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How To Achieve Enduring Health and Vitality
John W. Travis, M.D. & Regina Sara Ryan
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How Best to Use The Wellness Energy System

Now we are ready to study each of the twelve areas of the Wellness Energy System in greater depth. Each of the remaining sections in the Personal Wellness Area covers one form of energy. Additionally, completing the Wellness Inventory* will help you assess how well you are balancing the twelve expressions of energy and raise questions for you to explore as you read.

The sequence of the sections approximates the order in which these forms of energy develop in human beings. In each section we will discuss some possible problems and diseases caused by mismanaging that form of energy. We also suggest ways to optimize the expression of each form of energy. There is overlap, of course, and it is also okay to follow your strongest interests, skipping around to read what ever sections interest you the most.

This text does not provide ready answers. We hope it will take you into unexpected places and leave you there to explore. For logical thinkers this may be a challenge.

We have interspersed the factual text with exercises and personal examples. This may be confusing to some people, but we think it both addresses the logical, verbal parts of you, as well as to invite your participation in non-logical processes like intuition, creativity, and feelings. We want to address the whole of you - whole brain, whole heart, whole body, whole soul - so be prepared.

Here are a few suggestions for starting out:

  • Master the three keys. This may sound like a riddle, but if you've read this far, the three keys are already in your hands. Simply keep them and use them as you continue exploring the sections that follow. The keys are the three graphic illustrations of wellness that have been elaborated upon in this section: 1) the Illness/Wellness Continuum, 2) the Iceberg Model, and, most important of all, 3) the Wellness Energy System. If you don't clearly understand any of these, please refer back to them now.
  • Expect more questions than answers. The philosopher Alfred North Whitehead once said: "This generation has all the answers. It's the questions that we seek." We agree. If you finish reading a section and find yourself with more whys and hows than when you started, we will have done our job. This text is not about herbs, diets, or exercise regimens, even though some of these things are considered in depth. Wellness is so much more. Wellness is about you, trusting your energy, and creating your unique and vibrant life in your own way. And that may take some serious question-asking.
  • Stay active in the process. This is a text to be played with, not a novel to get lost in. Stay wide-awake as you read, by actively participating with us. Do the exercises. Keep lists of questions. Develop a personal wellness journal to chart your progress. Argue when you want to; write us a letter. We invite your interaction, your energy, your insights. It is important to remember that wellness is a process and that, once begun, this exploration is a lifelong adventure.
  • Don't do it right. If there is one way to discourage learning of any kind, it is to consciously attempt to avoid mistakes. We would like you to welcome them. If you're not making any in your life now, it's probably because you aren't taking any risks. It's time to venture forth.

Use the text as a jumping-off point for some new experimentation, self-reflection, and reeducation, and let false starts and dead ends be your friends and teachers. Expect nothing, but anticipate miracles.

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. . . . And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer. - Rainer Maria Rilke

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