Transformation Part 2: Stop, Stand and Start
It was time to grieve the ending of my complacency, avoidance and magical thinking. High scores and bigger numbers are welcomed results for academic exams, bank accounts and maybe even “likes” on Instagram, yet not on a blood test for cholesterol and glucose. Numbers don’t lie, yet I had been doing quite a bit of falsifying the discomfort I felt in my own skin until the “H” for “high” on the computerized notification really represented, “Hellooooo, is anyone home???”
I had to stop being a negligent homeowner who doesn’t stay on top of necessary maintenance. Buckets of grief filled over about a four year period, absence from exercise, working more and playing less, and indulgent eating habits I’ll blame on the pandemic. All of these and more contributed to my home “body” being less than structurally sound.
We can sit in the driver seat of our intentions, yet don’t have the key to get started. Or, we fill up the tank of our motivation vehicle, yet run out of owning its purpose only to abandon the expedition on the side of our lives. Here are a few examples of those who STARTED at various ages and stages of their lives:
- Audrey Hepburn stars as Eliza Doolittle in the film version of My Fair Lady – age 35
- Mark Twain publishes The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – age 40
- Gustave Eiffel completes designing the Paris tower that will be named for him – age 56
- Betty Ford opens up her self-named clinic for substance abusers – age 64
- Michelangelo designs the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome – age 72
- Barbara McClintock wins the Nobel Prize for Physiology for her revolutionary work in genetics – age 81
- Mother Jones, union organizer, writes her autobiography – age 94
To start a change is to gather the sticks of self-kindness, the kindling to ignite living differently. We can contemplate how our “home” gets neglected, how the “fire” was extinguished, yet action ultimately comes from stopping, standing, answering, listening, believing and waking up. I had to find the KIND in kindling to ignite personal change, stand up and respond to the deeply knowing self that was calling to be better, healthier. At whatever season of life you currently occupy, it is completely, most assuredly, in the present that we must start where we stand.
Where do you stand today? It is not easy to finally stop, stand in front of your denial and know something needs to change. What needs to stop so that you can stand and answer the call of what you must start? Is there a relationship needing renewal? Career efforts requiring inspiration? Physical laments calling for attention? Creative possibilities hungry for attention? Emotional challenges demanding healing? Life transitions asking to be acknowledged and accepted?
Here were my kindling items:
Focused Energy – Plan, purchase and create healthy nutritional supplies
Investment – Make self-care a daily deposit of ingestion and activity
Return – Telling the truth to myself, revisiting core values of physical health
Encouragement – Self-soothing messages to make healthy choices
Since September 2022, my numbers are all less…pounds, cholesterol and glucose. The “H” for high has retreated from the scoreboard. By gathering KINDness for myself, I experienced fulfillment in the midst of deficit. Acceptance led to action. Action fueled transformation. Transformation generated energy, renewal and a reminder…all things are possible when we choose to be kind to our bodies, hearts and minds.