Your kids only eat boxed macaroni and cheese or fruit snacks. Your husband loves his full-fat barbecue and candy bars. Ronald McDonald and you microwave are your sous chefs because cooking is time-consuming. When the newest Apple product drops, you will be the first in line! You spend money where you see value. From language and sports lessons for your kids to apparel collections and the treat-yourself binge buys in the name of self-care, you buy what feels most important to you.
When you buy the seemingly stupid, pointless things your kids beg for, you don’t value the item, but the peace that comes with never hearing about it again. However, you and I both know it is only a matter of time before you’re on the verge of throwing it out because they always leave it on the floor, and the dogs try to eat it. That stupid $20 purchase turns into a $1k vet bill. Yay life, right?
What about your time? You can never gain back that investment. It is easy to fill time with a plethora of things that lack long-term impact. We are a culture used to taking shortcuts because we “don’t have time,” yet find the time to scroll through social media for an hour or three every day, catch up on our Netflix shows, and play mindless phone games.
Don’t overlook the self-glamorizing time wasters. Are you a part of this committee because you care about the cause and genuinely love the people you serve with, or because you like the title? Do you want to serve in church, or were you shamed into the position? No matter what the answers are to these questions, there is zero condemnation to be felt, only awareness. What do you want in the big picture? Are you spending your time doing things that fulfill, improve, and positively impact your journey to get there? The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy is a great read to understand the power of bite-sized progress.
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Complete Wellness Is Not A Myth
I ask you to reflect on these things because you are capable of moving mountains when you are aware and intentional. Apple’s slogan is Think Different. Why? Because to get ahead of the curve, they ignore societal norms, identify underlying causes of our everyday problems, and develop the solution.
You are no different.
America is one of the richest and sickest countries in the world. Mainstream advice isn’t working. We struggle to make money, relationships, health, and wellness work in our favor. You wouldn’t trust the dentist of a toothless man; you shouldn’t tolerate “that’s just the way it is” from people who are sick, tired, hopeless and have settled for finding comfort in the bondage you secretly know you can break free from.
How do you know there is a better way to live? Because you know people are doing it! You know there is a way to make money work for you because millionaires like Steve Harvey toiled through homelessness and less glamorous beginnings long before their success.
You know wellness is possible because you hear people talk about their healing experiences and wellness journies all the time. Schoolbus Stop Betty with the smoothie and bubbly energy at 6 am gets on your nerves, but you know you wish you had at least an ounce of her energy.
Even if you haven’t consciously connected these dots, your experiences prove the life you imagine is real and attainable. You know there is a way to not only admire these inspirations but become the inspiration. When you live to love life you teach your children how to do the same—your choices are generational.
Health Literacy Changes the Narrative
I was dejected and frustrated with life just a few years ago. My child was riddled with allergies, my husband had been diagnosed with an enzyme deficiency taking a toll on his neurological function and I had no idea how to help them. We were used to a microwave lifestyle. Whatever fast food my kids wanted, they got when we could afford it. They were happy, so I was happy.
My husband loved his peanut butter chocolate treats and I needed my cheese danishes whenever stress kicked in. We had foods and activities that had been knee-jerk reactions in times of stress, sadness, celebration, boredom, and just because.
Both diagnoses put a halt to life as we knew it. Every choice we made as a family until this point was dripping into a ripple effect and we weren’t aware of the outcome.
Here’s the thing. I cannot continue to torture myself with the what-ifs and if-only’s because I didn’t know any better. I did the absolute best that I could for my kids. What matters most is that once I knew better, I did better. It broke my heart that I couldn’t prevent the tragedies within my family sooner. I was angry to learn too late that generational conditions were easily preventable.
I lost my mother to heart problems, my nana to cancer, dear aunts, uncles, and cousins to diabetes and other autoimmune or inflammatory diseases. Even learning how to prevent depression without slavery to a pill bottle after nearly losing close loved ones to multiple suicide attempts opened my eyes to a reality that hides directly in front of our faces. It is right before our eyes, yet we must train ourselves to see it.
Instead of drowning in my anger, I acted on it. I continued my education in holistic health and wellness, implemented different lifestyle choices to help my family shed costly habits, and built Cleangoodeats, the founding company of Holistic Coaching with Sakinah B.
My eyes were opened to the reality of true wellness after feeling the sharp knife of losing some of the dearest people in my life, which makes me that much more dedicated to loving the people that come into my life, educating them, and helping them avoid unnecessary battles.
Knowing what I know now, I invite you to think about the long-term effects of your short-term decisions. Resolve the behaviors that are working against you in simple baby steps.
Bringing the family back to the table,
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