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Written by: Dr Arien van der Merwe MBChB FRIPH FRCAM MISMA
Medical doctor and author with extensive experience in workplace wellness, stress management and integrative medicine.

Within each of us is a ray of light, flowing from within the depth of our being.
When this light penetrates our consciousness,
we stand in that perfect moment on the true path of our life.
This true path is what we are all looking for
in everything we do and everything we pursue.

From: ‘Finding Our Way’ by Robert Rabbin

According to some reports, we have about 5-10 years left before we destroy nature, ourselves, the whole world, all of existence! These are dire predictions from various reputable sources ranging from gnostic Nostradamus, psychologist Carl Jung, author and mystic Andrew Harvey, to astrologists, astronomers, scientists and naturalists. Taking current events such as global warming and 2012 predictions into consideration, we have to pay attention! Humankind has fallen into a morass of apathy and unconcern, a shoulder shrugging ‘who cares?’ attitude to life. To many people, especially teenagers, life seems so threatening, the future so bleak, that a frenzied search for quick fix miracle cures and instant gratifications with its inevitable pendulum swing to hopelessness, helplessness, illness and depression have become the neuroses of our time. Teenage suicides show a disturbing increase.

Never before in human history has a positive wellness approach to health and wellbeing been more important. We can stop the wheel, not to get off, but to change its direction. We can make a difference through making the correct choices. Every single human being can look deep into his / her own soul and find the answers for the whole world’s salvation there. From the workplace to the home, the community to the world, the importance of each individual contribution has never been more important. Global communication has made the sharing of everyone’s special gifts and skills possible and of the utmost importance. Care of the soul has become the most important way to wellness in a changing world!

Wellness started on the physical plane with fitness, nutrition, complementary health options and weight management. Soon the need for emotional and intellectual interventions arose. Now, soul or spiritual wellness interventions have become of the utmost importance. There is a huge collective need for nourishment of the soul, for a return of Sophia or the goddess, the gentler female principle of receptivity, flow and heartfelt interaction with others, that will balance the power of the male principle of action, force, creative impulse, gone out of balanced control, ultimately leading to integration of male and female energies – a world in harmony! This is possible in our time.

In order to lead a wellness lifestyle, we need to maintain balance and harmony in all levels of our human existence: the physical, emotional, mental and soul aspects. This of course, would also include the occupational and social aspects. Soul is the manifestation and expression of universal spirit in each individual person, in the larger earth community and in the world around us. The soul is our inner being, our psyche, the part that exists beyond time and space. Soul provides us with a sense of knowing that we belong as part of the universe, giving us our sense of deeper meaning and our awareness of our purpose and goal in this life.

The real solutions to the dramatic increase and threatening workplace problem posed by the chronic diseases of lifestyle, and especially then heart disease and HIV/Aids, will lie in an integrative wellness approach where body, mind, emotions and soul work together for lasting wellness solutions. Peer educator training is becoming an ever increasing practical way of ensuring and maintaining lasting health and wellness behaviour that help people change from within, from the deepest recesses of their minds, to the genetic imprint of their DNA. We have to feel the change inside our hearts, not only on a mental or intellectual level, and help others to also do it.

Alarming statistics

Cardiovascular (heart and blood vessels) disease is the no. 1 killer in the world. Globally, every 5 minutes, 160 people die from this illness (health challenge). Worldwide, this is more than double the deaths from HIV/Aids, TB and malaria combined. In South Africa, the statistics are different, where Aids, TB and malaria cause at least 1000 deaths a day, but even here, heart disease comes very close as cause of death. These health challenges are cries from our souls for attention, as individuals as well as a society, the microcosm and the macrocosm.

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