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I’m Adding Life to my Years instead of Years to my Life!

October 13, 2011

September is always a special month for me and not because I’m one of those people who has to throw a huge party to celebrate their arrival into this earth and have everyone and their grandma over for a big loud bash. No disrespect to the party animals of the world (I used to be one!) My version of a birthday celebration is more about gratitude and appreciation, less about indulgence and toasting to loud music. I do have to admit that I still love birthday gifts from family and friends. I enjoy the surprises from my lovely husband (after all these years!) and our fun birthday celebration  motorcycle riding, walking on the beach, spotting dolphins, and going out to dinner. I cherish birthday lunches with my girlfriends where we can just sit and enjoy our friendship while eating a good, healthy meal and enjoying great conversations that stay with me for days to come.

Ok, so call me different but over the years I have changed and birthdays have come to mean something totally different for me. I go about celebrating my birthday in a slightly different manner than most, or maybe not. Maybe there are more people out there like me that take a quieter route, a more spiritual path if you will. For me, my birthday month is usually a time of quiet reflection and moments of deep thought. I make it a point to take some time out of my busy life to stop and connect with God and thank Him for another year. I make a list of everything I accomplished in the past year and even take note of that which I wanted to do but didn’t. I look back in amazement as I realize that today at 45 I am healthier than I was at 25 and believe me when I say my medicine cabinet can prove it with all the extra empty space in it!

It is in those moments of reflection that I give myself permission to really look closely at the woman I have become and am grateful for all the lives I touch every day. I’m grateful for every opportunity to reach out to someone who can lend me a helping hand and I am honored at every time I can be on the giving end of that exchange and help someone find a better place to be and live. Maybe it’s the years or the wisdom that has come with them but I value people more, things less and I appreciate each sunset and sunrise more than I did the last.

When I take a look at my health I am humbled and so grateful to God for blessing me with better days and more happy times of good health. The amazing thing is that I didn’t just change my eating habits and start working out more often. I didn’t just change my lifestyle and make the decision to love my body more and care for it in a greater fashion. Over the years I’ve learned to make an honest effort to change my thinking to healthier thoughts. I’ve learned new breathing techniques and most importantly I’ve learned when to just let go and walk away from the negative. I accept that I can’t change everything or everyone and I make an effort to focus on what I can do.

You know that old saying “Don’t sweat the small stuff”… well I finally learned to live it and for me, the Virgo, it’s sometimes very challenging to just let it go. Now I’m not saying I’ve found the perfect recipe or that I don’t have stress or ever get upset… just ask my husband he gets to see the close up look at the annoyed Lora who just wants to scream at something or someone. That’s when he repeats back word for word all my wise affirmations and yes in that moment I might want to throw something at him or at the neighbors pool pump that won’t stop yelling in my ear, but I know he’s right and I’m just frustrated and need to take a breath and let it go.

I’ve come to understand that life is a series of challenges and the never-ending questions of WHO are you and how will you react to this moment, right here, right now? I have to say that with the right set of tools it is possible to stay balanced, focused and with peace in our lives every day, in spite of the chaos around us. The tools that have helped me the most have been finding that balance of healthy eating, moderate exercise, proper supplementation, lots of water and plenty of rest.

As difficult as it has been I have had to learn to say NO to others so that I can say YES to myself and give myself the gift of self-love. Self love means I have ME time for meditation, relaxation, grounding, family time, rest time and free time. I give myself moments to enjoy nature, go on a motorcycle ride with the man of my dreams, laugh more often and just live in the moment and less in my To Do list.

Life is too short my friends. The years come and go in the blink of an eye and honestly the work will always be there, bills won’t stop coming and someone will always need something. I’m not saying forget everyone but I am saying don’t forget yourself! This year, I invite you to take a few minutes on your birthday, at thanksgiving or whenever you feel it fits you and reflect, enjoy and be grateful for all you have!

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