Wellbeing: a no limits approach


Ingrid Frengley-Vaipuna

Gifted Education Specialist, University of Waikato
New Zealand


Well being.
Being well.
Unwellness. Wellness.
I have been pondering what the words mean. The layers. The complexities. The simplicities.
My being is well when I feel free. I am well when my autonomy and independence are not questioned. When my free will is not compromised. When I can wander through Nature as Iwish. When I am not afraid. When the Earth holds me safe.
Lockdown hurt.
Watching the US implode with unwellness. With anger and hate.
Watching the graphs of the numbers of dead rise. With tears and grief.
Watching myself fall into places of despair. With screaming and a craving for oblivion.
Watching my close ones cope (or not).
Watching old wounds reopen and fester.
Watching the Earth reveal herself from beneath the poisons industry and consumption have
assaulted her with.
Watching the tension between health and money.
For me, as lockdown went on some of this manifested into physical unwellness. Tantrums.
Skin allergies. Depression. Cooking became the household distraction and we all ate and
drank too much.


Over my life I have often been unwell. I know what heals me. Nature. The Earth. Papatuanuku. I had to put my hands in the soil to combat the almost overwhelming sense of terror at the new language (lockdown, levels, bubbles...), the ‘new normal’ (zui, google classroom, Facetime, social distancing, being kind, the 1.30pm updates, devices and home schooling for all…) and the way it felt as if it might never ever end. Nature, nurture - we forget that Nature nurtures. The soil and its bounty - propagating, pruning, digging, mulching, planting, harvesting. My garden has never had so much attention. There will be an abundance to share in the Spring.


Wellbeing depends on us living in harmony with our planet. There must be no limit to the care that we now bestow upon our Earth. Christiana Figueres warns that if we return to the old normal we will lock in rising emission levels. This is the time for change. The time for green economies. The time for regenerative agriculture. We need to be kind to the Earth. For the future wellbeing of those of us who have, and will survive, the pandemic we need her to be well. For the wellbeing of future generations she must get better. It is time to support the feisty young climate justice activists our gifted children have grown into. It is possible to change. We have the science and technology to cease the damage with healthy alternatives.


I am optimistic. My wellbeing is restored. The Earth can heal. We can do it. We must do it.

He waka eke noa.


About Ingrid Frengley-Vaipuna


Ingrid Frengley-Vaipuna is a gifted education specialist currently working at the University of Waikato. She oversees the Te Kete Ipurangi (TKI) gifted education site (https://gifted.tki.org.nz) for the Ministry of Education and moderates the TKI gifted mailing list. Ingrid’s MEd thesis was on gifted Tongan youth: Creating Kakala: gifted and talented Tongan students in New Zealand secondary schools.





Posted as part of the 2020 New Zealand Gifted Awareness Blog Tour, run by the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education.

The views and opinions expressed in the Gifted Awareness Week Blog Tour are solely those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of NZCGE, their staff, and/or any/all contributors to Gifted Awareness Week.




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