aka the 10 commandments of Wellness
The Principles for Self Crafted Wellness (aka the 10 commandments of Wellness) are akin to fundamental truths that serve as the foundation for the SCW protocol.
Methods are many, principles are few. Principles never change but methods sometimes do.
That’s why, having a set of commandments that guide your Wellness choices can be helpful for making beneficial decisions. Methods may include specific exercise routines, dietary protocols, the type of bed you sleep on…. but principles are the underlying reasons why you’ve chosen those methods in the first place.
Wellness = Quality of Life
Another way to talk about Wellness is to think of Quality of Life. Sure, it’s possible to get around in the world; tired, uncomfortable and in pain – but myabe you don’t have to. Wellness is a decision you make to have a higher, or better quality of life.
Avoid decision fatigue and health-choices overwhelm by using the SCW Principles as a guide.
- Every-Body is intelligent, changeable & unique
- Priority 1 : Be Well (5 Elements)
- Perfect is the Enemy of Good
- What Would the Ancestors Do ?
- Quality Focus
- Outcome Based Decision Making
- Habits are the Architecture of your Day
- If in doubt, take it Outside
The cells in your body are designed to go through constant rhythmic change, regenerating from damage and creating anew after programmed cell death. Your entire body is dynamic and capable of immense change. Your brain is plastic (meaning it can rebuild and create new pathways) and your mitochondria respond to changes in your environment to activate adaptations to get stronger, rebuild tissue and become better than before.
How many stories have you heard of people who were given a dire diagnosis by a medical practitioner only to prove them wrong? People who were never going to walk again, run marathons. People who weren’t going to live past a particular lifestage stay on for 40, 50, 60 more years!
Anything is possible.
Your Wellness Journey is unique to you. Comparing your beginning to someone else’s middle is a super-unhealthy way to screw up your head and heart. So ignore what everyone else is doing and focus on you.
Your body and brain are amazing! Trust the process, give your biology what it’s looking for, and you can’t possibly go wrong.
Your unique Wellness path is not the same as anyone else’s, and the way you will get there will differ too.
There are so many methods we can choose to Be Well. It can be overwhelming. That’s why I get my clients to focus on priorities. When you are clear on what you desire, it’s easier to refine the map to get there.
Self Crafted Principles are here to help keep you focused and aware of the path to your desire. Methods are many, but principles are few. Methods can change as your journey shapes and reshapes in the different stages. But Principles don’t change, because they are the guiding light to get to wherever you want to be.
Whatever you prioritise will be what shows up in your life.
When we’re focusing on Wellness, the very first priority is Being Well. If that’s your priority, the choices you make each day will bend toward that outcome. If your priority was to lose 15kg or run a marathon, the methods you choose may be different and may not get you to the same end point. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with choosing those priorities, but for me as a coach, my job is to help you upgrade your Wellness so that those other targets can happen more easily (like the weight loss or fitness goal).
So this week, take some time to reflect on what you have been prioritising, and check in with whether that is creating the changes you desire in your life.
Perfect requires a stagnant focus. Perfect assumes things are always the same, appropriately balanced just so, with no room for change.
Good is a balance which addresses the cyclical nature of life – the changes that occur due to ongoing shifts in your life and in the natural world. The real world; nature, doesn’t do perfect; the seasons change. Mixed up by the sun and the rains and wind; nature is never stagnant. In nature, different foods are available at different times of the year, and we see that it is Good.
Our wild ancestors evolved in a constantly changing environment and modern humans still run on the same program, even though we’ve created ways to junk it up.
There’s no such thing as the perfect diet, perfect exercise program, perfect morning routine or perfect hair cut… There are times in your life where you will need to clear out your digestive pathways; to strip away unneeded debris, drop excess weight and fluid, and generally clean your internal system. There are also times when you will need to rebuild yourself; where you may need to bulk up a little for strength or immunity, or perhaps you will need to become more robust to deal with life’s unending challenges. In between the times of clearing and building, you require a process of maintenance – keeping up or keeping clear whatever your needs are for this phase of life.
Trying to do “perfect” can place you on a dangerous path to stagnation, and will stop you from using your true human superhero power : adaptability.
