The Philosophy of Well-being: The Wisdom of Alan Watts
“The meaning of life is to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic, as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.” -Alan Watts
Author: Nina Ruud
Alan Watts was born in England in 1915 at the start of the First World War. He wrote more than 25 books on traditional eastern philosophies and their application to modern society. In discovering ancient literature rooted in Zen Buddhism and Taoism, Watts embraced simplicity, interconnectedness, and compassion as core fundamentals of life. Alan Watts died in 1973, but his teachings will live on for those ready to listen.
So, what does a deceased philosopher have to do with well-being?
So much of our lives depend on the attitude and perception we carry. As a wellness practitioner, I’ve made a few observations over the years on the connection between mind and body. My sessions always begin with an intake and assessment of all the pains and discomforts taking place. We discuss probable sources, postural patterns, trauma history and current methods of treatment to develop strategies for improvements. The craftsmanship of the therapist plays an integral role, however, the most important element is in the perspective of the client. It is they whom ultimately make the decision to change their lives for the better.
“The only way to make sense out of change, is to plunge into it, move with it and join the dance” -AW
When our bodies lose flexibility from repeated movement, lack of movement, or improper movement, our stress and anxiety rise. It’s a closed circuit operation when clients complain of sitting at a desk, commuting long hours in a car, and lack of adequate exercise. Relationship stress, financial stress and insomnia often to follow, further depleting our life force and keeping life frustrating. Does this sound like anyone you know?
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you are right!” –AW
If we want to upgrade our level of well-being, we need to also upgrade our perspective. Constantly on the go, we are unable to differentiate the natural signals our bodies produce. Spending time in contemplative stillness, even for brief moments, we allow our body to communicate what it is experiencing, and what it needs. By getting to the root of our obstacles and changing our attitudes, we can grow into the direction of our higher purpose. When you find life to be frustrating and difficult, a new mindset can be just the right medicine.
“The more you give, the more it will come.” -AW
The more you invest into your wellness practice, the more influence it will have on your life.
“Who are you? You are a fantastically complex human being, you are the universe.” -AW