Note: I don’t think I’ve ever been more nervous to post something. I want to make clear before sharing this that this is not coming from a place of judgment. I am also acknowledging my own privilege and contribution to the problem. My goal is to encourage you to use your own critical thinking skills when figuring out what is right for you NOT to judge anyone else’s choices. Please read with an open mind.
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I’m not going to pretend I don’t love my job. I do. I love it A LOT. I get to spend my days exploring the health and wellness world, trying things out for myself and sharing those experiences with you. I get to interview “mavens” and shakers in the wellness space about their journeys on the podcast and this space has given me countless opportunities that I never take for granted. I definitely have days where I don’t want to work or feel overwhelmed by what’s on my plate, but never have I wanted to do anything else. Starting this blog completely transformed my life and my career.
But as this space has grown and my hobby became my career, I’ve increasingly become aware of the responsibility that comes with this platform. I’ve always hated the term “influencer” but the truth is that when you share your life online you inherently will influence those around you. That community could be big or small, but no matter what the size is there is great responsibility in ensuring that what you share is truthful and is done with awareness of your audience.
I’m not here to reprimand or throw shade at those who don’t play by those rules. The reality is that truth looks so different on everyone so even though I personally disagree with a lot of things I see shared within the health and wellness space (namely diet and fitspo culture), it’s not my job to tell them they are wrong…because right and wrong is an ever-moving target.
What I am here to do is send a message to you guys. My community. My people. I want to talk to you about the health and wellness space and what I fear is becoming a classified, privilege-based system. I’m also here to admit that I am a part of the problem, but hopefully my own admission can help you see where you’ve unintentionally passed judgement or played a role in the fracturing of the wellness space.
First, health is wealth. There is no arguing that. If you feel great, you are able to wake up everyday and do the things you need and want to do. Maybe that’s going to work, or taking care of your kids or showing up at a yoga class. If you’re feeling sick, dealing with chronic illness, addiction or pain, you cannot do these things. Or perhaps you can, but not without sacrifice. Health is never something to be taken for granted and absolutely should be one of our top priorities in life.
However, health should not mean wealth. I mean this in two ways. First, the healthcare system in the US is so messed up. As a born and raised Canadian I see it so clearly. That’s not to say the Canadian system is perfect (it’s not), but the amount you must pay for access to healthcare in this country is ABSURD. I’m lucky to be able to afford it and I 100% recognize this privilege, but it’s also absolutely crazy to me that that you must have money to get access to your basic health needs. No one should ever have to decide between their health and paying for something else. That being said, please make sure you’re covered. Health is not predictable so don’t roll the dice on it.
But what I’m really here to talk about is how money plays into our decisions when it comes to wellness. I think so many of us take for granted (myself included) what it means to pay for a yoga class or buy vegetables, let alone every new superfood powder that comes out or life-changing supplement.
Yes, I’m very much a part of the problem and I’m not going to pretend I don’t love my adaptogenic elixirs and cute yoga pants. I personally use a lot of these things in my life, and yes, professionally it is my job to promote them. By now you know I don’t promote anything I don’t love, but I also want to make it very clear that I do NOT think any of these things are essential.
You can do yoga with just your body on the floor of your bedroom. You can eat cereal instead of a green smoothie for breakfast. You can drink your coffee without MCT oil/mushrooms/god-knows-what. You can do all these things and still be healthy. They are all perks but don’t confuse them with essentials.
I don’t share every workout I do or product I’m trying out for this very reason. I have a platform and am deeply aware that my decisions influence yours. Whether you have half a million readers, or two this rule still applies. Your decisions influence those around you. It’s not that I’m not being truthful, it’s just that I don’t ever want to make anyone feel badly because they can’t afford the same things that I have access to.
I want YOU to use your critical thinking skills when you see someone else sharing their shamanic healing protocol or daily cryotherapy sessions. I’m not saying any of these things are bad, you just do not need these things to be healthy. You are absolutely welcome to experiment. In fact, I encourage it! But not if it’s going to drain your bank account or take precious time away from doing other things you love or need to do.
If you get 8 hours of sleep, you are enough. If you go for a walk, you are enough. If you get bee-venom injected into your veins daily, you are enough. Wherever you are at, you are enough.
Remember that everyone is on their own journey so please don’t pass judgement on where other people are at or what they have access to, whether it be a lot of access or very little. And don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s.
Sleep, breathe, drink water, eat your veggies and show compassion to yourself and others. Oh and free healthcare…but let’s save that talk for another day!
Thoughts??? I know this one was a heavy one…
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