Honoring Our Differences
While scheduling meetings in my calendar, I noticed big, bold, red letters alerting me to an important event on December 3rd: “International Day of People with Disabilities”.
I often think about the democratic ethos of Wholistic Wellbeing: if openness is its cornerstone, it’s also a way of reappraising marginalized communities and helping them reclaim their narrative. The mindset of Wholistic Wellbeing champions an inclusive vision of society and a workplace where all kinds of bodies, minds, and people cooperate and act kindly toward one another; where we function as a Big Mind, helping each other and thus reaching higher as we include all kinds of perspectives in our work.
This is actually how we have designed our blueprint for Wholistic Wellbeing. Often, well-meaning and older spiritual practice leaders based their work on developing bodies with stereotypical notions of the “body beautiful” as we see in the media. Both practitioners and teachers may forget this and unconsciously exclude anyone who does not conform to their narrow assumptions of the “right body,” or the “correct position,” so the disabled may be excluded from the sorts of Wholistic Wellbeing activities we are all encouraged to join. We have to be more inclusive, and if we perceive anything to exclude it may be necessary to adapt our activity to include.
I remember the time when my Yoga teacher placed a chair in the corner of the studio, saying if for any reason any of the exercises were incompatible, we should find a version that works while sitting. Through this inclusive and adaptable mindset, this teacher became my favorite. And more widely, by being aware of those who identify as disabled, we become more aware of the essence of our actions and of our own Wholistic Wellbeing.
In this world of endless data and information, we all want to be able to slow down, remain calm and positive, go clearly about our lives, to love life and exude positive energy to those around us. Let’s do this by reaching out and including those marginalized by society in the past. Through the truly democratic narrative of Wholistic Wellbeing, we allow ourselves to grow and be taught by those who were previously excluded.