How to Approach Wellness

March 4, 2021

It’s okay to not be okay. 

The majority of people are not okay. That is a direct reflection of our conditions, the products of both the systematic suppression of community and intergenerational trauma. Wellness is the antidote. Our wellness – at a physical, mental, and spiritual level – cannot be cultivated through self-care pamphlets and an industry built on profiting off of people feeling bad.

Wellness can only be grown in a garden where the seeds of good medicine are planted. 

The seeds of good medicine are inclusion, respect, accountability, kindness, patience, dreams, and community. Being inclusive is a purposeful step toward decolonizing our wellness and the way we interact with the world. Respect means respect for ourselves as much as other people. Accountability refers to self-reflection upon our conditions, holding ourselves and our relatives in esteem. Kindness is a reflection of how we treat the world around us, and the exercise of patience is a kind of kindness toward ourselves on our journeys and in our stories.

Dreams and community are more complex. Dreams are the visions of our ancestors as embodied in ourselves – for rest, for creation, for new worlds. To dream like our ancestors is to discern our own paths more clearly through the fog and mist of the colonized reality. It means to look up to the stars above the poverty and dysfunction in our own lives. 

Community is how we dream. We cannot dream alone.

Wellness has to be imagined into being. Centuries of intergenerational trauma bind our souls to unhealthy dynamics and destructive energy, but we don’t only have intergenerational traumas – we have multi-generational strengths. “Let go the pain you are holding in your mind, your shoulders, your heart, all the way to your feet,” Joy Harjo writes. “Let go the pain of your ancestors to make way for those who are heading in our direction.” 

If we want to be okay, we have to learn to practice wellness by growing the seeds of good medicine. Only through cultivating wellness from multi-generational strengths in community with one another can we heal from our intergenerational trauma. Then, we can grow our futures from our histories.