In Defense of Wellness: An "Old Millennial's" Self Care Manifesto

It's been a rough week for wellness enthusiasts.

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow's $250 million lifestyle-and-wellness business, Goop, has agreed to pay $145,000 in civil penalties for promoting false and unscientific claims regarding— wait for it— jade vagina eggs and depression-curing "flower essence" sprays.

But who's surprised? Wellness scandals feel as ubiquitous as oat milk lattes these days.

Whether it's Activia Yogurt's scientifically unfounded "clinically proven probiotic bacteria", the hasty deletion of Kim Kardashian's weight-loss-lollipop post, or the stepping down of Lululemon's CEO for certain #MeToo shortcomings, the self-care movement is feeling more and more on the verge of collapse, like a house of Intuitive Healing Tarot Cards.

When I tell people I'm a Wellness Coach, I can sometimes sense I'm being perceived as just another entitled millennial snowflake, parading a passion for afternoon naps and aromatherapy salt scrubs as a job worthy of income and respect.

First off, I'd like to shake the hand of anyone that assumes I'm a millennial. (I'm 30. But yoga keeps me young!)

Second of all, before anyone goes throwing avocado toast in my face, I'd like to respectfully state my case in defense of wellness. 

So pour yourself a tall glass of matcha and saddle up my friend, cause I'm about to blow up everything you thought you knew about wellness junkies. (Before I start though, I'd like to invite you to soften your belly and take three deep inhales and three deep exhales. Mmm. You feel better now, right?)

Here goes.

Let me ask you something: what do you want most in life?

Love? Success? Power? Happiness? 

These aren’t destinations, they’re states of being— fleeting ones, no less. And no job title, income bracket, or loved one can give it to you unless you’re willing to give it to yourself. If you've ever had the experience of succeeding at something big but still feeling exactly the same afterwards, you'll know exactly what I mean.

You already have within you everything you want and need, hiding between the hastily pinging synapsis inside your own skull, it’s just a matter of recognizing and feeling it. 

You’re already “whole,” as they say in the wellness community.

“Oh, ok, cool, I guess I’m ‘whole’ then; problem solved, I’ll see you later!”

…Said no one ever.

Listen, deep down we all know this concept of internal plentitude to be one of the Big Capitol T “Truth”s (and money can’t buy you happiness, power won’t give you purpose, yeah, yeah, yeah, we get it), but knowing it and feeling it are two deeply separate things. So the question then becomes: how do we feel happiness, love, success, and all the other things we hustle so hard for in life?

I'd argue that it’s a practice, which, like any other practice, takes time, repetition, and an annoying amount of unwavering persistence. You can't just decide you're "whole," you have to practice feeling it.

So: what if, throughout the course of each day, you embedded within your life little rituals and habits that gently reminded you that everything you want and need can be found within? That you have the extraordinary capacity to gift yourself respect, love, happiness, and success on a daily basis, like a delightful little door prize awarded simply for surviving the day. That you can stop worrying about pleasing and pretending and instead sit back and enjoy this fleeting roller coaster life. To me, that’s what wellness is. It’s not a kale smoothie or an $80 bottle of cucumber lotion or even the Kardashian-status beach body you know deep down is a genetic impossibility for you. It's the daily practice of wholeness and self respect.

With every stair climbed and vegetable chopped you’re sending a signal to your brain— whether conscious or not— that you’re worth the things you do for yourself. Taking care of yourself physically means taking care of yourself physiologically. But it’s tangible, it's achievable, and, in my opinion, it's the world's best catalyst towards self-actualization and self love.

And, with that, I rest my case.

But not before I shamelessly promote an event, because, while I may not be a millennial proper, I still know the power of social influence in getting discounts for my "tribe" (and conveniently, free tickets for myself). So who wants $75 off tickets to the WELL Summit 2018 y'all?! Just apply code "WSCASEY." It's gonna be LIT AF! (Did I use that phrase right?)

Anyway, I'll see you there, my fellow Wellness Defenders.