How do you define wellbeing? 

For me, the word balance is the simplest response. 

somewhat-random-rewind ⏪

When I taught Behavioral Health to ninth grade students at Hemet High School in the early 00’s, I was essentially teaching myself first as I made my way through the textbook. Once I could grasp an idea conceptually, I was good to go as far as attempting to transfer it in the least boring way possible. I loosely recall a general method I used to teach: share notes on the main ideas, and then break the students into groups to role play the strategies the book shared to support healthy choicemaking around whatever the topic was (physical health, mental health, behavioral health, relationship health, nutritional health – generally speaking). The role play for each strategy would include what NOT to do, and what TO do. The ‘what NOT to do’ obviously made it more fun. Sidenote: I recall a humorous group of students who were spending time outside of class making their own Jackass videos. I had my video camera in the classroom to record the roleplays. I think it upleveled the students’ focus when they were being recorded. The Jackass crew was a lot of fun.

play ▶️

It was in the Health textbook where I first thoughtfully considered the meaning of homeostasis. The body had a way of continually returning to balance – not too much, not too little, just right. This theme ran through all areas of ‘Health’ class. 

Intentionally setting time aside to connect to one’s inner experience of ‘health’ (ie. wellbeing) will grow one’s awareness of the inside world. The inside world is full of clues and messages as to how one is organizing energy and information through physical senses. The resulting sensations felt in the body indicate one’s level of comfort with the information. 

An aha from a recent meeting with an Autism specialist…

In a school environment, which could be likened to an adult’s work environment (how one spends ‘day’), it is quite evident when a student has difficulty processing academic information in a timely way to apply it and do the next thing, staying on pace with the ‘group’. A slow processing speed does not mean that the student is unable to do it, the student just needs time to process the information in a thoughtful way to meaningfully apply it to next steps.

That’s the academic part. What about processing the physical environment? ➡️ Is it safe? Are there too many things to focus on? Are the sounds too loud? Is the lighting too dull or bright? Is the seating uncomfortable? Are there smells that are too strong? We can call this sensory processing, or the organizing of information through one’s physical senses.

How is one’s processing speed when it comes to the physical environment? What happens if one does not have awareness of what it means to calibrate or make sense of the physical conditions, nor time to adequately process in a safe and meaningful way? What if nothing is wrong with the person, they just need more time to process the information?

Now, let’s take on processing the social environment: what I think and feel about what other people say and do, and what others think and feel about what I say and do. Are there clear social rules that everyone understands? Consider the many things that can contribute to how one may process their social environment. The list seems so vast I’m not sure where to begin. One’s exposure to a variety of cultural and relational dynamics through personal experience or books and film could be one place to start.

How is one’s processing speed when it comes to the social environment?

Observable behavior can be categorized as helpful or unhelpful, adaptive or maladaptive, constructive or destructive, etc – likened to the environmental setting one may find themselves in. We tell stories about observable behavior, our own and others. Often the stories include judgment, comparison, and criticism.

What if we slowed down and allowed processing time to organize energy and information – whether it is new knowledge, physical symptoms, or social dynamics of a group, in a thoughtful way that can lead to meaningul (helpful, adaptive, constructive) next steps.

What if we allowed the new information to contribute to choicemaking in support of finding balance. A clear mind, open heart, stable belly, alert and relaxed muscles, safe/calm/comfortable skin – homeostasis. Equilibrium of self supports a balanced approach to problem solving and applying new knowledge and ideas to sustainable outcomes that align with win-win energy flow.

day. ☀️

Only one post this past week on @sallysifer FB.

May 9, 2023

If I followed my plan I would have spent the past week sharing thoughts and ideas on step six of the checkIN: intention.

Since I didn’t write anything ‘fresh’ regarding checkIN: intention, I am going to share several posts from 2022.

And finally, a May 16, 2020 post from pp 64-67 of Something More. Connecting to the pulse of a Shared Humanity.