There are so many words to describe how we’re experiencing life, and as a society we use them to express our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual states interchangeably. It can get confusing. So here we’ll define the terms as we’ll be using them in this website, in order to explore more deeply the process of healing and the conditions of wellness and illness.
Wellness and illness describe how you look at yourself and everything else. You give meaning to your life experiences through perceptual filters of wellness or illness. Wellness and illness are in opposition to each other and they exist in degrees. And they are fluid, changeable.
Your present degree of wellness and illness determines the meaning you give to what happens. What determines your level of wellness or illness is not what happens, it’s how you interpret what happens. In a state of wellness, you’re more capable of accepting what happens. In a state of illness, you’re more inflexible and you want to control and change outcomes instead of changing whatever led to outcomes you don’t want. Wellness is moving toward deepening states of awareness, refining adaptive responses, and evolving a pliable sense of self. Wellness involves sustainable states of gratitude, forgiveness, acceptance, empathy, love and compassion. Neither wellness nor illness exist in a direct relationship with pathology or the absence of pathology. It’s normal for people to develop various symptoms and pathology and still experience a high quality of life and wellness. High-level wellness does not preclude periods of sickness and weakness, nor does it deny that death is a natural part of life. Wellness is an ever-increasing embrace of all things, while illness is a desire to avoid that which you deem inappropriate and undesirable. In a state of wellness, things happen for you. In illness, they happen to you. Wellness leads you out of suffering. Illness creates and sustains it.
Health is our ability to perform functions that we personally value. Sickness is when we have chronic symptoms and disease that come from our inability to adapt.. Many ancient cultures addressed Wellness and the entire persons being from China to India to Ancient Greece. Our Western culture has focused on Illness rather than Wellness. A shift in the mindset of what is well being has created Wellness Coaching.