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?