I bought a blood pressure monitor the other day after visiting my doctor and finding my blood pressure was elevated. I felt healthy as a horse and had no clue that inside I was like a pressurized steam cooker. It takes a monitor to actually test for high pressure because we can't detect that information with our emotions or intellect. But what about testing for our general wellness intelligence. How do we assess our overall well-being in body/mind/spirit ?
I've come up with some questions to help discern how mindfully we're living. See how fast you can answer these questions. If the answer comes to mind right away, I'd say you get a gold star in Wellness Intelligence!
1. What do you do regularly to keep your physical body in shape?
2. Who are your teachers and what have you learned from them lately?
3. To whom are you a teacher and what have they learned from you lately?
4. Who do they say you are?
5. If you were a combination of two people, who would those people be? (Hint: I would love to be thought of as a combination between Catherine of Siena and Bill Moyers)
6. Name 3 things you connect the dots between. (Think of this as 3 things you know/care a lot about; 3 identifiers of who you are and what you're a stand for. e.g. I connect the dots between creativity, spirituality and social action.)
7. What keeps you inspired?
8. What brings you joy?
9. True genius is the ability to hold two contradictory thoughts simultaneously, to think non-dualistically. Can you do this? (Think of something you feel strongly about, then imagine supporting or defending the "other side." Can you do this without discomfort?
10. In what ways do you contribute to others' well-being?
11. Have you forgiven everyone in your life for all transgressions?
12. What is your spiritual practice, that thing that you do all by yourself, uninterrupted, that brings you peace and a sense of the Other?
Ramana Maharshi said that "Our own self-realization is the greatest service we can render the world." Being aware of our interior world is an important part of wellness intelligence. It doesn't matter so much what we think as it matters that we are aware of our thoughts, that we take responsibility for them and claim ourselves as authors of them.
If we are run by inherited thoughts or thoughts that have seeped in from the culture at large, we put ourselves at risk and endanger our body/mind/spirit health. You can get a fuller explanation of this in The Art of Original Thinking, my latest book, but for now, I hope these questions advanced your interior wisdom and brought you the joy of insight.
If you were troubled by any of your answers, or found some of these difficult to respond to, it doesn't mean anything, other than you might be ripe for some time alone or a good retreat from the world. Happy trails...