Mind/Spirit. Learning from Living. What is Wellness?

Once I was asked to define wellness and realized it was not only more than physical health, it might be beyond health, at least at some times or for some people. I struggled until I found words that fit—

Body, mind, and spirit: Find Your balance.

I have been HealingWoman as a writer and speaker since 2009. That identifies what I am as well as what I do. I trained as a doctor, even though my firstI injury meant I never practiced.

I will always be healing. I will always help others. Healing is not returning to the past, which is impossible. It is finding wholeness within and possibilities for the future, of what you can become.

Two weeks ago I had an emergency admission while doctors sorted out current challenges, which include multiple brain injury, a small hormonally active brain tumor, and a control system for heart rate, blood pressure and other functions that is more than a paperweight but definitely did not get a passing grade when tested last week.

So, this morning I had a check-in with my doctor and came home to eat, stay as flat as possible, and be thankful I have air conditioning.

Today is a day in many ways of DIS-, not ability. My goal is to stay conscious, comfortable, and out of the hospital.

When I washed my hands at the sink, I saw the cup my son decorated for Mother’s Day (he does not have enough finger control to draw, a less obvious but significant part of his problems, with his autism the dramatic part). He told his aide to draw a honey bee, and she did.

Why? Because I have taken Joseph on nature walks since he was little. I could never tell him the history or biology I was told because he could not understand it, but my son (age 23) remembered I said God has given us responsibility to take care of nature, to share with the birds, bees, chipmunks, and other animals and plants.

When he walks, he falls often, but he tries to avoid flowers. Long ago at school, he had a friend in a wheelchair. He picked flowers to make her happy when she moved into his three-apartment house but asked his aide first which ones he could pick without hurting the plants.

And without prompting, he wanted this Mother’s Day gift to show that he loved me and he listened to what I said.

I took a short walk before the appointment to look at some of my neighbors’ flowers. I share them with you.

If you take a walk, remember to be safe: Think about where you go, whether you have challenges within yourself with balance or ability to concentrate, or outside yourself with temperature, issues of public safety with lighting, time of day, etc.

If you are inside, you can move beyond your skin without an electronic device by letting water drip slowly into the sink to wash your hands and feeling the flow of your blood in time with it or watching a clock hand and feeling the beat of your heart. Both give you connection.

If you walk with your dog, consider not only cleaning up after your dog but caring for the environment by picking up extra poop or trash. When I regularly walked my dog I carried extra bags and picked up leftover deposits near where my dog went if I could bend over safely to do it.

Just remember, every act matters. We simply do not know how much or for how long. My son last saw his friend about 5 years ago. He saw “The Bee Movie” years ago.

What he remembered when he was given a flower to put in a cup was that we took walks in the woods. When the weather is cool, we must do it again, even if I need a walker and we choose a new path.

Finding new paths when known ones close is part of life, of healing. We accept moments we cannot change, times we must adapt to survive.

Acknowledge ability and disability. Find possibility.

I wanted to be a doctor. I wanted to be a mother. I am both. In a way, I am neither, certainly not as I understood both identities as a child.

Yet, I also have possibilities I never imagined, so many identities yet to explore. So do you.

We are a diverse, healing people. For all our wounds and scars, we are the ones who can change the world for the better because we have seen the worst. We are the ones who have done it before. Join us.

Elizabeth Coolidge-Stolz, MD/ (c) Healing Woman

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