Lately I've been especially skeptical of the health and wellness industry (which is now worth 4 TRILLION dollars!) and I've wrestled with my thoughts the past few days to understand what it is exactly that doesn't sit well with me. It's difficult for me to observe the health and wellness industry objectively because my life has been heavily influenced by it. Meditation, yoga, and self awareness have greatly shaped who I've become, and yet I sometimes feel resistance towards the industry.
The answer came to me after asking myself what the essence of the industry is––what is the primary teaching at the heart of health and wellness? From what I know, the industry was born out of loving and positive intentions. As Western people soaked in anxiety and depression responded to the industry in search of solutions, people driven by money and prestige naturally moved in.
When that happens to any industry, idea, or product, the core of it is processed and manipulated into a myriad of versions as the essence becomes more and more disfigured, less genuine, and therefore less nourishing or beneficial.
Take food for an example. In their natural state, fruits and vegetables are extremely nourishing for our bodies and critical to our overall wellbeing. But in Western society, ill intentions have invaded the food industry and taken what's pure and wholesome on its own and manipulated it to the point that much of the food available to us is now more harmful than good. Raw foods, like an apple, have been processed over and over again into food items like Apple Nutrigrain Bars that claim the whole, but have instead removed the vast majority of the original element and created something new and less vital by filling it with other junk.
One of modern society’s greatest challenges is staying connected with the unprocessed aspects of our lives—in our food, in our bodies, and in our hearts. Even with industries like health and wellness that were formed out of a desire to bring good, it's important to still be aware of its processed versions, which can have a more negative than positive impact.
When our lives feel off balance, it might be because we’ve put processed versions in place of what we’re really seeking—the raw ingredients. In moments when you feel confused or lost or unfulfilled, then strip it all down and start again, at the seed. Make your way back home to what’s raw. Unrefined. Unfiltered. Unprocessed. In your food, in your heath, and in your journey of living an authentic life. The original core of anything, including yourself, is where you’ll find answers; where you’ll remember once again.