Good question. Sometimes I’m not even sure myself.
I can’t remember the exact moment my interest in holistic wellness started. Maybe it was when my sister was diagnosed with Autism. Maybe it was when I so desperately wanted to lose weight and ditch my acne and I thought this could be a good way. Or maybe it was the treehugger hippie in me that wanted to lay in the grass on the front lawn and stare at the clouds and wear the same dress everyday without a bra and rarely shower.
I still do that, sorry guys.
I remember sitting up all night in my room on AIM chatting with my friends who I would inevitably see in a few hours when I went to school and surfing a LiveJournal community called “Natural Living, Improving & Protecting the Earth, Mind, Body & Spirit” This was really my first dive into living more conscious of my decisions, and having a whole huge community of people to draw information from was fascinating to me. So many archives, so little time. Everything from natural remedies, to yoga, to organic housecleaners to emotional health. And of course, one of the things that really propelled me into service and Americorps later on in life: the fact that often when it comes to food, we’re being lied to by huge corporations who are in bed with the FDA. The hippie in me was, and is, outraged.
So much has happened since then, and I feel like I’m constantly learning and growing and figuring out what works and doesn’t work for MY body. That’s the real struggle. Everyone is different, so while the huge databases of information that are available are helpful, there really is no one right way to eat, act, feel, be.
For example, just last year I learned that gluten doesn’t sit super well with me. After cutting it out and adding it back in, I became super achy in all my joints. Just in the last 6 months, I’ve cut out my daily caffeine hit and noticed a decrease in my anxiety symptoms. After being mostly vegan for 3 years, I’ve added ethically sourced meat back into my diet, and am feeling much better for it.
That’s another thing. What works well for you one day, might not work the next. So much changes as you age, as the seasons turn, where you live. We need to be constantly open to experimenting with our food, and being mindful of how that food makes us feel.
Maybe that’s what continues to interest me about wellness now. The fact that we do actually have a good bit of control just by what we put in our mouths. It’s not everything, of course. So much depends on your personal chemistry, family history, how much self-love and care you give yourself. But on some level, there is some control, and the practical Capricorn in me digs that.