I feel lucky to own a health and wellness club for so many reasons. The inspiring and talented staff, the beauty of being in an awe-inspiring historic building, daily being surrounded by so many healthy immersive wellness experiences that consistently help improve the health of people’s lives, to name just a few….but one of my favorite reasons always is how when I write something or make a public statement, I can often angle the perspective from a wellness mindset- which is usually peaceful, supportive, universal, and empowering. Plus given the “health” year we all just had, the recent symbolic winter solstice, and the incredibly rare planetary alignment of Jupiter and Saturn….it all aligns quite well.
2020 was frustrating for most everyone. It hit everyone hard – albeit in different ways – and hardly anyone could legitimately play themselves off as a victim. We were all tested. We were forced to slow down and find out what means the most to us, what we truly need- what our core inner and outer beauty needs are. We all had to look inside ourselves and find out what we were made of, and in the presence of challenges how strong- and for how long- manage it well? Whether we realized it or not, we got frustrated with continually being confronted with the question “How much is going to become too much for me”? As we reflect back on 2020, we need to create fuel for maturely keeping watch that we don’t ever get close to that breaking point. We completely altered almost every aspect of society, all local and world economies, and even our own right to live and breathe freely. Many lives were lost in the process. An onslaught of orders shaped where we can go, what activities we’re allowed to engage in, how we should educate our children, how we earn a living, how we can worship, which medical philosophies we embrace, and which medical treatments we can receive. It is hard to imagine how a year could get any more frustrating than 2020 was.
All the while we kept pushing the limit farther and farther on what is truth, worthy information, and actual news. It is a frustrating journey seeking certainty in life, as our primal nature needs security. We want that certainty so we don’t feel vulnerable, as when we’re vulnerable, we do not think and act our best and we are more easily compelled to do things we wouldn’t otherwise normally do. We know the hard truth that living life was not certain prior to 2020 and that living life has never been a certainty and never will be. So, what then in the absence of certainty IS the best formula?
I believe the best fuel for your frustration, what we most use in the Kansas City Wellness Club to distinguish us from others and that which helped us win a Best of KC award, can be summed up in 3 distinct focus areas, all very centered in wellness themes. I hope you can take a moment to reflect on these areas, acknowledge any frustrations within them, and convert any of that energy into the best fuel possible for you in 2021.
Focus on improving all areas of your health, and make yourself more resilient to future adverse events.
Find some time to pursue authentic information, to mindfully consider other options, and then decide for yourself what most aligns with your ingrained moral compass and powerful internal intuition.
Define goals and milestones, and then stay committed to reaching them.
Health & Wellness naturally is front and center during a virus outbreak. I was very encouraged back in March and April when the momentum around wellness and proactively improving one’s health was a heavy topic of mainstream conversation, but unfortunately, that has since been drowned out in the positioning of a vaccine being our only “healthy option” to respond to this outbreak. This blog will not debate vaccines, nor the unique characteristics of this unprecedented vaccine. Safe effective vaccines have their rightful place in this world, just as enhancing the incredible powers of the human body does. Our immune system is so advanced, even when we are not consciously aware of its function it still is always working for us every minute of every hour of every day, perpetually dealing with and regulating bacteria and viruses, and it can be strengthened with practice just like a muscle can be strengthened with exercise. It provides the best pure long term sustainable solution to all unknown health issues, and we suggest you check out a few blogs we recently wrote on how to enhance your immune system. We can only have a healthy society when that society is made up of healthy individuals.
More importantly than trying to avoid infection of this virus or any other virus, is limiting how “harmful” the infection will be on you in the likely event that you eventually catch this (or any other) virus- whether by natural means or inoculation. Acknowledge that we have been through 3 major life shock events in the last 19 years (9/11, 2008 housing/financial crisis, 2020 CV) and burn fuel to create resiliency to future adverse events. While the hard truth is that you never know how a virus or any future health condition is going to affect you, there are several ways you can go about keeping yourself as healthy as possible so when it does, you have already built up your body’s defenses against it so that your immune system is best prepared to fight it off. We talk about various options on our CV resource page HERE, but ultimately it comes down to physical and mental health.
From a physical health standpoint, it is not complicated. Simply focus on exercise and your nutritional intake to get your body into a sustainable optimal health condition. We are an unhealthy country, and we need to address that harsh reality and the impact that has had on our CV deaths compared to other countries. The most eye-opening set of data I have ever seen is the Body Mass Index (BMI) graphs of the average BMI of the states of our country from 1990 to 2015, which I have included for you HERE. The speed and uniform spread of being overweight, and in some cases significantly overweight, is staggering. With courage and humility, acknowledge the frustrating negative downstream effects that come along with that health risk, and use that as fuel to keep yourself out of that risk group.
