And while I don't think anything is supposed to magically change - habits and so forth - on your big day, I do think its an important opportunity to do two things 1) take stock of your life and 2) be grateful for the good people who make you better.
Let me start with gratitude. I am so thankful for love. I am so thankful for family. And I am growing more and more astonished by the power of friendship and sisterhood. I love that technology, FaceBook, texting, and email, give people an opportunity to tell you a few well thought out words. Like, "I will love you forever.", "miss you" "big thangs, lil' sis", "kissing your face" "singing at the top of my lungs" and "did I mention that I love you?" It's a great big virtual hug. Thanks everyone.
And then, there is the good old fashioned birthday card. I can always count on Vanessa to go old school. She's easily the most thoughtful person I've ever met. She sent a fantastic decoupage elephant card and three - yes three - brilliantly colored scarves for my trip to Belize.
Now. It's time for me to do the work. Reflection.
Since this is OurHealth, I'll keep it thematic.
I somehow feel wiser - because wiser is as wiser does...and my life feels better. This morning, for example, started like this.
"Good morning honey."
Roll out of bed
Ignore the blackberry.
Enjoy the flowers in my window sill, that are miraculously blooming in the Connecticut winter. (I've turned my black thumb green - the trick...patience, attention and love - plants like a home, not a dark apartment...wisdom...those are some of my plants pictured above.)
Turn on Pandora music channel to my R. Carlos Nakai station (Native American music, I've broadened my musical taste...I love hip hop and R& B...no doubt...but sometimes it can be subliminally toxic...I have to be careful, one Dead Prez song can make me angry and vindictive for the day. Misused energy)
Eat a chocolate fiber one bar (because it starts my metabolism, keeps me full and tastes good.)
Drink a glass of water (using a Brita filtered pitcher, bottle water sucks...too expensive, constricting and environmentally hazardous. Before, I wouldn't even drink water if I didn't have bottled water. Now, I invested in a 12 pack of Brita filters, and I just fill my pitcher up everyday. One filter lasts about a month. We leave it on the counter because Keith and I like room temperature water AND sparkling in the daylight, it asks me to drink it every time I see it.
Then, watch out now, I practiced yoga.
This is important, because, exercise use to be something extra in my life. Now, it's becoming a part of my daily routine. I keep the mat out, I keep my bible scriptures, IyanlaVanzant verses, and other inspiring texts nearby (Write now, I'm reading the biography of the Dalai Lama...well it's kinda of like a picture book, does that count?) . Sometimes I light a fire, sometimes I open the blinds, sometimes I just light a good smelling incense. I read a little.. Then do about 45 minutes of yoga. It takes discipline, constant breathing, and a sense of joy and forgiveness (some days, like today, I can barely touch my toes). When I'm done, I find myself calmer, more focused, my blood is pumping, my skin is glistening with sweet and I'm ready to take on the day.
Then I check my blackberry. Surprise. My sister Kendria and brother Kevin are the first messages. That is great because I've been working hard to be a better sister.
Then I start a blog entry (which is wildly therapeutic.)
I wanted to share a glimpse into my life. I'm learning to set goals, then to work hard change behaviors, habits and mindsets. I've learned over the years that hopes are not enough. So rather than hoping and pontificating, I'd rather celebrate how I live. I'm grateful for this day and the life I have.
Growth? I'd like to be nicer. To watch my words. I can be harsh - and I disguise my harshness as keeping it real. I'd like to speak with more love I don't want to gossip, lie, accuse, or judge.
Now, I have to get to work - my part-time job is writing curriculum and developing new programs for a public school system. I love it. I also work for myself as a writer, web designer and filmmaker. AND I work for this movement.
Tomorrow is a big day . Vanessa and I requested seed funding for OurHealth from a program called Echoing Green. It would allowus to work full time supporting OurHealth programs. If that happens, we can devote much more time to taking your stories and inspiration to the streets and affecting change in more lives, families, churches and communities. Either way, this year will be fulfilling, peaceful and balanced and for that, I am grateful.
This group of dedicated Black women are committed to getting healthier, one goal at a time! Our Health challenges women to set ambitious physical goals for a good cause - to inspire our girls, our families, our churches, our communities to get moving! We believe ordinary woman can, and should become the faces of healthy living! Join us! For more information, visit our website at www.OurHealthMovement.com.