Wellness Principles Applied as Life Skills Karla JacksonHW420 Creating Wellness: Psychological and Spiritual Aspects of Healing Mark Maule June 21, 2011
PREFACE: As this is a resubmission of a previous assignment (I completed thisassignment 21 June 2011), changes and growth experienced, including ratings, since thenwill be presented in bold print throughout the exercise at the end of assessments.I. Introduction Being a conduit of training, professionalism, experience, healing, and empathy are reasonswhy health and wellness professionals (HWPs) need to develop spiritually, psychologically, andphysically. Health and wellness developed in us has the potential to help others attain health andwellness; we must first own what we intend on teaching. Ownership comes through formaltraining and educational preparation –this is what makes us professional. However, the need fortraining and the pursuit of education originated out of a personal “deep place,” usually arrived ata cost, that caused one to be stretched and increased. Perhaps ownership came through beinghealed by some holistic treatment from a clinical illness; being enlightened by a healer’swritings/ concepts while going through personal crises; being taught a contemplative practicethat introduced life-changing calm and stillness; being enriched by some profound truth thatdeepened faith in Jesus Christ; having observed the suffering of a loved one, or, having lost saidloved one, which leads to introspection that grows into empathy, and then, service; these are thesources of empathy and the provenience of healing. Who can keep such mind-opening, soul-changing, feet-grounding, body-healing, and spirit-enhancing knowledge to him-/herself? Thetraining, the education, the experiences become owned. Ownership, as well as the need tomaintain the experiences gained, puts the individual in the position of responsibility to share withothers what was gained and healthful. It changed my life, perhaps it can change others’ lives.
Dr. Elliott Dacher, you, and I are a few examples of this need-to-share-what –we-ownphenomena (yes, HWPs are phenomenal individuals!), and why we must be developed to serve. Why? Why share what we own? Why not keep our experiences to ourselves and letothers figure it for themselves? Because our encounter with transformation and its multi-facetedpotential to bring us to healing produced within each of us passion to know that change ispossible, and see transformation occur in others. Transformation is possible within each of usspiritually, psychologically, and physically. Yet, this takes development; development is aprocess – no health and wellness professional has “arrived.” Proficiency must first be cultivatedin the individual, i.e., the HWP, before it can be cultivated in another (you cannot give what youdo not own, for then it lacks integrity, merit, honesty). Thus, the impetus of this project is self-assessment, addressing and developing personal goals and strategies for the continualdevelopment of health and wellness spiritually, psychologically, and physically, since I must firstown what I would want to share.UPDATE: None. II. Assessment I assess my spirituality, psychology, and physical by asking the following questions in each domain (My rating system is 1-10; 1 (Poor) to 10 (Outstanding): Spiritually: I rate myself a 4; I still pray and read my Bible, but with much distraction since school has taken over my life (let’s be honest). I have to get a handle on the din in my head. a. How are my prayer and/or meditation habits? b. Have I been spending quality time in prayer and meditation?
c. Have I read my Bible lately? d. Am I talking in faith or am talking the problem? e. Am I moved to pray to meditate? f. Am I moved to be compassionate? Generous? g. Am I at peace? If not, why? h. Am I being thankful? i. How am I getting along with others?Psychologically (I rate myself an 8 – this is where I feel my best. I have joy andam content; truly enjoying this season of my life, though everything is not okay.School, though rigorous, is a great distraction, a great use of my thoughts andmental faculties). a. Am I paying attention to how I am thinking? Am I restraining unskillful behavior and encouraging skillful behavior? (Elliott S. Dacher, 2006, p. 52) b. Am I stressed? What are my stressors? Am I responding or reacting to them? c. Do I feel in control or out of control of things that are happening personally? d. Am I angry? Why? e. Am I thinking optimistically? If no, why not? f. Do I feel at peace? If no, why not? g. Am I distracted? By what? h. Am I worried? Why?
