Your Health- The Greatest Gift of All
Another Holiday Season is here, often the shopping flurry increased as we tried to find that “perfect gift” for our spouse, children, relatives and friends. Sometimes our Holiday can become about “things” that we give and “things” that we get.
These “things”, however, have a fleeting significance. Unfortunately, most gifts don’t have a long life; in a year or two, our gifts can end up at the Goodwill store or at a garage sale. If the gifts that we give and get don’t necessarily last, what does? What is it that we keep, that we treasure, year after year?
It doesn’t take long to realize that it is the precious time spent with family and friends that is the real gift that we receive during the Holidays. What we unwrap is just a symbol of the love and kindness of the giver; the true gift is the ability to partake in the experience of giving and receiving. The custom of our Holiday Season gives us the opportunity to take time away from our daily chores and routines, and invites us to bring our attention to something grander. Regardless of your religious affiliation, a Holiday invites us all to consider the true wonder that is the life that we are living and the world we are living in. If we take the time to pay attention, this “time out” of our day-to-day routines can provide a powerful impetus to understanding what is truly important to us, and it can also give us the strength to choose to live our lives according to what are our true priorities.
Looking back over the years, we may have memories of cooking special dishes with family members, making cookies, singing songs, watching a football game, building a snowman, going skiing, taking a walk in a winter wonderland . . . memories that are not only priceless, but were dependent on your ability to be there, on your state of health at the time. When we look to the future, we joyfully anticipate many more holidays spent with family and friends, doing things together that make that time special to us- expecting that we will be there. And while there are things in this world that are beyond our control, that we cannot understand or foresee, we DO have the ability to choose to support our health through our thoughts and actions, both now and in the future. The greatest gift that any of us have received is our lives. With the gift of our lives, however, we were also given the responsibility of caring for ourselves. Our human abilities of self-love, understanding, forgiveness and self-discipline are the tools that allow us to keep our gift, our physical, emotional, and spiritual selves, in good working order. When we use our tools, we are increasing our chances of greater health, happiness and vitality both now and in the future.
So what can you do to take better care of yourself, to do your part to make sure you will be able to enjoy many more Holidays to come? We have heard the mandates, from our doctors and the magazine covers, to eat less and exercise more. Most of us have read a library of information on nutrition, yet are confused more than ever. So where do we start? Before embarking on a list of things that you “should” be doing, you need to find your “why”, your reasons for wanting to take care of yourself. As a Holistic Health Coach, I help my clients begin at the beginning by asking them, “Why is your health important to you?” So before you read any further, take out a piece of paper and write down 3 reasons that your health is important to you. You may be experiencing chronic pain, allergies or digestive issues. You may be struggling to lose weight, or have recently been diagnosed with heart disease or diabetes. You may be buried in medical bills, and have begun to realize the many different ways that ill-health has cost you. Or you may be thinking about your children and grandchildren, the financial and emotional responsibilities that you have to them, the precious few days that we have with those we love, and how much you don’t want to miss a second.
Once you have your 3 reasons, once you have connected with the true value of your life and what you want, improving and maintaining your health becomes effortless. You have YOUR reasons; you know WHAT you want and WHY you want it. And when you combine your reasons with your tools of self-love, understanding, forgiveness and self-discipline, you can experience anything you desire, even a long and fulfilling life of vibrant health and happiness.
So here is my Holiday gift to you, a way I can show my unending support and encouragement as you seek better health, greater joy, and many, many more Holiday memories to come.
10 Steps to Opening Your Greatest Gift of All
- Read your “3 Reasons” that your health is important to you- out loud. Verbally share your reasons with your spouse, your children, your parents, or your friends. When you share your reasons, you set your intention in motion. Suddenly “wishes” become goals, and others in your life can help you attain what you really want.
- Post your 3 Reasons on the refrigerator, on your bathroom mirror, on the dashboard or your car, by your bedside table so you can remember what it is that you really want- to feel better, to have more energy, to lose weight, to be free of pain, to have a few more years with the grandkids.
- Forgive yourself for past choices you have made. You cannot change the past, but what you do now creates your future. Read your 3 Reasons and remember what you really want.
- Forgive others so that their words and actions do not trap you in the past.
- Surround yourself with people that are positive and encouraging. Read books that are encouraging and uplifting. Avoid those that put you down and discourage you from seeking better health and happiness and from getting what you really want.
- Do what you can to help others.
- Make clean filtered water your drink of choice, and drink it often throughout the day.
- Get outside and walk every day- especially when you’re stressed, depressed, or angry.
- Be thankful for your food. Eat high quality whole unrefined foods when you are physically hungry. Realize that the food you eat becomes the cells of your body- you literally “are what you eat, and what your food has eaten.”
- If you are addicted to cigarettes, drugs, or alcohol, find the support you need to realize that you do not need them in your life.