This SCW Principle could also be called “Adaptability is a super power,” except that in my experience more people have issues with trying to be perfect, than they do have with not being adaptable to change.
It’s the trying to perfect that often stops people from coping with change… So this week, you might like to take some time to reflect on your lens of perfection. Are you willing to embrace Good as a guiding principle, and adapt to an even better version of yourself?
Autonomy as a guiding principle means that no one else is going to make your choices for you.
Your Wellness journey is your own. As your therapist and coach, I can help you reflect upon what’s going on for you, give you information and provide education, and even model Wellness choices in myself.
But when it comes down to it, change is on you.
Although I may be a Wellness Specialist, I’m not a (insert your name here) Specialist. You are the only You Specialist, and with that being so, you are always free to make the choices that suit you best.
Autonomy comes without shoulds.
When drawing on Autonomy as a wellness principle, you can filter any option through a lens that asks “is this right for Me?” If you’re feeling coerced or convinced, it’s not a choice you’ll stick with long term (Principle #7: Sustainability) so choose options that are guided by your inner desires.
You are the queen or king of your wellness journey. Self Crafting asks you to be your own leader by taking responsibility for your choices, habits and lifestyle, and showing up even when things are difficult. That’s how wellness grows.
Perhaps Fritz Perlz, renowned psychotherapist and paradigm breaker, said it best :
“You are you, and I am I.”
The Gestalt Prayer is a poster we keep on the wall of the BHT Facility (and in the toilet) to remind us each of our autonomy and Self responsibility. Many people comment on it, so we made it available to you to print out and put on your own wall.
“What would the ancestors do?” isn’t some sort of re-enacting, romanticised notion that the Old People were way more magickal and able than we. It’s actually about knowing that my ancestors come from a long line (about 300,000 years worth) of humans who evolved with the same underlying foundations that optimise wellness.
When asking “What would the ancestors do?” we’re really asking “What building blocks did humans have for the 300,000 years of evolution that I am not doing right now? ” We have bodies. And our bodies have biological and physiological foundations in 300,000 years of human evolution.
We are not suddenly different that we could ignore the past ways humans have lived. Our ancestors are wild humans. Every one of us has wild human ancestors, no matter what colour our skin or where our grandmothers were born.
Being outside, feet on the earth, eating real, wild food, drinking wild water and following a wild heart are the foundations of our ancestors and of Being Human. We are not immune to those foundations just because we now have electricity, bottled water and supermarkets.
“What would the ancestors do?” is a visit to the foundational elements of Wellness : nutrition, light, water, movement, and rhythm. What’s going into my body? What’s coming out of my body? Am I in flow with the natural cycles of light and dark? Am I drinking enough? Am I moving enough? Am I outside more than I am inside? What rhythm am I cycling with : man-made or natural?
This Principle serves to remind us that the same things our wild ancestors did are still available now. They are not difficult, and they don’t cost any money. It’s simply about taking your “should” brain and shifting it to a mitochondrial-focused, circadian informed way to make choices.
Choose quality, not always quantity.
Doing exercise? Choose a set of movements in an environment of the highest quality.
Doing food? Choose real, nutritious, grown in/and on the ground living creatures (plants and animals) of the best quality you can afford.
Doing friends? Choose the people who will inspire you, with positive input and affirming choices of their own.
Doing thoughts? Choose the ideas, interests and mindset that will promote more good in your life.
When you focus on quality, you have a metric removed from opinion and judgment. Choices are easy : Is that the best option of the options available to me? If not, level up. Choose the best you’ve got access to, and then when you know or have better, choose better again.
The only diet / exercise / therapy / social / financial savings / plan that will work for you is one you can stick to. Sustainability is the key to long term Wellness, because it means you’re making choices that are actually achievable.
Habits are sustained with the formula : B=MAT (adapted from the work of BJ Fogg)
Behaviour will only be sustained when you have a balance between how Motivated (the M) you are to do the new thing, whether or not it’s actually Achievable (the A) for you at this time in your life AND the Triggers (the T) you build into your life to transition from one behaviour to another.
