Definitions abound and different people have different views. This is how I see wellbeing:
Most people can describe times in their lives when they have felt really well. When they do so they talk about feeling good and functioning well, both physically and psychologically. They talk of lives with purpose and meaning and interpersonal relationships that bring joy, and a sense of connectedness with the natural world. They report feeling creative and seeing clearly where they are going.
Sometimes life feels full to overflowing and sometimes empty. Feeling empty is part of the process of development because it enables change.
Sometimes life circumstances can be so good that it is impossible not to feel well, leaving an impression that our wellbeing is in the hands of others or out of our control. This mindset can be disabling in adulthood. My coaching aims to reveal the mindsets and beliefs that limit and so frees people for growth and development.
Whilst life continues to throw up delights and challenges, wellbeing in adulthood rests on the psychological and spiritual development that enables feeling and functioning to become less affected by external circumstances. In enabling clients to slow down and be still, it develops the capacity for self-regulation and resilience. Whatever approach is taken, the wellbeing journey usually involves recognition that we have enough, and that more money, food, holidays, houses, clothes, power, control, status and respect will not add much to our lives.
A firm belief that the world is black and white can limit development.
My understanding of wellbeing, the one on which I base my coaching, teaching and bodywork, is holistic. It starts from the premise that the mind, emotions, body and spirit work together as one. Problems arising in one part of the whole can affect the others and healing can begin from any of these perspectives. So bodywork can make an important contribution to development by enabling greater sensitivity and attunement to self, others and the natural environment.
Wellbeing is much more than the absence of disease. In many ways disease sits at the opposite end of a continuum from wellbeing, as all diseases are characterised by feeling bad and functioning poorly in some regard. In other ways it is different, because disease is specific to one organ or system and wellbeing is holistic.
The body, even the skeleton, reflects the mind; tension patterns get in the way of reaching out and connecting.
A key aspect of the coaching process is helping people find what works for them. There are many tools in the tool box, psychological, body-based or spiritual; some may appeal and be valuable at some times, others at others and some not at all.
Some people prefer one to one support, others prefer learning in groups. Some prefer talking, others bodywork. Either way with the appropriate level of support, problems become opportunities for growth rather than overwhelming obstacles, and we learn to better balance doing and being, work, rest and play and masculine and feminine qualities and strengths.
Sometimes a helping hand is necessary to make a shift to the next stage of development.
I offer courses in Wellbeing as well as courses in Bodywork.