Updated: Oct 5, 2020
As I write this piece, I'm eating fried chicken wings. I’ve associated fried chicken with love, family and warmth, my whole life. A staple of every Sunday parishioners’ dinner, we ate it in our church basement, a blessing born of our faith and heartfelt praise and worship. As I became more health conscious in adulthood, I began to feel contempt for indulging in my comfort foods. Always “trying to be better” as a vegetarian, vegan, raw vegan, left no space for the natural me. Somehow moving forward began to invalidate the wealth of in my memories. As if to say, all I was made from is “wrong” and “impure”. I swung in extremity back and forth, binging or starving to get right. Today though I am as in those yonder years with my fried chicken or fish and always, fried okra. I make sure to pray over it, crunch and delight myself in every savory moment. I’ve learned to be a merciful parent of myself as I adopt better habits. Finding grace in self-improvement is imperative for proper growth. Those who care to dream while awake, aspire to great heights. In the climb, it is easy to disregard the grounding that has anchored and held us together. True wellness envelopes our whole selves, leaving no parts untouched or dishonored. It does not harbor disdain or impatience for any thing undeveloped or under-nourished within us. Wellness seeks to blend all our inner voices and experiences, even while stretching towards better. In this way, it is superior to health, because it is a totally honest state of being. Studios, gyms, medical centers, and health-conscious disciples of wellness often adulate balance. A cornerstone of yoga practice and exercise of all kinds, balance is necessary to keep us upright. But balance is relinquished in health transitions. Balance, defined as an EQUAL distribution of weight, must shift, and come undone when introducing new habits. The new self moves in to a position of prominence and focus. This new voice must sing solo, expressing its fullness. And what is released may leave you feeling imbalanced, for a time. The temporary discomfort and adjustment should be embraced. A new harmony is coming together. Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. Stay faithful to the good feelings of old. Keep sincerity of spirit as you water the beginnings of new birth. Be well, be you, celebrating the foundation that brought you to where you are.