A Working Definition of Well-being

Om catSince my blog is thirdeyewellbeing.com, it seems appropriate to explore the term “well-being” to get a clear focus on why I picked this name. I like the word being (in fact, one of my favorite quotes is around the idea that we are not human beings but humans being). The “well” part of the word encompasses so many things – state of mind, state of body and connection to spirit are just a few. So the definition of well-being, in my mind, is the ideal state of humans with respect to being!

Well-being of mind, body and spirit

In my role as a writer, my passion is exploring how to be well in mind, body and spirit. Wellness of mind means that I can think straight, without “brain fog,” and in a way that lends itself to making good choices. It means that I’m touch with reality, at least as it presents itself to healthy human creatures who walk this earth. (Whether our human life is but a dream is topic for another post!)

One thing that quickly becomes clear to me is how much having a mind that is well depends on the well-being of my body. The mind and body are most definitely connected, though it is possible to think and learn even if one’s body is ill or injured. However, if you doubt the connection between mind and body, simply observe your ability to think, work or function in any way that involves your brain when you are tired, hungry, sick, or in pain.

The third aspect of being – spiritual being – is a little more difficult to define, and that may be because it’s the part of ourselves that we tend to be the least connected with. A quote from Ram Dass is fitting here. He says, “Intellect is a beautiful servant but a terrible master. The compassionate heart is the doorway to unity.” To me this means that we need to let our hearts (and in this case, I mean our spiritual hearts, not the organ that pumps blood through our bodies) lead us rather than turning first to our brains. Another way that this is sometimes put: Let go and let God.

Connecting Mind, Body and Spirit

Of course, we need our intelligence and our physical health to complete the work our hearts guide us toward. That’s why well-being of mind, body and spirit – as a connected whole greater than the sum of its parts – should be our ultimate goal. If you feel strong in one of these three areas, you may be tempted to avoid the others while you revel in the strength of your body, your mind or your spirit, but I think it’s important to address such an imbalance if one exists. You may be a brilliant thinker and academic genius, but if your heart is closed, you won’t do much good in this world. You may be intimately connected to spirit, but if you are physically and mentally weak, you won’t do much good in this world. You may be strong and capable with the stamina to do a lot, but if you never take the time to think about the kind of work you should do or how your work affects the planet, you won’t do much good in this world. Finding ways to be well as a whole being then becomes the ultimate goal, and it’s a goal that will serve us well as we open ourselves to serving the world.

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Maria Kuzmiak, M.A. is a health and well-being writer with a background in nutrition, psychology and education and a passion for yoga. She has written hundreds of articles, blogs and newsletters for clients in health-related fields, particularly those specializing in yoga, natural medicine, nutrition, and spiritual health and healing. Maria has also worked as a nutritionist, teacher and technical editor. Learn more about her writing at www.wellbeingwriter.net.

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