When I think of wellness, I think of the movie titled, “The Road to Wellville” which starred Anthony Hopkins, Matthew Broderick and John Cusack.  It centers on the life of clean-living advocate, John Harvey Kellogg and takes place at the start of the 20th century at the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan.

This movie led me to research John Harvey Kellogg and the Battle Creek Sanitarium.  What I found was a man and a facility that was years ahead of its time.  Both bring new meaning to the phrase "holistic health".

“The Road to Wellville” is categorized as a comedy-drama and, although we laugh at the antics of Matthew Broderick's character when he is getting his first colonic, we now know that colonics can be a great way to safely rid the body of its toxins.  Even Princess Diana was known to have had colonics on a regular basis.

For me, wellness is a journey of discovery on my own road to Wellville.  I was raised in a home where western medicine was embraced and encouraged.  My father was a registered pharmacist and my mother was a registered nurse.  If you had a medical issue, you went to the doctor and asked for a prescription.

It never occurred to me until I was an adult that more prescriptions did not mean you were healthier.  In fact, I learned it was the opposite.   Wait a minute!  This seems like a contradiction.  If this is so unhealthy, why does our society embrace this? To further the irony, I work in an Intensive Care Unit at a metropolitan hospital.  That is the epic center of prescription medication in action.  It is perhaps the other end of the extreme.  And, yes, sometimes these medications save lives.

This is where I have learned that wellness is not about medication or the lack thereof.  It runs much deeper.  It is about wholeness, happiness, gratitude and anything that makes your heart sing.  That which touches your soul will also touch your heart and your mind.

wellness is more than just healthy eating and exercise.  It is more than balancing my work life with my personal life.  It is finding those things which bring me peace, solitude, and knowing and feeling that I am loved.

Writing allows me to work creatively.  I love words and I love to put words to work.  I feel my best when I am writing.  In addition to writing I love to swim.  I feel supported by the water and swimming becomes effortless.  It is a form of communing with nature.

I also love music.  I have always wanted to learn how to play the piano.  This year I received a keyboard for Christmas.  Now I can take my love of music and learn to produce it myself.  It is another layer on the self-actualization pyramid.

My road to Wellville also includes volunteerism.  When we serve others, we also benefit.  I find that volunteerism keeps my juices flowing and I become a better person.  This year I am offering my time and talents to the "Stamp out Hunger" campaign.

I have always said that if you cannot love an animal, you cannot love a person.  Pets show us what it is to be loved - unconditionally.  Last year, I had knee replacement surgery.  My cats, Truffle and Micro were by my side from the minute I came home from the hospital.  They took turns sleeping in shifts next to me.  When one got up, the other took his place.  The humming sound of their purr was comforting. Pets can help fill empty holes in our hearts.  Whether they provide companionship for the lonely, or help to protect a family, they play an important role.  Whether it is walking the family dog or playing with a kitten, animals enhance our health and our lives.  There is nothing like a puppy or kitten to make you feel like a silly child again.

Every facet of our life impacts our journey to wellness: our thoughts, our actions and our emotions.  For what we think about, we bring about.

Wendy Doherty




I like the line, "What we think about, we bring about."


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