Building a Foundation of Wellbeing

Kelly Salasin, January 2011

Ever since my Naturopath put me on a 21 day liver cleanse (restricting gluten, dairy, sugar, caffeine, alcohol and eggs), I’ve developed a new relationship with fruit and vegetables.  My grocery budget has suffered the cost of these organic items, but my body feels great (when I stick to the diet.)

In the process, I’ve realized that I’d rather spend more money on wholesome foods, than on doctor bills and supplements; which led me to think about the other choices I make–or don’t make–when it comes to the foundation of health.

Why do I so readily resign myself to payments for the house and our cars, while feeling fraught with conflict over spending on wellbeing?

It was time for me to decide what was most important when it came to my health.  Which is how I came up with the idea to create my own wellbeing pyramid–something to guide my attention and choices around what is most foundational.  This triangular prism  has plenty of dimension to include body, mind, spirit and emotion.

At the broad base of the structure is where I’d place ALIGNMENT~Alignment of my life and my choices with truth and meaning and balance.

Next would be RELATIONSHIP.  Caring for self, family and community, large and small.

CREATIVE EXPRESSION and CONTRIBUTION would make up the third level.

PLAY & EXERCISE the fourth.

FOOD choices on the fifth.

SUPPORT SERVICES on the sixth~including body workers and therapists.

Toward the top would be SUPPLEMENTS, used for maintenance, prevention and treatment.

At the very tip would be MEDICAL CARE, first in the form of naturopathy (whole medicine), and lastly in the form allopathy, including pharmaceuticals and surgery.

The question now is whether I will use this realization to shift my choices and spending.  Certainly, there are times of crisis where one is required to jump toward the top. But how often are those acute needs caused by neglecting something more foundational?

This appears to apply to matters of societal and world health too.

We rush to intervene militarily when more foundational support could have prevented violent action.

We spend billions on toxic spills when we could have been investing in clean, renewable energy sources.

We develop suicide or abuse prevention trainings while neglecting to tend to the most basic needs for wellbeing in our communities and schools and homes.

I surmise that we all SPEND too much at the top, without building a strong base of health and wellbeing.

How do you see it?

What do you want to be the foundation for your own wellbeing?

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4 thoughts on “Building a Foundation of Wellbeing

  1. At first organic fruits and vegetables seem costly but I urge people to consider two things.

    1) instead of thinking about the price in terms of per pound or each, think of what you’re paying per unit of nutrition

    For instance, the calcium in cabbage 60 ppm in organic vs 17 in non-organic. You get 3 times the nutrients. It’s not 3 times the price, usually about 50% more.

    Or look at potassium in lettuce – 54 ppm non-organic vs 177 in non-organic. Over 3 times the nutrients – not 3 times the price.

    If you think about it organic farming methods replenish the nutrients in the soil instead of pumping the produce up on chemicals. More nutrients in the soil means more nutrients in the food:)

    (statistics come from the Firman Baer report conducted several years ago of Rutgers University School of Agriculture)

    2) If you really embrace a primitive diet, eliminating the processed foods and snacks and making the mainstay grains and beans in lieu of animal protein, your food bill doesn’t go up. Rice and beans, even organic ones, are cheap.

    Highly recommended reading is the Introduction in Susan Silberstein’s book, Hungry for Health. A PhD’d cancer educator, she expounds the 4 nutrition secrets that can save your life: Eat primitive, eat organic, eat alkaline, and eat colorful. The rest of the book is full of wonderful, simple recipes.

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  2. hooray for you! Then it’s a wonder why we get no tax credits for this, the choices to pormote a healthier us, planet… Yoga, gym, organic foods (that are not posioning the good earth & it’s inhabitants)… The shift is happening… Hooray for us!

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  3. Marianne Williamson~
    Large groups of desperate people are a national security risk. If over the last forty years, more people who suffer in the world had seen American flag decals on schools, hospitals and roads — rather than on military installations — then they might not have been such easy prey for groups like Al Qeda. And for what it costs to keep one American soldier in Afghanistan for a year, we could build 20 schools there.

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  4. President Dwight D. Eisenhower~Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

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