• Christina Alexandria

8 Stages of Wellness: A New Direction

Updated: Jan 7

December 2020, my job hosted it's 1st Inaugural Small Business Conference. There was a guest speaker line up and we really wanted to make sure that we touched on every piece of business ownership; including personal development. On day 2, we had a phycologist, Dr. Tiffany Mimms, discuss balancing wellness & entrepreneurship.

Being semi-versed in Wellness, I was eager to attend this session. We had an opportunity to roundtable and discuss our different struggles as business owners. Wellness, well lack thereof, was the central focus of our woes and Dr. Mimms brought up the "8 Stages of Wellness". I was familiar with 5 stages:

  1. Physical

  2. Mental

  3. Emotional

  4. Spiritual

  5. Financial

However, Dr. Mimms presented an additional 3 stages that I had never considered:

  1. Occupational

  2. Environmental

  3. Social

All 8 stages, attribute to our wholistic wellness and so when we lack in one or more of these areas, it impacts are livelihood. She also linked us a chart that allows us to manage our wellness as consistently as we choose. And so after the hour, I spent the month studying each stage. Coming into the understanding that wellness is the center in all that we do.

Our dreams, goals, aspirations, motivations...the driving forces that we rely on, they are all centered in wellness. And so when we are not well, achievements dwindle and dreams defer. We lose the grip of our passions and pathways. We succumb to our demons and shadow selves. Depression, anxiety, imposter syndrome, and the like, rear their heads and stare us dead in the face. They are the only voices we hear. Doubt sets in. We lose sight. We lose certainty. We lose faith.

At the same time of these realizations, I had no idea that I would live what I learned. It started physically, 2 months before we had our conference. In October, my left knee went out and I need assistance walking on a cane. A week later, I was in a car accident. He didn't see the traffic light and I was in bed with bulged lower discs, weak hips, and struggling left knee. I had to let go of paid projects and collaborations. My job was put on hold. I was mandated to stay home for 2 weeks and participate in a 2 month battle to figure out the extent of my injuries.

I tried to occupy my time but environmentally, my life at home was draining me. And since, I couldn't leave because of the financial burden of the car accident, my mental, emotional, and spiritual self began to crush under the weight of my circumstances. In a matter of weeks, 6 of my 8 stages had exhausted themselves and I too, was falling apart. Imposter Syndrome set in and it's voice was louder than anyone else. I would talk to my social circles, but because I was so far gone, that stage then suffered. 7 of my 8 stages, empty.

And so you can imagine, occupationally/creatively, I was done.

8 for 8.

I crumbled.

I cried, for WEEKS. Everyday. Seeking the lesson of the season. Trying to surmise a piece of understanding. Until, all I could do, was to be still and I keep to myself. Isolated. But, fortunately, like that tired saying goes, "Everything happens for a reason."

A week before Christmas, I had a complete emotional meltdown and it lead me to FINALLY calling my life coach. She gave me space to sit in my emotional, spiritual, and mental self, something I hadn't given to me. All she simply said, "You know what you need to do. Be in this moment of acknowledgement but also know you are not trapped. You are not a victim. You have conquered so many mountains. And maybe, just maybe, this season is something you need to understand, so others can be well."

A lightbulb clicked. The sun shined through. And a little bit of my social, emotional, mental, and spiritual wellness was restored. Yes, there were some life lessons that I had learned about myself (I'll get into those later), however, an answer to a silent prayer came into my consciousness: be well, spread light, die empty.You see, I sat down with the Universe years ago and told her I wanted to grow & be a vessel. That is where Die Empty came from. And it is a lifestyle. I wanted to be sure that I am a steward over the life that I live, the words that I speak, and the light that I shine. I had been struggling since August 2020 to figure out how I was going to shift the messaging of my platform to leave impact & educate.

I did not know I would have to live the narrative that I would be shifting into; even though, I am not surprised. And as I am doing the continued work of being well, I now have a central focus to share with you all. I've been 100% depleted. I absolutely NEVER want to experience that again. October to now, I have gone from the peak of my 2020 to the death valley of this level of my life. Now, I'm crawling out, and I'm sharing how.

Understand that Wellness is not an achievement, it doesn't happen once and then you're well for life. Sorry, but NAH. It is a daily walk. A daily adjustment. It never ends. But with mindfulness and attunement to self, we'll both learn how to be well, spread light, and die empty.

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