I am so very excited to put this statement out into the universe:
“I am writing a book”
Even in high school, I wanted to write a book. I completed eight chapters of a novel before losing the first 2 chapters and giving up (this was back when hand writing everything was still the norm) – I was devastated. The novel circulated among my classmates who would “check out” a chapter at a time; it was such great feeling to have people want to read my story. I truly enjoyed the writing experience, maybe because I enjoyed the experience of reading so very much. I was a book worm growing up and it makes me sad to think how children are opened up to this world of reading for fun and for pleasure, only to lose the time for pleasure reading as they get older. Throughout college I never had time to read things just for fun. I was too busy studying or working (or trying to have a social life) to even peruse sections of the library that weren’t related to my field of study. This worsened in graduate school and once I began working full time I seemed to have lost the desire to read for pleasure altogether and am just now beginning to bring that experience back into my life.
As you may (or may not) know, I worked in the health and wellness industry for over five years and before that I was very focused on personal health and fitness which drove me into the field as a career. I never had a very good handle on my own self confidence and had a very strained relationship with my own body image, food and exercise. I was lucky to never slip into the scary world of hardcore eating disorders but there was definitely a time that I counted every calorie I consumed or burned in hopes of reaching that “ideal” weight. Even when I was at my peak of “fitness”- working out every single day, eating WAY more baked chicken than any one person should, tracking EVERYTHING, and wearing the smallest sizes in clothing I’d ever worn, guess what?
I still wasn’t happy.
Surprising? It really shouldn’t be. We have all had those moments when we realize that maybe the thing we were focusing on wasn’t quite the right thing in the first place. I knew that something wasn’t right and although I wasn’t sure what it was, I knew I needed to find out if I was ever going to learn to love who I was and find the path to true self acceptance and happiness.
Here I am, 30 years old, and for the first time in my life I can look in the mirror and accept myself with a feeling of deep unexplainable appreciation. It is like I have stepped into a whole new dimension and I can say without a doubt that I am so very glad for this. I will probably never pinpoint exactly when the change occured but I know that part of it has to do with a HUGE change in my personal goals. Throughout my life, I have constantly allowed society and outside (extrinsic) factors to determine what my goals for myself should be and how I should reach them. I have come to realize that so many of us fail to reach our goals because, honestly, our goals kind of suck. Often they are based on what other people say, think or tell us we should be doing (losing weight, eating a certain way, getting a certain job, etc.) instead of on our own personal values, desires, lifestyles and strengths. I do think that some of this has to do with age. Until we have had ample time to really get to know ourselves and what makes us unique as individuals on this planet, we tend to look to others for guidance, advice, values and beliefs. This is the same reason that we tend to hang onto the values and beliefs taught to us by our parents until life events cause us to begin to question and adjust – or strengthen – those beliefs. As I have gotten older I have realized that my goals HAD to change or I would have spent my entire life trying to change myself.
This is where my idea for a book began (more like came charging at me like a raging bull) and ever since I have started writing, the words have POURED out of me. I think this is a sign that I have chosen the right topic to pursue. My book, tentatively called The Wellness Workbook, will focus on helping people better understand how aligning their goals to their personal needs, values, desires and lifestyles will help them to have more success in working to reach those goals and therefore higher levels of personal well being. Wellness is a “conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential (National Wellness Institute)” and goes way beyond physical health and fitness. This workbook will delve into topics including the 8 dimensions of wellness, social support, self-care, value exploration, goal creation, how to prepare for roadblocks, negative thought processes and more. I will begin writing blog posts focused on different issues that will be covered in the book in greater detail to give you guys sneak peaks, but also to help me go deeper into these subjects and explore the best ways to present them in the final copy.
I plan on having a few people help me by testing out the workbook, piece by piece, as I complete the different sections. If you are interested in helping me out with this process please let me know!
For now, peace and be well.