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Home arrow Psychology arrow The Life and Creative Works of Paulo Coelho : A Psychobiography from a Positive Psychology Perspective
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The Holistic Wellness Model Re-Examined

The theoretical background of holistic wellness will be discussed in the light of Paulo Coelho’s life and creative works.

The HWM was chosen as a theoretical model because of its integrativeness, its multidimensionality and its synergetic approach. Holistic wellness was viewed within the frame of positive psychology (Roscoe, 2009) and it was seen as a basis for positive functioning. With regard to Paulo Coelho’s life, it can be emphasised that his strong holistic wellness, which is balanced by life tasks and life forces, contributed to his optimal functioning (Roscoe, 2009) - which is also connected to personal responsibility and motivation - as a writer. The strong holistic wellness in Paulo Coelho seems to contribute positively to his creativity and writing.

The findings show that Coelho strives for a personal “wholeness”, which according to early approaches is part of wellness and well-being (Sweeney, 2009). As described by Myers (2009), holistic wellness integrates physical, psychological and spiritual aspects. Coelho addresses all three aspects of holistic wellness through, for example, walking, archery and aikido (physical), deep reflection and exchange of ideas with his wife (psychological) and a deep connection to God, nature and RAM (spiritual).

As emphasised by Hettler (1984, p. 14) wellness is “an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward a more successful existence”. This is true for Paulo Coelho, too. His autobiographical accounts show that Coelho feels well, positive, successful and in contact with positively perceived emotions when he is active, aware and able to make (intuitive) decisions that are aligned with his emotions and beliefs.

Myers et al. (2000) developed their model of wellness as a multidimensional, synergetic wellness construct with a holistic and integrative focus (Sect. 4.3). Spirituality is conceived as the foundation of wellness and the individual is viewed as the central point of subjective focus of wellness. Findings show that spirituality is definitely the central point of Paulo Coelho’s wellness. However, spirituality does not contribute to Coelho’s wellness only, but also - if unfulfilled, unsatisfying or unfitting in its way of conduct - to ill-health. With regard to Coelho’s life and creative work, his subjective wellness seems to be strongly interrelated to spirituality, which is connected to the life task self-direction and love and the life forces of religion and family.

 
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