Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Prompt #4 in the Health Activist Writing Month Challenge #HAWMC  by #WEGO  April's 30 days of writing prompts take us on a journey of our life and work, our inner worlds and our outer. Check 'em out!

I write about my health because… Reflect on why you write about your health for 15-20 minutes without stopping. 

I write about my health because in the act of putting my experience into words, I understand it more clearly. Writing moves me beyond myself to see what I would not have seen by chasing my tail in my head. I write about my health because health is what makes full living possible. If I can understand my weak spots in my relationship to my health then I can be stronger. I can see where I have been stopped by my lack of health on my path to a full life. I can see where I stopped, let up in my tending to my health and the resulting dip in my vibrancy. 

I have seen in my writings the lack of wellness in my relationship with my mother, which bred lack of wellness in my own caregiving, which woke me up to how I could be taking better care, both of myself and of my caregiving. Writing about my cancer in the middle of caregiving woke me up to what I had been neglecting in my own health plan. As I wrote about it all, I allowed myself to learn from my illness the many ways back to a path of whole wellness, mind, body, and spirit. 

It is impossible to write about wellness or health without talking about illness of some sort, illness as an absence of true wellness. It could mean Illness of past history, illness of thought patterns or behavior patterns, unhealthy imbalance of priorities, or physical illness brought on by benign neglect. What sort it is, illness is a wakeup call. 

As I wrote out my journey from illness to health, I invented ways of living and being that could be of use to others. As the director of my women’s chorus says, “Sing for yourself and Then share it with the audience.” I write for myself, and then I share it with others. What else could I do? If something I have learned or discovered might be of use to someone else, how could I not share it? And so I share my discoveries, the really useful life navigation tools, in books and articles and coaching.  

Actually, as I write this now, I must edit what I have just said. The most useful thing I offer to others is not my discoveries. The most useful thing is how I came to those discoveries, the kinds of questions I asked myself, the passion and purpose that kept me moving forward. It’s in that “how” piece that others seem to be able to find their own answers that bring them whole health on their terms. 

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