I dreaded having to stop by the grocery store. It was already after six o’clock in the evening and I was tired and hungry. I thought about going on home, but what would we eat for dinner? Grilled cheese, again? I took a deep breath, flipped open the mirror on my visor and confirmed that I did look as worn out as I felt. Despite my weary appearance, I gathered my purse and dragged myself towards the store’s entrance. As I got close, the doors forced themselves apart as if they were just as I tired as I was. As I scanned the selection of rotisserie chicken, I caught a glimpse of a woman from the corner of my eye coming towards me. She didn’t notice me. But, I noticed her. Her hair was cut evenly above her shoulders and freckles adorned her pecan tinted skin. She moved purposely as she perused items on the shelf beside her.
The woman remained unaware of my curiosity in her as she meticulously examined several canned goods. I presumed she was comparing their nutritional content. Her calm demeanor, spruce appearance and attentiveness to the foods she put in her cart suggested that she was concerned about her wellbeing. As we approached one another, I felt compelled to speak to this woman. “Hi, how are you?” I asked. “I’m doing well” she replied with a kind smile. I thought a bit more about her response as I walked away. “I’m doing well”, she had said. A response I had said many times, long before I even knew what wellness was. Have you given much thought to the quality of your life? Are you coasting through life without regard for your own wellbeing? Have you considered the labels you unconsciously apply to yourself? I believe that in order to wear the “wellness” label we have to make a conscious decision to adopt a mindset and set of core activities that are congruent with a healthier lifestyle.
We don’t have to bear labels that say “stressed”, “hypertensive”, or “diabetic”. I also used to wear unhealthy labels. In order to remove these labels, I had to learn to value myself and refocus my priorities. Just like the lady I met in the grocery store, you also can wear the “wellness” label. When you decide to renew your mind and embrace a wellness lifestyle, others will notice something in you that they want for themselves. Begin the process of renewal by changing your perception of your value and realize that you are a gift to the world. This self recognition will propel you toward activities that will support your desire to live well. So the next time someone politely asks how you are doing, you can say, “I’m doing well” and mean it!