A Life Well Lived

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December has always been a time of reflection for me. Not just because the year is drawing to a close, but also because my mom passed away in December 1997. As I am missing her at the holidays, and trying to process so much sadness and controversy in the news, it feels more important than ever to spend time in contemplation.

So…I have been thinking a lot about why bad things happen to good people. Trying to understand the meaning of life. And praying for peace in this crazy, mixed up world.

The more I think about these things, the more I worry about my three daughters. What kind of world are they growing up in? How can I make it better? Am I the mother I hope to be? What have I taught them? What else do they need to learn from me?

It has made me even more convicted to teach my girls how to be crazy healthy…in mind, body and spirit. Getting healthy has made me feel like I am finally living the life I am supposed to live. I hope to empower my kids with the same opportunity, now, while they are young. This is what I think they need to know, to live their best life:

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not. As Dr. Seuss reminds us in The Lorax, we all can, and should, make a difference in this world. Be sure of what you hope for, and do something about it, every single day. Pursue your passions, and fight hard to make the world a better place.

Trust your struggles. Life can be really hard. When the going gets rough, remember that sometimes we have to hit rock bottom, in order to appreciate the views from the top. Reconcile with your faith and values in times of distress, and do the work that needs to be done to heal your life . This is how we become stronger in the broken places.

You are what you eat. Eat real food, and avoid fake foods that have been processed, colored, preserved, or artificially sweetened. Strive to eat at least 75% fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and legumes every day. Food from the earth is the most effective way to fuel your body, prevent disease, think clearly, and feel your best. Real food and good health are essential to live a happy life.

Be strong. Use what God gave you, every single day. Move your body. Find an exercise that you can do anywhere, and fall in love with it. Dancing, running, yoga, or whatever makes you feel strong and alive. Embrace opportunities to nurture your mind, body and spirit through exercise.

Choose love. There are a lot of broken people in the world. Love them anyway. Because, no matter what, love always wins.

Be present. Pay attention. Look people in the eye, and try to find the good in them. Stay in the moment, and try to remember the good experiences more than the bad. Most of all, remember that your life is not what happened yesterday, or what will happen tomorrow. Life is what is happening right now, in this moment. Be aware, and live it well.

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