We’ve all heard the call to self-care, some have even heeded it. But what if, beyond the core concept of taking care of your physical, emotional, and spiritual self, there was a deeper engine of discord and exclusion at play? Wellbeing is, no doubt, key to living a good life, but wellness – as a concept – over the years, has become an industry, and along with that has come both incredible benefits and also a host of co-opted, problematic ideals, offerings and structures.
A look under the hood often reveals an arguably toxic industry with deep cracks in its foundation that threaten to reveal the inequitable, exclusionary, shame-driven, perfection-aspiring, and, on occasion, even predatory side of wellness culture. But, it doesn’t have to be that way.
That’s what we’re exploring in today’s episode with community organizer and wellness activist Kerri Kelly. Kerri is the founder of CTZNWELL, a movement that is democratizing well-being for all. As a descendant of generations of firemen and first responders, Kerri has dedicated her life to kicking down doors and fighting for justice. She’s been teaching yoga for over 20 years and is known for making waves in the wellness industry by challenging norms, disrupting systems, and mobilizing people to act. Kerri is the author of the forthcoming book American Detox: The Myth of Wellness and How We Can Truly Heal, and through her work and her advocacy, she’s been instrumental in translating the practices of wellbeing into social and political action and working in collaboration with community organizers, spiritual leaders, and policymakers to transform our systems from the inside out.
Today, I get the pleasure of chatting more about her ideas, activism, and all the ins and outs of wellness culture through her lens. And in this conversation, you’ll hear us talk about the aftermath of 9/11 and how loss and grief pushed Kerri into the world of wellness; we explore wellness as we’ve come to know it today and its transformation into a symbol of luxury, the divisiveness of the movement, the deep systematic problems that plague its culture, and what we can do about it. So excited to share this conversation with you.
If you LOVED this episode:
- You’ll also love the conversations we had with Aviva Romm, MD about women’s health.
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