Having just finished reading Dr. Daniel G. Amen’s The End of Mental Illness: How Neuroscience is Transforming Psychiatry and Helping Prevent or Reverse Mood and Anxiety Disorders, ADHD, Addictions, PTSD, Psychosis, Personality Disorders, and More (2020, Carol Stream, Illinois: Tyndale Momentum), wandering thoughts have returned to a 21-year career at Coors and the health, wellness and wellbeing leadership influence of Bill Coors. The spirit of his genius came alive in the “Our Values” statement of the Adolph Coors Company: “These values can only be fulfilled by quality people dedicated to quality relationships within our company. We foster personal and professional growth and development…and encourage wellness in body, mind and spirit for all employees.” The purpose of this BLOG is to lobby for, campaign for, suggest, encourage that “integral health, wellness and wellbeing” be at the top of all educational topic lists for schools, universities, colleges, prisons, churches, recovery programs, and workplaces. The vision is for integral health, wellness, and wellbeing to permeate every nook and cranny of our culture. Consciousness and culture are evolving, and the complexities of life and living are moving from a state of non-sickness to a state of wellbeing. We are simply becoming better educated, we are more aware, and activities and lifestyle changes can move the culture to the language that we are, bursting with integral health, wellness, and wellbeing.
The responsibility for integral health, wellness and wellbeing is clear: the individual is 100% responsible for lifestyle and habits, wellbeing happens because of me, not to me, in four spheres—psychological, biological, social, and spiritual. And life in each of the four spheres can get exceptionally tough in today’s world: awesome, frightening, threatening, exciting, chaotic, mind-boggling, futuristic, unsettling, stress-filled, possibility, opportunity, divisive, hateful, racist, conflicted, evolving, and triumphantly challenging. You get the idea! Let us start this “best part of our journey” with some definitions.
Integral: integral connotes comprehensive, balanced, inclusive, a sense of wholeness or completeness. When discussing brain health, Dr. Amen uses four spheres, psychological, biological, social, and spiritual. Ken Wilber, when discussing integral theory, uses four quadrants, individual interior, individual exterior, collective interior, and collective exterior (2011, A Theory of Everything: An Integral Vision for Business, Politics, Science, and Spirituality. Boston, MA: Shambhala). A nice visualization is to create a helicopter view of a topic being studied.
Health: health suggests scientific, objective, and no discernable illness or injury. The physician has treated the symptoms of sickness, illness, injury, or disease to nurse the individual to a state of no discernable illness, or wellness.
Wellness: wellness is the point where the individual is physically, mentally, and emotionally capable of maintaining his-her highest quality of life through self-responsibility and self-management. The physician is a partner in resolving illness to the neutral point and beyond to a high level of wellness. Wellness is scientific and objective and suggests high quality programs and lifestyle and good habits.
Wellbeing: wellbeing suggests the philosophical state of a being that has reached a high level of wellness—healthy, happy, subjective, compassionate, high quality of life with positive attitude that is achieved through the language one has with the Self. The domain of life’s possibilities is open!
Where do we go from here? With clarity of vision, a next step is to make a clear, honest assessment of our current reality followed by creating the means to create positive tension between where we are and where the culture needs to be-we need gap closers that will close the gap between where the culture is and where the vision outlines a desired future state. This is a huge, long-term task for individuals and collectives: social organizations, corporate entities, government institutions, religious organizations, social media, news entities, prisons, academic institutions, small businesses, et al. A guarantee: the measurable results will look great—participation will grow, treadmill testing will increase, brain scans will increase, cardiac rehabilitation programs will grow, and businesses and institutions will save money. And the immeasurable results will snowball—folks will be healthier, happier, longer-living, more productive, self-responsible, and self-managed. You will not need calculators to witness cost savings advantages.
Let us dream big and be witness to integral health, wellness, and wellbeing in every corner of this evolving consciousness and culture! This can happen with the planting of seeds in every nook and cranny: the sown seeds will appear as quality, compassion, and common good in everything each of us are and in everything each of us do. Why dream at all if the dream is not huge! With passionate intent; 100% responsibility; mindfulness, awareness, and self-restraint; and process perspective, integral health, wellness, and wellbeing can be present in all we are and all we do. Philosophically, a commitment to model the way of integral health, wellness, and wellbeing, and encourage habits, programs and lifestyles that affect integral health, wellness, and wellbeing to facilitate behavioral change to improve general health just make sense for individuals and collectives. A special thanks to Bill Coors for the inspiration to be committed to integral health, wellness, and wellbeing!