When I started working at MBG, I thought I was a conscious eater and active person who consumed plenty of greens, worked out regularly, and preferred Echinacea to ibuprofen for relief from the common cold. I had no idea how far removed I was from the heart of the wellness world.
Here are a few tips for anyone who’s about to embark on a strange—but infinitely stimulating and rewarding!—new path as a wellness warrior:
1. You'll start to see your old life as weird, and your new one as natural.
Is swishing coconut oil inside your mouth (more on that later) any odder than sitting down all day and connecting to a vast decentralized network that offers real-time information on virtually any subject you desire? I say no. When you eat healthy, get moving and become aware, you’ll realize just how out of touch with your own body you really are.
2. Yoga can get you in the door, but it’s not a VIP pass.
Yoga, if you haven’t noticed, is mainstream. This is a good thing. What it means, though, is that having a practice doesn’t automatically mean you’re a wellness warrior per se. The truly dedicated wellness warrior will attend a yoga retreat, a yoga teacher training, or a yoga teacher training retreat. Or maybe he'll buy a harmonium for that Kirtan camp with Jai Uttal he's always dreamed of trying, mostly because his chanting skills could use a lot of work. Or maybe he'll get through a 10-day silent meditation retreat without going bonkers and talking to walls. Now that's an automatic VIP pass. The once-a-week yoga class will be relegated to the role of necessary fitness. Not that that's a bad thing!
3. Get ready for plenty of conversations about vibrations.
Expand your horizons! You may be used to typical office life and mundane small talk (Yes, Bob, this weather IS crazy), but now there will be a 50-50 chance that someone you meet in a yoga class or food co-op will strike up an earnest conversation about how to raise your vibrations. It's fun!
4. Gluten will start to look less like a food source and more like The Enemy.
So will sugar. And GMOs. And pharmaceutical companies. And meat. And on and on and on.
5. Oil pulling and dry body brushing are totally worth a shot!
I like to think of these two practices as hitting the Platonic ideal of attractively strange and easy to incorporate. When you tell people that simply rinsing with a delicious, buttery fat every morning will clear their sinuses and make their breath smell great, in no time you’ll see them stocking up on coconut oil at their local organic market. Ditto for clearing getting your lymph moving with five minutes' worth of brushing.
6. You'll be stunned by how many careers are available in the wellness world.
Energy healer? Check. Corporate wellness advisor? Oh yeah. Holistic vibrational muse and decision masseuse? I just made that up, but it probably exists. The wellness community has creativity in spades, and it manifests through a subset of careers most traditionalists wouldn’t dream of. Don’t shy away from them!
7. You'll become a go-to wellness resource for your friends.
Random gchats like, "What's the deal with agave now?' won't faze you, and you won't have to think about your answer for more than a second. Every wellness warrior knows agave is often highly processed!
8. Food shopping will be a wildly different experience than it was before.
You'll spend more time reading ingredients and sources than you'll spend gathering the food and checking out. WAY more time. Sure, you'll have to plan out your shopping days better, but you'll rest easy knowing that whenever you reach into the fridge or pantry, you'll grab something healthy. Totally worth it.
9. You'll start to pay attention to chakras.
Most of all, you'll worry about whether or not they're balanced. Ever go out in public smelling like frankincense and neroli? Probably not. When your friends notice it and ask you about your new fragrance, you'll have the pleasure of saying, "Oh, that's frankincense and neroli. Had to balance my chakras."
10. Coconut oil will become your best friend...
It's a veritable panacea that can go in your vegan stir fry and on your dry skin.
11. ...and you'll want to be able to eat all your cosmetic products.