i. Am I sad? Why? j. Am addressing the muscle tension? k. Am I making time to be quiet and still?UPDATE: I was thoroughly overwhelmed during this time last year: personally andacademically going through many challenges. Academically I was excelling, whilepersonally sinking. I have learned that adversity can either make you a better person,making right choices or a bitter person, making wrong – I chose to be better. I have sincereturned to praying and studying my Bible daily – I need Jesus in my life! In praying formyself, I have reconnected to my faith and have been strengthened to face my life’sjourney. I am reconnected with my future, and I am grateful, optimistic, and preparing forwhat is ahead. I currently give myself an improved rating of 8 for both spiritual andpsychological being, as there have been many great improvements. All things are notperfect; I am embracing all the positives and what I can change. Physically (I rate myself 5: I still exercise, but have gained 10 pounds due to stress –cortisol is my enemy – irregular eating and sleeping patterns, and increased sedentariness): a. How do I feel? b. Am I healthy and well? c. Am I fatigued? Have I gotten enough sleep? Am I getting restorative sleep? d. Am I drinking enough water?
e. How is my eating? Am I eating enough/not enough calories? Am I eating enough nutrition-rich foods? enough variety of foods? Am I skipping meals? Am I emotional-eating? f. Do I feel poorly because I have not exercised? Am I exercising enough? Am I exercising consistently? g. Why are my shoulder/abdominal muscles tensed? Am I stretching enough? h. Why am I not breathing? Do I have apnea? Have I been practicing deep- breathing exercises? Why the breathing issues? Should I seek medical attention? i. How are my bowel movements? The answers to these assessment questions clue me into my mind-body connection ordisconnectedness. Some items can be addressed immediately (thoughts), while others aredevelopmental in need of time (shoulder tension; developing greater awareness when and whythey tense), or more information, or professional intervention (breathing; apnea).UPDATE: I am currently ending week seven (6 April 2012) of my return to running andfitness regimen which began February 20, 2012. I weighed 154.8 pounds then, I now weigh146 pounds. I am losing weight, regaining fitness and confidence, and strength, feelingspiritually, emotionally, and psychologically balanced, healthy, and well. I am investing inmyself, validating my value and I am doing well. I would rate myself a 8. I feel great andlooking forward to more improvements. III. Goal Development
Spiritually – I will set aside 30 minutes daily 6:00 – 6:30 A.M. to reinstitute my times of prayer, meditation, and Bible reading and study. Psychologically – I will set aside 15 minutes daily (6:30-6:45 A.M.) to deep- breathe, to calm my mind and body, increasing my time as I am comfortable; I will accomplish this by doing the Subtle Mind practice and diaphragmatic breathing together . Physically – I will continue my daily (M-F) commitment to exercise (6:00 – 7:00) through aerobic and cardiovascular endurance exercises, stretches, plyometrics, static holds, and muscular strength training.UPDATE: I have combined my two passions: studying the Bible and being fit, by deep-breathing throughout my Bible-reading times. After my devotions, I work-out with Gilad(~30 minutes), then I go running (April 2012 - I am currently running three miles at 30minutes and seconds – and I feel great!). At this point of my life, I feel empowered, notencumbered, energized and youthful; I have regained fitness and endurance. IV. Practices for Personal Growth Spiritually – I will have to return to waking up at 5:45 A.M. in order to pray, meditate, and read and study my Bible. Psychologically – The Subtle Mind practice takes time and focused concentration, so early mornings are best, after prayer, meditation, and Bible-reading, before my work-out.
