Yoga, meditation and other wellbeing practices are fast becoming synonymous with success: the poor are fat, stressed and exhausted, whilst the successful are glowing with vitality. To lack ‘wellbeing’ is now to be failing at the great game of life. What a loser you are, sweet friend. Or has the business of wellness led you astray?
Within the wellness sector there is a general background narrative that the rise and rise of the self-care practices that are steeped in alternative and traditional medicine is a sign of our culture’s growing enlightenment and the dawn of the New Age. Be this as it may, I believe it is not all peaches and non-dairy ice-cream when it comes to the wellness revolution.
Wellness as a Commodity
The wellness sector is booming and is now a 4.2 trillion dollar industry having grown 12.8% in the last two years alone. This means 1 in every 20 dollars globally is now spent on wellness. We’re spending billions and billions of dollars on attempting to increase our sense of wellbeing:
- Personal care and beauty: $1.082 trillion
- Healthy eating, nutrition and weight loss: $702.1 billion
- Wellness tourism: $639.4 billion
- Fitness / mind-body: $595.4 billion
- Traditional and complementary medicine: $359.7 billion
Clearly the market is hungry for healing: the market is hurting; the market is exhausted and burnt-out; the market needs nurturing; the market needs a break; the market has a paunch and has lost its core strength; the market has a sore back; the market is inflamed; the market needs an app to help it sleep better; the market needs a personal trainer, a lifestyle coach and a masseur.
Now’s our time to pounce! The market is screaming out for wellness! The market is sick.
The thing is sweet friend, ‘the market’ is us. We live in a world that is consuming wellbeing at an alarming rate. It’s not just the icebergs, rainforests and water table that are disappearing, it is wellbeing itself. It’s crucial that you realize that you are also a ‘natural resource’, and that the market is consuming you.
The Well of Being
We are no longer well-beings. The market is consuming our wellbeing and then selling it back to us at a premium; health has officially become a commodity. Wellness and mindfulness can either be tools to heal, or they can be used like caffeine and oil simply to keep the gears of the world turning.
Ultimately there is no supplement for wellbeing; either your life generates wellbeing or it consumes it.
So don’t listen to those self-styled lifestyle-Gurus, blog-barding you on Facebook with subtle sales pitches from their Byron rainforest healing centers. They are always selling something, but whether we’re selling you a miracle herb or simply selling ourselves, we’re ultimately selling you a lie.
Wellbeing is not propping your exhausted self up with synthetic, pre-packaged wellness products – living a balanced life doesn’t require full-time self care.
So simplify your life sweet friend, and please, please slow down. You can’t buy wellbeing, you live it into the world. Your wellbeing is like a pristine natural habitat that needs to be preserved rather than being bottled, branded and sold.
You are such a precious creature you know? You’re a panda bear, a baby elephant, a fire fly, a grove of cedars.
You are the medicine I have been trying to sell you.
This article is reprinted from the author’s page here and is used with permission.
Dr Jimi Wollumbin has spent the last 22 years in clinical practice and has had the opportunity to research some of the most respected traditional medical systems; these include the Chinese, Tibetan, Indian and Persian traditions. He has also been fortunate enough to work in a series of community health and international aid initiatives. For more info see: https://www.doctorjimi.com