From a mental health standpoint, it is just being mindful of your triggers for stress, and setting up mechanisms to break those cycles of bad habits or avoid/manage those stressful situations altogether. It starts with NOT being fearful. The constant pessimism and fear pushed at us in 2020 was very frustrating. As you reflect, recognize how most all CV news was on the pessimistic or negative tone. News affects us- it affects our emotions and feelings. Acknowledge that. Do not allow any pessimism to dominate your consciousness. The best fuel for you encourages you and fully empowers you to become optimistic. Conquer your own thought process. Recognize and be true to your own intuition. Honor your own mind.
Mindfulness. This brings us to our next formula for fuel in 2021…
There was a lot of information frustration in 2020- not getting enough information, not hearing the words we want people to say, being tired of hearing the same old words over and over again with little to no difference in action, not believing certain people, not knowing who or what to believe. If we are given or seek out adequate information, then each of us possesses the moral and intellectual capacity to make the right decisions for us and those we care about. Informed citizenries are at the heart of informed democracies. The US mail system and the Postal Act of 1792 were enacted to ensure we were kept informed, and best counteract censorship efforts by the British crown against their political opponents. George Washington said in his farewell address, “Promote then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.”
Celebrate the uniqueness of each human. Along with freedom of speech and opinion, it is what keeps us most creative, and what keeps our businesses & communities healthy and diverse in their expressive existence. Make sure your compass is always set where the true north direction is one of unification, not division. If you don’t seek out common ground when hearing differing opinions, or if you can’t even respectfully listen to someone who has a different viewpoint than yourself, then unfortunately YOU may actually be the “radical” one. 🙂 If we don’t use our own minds to make our own choices, then we lose our Uniqueness, our Sovereignty, and Self Respect. The current level of power and influence that the media and our big tech companies have in controlling or censoring information that we see is unprecedented in our Information History and is frustrating to us all since we all share in the basic human right of free speech. We talk about respecting science, yet the voices and studies of many scientists and doctors are getting suppressed. That’s not fair to them nor respectful towards the honored scientific field. All credentialed researchers should at least have a right to be heard. Science is about believing things for a reason, so make sure before taking stances on causes you choose to participate in, that you have supporting facts and reason. Science doesn’t belong to any one person, politician, institution, government, or entity. Science belongs to humanity. Allow opinions to become the basis of discussion, and embrace them without fear, and bring to those discussions your best empathy, acceptance, kindness, and discernment. Reduce or eliminate anger, judgment, mandates, orders, or coercion, and the fuel you create because of it will be so incredibly strong that it will power you not just through 2021, but enjoyably throughout your entire life.
Reflect upon whether you had frustrations in 2020 because you were too caught up in or even mesmerized by sensational headlines in the news, or any 1 person, or any 1 organization? Ask yourself if you are watching the news too often throughout the day, and if it is making you feel smarter and healthier? Strive to get your news just once a day, in a single session, that lasts 10-30 minutes. Observe your body afterward to ensure your news is not filling you with hostility, stress, apathy, or prejudices. Train your mind to not politicize any health issue or any issue you believe should be non-political. If you cannot separate the two, it will raise your stress level, lower your vibrational energy level, and cause you to miss out on vital learning opportunities. Yes, your health is your personal right, but it is also your personal responsibility to be a reasonably informed patient in your health & wellness process. We should never rely solely on what just 1 person says or 1 entity says, that’s why over time it has become commonplace to ask, “Did you get a 2nd opinion?”. Use any frustration as fuel to go get other opinions, to become more informed, which will then give you authentic fuel to live according to your moral compass. Fuel your mind with some brain health by considering different angles to a statistic you hear. A good example is a statistic like “80% of accidents happen within 2 miles of your home.” At its surface, it makes our area close to our home seem more dangerous or questions our complacency when we’re driving within it…but a simple look below the surface would make you realize that 80% of your driving happens within 2 miles of your home, so it all makes sense. Exercising your brain with these type of exercises is very healthy fuel for your mental health. While it can sometimes be uncomfortable to change your mind on a topic, especially when today’s society often frames it as a weakness, but in reality it’s ok- it’s MORE THAN OK to learn new information and develop a fresh perspective. So take a moment to consider or seek out new information, then mindfully process and simplify it in your head, determine how it aligns to common sense and reason, and then set milestones and goals on how to use that information.
