Webster does not even mention the word wellness, neither any other printed dictionary. However despite this omission, there are 138,000,000 hits on the internet search drive comprising – from mental to physical health, senior health, material prosperity, cardiac fitness, cancer, yoga, martial arts, with even dog-fitness getting honourable mention. One internet dictionary defines it as “the condition of good physical and mental health, especially when maintained by proper diet, exercise, and habits.”
It takes quite a bit of research to find any one site that has so much to offer on all these fronts, let alone one that can combine all of the needs for your innermost wellness – joy, bliss and beyond.
So many institutes, consultants, packages have popped up around the world in this decade that offer the keys to wellness; there are books written about one phenomenon, which everybody craves and nobody knows how to define. It seems that there is an intensely tangible search for the intangible. People travel long distance to exotic resorts, pay astronomical prices to get a whiff of wellness. For wellness’ sake, you can stop looking out there, and take some time for yourself, the only one-stop-shop that is the source of your own wellbeing.
The search for wellness is not just avoiding illness. Wellness is something positive. In fact, there is no appropriate word for “wellness” in English. The Sanskrit language has a beautiful word that sheds light on the root meaning of wellness, and it is swastha meaning “centred in one’s own being.” Swa is the being and stha is centred. Real wellness is an outcome of the golden healing energy generated in the solar plexus – an energy-centre located under the rib and is supposed to send healing energy throughout the body.
The feeling of wellness is not just a feel-good factor – it is being good, which is a more realistic state of body and mind. The eastern wisdom recognises it as “at homeness” with oneself and with existence. It is not only healthy, it is wholesome as well.
All this sudden concern about wellness is an overflow of affluence. The carnal needs taken care of, now man is looking for higher fulfilment. It shows that man’s consciousness is evolving. He is becoming sensitive, more conscious of his body/mind harmony. But all the ingredients that are part of the conventional wellness programme i.e. nutritious diet, fitness exercises, massages, skin care and so on, only help generate a tingling feeling in the body. The exhilaration felt by these treatments is skin deep. In my view, there are two important aspects of wellness, which are overlooked in the wellness programmes: emotional wellness and financial wellness.
Financial wellness is # 1 concern of most of the people. A survey made by the Center for Financial Well-Being in Hampton, Virginia in 1993 showed that 90 per cent professionals admitted that personal finances affected their important wellness issues. Nine out of 10 respondents agreed that attitudes towards money had a significant effect on self-esteem, their job productivity; that it was difficult to practise healthy lifestyles when worried about money. They rated personal finance as the number one concern of the average family, surpassing crime, drugs, the national debt, and health. It seems that a holistic approach to personal finance is needed, which will be the foundation of wellness. [Refer CW Perspective Jul,2007 for another piece conveys the same idea]
The second aspect, emotional wellness, is also extremely crucial in experiencing overall wellness. No matter how much we pamper our body, feed it with nutritious foods, if we are an emotional wreck, nothing is going to make us feel at ease. Cleansing the emotional muck and transforming it into a serene and silent energy is an essential part of emotional wellbeing.
What is needed for every human being is a thorough purging of the unconscious mind; throwing out the negative emotions, not repressing or rationalising them. Just as we clean our house and clean our body, we have to clean our mind everyday.
The smouldering anger, jealousy, fear and frustrations cause havoc with the body. This has lead to the upsurge of psycho-somatic diseases. They are not illnesses, actually they are a disease of the person. People are ill at ease and that manifests as a physical illness. [Refer Cover Story, CW Jun 2007, on how emotions make us sick]
Osho has created cathartic meditations as well as meditative therapies that cleanse the interior of the mind and the heart. Simple acts like crying and laughing wholeheartedly is such a wonderful release of pent-up emotions. Later, silence easily follows in the empty space. What is needed is emptying the content of the mind, and wait for wellness to open its petals.
Wellness is your innate nature, your swabhav. It is the unattached watcher, the sakshi. All you have to do is, recognise it. Reclaim it! The being is always well, it has never been, and cannot be ill because witnessing is its true nature. It doesn’t get affected by what it sees. Just like the endless sky — seasons come and go, stars are born and die but its emptiness remains unblemished.
Wellness is one portal that no one can afford to miss.