In my mind I had this vivid image of how I wanted my life to be. But when I opened my eyes and looked around, I saw nothing that came even close to resembling the life I had envisioned. It became painfully clear to me that I had let this period of denial go on for far too long.
Drastic change was in order.
As I think back, it's truly impossible for me to pinpoint the exact moment or particular set of circumstances that finally influenced me to take those first few steps toward my own personal resurrection. It's akin to when you first learned how to read: you could not tell me the exact day because it was such a lengthy process that required many months of trial and error. But eventually the hard work you put in pays off and the jumbled groups of letters finally start making sense to you.
If you think about it, almost every change in our lives happens in a similar order:
- set a goal
- work hard to achieve a little every day
- finally achieve the goal you set for yourself
- either set a new goal or commit to improve on the prior achievement
From where I was at that time, the idea of ever attaining the life I had envisioned seemed almost impossible. Suffice it to say I had the vision, but I had absolutely no idea how I was ever going to connect the dots in order to get from where I was to where I ultimately wanted to be.
What I didn't understand for a long time was that it was okay that I didn't know how I was going to make it all come together right away. If you think about it, nobody does. How many times in your life have things turned out completely different from the way you originally had planned? We know that things are bound to happen that will temporarily disrupt even our best laid plans. All we can do is map things out as best we can, prepare for the good and bad in-between, and trust that we will reach our destination no matter what happens along the way.
That is the most difficult part of all: taking that first step towards change without knowing how or when you are going to reach your destination. Let me assure you, the path will not always be clear. When I first started out, I had this idea of living a life that was completely different from the one I was living at the time. Impatient, I resolved to give up everything all at once in the hope that I would arrive at my dream life by suppertime tomorrow. Unfortunately, change does not happen as quickly as we'd like it to. I learned that lasting change requires tremendous effort and a lot time.
Much to my amazement, once I put myself out there and took that first step, the rest of the staircase began revealing itself to me little by little each day. That first step may have been one of the hardest things I've ever had to do in my life. It required me having to accept the truth that I did not like who I was anymore, and helped me to understand that I was the only person who could ever do anything to change that.
So I began small, making slight adjustments based on a simple list that I compiled of things I wanted to change about myself and the way that I that I was living. I would write down something like, "I don't like that I am overweight," or "I don't like that I work this hard and yet have no money to spend." Beneath those statements I would write what I thought I would have to do in order to change that statement and reach each particular goal.
For example, under "overweight" I would write something like:
- "I will exercise for at least a half-hour every day of the week for an entire year." or,
- "I will keep a food journal every day to track and regularly assess my eating habits."
Once I had them written down on paper I stopped worrying about whether or not I was doing enough with my time. And instead I focused on trying to slow myself down and actually achieve my goals one small step at a time.
What I realized after getting everything out of my head was that it opened up space for me to observe the world and what was going on around me. I finally awoke from my monotonous slumber and took responsibility for where my life had taken me. It's hard to explain, but I promise that once you take the initiative and practice consciously writing down what you do not like and what you want to ultimately change about your life - I don't care how large or small - you will notice a dramatic and vibrant change within it.
You'll begin living your life with fresh eyes. The old you who was dead to everything will once again be alive and you will see a world full of potential and brand new possibilities. You'll start doing everything more deliberately and you will open your eyes and see new things that had been staring you in the face all this time but you just never noticed before.
After writing down that I wanted to be healthy and lose weight, I started to realize quickly that my eating habits were not in balance with the healthy lifestyle I desired for myself. I vividly recall going grocery shopping soon after making my list and for the first time paying attention to the nutrition information that was listed on the food I was buying. I could not believe that up until that point I had not once bothered to so much as glance at that information - much less take time out of my life to do research and investigate what it all actually meant.
This small shift in my awareness may seem insignificant but it is actually is what got me started on the path towards optimum health, significant weight loss, and to me reaching my goal.
Now I realize that my story might not be your story. Most likely, you probably have dreams and goals and problems of your own that I might not even be able to understand - and that's okay.
My hope is that through reading my story it might somehow inspire you to wake up to the not-so-great parts of your life that you have become dead to. And that it gives you the courage to face your demons head on so that you can start to live the life you were put on this earth to live - a life full of abundance, happiness and joy.
One thing I know for certain, is that there is something special about you. Please don't waste one more day and not shine your light for everyone else to see.