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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkHealth & Beauty | April 2009 

Wellness – It Takes a Village
email this pageprint this pageemail usMarla Hoover - PVNN

Wellness can be thought of as a process that over time can bring a peaceful balance to the self.
Wikipedia defines wellness in this way; Wellness is generally used to mean a healthy balance of the mind, body and spirit that results in an overall feeling of well-being - a shift in focus away from illness in viewing human health. In other words, wellness is a view of health that emphasizes the state of the entire being and its ongoing development. Wellness can also be described as "the constant, conscious pursuit of living life to its fullest potential."

That statement brings the concept of wellness down to a more personal level. Living life to its fullest potential is of course different for every individual. It can be seen as a choice of lifestyle, of incorporating ideals, habits and commitments that will enhance and thus prolong life. In order to do so, it seems one would have to take an overall stock of their life and see which areas need change and adjustment. My grandmother always used to tell me to “stop and smell the roses.” In a small way she was saying something big. Take time out to witness the world around you, to become the observer of your life. See things from a different perspective, perhaps starting with the beauty of a flower and let the simplicity of that color and design your life into wellness. It means that we have to do the thing which as Westerners goes against the grain of everything as a culture we have been brought up to do, we have to think of ourselves first. That does not mean we have to be selfish but rather self-ish, to see the self as a separate entity, as a separate person, someone to lovingly care for as we would our spouse, children or parents. This requires a shift in perception of the self, primarily as an acknowledgement that the self does actually exist and whose wellness depends on this acknowledgement. Then the path to wellness for the self can begin to be examined.

As so, wellness can be thought of as a process that over time can bring a peaceful balance to the self. Likened to a seed that is planted and eventually grows into something lovely and healthy, wellness grows from within. The seed or germination is the quietness that is needed to reflect upon what ones personal self needs to begin the gestation of wellness. This knowledge is already within the self but requires some nurturing to bring it forth. It requires a commitment. This commitment can be seen today blooming on a global scale. There is no coincidence that the “free love” generation has now become the “wellness generation.” What started 40 years ago as spreading outward of unencumbered love has returned full circle to now include the self. Individuals together with their families are committing to take care of the self so that the family, community and the world at large can have a stronger core.

Because there are so many “moving parts” to the concept of wellness it can also be thought of as multidimensional with two main categories; mental and physical. In the recent past much social emphasis has been put on the state of physical health. While being physically fit and without disease risk factors is important they are only one component. We cannot ignore the mental emotional component if we are to guide ourselves and others towards living in wellness. That is where spiritual wellness and peace of mind has come to be an important factor in the overall process.

This new respect for the unity of wellness through body, mind and soul can be seen by the growth in the number of yoga studios, Zen and other types of meditation organizations, the rise and popularity of Eastern philosophies and many other modalities, all as part of a lifestyle. A lifestyle that is being adopted and implemented by Boomers, Gen X’ers, and Generation Why - worldwide. If charity begins at home, wellness begins with the self. From there all else is possible, wellness of the family to wellness of the global community.

Wellness centers, like the famous Chopra Centers for Wellbeing in San Diego, ( and our local Terra Noble( whose programs focus on “ enhancing health and nourishing the human spirit,” are being sought out as havens to learn about our own active process of becoming aware and making the correct choices to live in wellness. Beyond centers where you can retreat to for a day, week or longer, there are now entire planned communities where wellness is more than a theme it is part of daily life. One such example in our own back yard is Tahéima in Nuevo Vallarta; ( ( first planned Wellness Condo project in Latin America. It was created to encourage a personal wellness lifestyle based on highly effective and successful Wellness Center models and coaching programs. Its purpose is to have its residents live in an environment of health, recreation ,nutrition as well as cultural and social programs.

In the future there will be many more of these types of centers and planned communities where wellness can indeed be discovered, nurtured and lived as the constant, conscious pursuit of life at its fullest potential. This may be a utopian concept to be sure but not unworthy; only the beginning of the growth of wellness from and individual’s personal seed to that of the tree of life benefiting the global community.

Marla Hoover is a practicing yogini, a registered RN, a Puerto Vallarta Real Estate professional and an accomplished journalist with over 300 published articles in both international and local print and online publications.

Click HERE for more articles by Marla Hoover.

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