Take a moment and meditate. Stop and do it right now before reading on.
What happened? Did you know what to do? Even if you haven’t done it before, I bet an image came into your mind. Maybe you even adopted the posture you’ve seen in pictures. We’ve all seen that meditating frog somewhere. He sits with legs crossed and with middle finger and thumb touching, eyes closed. Maybe you sang out, “OOOOOMMMMM.” But what happened? Did you really meditate? Just because you copied the picture did you get the result?
The sneaky trait of wellness that I want to point out today is that wellness doesn’t actively hide from us. It’s just that we have trained ourselves to focus on traits wellness often lacks. We can point to our cultural biases towards youth and activity, the pace and saturation of media input, and our own desires for stimulation and approval. We have adopted habits that rush us headlong towards shiny things, instead of the plain-Jane. This is where we miss opportunities for wellness. Wellness is often simple, lacking that stimulating “shininess” that keeps us engaged.
Please pay attention when you get caught up in the glitz and glamour of the newest fad. Is the quick fix product over-promising a cure? Living in America provides amazing opportunities to be healthy and happy, but we need to remember that our culture and our media have their own agendas. Those agendas are not necessarily your health and happiness.
Caution: Bigger, Sexier, Shinier, Younger, and Newer are not always best when it comes to wellness.
Remember: Wellness is not an image. The meditating frog can’t teach us to actually meditate. What’s more, our cultural assumptions about the image and the way it’s delivered make an impression that guides our actions. If these impressions are guiding us away from wellness, then they are a barrier. Does that meditating frog create disdain for meditation?
Experiment: Grab a watch or clock. Walk into the next room and for thirty seconds mentally catalog everything in that room that is the color red. Don’t write anything down, it’s an experiment. Read on after you come back.
Experiment Results: Give yourself one point for everything in the room that you can remember. But only for things that were blue. Tricky, I know. Wellness sneaks by us in just this way.