Every day we see this famous quote, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world", said by the widely followed Mahatma Gandhi, a man whose words have inspired many and whose actions have been a true example of what it means to be compassionate and wise. In my life I have seen this quote splattered across walls and inspirational artwork and even pillows and handmade jewelry. I can read this quote a thousand times, it always resonates but what I love about it now is that I understand how it applies to my own personal journey. You must be the change. Period.
It all starts with action. While we cannot control what happens in the world around us, we CAN control how we react to these things. Every time I hit a wall I continue to remind my self that somewhere there is a door, I don't have to tear down the wall or jump over it; I just have to find the door. My choice to move to San Diego was not always supported or well received, but what I do hope is that those who doubted us can marvel at the life we've shaped after taking such a daring leap. It was truly scary if not horrifying to think of starting a whole new life, making new friends and finding a new sense of purpose. But it becomes clearer everyday to me that this is exactly where I am supposed to be.
Growing up, all I can remember is my obsession with surfing and skateboarding, I lived and breathed the surf culture as much as a teenager could in a land locked state. I dreamt about surfing, or of running away and hitchhiking to california anything that could get me closer to the beach. Roxy and billabong became my favorite couture and my obsession with surfing was laughable to my colorado cohorts. When I was in middle school and high school I would write stories about a young girl who would some how end up moving or running away to live the life of a surf bum. I was and still am a total "Sun baby" and would give anything to spend as many hours in the warmth of the beautiful sun as humanly possible.
What's more amazing is that I do! Every day I have options, I can choose to sit inside and maybe sometimes thats a good thing because there are chores to be done, emails to be sent, etc. But I can choose to take the dog for a walk, to go down to the beach, go for a run, go do yoga, hike, bike, climb, jump, dance you name the verb and its likely that I've done it recently here in California. Seemingly its all about choices here, where maybe at home in Denver I felt like I didn't have all of these activities or good weather available to me.
When I lived at home, I didn't want to go out and run. I didn't have much interest in a lot of activities anymore. I just got a little depressed and sat around. For over 5 years, I allowed my self to get heavier and lazier and shamefully I was eating tons of bad crap. So all of these horrible habits lead to me being overweight and sad. After living in San Diego for two years, I will say that it is sooo easy to get active. I have not once been to a rec center or gym, no memberships, no diet pills NADA! All it took to go from 235lbs to 175lbs was motivation to move. Always moving. I have one car between the two of us so I walk everywhere or I ride my bike. I run 2 miles a day which takes only about 45 mins which includes warm up and stretching. I take my dog to the beach and run around with him. I hula hoop in the sunshine to my favorite tunes. I go out and dance as much as I can (This was the original jump start to weight loss--->literally dance your ass off). And after years of leaving and coming back to yoga, I've finally integrated a consistent yoga practice 4-5 times a week. I used to complain about being heavy, I used to cry about it all the time. Crying didn't help me shed pounds, weird. I finally took action, and now I cannot stop moving. Its all I want to do, life in action! I am no super model, I do not have the perfect beach body, but I love my body. Its mine, I am strong and flexible, I have a juicy booty, and strong powerful legs. I wouldn't be selected for this years Victoria Secret fashion show, but that was never really the goal.
But the point of this post it to really hit this part hard; you choose your life. You choose what makes it difficult and what makes it amazing. Its all in how we use our resources around us, who we surround our selves with, the activities we choose to partake in and where we choose to live and play. California is not cheap, its full of terribly inpatient people, horrible traffic..etc. I didn't win the lottery, I worked hard and I CHOSE to move here with an open mind and an open heart. Doing this has changed my entire life path and has opened my eyes to limitless possibilities. Its not always possible to just pack up and go to a new place, but at the very least take responsibility for what happens in your day to day we can control only ourselves and our reactions to the world around us, let them be good reactions. Be creative, be open.. you will find your inspiring moments. Find the right friends, let go of those who drag you down. Take action, take your life back. When you sit on Facebook and talk about your miserable life, think of all the energy it took to be miserable and choose to think differently. Sitting around and being bummed out will not make your life better, and having your Facebook friends "talk you off the ledge" can't replace a warm hug from someone who fills your days with good things.
Choose to take control of your life. Stop complaining about the way things are not in your favor and look at the beauty of life around you. If you ignored all of the "bad" things, and recognized the good stuff, wouldn't life be sweet.