Having and working towards milestones & goals is so critically important right now. To give one the best chance to achieve wellness success, one needs to set milestones and goals- if is of utmost importance to the short term and long term recovery of your health, and the health of our local communities. It was really frustrating in 2020 having to frequently adjust goals as external factors frequently forced us to. Take that frustration and turn it into fuel to define new goals that you can stick to no matter what future external factors bring. The longer you fail to define what your goals are, then the more at risk you will be of making inefficient decisions along the way. So take time to set some universal goals for 2021, and stay tuned for an upcoming blog just on goals themselves. Remind yourself that this moment will soon pass, remind yourself how you went through 2020 with the mindset that this was a rare 100 year event, how over these last 9 months you and the world collectively performed the greatest most compassionate self sacrificing acts that humanity has ever achieved. Create fuel that ensures you continue to see these acts as temporary, so that you remain excited about reaching milestones to get us past the need for any temporary acts that frustrate you. Make sure you are setting milestones and planning turning points of your own, so you can recognize when those events occur and track progress on your journey.
A milestone could be that once over 51% of your community has access to a vaccine- essentially saying they have the ability to protect themselves if they want to- that you will then feel conditions have reached a point where your civil sacrifices can be lifted, and you can be close to and around other people again- to once again freely breathe the air of a stranger’s breath. How crazy is it that the thought of that seems so foreign right now?!? Just as crazy as even though this is called a rare 100 year event, that we have observed several famous viruses in the world just in the last 20 years. In the spirit of long term optimal wellness, let us have the fuel/energy to request policy leaders to take the time to research the reasons why that is happening. Why all of the sudden at this point in human history do we have all these new viruses? We as a community cannot sustain peak health & wellness if we need to deal with a new virus every couple of years.
Most importantly, make sure you are holding yourself to standards that are both comprehensive and achievable. We all know that a new virus is going to spread. We should not be surprised that it is spreading. Your life does not get better when you choose to be more sedentary. Your choices in how you live your life affect your community and businesses within. Collectively our policies have contributed to lost jobs and reduced hours, which causes elimination or reduction in paychecks, financial hardship, and all types of insecurities. This has all increased depression, anxiety, addiction, missed medical care appointments, opioid overdoses, suicides, and psychological mental health issues- especially in children. Pushing a sedentary lifestyle makes it no surprise that weight gain is up, which we all know is a comorbidity for CV deaths. Along with sedentary lifestyles, amplified voices telling people to stay home leads to greater rates of child & domestic abuse. The same grandmas and grandpas that we are often trying to protect, are being forced to isolate and are living in- or dying of- cruel isolation and despair. All these negative outcomes are “cases” and “deaths” too and deserve equal consideration. Good public health considers not only your health, but the health of all the public. Use your fuel to acknowledge these unintended consequences, and commit to equally considering them when you make your future decisions to engage with and support your lifestyles & businesses & community culture that are genuinely needed right now in your life.
Whew! That is a lot to deal with, no doubt. It can be very difficult to deal with. But just as life is not an automatic joy ride, 2021 will not automatically be better just because it’s a new calendar year. We need to actively make it better. Practice and embellish in the powerful reality that We The People run this world. Your and our choices have SO much power. We are such empowered creatures. We determine the future, our choices determine the world that emerges. Our existence lives in the next moment. We create the future. We are all active participants in the future that emerges, we are NOT passive witnesses.
In 2021, consider giving the award-winning Kansas City Wellness Club a chance to guide you to leave those frustrations in 2020, and fuel up in 2021. See how we are generating fuel as a holistic wellness club by speaking a timely message: become informed, achieve optimal health through sustainable services & products all conveniently located in 1 place, and develop personal resiliency to future adverse events. See how being immersed in a supportive and empowering space that provides you world-class fitness and educational offerings of Spa Facials and Massage Therapy, Sauna and Steam Bath, Hair Salon, Life Coaching guidance, Energy Healing, and even Virtual Reality can transform your inner and outer beauty to achieve your best. We have done a lot of this through generously giving- which is always the quickest and easiest thing you can do to immediately feel good. Since our start, we have provided an undefinable number of complimentary services to just about anyone to proactively put our best foot forward. Since we reopened in May (a few days before the rest of the city), we have and continue to provide complimentary services to healthcare workers. We have had Teachers (Traditional & 2020 virtual homeschoolers) deals. We have a standing offer for your 1st Group Fitness Class at the Club to be on us. We have even provided our guests with fresh local healthy meals to take home upon checkout.
By focusing on your health, by staying mindful with information you pursue and consume, by setting and working towards milestones & goals, and by being generous and kind to one another….that is how you and we will truly get through this together, stronger.
We can do this! You can do this! Be the positive fuel that you want to see in this world…
Heath Wessling Owner, Kansas City Wellness Club