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Foundations of Vitality Part One: Dynamism as the ground of Good Health

Updated: Aug 26, 2021

This is the first in a series of posts called Foundations of Vitality, about what truly creates a vital relationship with our body, soul and wellness so that we can experience what I call Embodied Vitality.

For as much as we've been conditioned to believe otherwise, your care for your body is not a static formula that you pull the same levers and push the same buttons to deliver the same result day in and day out. This sort of approach isn't what creates a deep well of health and vitality.

And yet, this approach is what the modern medical and wellness establishment have pounded into us. Pull up any article on any popular wellness related site and you'll get a list of the top 5 things you need to do for X or the 10 best foods for Y. You'll find succinct, basic instruction on what constitutes health, how to achieve it and

We hear things like "Only eat these many calories, always exercise this many minutes each week, eat this much protein, or don't eat protein, always take these vitamins and supplements".

The let down with this approach is that we miss the actual living breathing, dynamic organism that is the human body and it's ever changing landscape. We opt for control and management, a glossy paint job on the house, instead of tending the foundation.

There is a dynamism in nature that can't be captured and replicated in a lab, in a pill, in a formula that creates health. It is responsive and adaptive and most importantly, it is resilient. That same dynamism is alive within you, too.

When we commit more to a rigid formula than to sensing, attuning and listening to the ever changing ebb and flow of our animal bodies, we miss a deeper vitality that is available, and in a larger view, we miss a really potent and valuable part of our lives, because we aren't attuned or tapped into what our bodies (and soul) really need.

I see this all too often in my massage practice, as well as my herbalism work with clients. We want to just fix and change whatever ails us, be done with it, get it to go away and keep moving with our lives.

But part of the solution for healing lies in looking at and understanding what it is that ails us and flexing, responding and adapting to the changing dynamic landscape of ourselves. Rather than rushing full speed into "something is wrong, fix it and make it go away", if we're willing to say something akin to "yikes! why is this happening?" We can then look and seek answers to questions like:

  • What went astray in my relationship to my body (or emotions as the case may be)

  • What about how I'm living isn't working and what can I do to shift that to resolve what's happening in my body?

  • When it comes to my health, body and wellness, what have I ignored or put on the back burner for too long?

  • How could I be in better relationship with what my body & soul are asking for?

The answers you get to these questions will begin to shift and change what it is that ails you. You may have to ask the questions multiple times to really hear (and follow) the answers.

You may not hear a clear answer immediately, because the solution may be several layers deep.

Or, you may need and want the guidance and assistance of a coach, nutritionist or herbalist to help you find easeful, natural allies to help bring remedy and resolution to what you're experiencing.

The most powerful experience of health and wellness you can create begins with being in relationship to your body and soul. It is comprised of questions, like those above, and of listening and responding, of being willing to heed the call of what you need, even when (especially when!) it is inconvenient or requires a slowing down and deliberateness.

Only from this rooted ground of relationship and connection, so often referred to as embodiment, can we genuinely begin to try on all the various formulas and suggestions in the modern wellness world. Any other approach to your body and health is merely changing coats of paint on the house in an attempt to fix its foundation issues. Fix the foundation and then the paint only has to do it's job as making the house beautiful, rather than trying to mask or avoid the deeper roots.

And so it is with quick fixes and health formulas. Root into the dynamic relationship with your body and soul, and a true solid foundation of wellness and vitality will begin to make the whole of you beautiful.

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