Tag Archives: support

A Discovery Process: Pace yourself in learning about wellness

Aging Beyond BeliefDon Ardell’s tips for aging well are from his book Aging Beyond Belief, 69 tips for REAL Wellness. REAL wellness stands for Reason, Exuberance And Liberty. Don says you can’t buy pills or treatments for REAL wellness−it’s a mindset and lifestyle you control. It’s never to early to let Reason, Exuberance and Liberty be your guide…these tips are for folks of any age. Enjoy.

A Discovery Process

Pace yourself in learning about wellness

Pace yourself in learning about wellness. Create a more supportive network to live this way. Create a wellness support network, over time. Don’t rush it. Pace yourself. Consider attending a workshop in your area, or a seminar or lecture dealing with aspects of better living that you find appealing. Check out the program first, since the word “wellness” is often misapplied. Sometimes, it’s used as a marketing gimmick with little understanding of the unique qualities of the concept. You would not want to inadvertently attend a program billed as a wellness event, only to be pitched to invest in a multi-level sales organization for vitamin-fortified seaweed, or something equally bizarre having no remote connection with a wellness lifestyle.

Here’s a specific suggestion: Check out the National Wellness Conference. It is a festival by and for wellness seekers and promoters held annually in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. It’s not entirely focused on aging, but everything about the wellness concept can be readily applied to AUI. I’m quite an enthusiast of the event myself—I have been attending the weeklong gatherings for over 25 years. Check out the NWI website at www.nationalwellness.org. You could also call (800) 243-8694 or send an E-mail. One way or another, ask to be placed on the mailing list for the free annual program sent worldwide in the spring.

An important part of creating a supportive culture is understanding your current support system. Take a close, conscious look at the norms, customs and rituals that shaped and guided your formative years. Think about how pervasive yet subtle these norms and customs and traditions were and how, little by little and bit-by-bit, you digested it all during the early years. Identify those traditions that today, after a lifetime, are more like obstacles than cherished values, and set yourself free from anything now seen as nonsense, dogma, clichés and platitudes. These are enemies of your capacity for reason leading to excellence. These are obstacles to more supportive networks that will make your best possible life much more attainable.

-from Aging Beyond Belief, by Don Ardell

Donald ArdellDonald B. Ardell was a pioneer in the Wellness movement. He wrote High Level Wellness: An Alternative to Doctors, Drugs, and Disease, first published in 1976 by Rodale Press, with editions over the years by Bantam Books and Ten-Speed Press. Since then Don has written a dozen additional wellness books, including Die Healthy (with Grant Donovan), 14 Days to Wellness and most recently, Aging Beyond Belief.


Assure kids of your love and support

To build your children’s Stress Safety Net (SSN) the second [see the first here] and most important component is your unconditional love: to love them without condition. It’s the thread that holds everything together.

Unconditional love doesn’t require you to always approve of their behavior; you love them in spite of it. You’re there for them, yet won’t necessarily rescue them from foolish behavior. You can apply consequences to their misbehavior, even punish them, and still love them.

Todd stood by his teenage son who repeatedly got into trouble with the law. Each time he received a call from the police, he’d go through the process without rescuing him and assuring him of his love while his son faced the consequences. Eventually, his son got involved in sports and slowly straightened himself out. He even thanked Todd for making him take responsibility for his own behavior while still supporting him.

Unconditional love requires connecting with your kids regularly, lovingly, playfully, and much more often than not, positively. This allows you to survive the normal, uncomfortable connections.

Keep in mind, if your kids don’t connect with you positively, they’ll connect with you negatively; chronic fighting and clinging are examples.

A young single mother of two small children felt drained most of the time working a full-time job and managing the home front all alone. When home she raced around trying to get everything done. Her kids clung to her making it even more difficult. Someone advised her to spend an uninterrupted weekend hour with both of her kids doing fun things together. Much to her amazement, after a couple of weeks, her kids quit clinging to her the rest of the week. They’d been starved for her full attention. Once they received it they felt more secure and loved.

With all kids these moments are to create a trusting relationship. With older kids they’re also to know what’s going on in their lives. Peer pressure can get them into situations they’re unable to handle well. You must keep your eyes open to what your kids, their friends, and other kids in their age group are doing.

Whatever your child’s age, these connections don’t have to be time consuming; most take just minutes. Like reading your child a story after school, watching TV together, sitting together while you both do your “homework,” or daily exchanging hugs and kisses in the car.

All kids, regardless of their ages and resistance, need these special moments. Nurture them.

Unconditional love also requires being nonjudgmental. Judgments feel like you’re putting a condition on your love. As parents you want to help your children do well admonishing, “Don’t be a slob chewing with your mouth open.” “You’re too lazy about school work.”

Instead of labeling your child lazy or a slob, describe the behavior you want to change. “Chew with your mouth closed, please,” or “Set aside two hours to do homework when you get home.” Your kids respond better when you deliver it this way.

Next week we’ll cover teaching your children your positive values.

Jacquelyn Ferguson, M. S., is an international speaker and a Stress and Wellness Coach.