A New Count On Wellness
I started nearly every day of the last twenty years the same. I weighed myself. I would strip off all of my clothes, jewelry included, and step onto the scale. I could feel my heart leap out of my chest as I waited for the numbers to show.
I realize now that I was pleading with arbitrary figures for a sense of ok-ness that would never come. I was fighting an uphill battle that deeply affected my ability to show up in the world. On my 36th birthday, I decided to stop. Something inside of me said:
“You can’t live your purpose of freedom if you continue to confine who you are. You have to find a new way to count what matters.”
I skipped the ritual weigh-in, and moved immediately into meditation. I decided to count 36 breath, and to imagine each one as a year in my life. Inhale, exhale, year one. I saw myself as an infant, being breastfed and learning to lift up my own head. Inhale, exhale, year two. I imagined myself crawling, walking, and playing.
I attached to each breath the memories I had of that time, and for whatever reason, I was fully present to them all. I wanted to be big inside of my years, so I kept my breathing expansive. My 36 breath took over 30 minutes, and I was proud of myself in a real way. These numbers reflected something important and beautiful to me. They told me that I’m present, connected, and alive.
Shifting my relationship with the scale has helped me to see how common my problem is. Most of us are looking outside of ourselves, and often with numbers, to determine who we are – and how good. I see other versions for people in money in the bank, in the size of social media followings, in accolades of success, and in countless comparisons. You don’t need me to remind you of the obvious, but I’ll do it anyway. None of these external measures will create a sense of fullness, genuine satisfaction or purpose.
We have to create and value a new count.
Count in presence. Wake up to the life that’s in front of you. Meditation helps. If you’re willing to sit through the chaos of your mind, you’ll find that it’s really good in there and you’ll treasure your moments inside. Make the time and space. There’s no wrong way to do it.
Once you have a deeper connection with yourself, take it out into the world. Make more eye contact. Ask questions and genuinely listen to the answers. Put your phone away when you’re spending time with others. Make an effort to actually see people, not just the ones that you find cool or important. See everyone that crosses your path because they’re all beautiful mirrors.
Count in kindness. Engage in simple goodness daily. Put money in someone’s car meter if you see that it’s running low. Pay for a stranger’s coffee. Give a compliment. Pause when you’re agitated so you don’t say something that you later regret. Apologize when you’ve wronged someone.
If you engage kindly with others, you will feel less armoured, and more connected. The payoff is actually more for you than the recipients of your good deeds. You’ll feel better immediately. Trust me, I know from experience. Ego just drops away, and it’s from this space that you can authentically create. You’ll be more tapped into your intuition, your divine sense of guidance in the world, and it will probably fuel more material success, but if it doesn’t, you’re still going to feel better.
A lot better.