There are nearly an unending number of self-help books on the market and more hit the shelves each day, including The Well Life by Briana and Dr. Peter Borten. You may think that’s a bad thing, but to me it only opens up more opportunities to find a system that works for you or finding bits and pieces from each system and making something all your own. Either way, this book has a lot to offer.
The Well Life is the culmination of years of practice and learning on the part of Briana and Peter. Each came from different backgrounds in various forms of Eastern medicine and healing treatments from cultures all over the world. Together they also opened a holistic spa called The Dragontree, with locations in Portland and Boulder. Needless to say, these are not fly-by-night folks trying to trying to jump on the self-help train. This is a passion for them.
The core of this method is split into three unique, but equally important, pieces: structure, sweetness, and space. We all understand on a basic level what “structure” is and many get the meaning behind needing “space” as well. So “sweetness” is the unique ingredient in their recipie and they define it as,
Playing, being in nature, singing, stretching, exploring, cooking, eating, loving, connecting, creating, and enjoying all come under the general heading of sweetness. Sweetness not only makes life more satisfying, it also makes you stronger and better — more authentically you.
The key here is how sweetness gives meaning to your life whether or not you reach the goals you set for yourself, because even if you don’t get there, you’ve lived in a fashion that exuded meaning anyway. It’s similar to the quote from T.S. Eliot, “The journey, Not the destination matters…”
The Well Life also makes a strong point throughout about how the world has become so fast, immediate, and demanding with our time. They coin the phrase “Human Data Stream” to entail all the information constantly being thrown at us from Facebook, our smart phones, blogs, news sites, and everywhere else. It can be exhausting trying to process it all and trying to stay up to date, but this book serves as reminder that it may not be as important as you think to be that connected. Disconnecting, and making a point to do it everyday, can be more important, if not essential to a healthy and productive life.
The last thing I’ll mention here that I highlighted for myself the section dealing with planning. I can be a notorious planner at times, while also randomly failing to plan a thing. I often find when I don’t plan things out or write out all the things I want to do I feel overwhelmed and my anxiety spikes. Briana and Peter write about planning and its importance,
Especially if there are others who depend on you, making plans is one of the most caring and respectful things you can do for them.
I often find myself torn between setting plans and being completely open for my wife and children, but here I found ammunition, not against my family, but for myself. Learning to take positive steps in controlling and balancing your time is not a selfish act, but a show of love and compassion for those who also depend and value your time.
The Well Life is a guidebook for anyone who wants to chart a new path or a seasoned traveler who is just looking for some new trails. Read it, take what you like, and if you want more you can find it here or at their spa site.