Physically – Continue work-out with Gilad’s “Total Body Sculpt” televised routines (30 minutes, Mondays and Fridays) and Billy Blanks’ This is Tae Bo DVD, (65 minutes, Wednesdays) addressing the 10 pounds gained due to stress and irregular eating - since returning to school - by increasing my cardiovascular endurance (running my 3-mile trail, Tuesdays and Thursdays) throughout the early summer mornings; incorporating the PX90 muscle-confusion routine in September 2011. I will continue my daily personal Push-Up Challenge to strengthen my upper body by completing at least 80/week.UPDATE: I have recently gained two clients: I am their personal fitness instructor. I wasnervous at first, taking clients on while still in school, but the timing happens to fit. I haveone client who comes three days weekly 6:15-7:15 A.M., the other Tuesdays at 5:30-6:30P.M. and Thursdays, 2-3 P.M. – these fit. My M, W, Fr., schedule demands that I wake upat 5 A.M. in order to be ready by 6:15 A.M.I am still working out with Gilad’s “Total Body Sculpt,” but wore out my Blanks DVD (itsticks and freezes). I have not purchased the PX90 DVDs yet, but it’s coming, especiallysince regaining my fitness and confidence.My daily personal Push-Up Challenge to strengthen my upper body by completing at least80/week, was done for a few months, then I had to stop due to the revisit of an old shoulderinjury. In my defense I cannot owe it to poor execution, but the push-up position, constantpressure and weight, and the push-up motion would eventually irritate my shoulder andcause the revisit of pain due to torn right rotator cuff from 11 years ago. I have beenprescribed physical therapy that I have worked into my everyday strengthening routines,
and they are working to reestablish strength and confidence. My arms have been theweaker parts of me, therefore committing to strengthen them are set lifetime goals.I now focus on using free weights, static holds, dances, and stretches to build and maintainstrength in my upper body and shoulder girdle – so far, so good! V. Commitment Keeping track of my progress or lack of is key to progress and assessing my routines/exercises. As this is my lifestyle, I will continue using a calendar and my journal to keep track of the number of push-ups completed for my Personal Push- Ups Challenge (no less than 80/week), record my running times and dates (40- minute runs twice weekly), and decide how and when to “switch out” exercises (working different muscle groups and allowing days for rest are managed via calendar), keeping my routines fresh and dynamic. With every mode, maximum hydration and nutrition are also key, so these are tracked and factored in: I keep a water bottle on my desk reminding me to keep drinking. I am a grazer, so I eat small meals throughout the day: raw and fresh (when I can). Nutrition is managed by a self-designed Family Menu maintained monthly to ensure adequate calories and variety are supported in daily diet meal plans/choices.UPDATE: Shortness of time has taken away from living by our Family Menu, but themission of eating healthily remains. In my return to fitness (after five months off), I ran atotal of eight weeks on asphalt (in my neighborhood) between four to six days weekly, buthave to stop due to knee and shin pain – I have a Plan “B,” my elliptical machine. I havemodified my shoulder workout as previously stated.
Today is 17 April 2011, revisiting this project reminds me of the significance of keepingpromises to yourself; you are worth the investment. I have been through some tough trialsfor several years, even up to and through working on this project, and can smile genuinelyat the thought of having made it through those storms and I will make it through the onesto come.Caring for myself spiritually, psychologically, intellectually, and physically (biologically)are not luxuries, but lifestyle habits I must invest in to live a long, quality, loving, joyful,continual learning, healthy, and well life. I desire the same for my loved ones!I love me. I value me. I am worth every deep breath I take to alleviate stress to live. Ivalue the resistance as they only make me more lean, strong, and capable. I embrace thequiet. I am unafraid to face challenges because I have a healthy outlook. My prayers aresincere and have drawn me closer to the LORD; my faith has increased, my joy hasreturned, my love has matured and deepened. I have not only gained fitness, but life andpeace.I can now run three miles in 29:06.43; this was my best time! This is victory, as I wouldnot have so challenged myself even last year. I ran 20 February 2012 to 12 April 2012:eight weeks. For eight weeks I owned those three miles and conquered them…all because Ibelieved I could!But alas! The asphalt would not give, so I must give up running on that surface in order tomaintain the integrity of my good health. I will run again on another surface that gives (Iam working up to four miles).
EPILOGUE: Yesterday I did 35 minutes on my elliptical; today I did 40 minutes –a yearago I barely made it to 22 minutes... I did it because I can!
ReferenceElliott S. Dacher, M. (2006). Integral Health: The Path to Human Flourishing. Laguna Beach: Basic Health Publications, Inc.