Birthdays are like New Year’s Day. They are an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and begin again, with more experience, courage, and hard won wisdom.
This year I am celebrating the beginning of my new year in the most unlikely of places, a remote fishing village on the Canadian border where snow is forecast for tomorrow. No part of it was my idea. Bermuda was my idea. But I’ll take any chance I get to put myself in front of a body of water, plug in my laptop, open a vein and let the words pour out.
This past year has been an intense one for me. Although I am impressed by what can happen when I consistently put my mind, energy, and resources behind an idea, I’m also ready for some rest and reflection. What better place to do that than in a rustic cabin where freezing rain and the threat of snow hamper any ideas of hiking?
The last time I was here, I was not a happy camper. I was experiencing hormonal shifts that were causing mild panic attacks, brain fog, mood swings, and general irritability.
What I didn’t know then but am acutely aware of now is even though you are told it’s just part of getting older and you’ll have to learn to live with it, it isn’t and you don’t. It’s just that most people don’t talk about it and therefore don’t understand there are plenty of things you can do to feel better. Suffering in silence is not one of them.
The past year for me has been all about getting my groove back and helping as many people as I can do the same. So many people have said to me, “I thought it was just me.” Or “I thought I was losing it.”
I found functional medicine doctors who could help me figure out the havoc my hormones were wreaking in response to the confused communications from command central. I don’t blame my brain for rallying the troupes around the wrong initiatives. I blame a lifetime of eating habits based on convenience, comfort, and toxic nutritional beliefs and generally checking out when I should have checked in and made some course corrections.
Dismantling the habits learned over a half a century required some serious commitment, along with a few costly mistakes, considerable investments in products and services, an adventurous spirit, and a healthy dose of humor. I read every book I could find on about nutrition, wellness, and becoming ageless.
A year later, after two 21-day detox/purification processes, learning to select and prepare nutritious foods, getting regular acupuncture treatments and exercise, and completing an 8-month eating psychology coaching certification program, I’m down 20 pounds. My blood pressure and cholesterol are down as well.
Is this the best gift I could give myself at this point in my life? Absolutely. Could I have done it sooner and saved myself a lot of grief and emotional anguish? Possibly. But in order to sustain this lifestyle shift, I had to understand why it mattered so much.
Although it would have helped me tremendously a decade ago, some journeys take time. It took Moses forty years to find his Promised Land. According to that timetable, I’m right on schedule.
There is no going back and pretending I don’t know what I now know. So though it’s been a little silent on the blogging front as I’ve been figuring this out, teaching classes, and meeting with local doctors and nutritionists, my goal for next year is to bring this information to you on a regular basis. I think of it as creating a GPS system so you don’t have to spend years wandering around the desert, questioning your sanity.
What about you? If you gave yourself the gift of a year, what would you love to accomplish so much that you’d be willing to put a plan together now to get there?
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