“The myth of wellness is that it is a ‘thing’ which one can ‘get’…rather it is a way of living, a state of being…as a context for living, wellness is not limited to getting something for me – it becomes the possibility that my life, my wellness, contributes to you, and your wellness.”
(J. Johnson, 1985)
I was deeply touched by Dr. Bill Castleden’s talk at the Denmark Forum on Climate Change, sponsored by the Shire. Here was a vascular surgeon from Margaret River spending his spare time and energy to give to the public the information and motivation to ensure a long-term future of sustained wellness and health – for Denmark and for the world.
I was reminded of my time at Curtin University where in 1991 I initiated the ‘Is Curtin Well? Symposium’. Courageous staff and students came and after much focused sharing presented a Report back to the Vice Chancellor saying: ‘No, we are not well!…and here are our recommendations for change and wellness’. Today many of our Australian universities are still struggling. Many good staff have left. Students don’t want to return. Stress levels continue to escalate. This ‘un-well’ scenario continues to be repeated in many contexts for living – personal, community and organizational.
There is an old saying about acknowledging ‘the winter of our dreams’. Well this is indeed that dreaming-time where if we don’t ‘care’ enough for our planet, land, communities and people – whether we know them, agree with them, like them or not – ‘health’ for humans and our natural world’s viability will be severely and adversely affected in our lifetime.
Winter asks of all of nature to replenish the earth and preserve resources. To realise our dreams, human beings are invited ‘inside’ – into our inner sanctum, our heart and homes, to reflect, to restore, to repair and to rejuvenate. Especially this Winter’s time, as the world’s atomic clock inches perilously close to midnight, our ‘restoration’ needs to include the ‘external’ environment and our neighbours as ourselves. This time there can be no divide.