Wow!! The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has swept the nation!! It is a truly incredible movement of LovingKindness, and one that will surely make an impact on the progress of research to find a cure for this very unkind disease. A ripple effect of this magnitude sends chills down my spine and reiterates that, from our authentic core, we are a genuinely empowering society that wants to do the right thing. What would happen if we took this challenge and extended it even further? Are you up for yet another challenge that will impact, not only others who are already suffering from ill-health, but that inspire you to be accountable for your current and future well-being?
In honour of all those living with any chronic illness, I challenge each of you to be accountable for your own health by practicing self-love and self-care. I am a victim of not having done this for most of my life. 10 years ago I challenged myself to make a change, but it was only after I was diagnosed with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis caused by the physical, emotional and mental stress I had agreed to in my life. I have lived with the endless pain that comes with the consequence of not being awake to what serves me well. It is the result of being swept away by all the ‘shoulds’ in the world, and not being connected to who I am, what I need and where I want to be.
I really believed that I was a healthy individual as I was doing everything I was told to do. I believed I ate well, got enough sleep and I worked out tirelessly and endlessly. What I now know is that even the healthy food I ate, was infested with chemicals that manifested in my body, my awake time was filled with the adrenaline overload that comes from overdoing, and my excessive exercise taxed my body to a point of non-recovery; no amount of rest in the world could compensate for how much I got done in a day, who I pleased or the non-food I ate.
I have since changed virtually every thing in my life in order to manage my disease, and I am living a productive life filled with love, joy and purpose. I cannot change what I did, but I have certainly learned from it. I cannot compare myself with those living with ALS as their potential outcome is much more severe than mine, and I am not suggesting that I intentionally created my disease, or that you may be creating yours. However, what I know for sure is that if we all consciously did the best we could to love and care for ourselves, we would decrease the potential for disease by minimizing the stress we place on our bodies, minds and souls. Stress of any kind manifests in us in all sorts of ways and creates dis-ease, which if ignored, can trigger disease of an autoimmune nature and many, many others; too many to list within this post.
So yes, we have created a society that needs to raise funds to cure diseases that we, ourselves, may very well be contributing to simply by having a mindset that we can do anything we want to ourselves without some kind of health consequence. We are shocked when someone is diagnosed with cancer, ALS , rheumatoid or another ill-fated disease. “How did she get that? He was so healthy and fit!!” We now must rally to cure, and part of this process is choosing to prevent which requires re-hardwiring our way of thinking from self-sabotage to self-love.
I am thoroughly enjoying watching all the videos of friends throwing ice water over their heads, and I admire their passion to find a cure. My intention is not to dampen your purpose; I too, will be donating to the ALS cause, as well as, to all the others that come my way. However, in the spirit of Loving-Kindness for yourself and others, I am offering you an added challenge to be an authentic leader that will require a lot more time and effort on your part than throwing a bucket of ice over your head. It will serve you extremely well, as well as others as you inspire them to live a life filled with vitality and wellness while doing your part to prevent chronic illness, pain and potential death:
I challenge you to change your lifestyle by taking care of you body, mind and soul
Here is your LifeStyle challenge broken down in 4 parts:
- I challenge you to eat clean and make it a daily commitment; eat organic live foods – overall it is not more expensive if you stay away from packaged, processed foods and use the money you spend on them by putting them in the ‘clean food pot’. It’s interesting that the non-foods we call treats are killing us – mindset shift required, “anything in a package is poison for my body”;
- I challenge you to discover what movement/exercise looks like for you. What do you enjoy doing? Make sure that whatever you choose, you make the time to rest and recuperate from it. If not, it is not serving you well, and you will be stressing your body – mindset shift required, “I do not need to beat up my body and feel exhausted in order to be fit”;
- I challenge you to take care of your mind by taking the time to think about and choose what serves you well; be mindful, live in line with your values, be confident about your choices and what you believe in – mindset shift required, “I am great and whole as I am; I do not need to please anyone but myself”;
- I challenge you to slow down your pace just enough to relieve your soul of the stress of this fast paced world; sit and do nothing, read a book, go for a walk in the woods, do something creative, write a card to someone – with a pen and paper, really feel, see and experience your world – mindset shift, “I do not need to get everything done today; I deserve some time to just be, and that will be good enough”.
To simplify all of this, I challenge you to eat real food, discover what movement you enjoy, get to know yourself from your heart, and please slow down!!! It’s so much easier than you think, and it’s your responsibility, not any one else’s. If you do this, you will live a more vital, healthy life, reduce your risk of disease, and mentor others to do the same. You will make a difference.
(For the story on Who Invented The Ice Bucket Challenge? click on the image above)
#LifeStyleChallenge #MakeADifference #LeadAuthentic #DaringlyMindful #IceBucketChallenge