Jill was a woman who approached me with a story she was eager to share.
She told me she had been taking aqua fitness classes as part of her recovery from breast cancer surgery, and that the warm, therapeutic aqua environment had been extremely helpful in improving her flexibility and range of motion. It also helped alleviate a painful condition she had developed called lymphedema. (Click the link for an excellent article on aqua fitness and lymphedema.)
Jill’s voice was strong and confident. Her demeanor was upbeat, empowered, and life affirming.
To be honest, my first thought was, “What’s wrong with this picture?” This perky, fit, youthful woman, in her mid-fifties, did not look like she had just endured the rigors of cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. Instead, she looked like a picture of health!
And then it hit me. The question I should be asking is not, “What’s wrong with this picture?” It should be, “What’s right?” I began to think that maybe there’s a wellness lesson in Jill’s story. Perhaps the strategies she, and others like her, use to vigorously recapture their precious health and quality of life, would also work for the rest of us simply trying to make better choices in our crazy-busy lives.
Like many of you, I have people in my life—-family, friends, clients—-who have faced the challenge of serious illness. I see them navigating their path with courage and strength, but I also see them making conscious choices that lead to favorable outcomes. Here are my top picks for what I think these wellness warriors are doing right. Maybe you’ll connect with a few that will help you along your wellness path:
Cancer—-that big, bad, demon of a disease that we really need to find a cure for—-often gives people the permission they need to finally put themselves first. When they begin to take care of themselves—-I mean really take care of themselves—-they often emerge on the other side looking like Jill, the shining star of this story.
I say it’s time to let go of the limiting belief that it’s selfish to take care of ourselves until we are sick.
One of my students put it this way. She said, “When I say NO to some of the extra things I am doing for other people, it enables me to say YES to the things I need to do for myself.” Amen! Her words so inspired me, that I am stealing them for my new wellness mantra. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind if you did too!
Feel good. Be Well. Meg
Let’s celebrate our warrior friends by sharing a quick story about someone you know and how their wellness journey inspires you. How could you put their wisdom to work in your own life today? Why not call them up and tell them about it?
Or try this week’s wellness prompt on your own . . .
Wellness Prompt: When you think of making time to take better care of yourself, what thoughts, feelings and emotions come to mind? Take a moment to write about it. Does fear, guilt, overwhelm, or utter confusion take over? What would it take to finally OWN IT! around your wellness, and what specific steps would bring you back to your well-self again? 10-minute write . . . GO!