I am a living, breathing, trudging onward authority on the quest for wellness. I'm not an athlete, my body is imperfect, and sometimes I choose unhealthy indulgence. Yet, no one has worked harder to achieve optimal health. The most important lesson I have learned is that wellness isn't being disease free, it is being dis-ease-free.

Wellness is a balance of mind, body, spirit in peaceful vitality. Good health is achieved by tending to each aspect of our humanness: our mental and emotional states, spirituality, bodily function and design.

Questions I ask myself in the ongoing quest for wellness:

• Do I live with integrity? If I am chasing self-shame I will not be good to myself or others

• Do I make conscious and responsible choices? If I approve of my behavior I won't be afraid to look. If I hold myself responsible for my actions, I will choose the right path.

• Do I act upon my best interest? Do I embrace myself as I would a child entrusted in my care. When I tend to my needs I enrich my body, mind and spirit with strength for tending to others.

• How do I nourish and nurture my body with food, sleep, exercise and physical affection?
Do I eat to live or live to eat? Over-indulgence in food, alcohol, drugs, smokes, sleep and even  exercise or play is not a gift to the self; it is an attempt to feed the soul arsenic. 
Do I tend to my body's signals? For instance, do I ignore signs of fatigue? What are the consequences? Mistakes, anger, frustration, restlessness, insomnia, difficulty going on to the next task? 
Do I recognize my limits: challenging for growth rather than pushing to excessive pain or injury?
What treats do I offer my body: meditation, hugs with loved ones, massage, physical therapy, jin shin jyutsu?

• How do I feed my spirit?
   Am I a person I look up to?
   Do I live my beliefs?
   Do I surround myself with people I admire?
   Do I observe and appreciate?
   Do I include time to just be?
   Do I participate in social interactions?

For as long as we live, wellness is an ongoing quest, not a destination. Wellness is achieved by consciously choosing what is in our best interest. It doesn't mean we never indulge or over-indulge; it means we accept responsibility and ramifications of our actions. Wellness means nourishing and nurturing body, mind, spirit.

Diana deRegnier writes from her home in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her articles appear in online and print publications around the world. Diana welcomes comments and queries. Her email is spiritlinks@comcast.net. (c.) Diana deRegnier 2009