our bodies and listen when it is saying something is wrong. The body you have is the only one you will be given, however a lot of us don’t even take the time to understand its needs. For some reason, seeking care when necessary seems to be contingent on a lot of things for some. Some may be concerned with health insurance or lack of money. It could be a phobia of doctors or doctors’ offices. Or maybe you’re like past me and always pretended to be “too busy” to see a doctor when my body needed medical attention. Often I would use work or school as an excuse to not treat whatever pains my body had. Either way, YOUR BODY decides when it is necessary to seek care, NOT YOU.

Those who are in tune with their bodies generally have great physical wellness practices. I believe that by being proactive and exercising regularly along with having a balanced diet increases the communication you and your body have. The more in tune you are, the less likely you’ll be able to misinterpret potential warning signs.

Financial Wellness – The process of learning how to successfully manage financial expenses.

In early education, we learn very little about money directly. We are taught necessary money fundamentals in math. I even remember money and taxes being talked about in history class, however, tips on how to budget and save are not taught. Financial literacy is repeatedly found to be a common source of stress, anxiety, and fear. With the cost of living and basic expenses increasing, financial distress is inevitable.

Everyone’s financial situation is different, it is up to you to mix and match resources that work best for your needs. Some choose to work 65+ years and retire, while others invest everything they have in order to increase their assets and limit their liabilities launching them into financial freedom. There is nothing wrong with either option; Really, the importance boils down to being aware of all financial resources given to you.

Social Wellness – Maintaining healthy relationships by developing good communication skills.

A huge bonus to maintaining healthy, social wellness allows you to practice empathy and active listening. Social wellness involves building healthy, nurturing, and supportive relationships. It includes developing a better understanding of intimacy and genuine connection. This dimension of wellness is centered around the relationships you have with the people around you.

The other, most obvious, portion of social wellness involves your social life. Being mindful of the places you go and who you are with is huge.  Surrounding yourself with positivity is known to increase your self-esteem (spiritual health). Energy is transferable. Most likely the mindset of your closest friends will transform yours. So in the words of my grandma, “Mind the company you keep”.

Cultural Wellness – The ability to recognize, understand, accept, and affirm the differences among people.

This is my favorite wellness dimension, for now. Many wellness books do readers a huge injustice by not incorporating a section for cultural wellness. I believe that this is the one and only wellness dimension that can drastically set you forward OR backward in the other 5 dimensions. Learning how to communicate with people who are different from you is imperative because it is the reality of the diversity there is worldwide. Understanding your own culture can give a lot of insight and openness to other cultures. Take time to research and learn about other cultures to become culturally sensitive. Its super important when living with, working with, or sharing a community with people of different backgrounds.

Let’s wrap up

In order to understand what #BeeWell is, we need to understand the different requests of each wellness dimension. To strengthen our understanding, over the next several weeks, I will write about each dimension. My mission is to go further into detail by using my personal examples of how I am currently strengthening my 6 dimensions of wellness.

PS. To those just starting, remember, your wellness is everlasting and something that should be focused on EVERYDAY. Celebrate every baby step forward AND the trials causing you to stumble; They are both important to the journey. 

xoxo,

jasbee

Believe in something.

*Disclaimer*

Before I begin, I want to remind you of something I touched on in my first post. The beauty of being unique individuals is that we are intelligent enough to form our own opinion and create our own values. As you read, know that my thoughts are a product of wellness activities I’ve used to strengthen my core beliefs and values. It is so important to know what you stand for. Sometimes we can be so unique that we are polar opposites from one another. Reasonable people may disagree with what I believe and that is okay because my journey may look different from your journey. Thank you in advance for respecting my wellness.

Moving on…

In the beginning, my wellness was fed strictly thru literature. I read, studied, and asked questions to try and gain an understanding of what exactly wellness was and why it was so important. Before #BeeWell transitioned into a movement promoting better wellness, it was really just my way of saying I was going to take necessary steps to find out who I really and what I need to do to care for myself. As a person of color and an avid football fan, I couldn’t help but keep up with Colin Kaepernick, the NFL Quarterback who opted to take a knee during the United States National Anthem before the start of an NFL game in 2016. Kaepernick peacefully protested against the racial injustices in the United States and in return was left jobless. Today, Nike retweeted this photo posted by Kaepernick with the caption “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. #JustDoIt”. After quick research I found out that Nike is celebrating year 30 of the Just Do It campaign, and Colin Kaepernick (who apparently has secretly been on Nike’s payroll since the beginning of the drama) has been signed to be the new face of the company. Alongside him also is Serena Williams, world renown tennis player, who also was recently called out by French Open President Bernard Giudicelli for her “figure hugging black suit”.

This. Is. Big. And if I’m being honest, this appealed to several different sections of my wellness. Last year, in an effort to #BeeWell, I feed my wellness by reading and learning so that I could formulate my own opinions on several current and relevant topics. I felt it was important to my spiritual wellness in particular, that I knew where I stood with religion, the political atmosphere, the BLM movement and everything else in between. I won’t go into detail about what I believe (DM me though), but I’ll say this: My journey to better wellness has called me to use my platform. The message “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything” is priceless. Just from a marketing perspective alone, this is an inspiring move by Nike. Add the face of a strong message behind the quote and you have a bold movement. History has taught us (if you’ve been watching) that favors the bold. 

The last few days has been rough for me. Although the response to the launch of #BeeWell was supportive and overwhelming in the most positive way, it is still hard to share with the world. I went back on word and neglected to post the content I had created for last Friday mostly due to fear. I’ve hid from this for a long time even though I’ve felt this nagging void calling me to step into my truth by standing for what I believe in even if it means I have to sacrifice everything, including my fear of opening up. Colin Kaepernick made a grave sacrifice for the likeness of himself and others. This message is so relatable to me because I, too, have to make a sacrifice for the betterment of myself and whoever may be watching.

Some people may not see Colin Kaepernick as courageous. Whether you agree with his point or not, the fact is that he used the platform he was given because he knew that bringing focus to a problem in a non-violent and peaceful way was the only option he had to spark a conversation of change. Salute to Nike for the bold statement. Thank you Colin. Thank you for reminding me that my wellness deserves the same sacrifice. And salute to those reading for following me on my journey. The next time fear or anxiety overcomes me, I will remind myself of the same advice Nike’s been giving us since 1988. Just Do It. 

#JustDoIt

[Just] #BeeWell

Jas