Dedicated to Gord Downie of the Canadian band, The Tragically Hip, who has created the music of my youth and is now suffering from terminal brain cancer. I went to school with you at Queen’s. Walked the streets of my hometown with you in Kingston, Ontario. Bought tickets for my children to attend your concerts. You don’t know me, but you know me as you know your audience because your poetry has touched me.
Long weekends promise rest, fun, a change of pace, even something new. As I pack my bag for a delicious few days in the pristine north country, I also think of new beginnings. What will your new beginnings be as the seasons change? Will you set new fitness goals? Will you once and for all quit sugar? As you cruise up the highway listening to the Tragically Hip’s, Wheat Kings, where will your thoughts take you?
The change of seasons is an ideal time to evaluate where you have been and where you are going. In traditional cultures, the change of seasons, particularly from summer to fall/winter, speak of shifting gears, stocking up and changing summer’s lighter fare to heartier foods. It’s a time of evaluation and preparation. It’s a time of promise. Of courage to face change.
It also asks us to consider the nagging problem of physical wellness. If you didn’t do anything physical this summer, would autumn be a good time to start? The children are back at school. There will be more time for you. Your friends have established a running club and you are going. If you enjoyed open water swims in a crystal clear lake, would it be possible to dive into a swim group, like a Masters’ swim club or a triathlon training group? If you are aching to learn the waltz, is now the time to join up? You could be ready for that memorable dance at your child’s upcoming wedding. New mothers, Baby loves the outdoors. Bundle her up against you, or in her pram and go for a walk in the outdoors. Healing for both of you.
We can take a page from Nature. Nature does what it must to prepare for the changes in climate ahead. These are non-negotiable principles of life. Plants and animals become dormant, slowing down, hibernating or migrating. What is no longer needed, is now shed. Trees drop fruit, nuts, and seeds to prepare for the seasons ahead. What can be done now to foster new growth for times ahead? To shore up the immune system? To bolster strength?
It’s also a time to shift your own gears. Psychologically, you want to prepare for the new, or maintain, and even gain. The continued pressures of life demand much, so much that illness often seems inevitable. It doesn’t have to be. Practicing excellent self-care strategies is a lot like preparing for the changes in your own seasons. If your continued healthy habits add up to wellness, then you know these too, are non-negotiable principles of life. They work for you because the results present themselves in your physical self. You are lean, healthy, able, flexible and cognitive.
The body keeps a 100% accurate journal of your self-care habits. It never lies.
In my years as the creator of the Eat-Clean Diet® series, I have learned firsthand how powerful, simple, small changes can be. Living without health is no life. Committing to banish nutrient devoid, engineered foods from your diet is, admittedly, hard work. But it’s a journey, not to be completed in one day, yet undertaken just the same.
I had to do the hard work on myself too.
Sometimes it’s hard to get it right, but try you must. The alternative, as millions are learning, is suffering, and not what life was meant to be about. Set your goals to a new season of wellness, one you haven’t even contemplated yet. Imagine that you can be the owner of a lean, powerful, healthy, body and mind. See yourself wearing the clothes of that person. Watch yourself go through your day with purpose and passion, doing YOU like you’ve never done YOU before. This season it’s your turn to take back what is rightfully yours – optimal wellness. That is the only new beginning that matters.
For the many who suffer, not through poor lifestyle choices, but because that is where life brings them now, I understand that too. For you, I pray for the lesson and for comfort.
Warmly, with the sun on my back and the wind in my face.
I am always, always listening.
PS. Share your You do You story with me. What will your New Beginning be? Share. Here. In the Comments section below.