Putting a Price on Wellness? There’s more to wellness than a hexagon.
It is not surprising to learn that there is a National Wellness Institute, which convenes an annual National Wellness Conference, and it is even less surprising to learn that the National Wellness Institute has monetized wellness, for individuals ($149/year), for organizations ($350/year), for students ($35/year and for student chapters ($299/year).
NWI conducts trainings that can apparently result in an Empowered Health Consciousness Facilitator Certificate (at a substantial cost), and there is actually a “Council on Wellness Certification Excellence” that reviews “Certified Wellness Practitioner” applications to decide who has the knowledge and skills to teach and promote wellness.
According to NWI, there are six dimensions of wellness (Emotional, Occupational, Physical, Social, Intellectual and Spiritual). Notably missing from this wellness hexagon are environmental wellness, cultural wellness, financial wellness, political wellness, climatic wellness, organizational wellness, species wellness, habitat wellness, musical wellness, literary wellness, historic preservation wellness, or social media wellness (we could, of course, go on). Perhaps we’re being a little harsh here, but the idea of reducing wellness to a bureaucratic construct with precise dimensions, strategies, performance categories, and costs strikes us as slightly beyond the far side of ludicrous. What isn’t ludicrous is the need for a global commitment to recognize how unwell so many dimensions of planetary existence have become, and how urgently important it is for all of us—as individuals, as communities, as nations, as cultures, and as a species—to take active responsibility for making things more well.
So we decided, in the midst of a decidedly unwell political epoch, it would be useful to sift through the people, the programs, the writings, and the resources that at least partially define the pursuit of wellness in this Valley. We found so many points of light in the local wellness universe that we were barely able to scratch the service, and we know there are more people and programs deserving our attention than those featured here. Still, we think you’ll find value in what we’ve compiled, perhaps you’ll learn something new or remember something you knew but had forgotten.
This isn’t our last shot, so we’d love to hear from all of you about what we overlooked or didn’t have time and space for.
Meanwhile, as you will also read about inside and have no doubt already heard, there is positive news on the moving melodrama that is the uncertain fate of the Sonoma Developmental Center. On April 2, the State of California announced plans to extend “warm shutdown” funds for three more years, giving local stakeholders a significant extension on a deadline to come up with a viable, self-sustaining proposal for the now largely shuttered property. That extension will cost the state some $40 million, and state officials further announced they will provide $3 million to fund development of a viable proposal.
It was startlingly positive news, but as soon as the initial euphoria evaporated, the enormity of the challenge settled heavily on the members of a broad coalition sworn to save the land for the highest public use.
So read on, be well, and let’s all keep searching for opportunities to elevate the level of wellness wherever we go.
David Bolling, Editor & Publisher, Valley of the Moon Magazine
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