As I described here, I don’t think it’s enough for us, as doctors and other health care providers, to aim for helping our patients get well. Yes, it’s critical to help people move from sick to well, but then what? So many of my patients go to their doctors, complaining from symptoms of this mojo-sapping epidemic that seems to be infecting the developed world. We feel fatigued, depressed, listless, unfulfilled. We suffer from decreased libido, lack of spiritual connection, insomnia, anxiety, and other vague symptoms.
So we go to the doctor, feeling like something must be “off.” And the doctor runs tests but pronounces us “well.” Only we don’t feel well. We’re not technically sick, but we’re definitely not vital.
When I think of my definition of health, it extends way beyond wellness. Vitality, life force, verve, and joie de vivre come to mind, but we mustn’t discount the body itself. We need a word that encompasses all that it means to be globally healthy. Personally, I prefer the word “mojo,” which someone in the Owning Pink community defined as “MOre JOy.”
Many people don’t really understand when I use the word “mojo.” They think I’m talking about what Austin Powers lost – and that’s certainly part of it. So I’ve started using the term interchangeably with the word “whole” instead of “healthy.” Try it out. See how it feels for you. Do you want to be whole?
Being whole means that you are enough – just as you are. Dictionary.com defines “whole” as “pertaining to all aspects of human nature, especially one’s physical, intellectual, and spiritual development.” And that’s a good start.
A synonym for “whole” is “complete,” and yet, “complete” doesn’t do it for me. “Complete” implies a beginning and an end. “Complete” suggests that you can arrive and be done, that you can achieve completeness and then rest on your complete laurels.
“Whole” knows better. “Whole” understands that it’s all about the journey, not the destination. “Whole” is an ongoing process, something you continually strive for and never give up seeking.
But to me, “whole” means much more. It encompasses everything we think of when we think of “vitality,” “life force,” “verve,” and “joie de vivre,” but it also contains within it many other facets of who we are – not just the physical body and our mental health, but our spirituality, work/ life purpose, creativity, sexuality, environment, financial issues, and much more.
To me, when all those things are in balance, we feel whole.