“The greatest wealth is health” – Virgil, Roman poet
I am not sure if you can relate, but at twenty-five-years-old I was a health professional with his dream job. I felt unhappy and disconnected. I had followed the path to success others had taught me.
I realized everything I had become was a result of my own choices. I had chosen my path to wellness and was not where I needed to be. I was an oxymoron – a health professional who did not have my health.
I knew there must be a better way.
I looked back to my youth for some clues as to how I ended up here. Unhappy. Disconnected. I was born in a developed country full of opportunity. My single mother taught me to have a hard work ethic; my father taught me compassion and empathy through his struggles with homelessness and alcoholism. Had these influences played a role?
Looking back, I felt like I had been conditioned: go to school, get a job, work hard, start a family and retire comfortably at 65. I was halfway along that journey when things started to change.
One day, I woke up. After so many years of being unhappy, I stopped and stepped back. I began to wonder, “What am I actually here to do?” I felt like I was the only one asking the question.
To find a solution to how I felt, I reached out to my networks of specialists, health professionals, and healers from all walks of life. I spent tens of thousands of dollars searching for a solution, but nothing changed.
It made me realize that if a “health professional” with a double degree, networks, connections, and all the available resources could not find a solution, then how could anyone else?
Did my family and friends get the best advice from these professionals? I felt like Alice in Wonderland at the bottom of the rabbit hole trying to work my way out, only to find I was stuck in a vicious cycle of misinformation.
So Where Was I Meant To Start On My Path To Wellness?
Was it my mindset, my nutrition, or my physical body? Was it perhaps my misalignment, or lack of spiritual purpose? Or maybe it was my work / lifestyle, or the people I surrounded myself with? Perhaps it was all of the above. I started understanding that I had to let go of my “health ego”.
This allowed me to gain greater perspective. I needed an approach that considered myself, my individual circumstances and the environment that I live in. This is where the Fill Your Cup method for personalized care and an integration of the entire health and wellness industry was born.
I learned that prevention is the best form of a cure and that I need to spread this knowledge. Within our own cup, there are parts that we can and cannot control. We can control our mind, thoughts, food intake, movement, and our passion for work and life. We can control our beliefs, spirituality and sense of purpose. And even partially control our immediate environment and the people we surround ourselves with.
At birth, we cannot consciously control the environment or country we were born into. We cannot control our genetic blueprint or the framework our parents gave us.
I started focusing my energy on what I could control. I had grown up with a desire to help others. But I learnt a valuable lesson at 25. Before we can help others, we must fill our cups first. As a result, at the age of twenty-six, my cup was full. For me, it started with my mindset. I stepped back and saw that what I was doing was not serving me.
I realized that my diet and the immediate environment was not serving me well. I quit my “dream job” and started moving, surfing, and doing things I loved. I surrounded myself with positive, open-minded, driven people. Finally, I was happy, connected, and seemed to consistently attract good people into my life. I was focused and ready to help the people closest to me. Why do we need to change our attitude towards wellness? The burden of preventable disease is increasing in the developed world. Obesity, cancer, and depression are primary causes of death, partly brought on by processed junk food. The less-developed world is starting to experience these problems as junk food becomes more available to those regions.
In an ideal world, a new health and wellness system would work toward people being healthy, happy and connected.
However, I am a realist. Things aren’t ecological. I am aware of the paradox of our time: We all seem to know what to do, but choose not to do it.
Just imagine if we could create an environment where our friends, family, and children could thrive, not just survive. Thrival. So let’s keep this simple. Healthcare starts with a decision to have self-care.
First, ask yourself? – Am I HEALTHY? Do I wake up with energy every day? How often have I seen doctors or allied health professionals in the past 6 months?
Then, ask yourself – Am I HAPPY? If not, why not?
Lastly, ask yourself – Am I CONNECTED? With myself? To the people around me? To the world I live in?
If you answer YES to all of the above, your cup is full. Be grateful and empathetic, because this is rare. Help others feel the same way. If you answer NO, to one or more, your cup may be a little empty. Ask for help and guidance. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good. Reconnect with your values, passion and purpose.
Every day we make choices based on the best information available to us. But, if like me, one day you wake up unhappy, unhealthy and disconnected, why not change something? #fillyourcup first. Then together we can impact the burden of chronic preventable disease in our lifetime.
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