I found myself using a description last week when I posted a photo - keeping it real. It was a sweaty, post-run selfie. And yes, it wasn’t a manicured, flawless photo in some jaw-dropping position (not my forte!) but as I reflected on that, I realised it wasn’t really the image that I was referring to when I said ‘keeping it real’ anyway.
My goal is to build wellness - for myself and for others. A balanced life that looks after us emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally.
You go on the run.
You work hard.
You shut off the world.
You do yoga.
You ask for help.
You connect with nature.
You learn from your mistakes.
How often do I want to do those things above? Well... If I relied on motivation, I would consistently eat, and sleep. Would I do the rest? Probably not all that often. There’s a degree of discomfort in all of them that makes it easier to not do them than it is to do them.
When I speak of wellness, you don’t have to do all of those things above. They can be summed up by my one key principle - SHOW UP. Showing up is what allows you to build the life you actually want, re-shape your mind and your body and feel happier and more fulfilled. Because you trust that by taking your small action then you are adding another piece that builds you up. It might be ice-bathing, seeking professional help, gardening or singing. The method doesn’t matter.
By saying, keeping it real, I was trying to say that wellness is messy. That photo showed me not wanting to do the run, but having felt better for doing it. Building habits and putting in the effort to find yourself amongst the noise is hard. Figuring out what makes you feel good, long term, is hard. You have to constantly re-shape your expectations, of yourself and others, and find ways to forgive yourself and others. Fighting your way through anxiety to something that is restful for you. Change doesn’t have to be monumental. You never get good at anything by not doing it. Building a picture of full wellness means putting the reps in.
As James Clear says ‘when a habit is truly important to you, you have to be willing to stick to it in any mood.’
Keeping it real is an acknowledgement of all that glorious messiness; seeking and searching, questioning and growing. Showing up. It’s not about a slightly dodgy photo.