Before you set yourself up with a new lifestyle plan, check in to whether you will be able to sustain it over the long term. Crash diets, heavy exercise regimes and going cold turkey (without therapeutic support) can each be difficult to sustain. Choose Well.
Choosing based on the outcome you wish to achieve, rather than the workload that will be necessary can have powerful results for making lasting change. If you want to lose weight, the outcome is not the amount of kilos you could lose, but rather the way you want to feel after you’ve lost weight, eg. easier to move, run around with my grandkids, walk up stairs without knee pain.
Using the example above, when you are offered choices through your daily life, you can check in with this principle to decide. If I stay up to watch another episode, is it helping me reach my Outcome? If I eat another timtam after dark, how much will that effect my outcome? You get the point.
You can use this Principle for every choice you make in life, not only Wellness choices. If you’ve got a Vision about how you want your life to be, then every choice you make may be checked against whether it will help you reach your outcome. Choosing this way eliinates judgment and opinion, and lets you get on with the real work of chosing Quality of Life in every sphere,
The things you think, direct what you do, and the things you do shape your day. Whether you achieve what’s most important to you or not, is decided by your habits.
Often people assume they prioritise particular things in their life, eg. “family first”. But, when you take a broader view, counting the ways you actually spend the bulk of your time, sometimes your habits (the things you do) don’t match up to the priorities you talk about.
Habits are the structure and form of a day, and must include your priorities if you really want to generate beneficial change. Some people have unconscious habits that may contribute to problems rather than success. Take time to notice the habits you actively choose with awareness and those that are patterns that just happen without you thinking, because those are probably the behaviours that shape your day the most.
Use the Priorities exercise to get clear on how you spend your day, and what you may need to change first, in order to match your behaviours with your Outcome based Quality of Life. If you want a little extra coaching and accountability for your Habits, check out the BHT Habitstylist program.
Inside is artificial and Outside is nature. Our ancestors evolved this incredible biology we have, in tandem with nature and as such, it is a simple way to increase any wellness protocol.
Indoor environments are toxic to human physiology due to artificial light, electromagnetic mess, chemicals and offgas from furniture and decor, poor air quality, mould and dust, regulated temperatures, casted physiology caused by the same furniture day-in-day-out, and a pantry full of boxed, lifeless food.
That’s right, all the things that makes being indoors comfortable and convenient are also the things that cause stress to your cells and dampen your mitochondria’s ability to charge your system.
Being outside has a supercharge effect for your mitochondria though. Whether it’s the natural spectrum of light, the clean air, the ground under your feet or drawn from leaning on a tree, Outside can mitigate and transform the less desired effects of suppressed health from being indoors.
This principle makes everything easier when you’re making decision about your wellness. Not sure on the best breakfast? Whichever you choose will be boosted if you eat it outside. Want to move more? Increase the benefits by moving outside, whether you’re walking, gardening or lifting heavy things. Need to make a few phone calls? Go outside to do it!
There really is no better way to increase the benefits of any wellness plan than spending more time in natural environments **. When you give it a little thought, anything you like to do indoors can be moved Outside. It might take some preparation and maybe even some appropriate gear (like quality wet weather clothes/boots, or a sturdy picnic blanket) but once you begin, you’ll find yourself creating more and more ways to Take it Outside.
** by Natural environments I mean any place that is not between walls and has either soil under your feet or natural light above your head. A suburban backyard is still more “Outside” than your lounge room. An 8th story balcony is more Outside than your office. A roadside edge is more Outside than sitting in your car…
It’s in your hands
Now that you have a list of check points to plan your each and every Wellness choice, go forth and live the life beyond your wildest dreams! You’ve got the tools to make a good start right here.
Working with someone who’s already been through the hard slog and come out the other side, can be an investment in your progress. A good coach will help you work out your pain points and get you moving toward the quickest way to your targets with success.
If you’d like help to work on your Wellness, you can engage directly with Hollie. BHT offers individual sessions for short work, and membership programs for people who want to go Well the first time. Bookings are available online.
Want more helpful info? 6 Ways to Wellness is a free course delivered direct to your inbox.
The article Principles of Self Crafted Wellness was published by Hollie, for Braidwood Holistic Therapies.
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