Over the next few days, I’ll be sharing many personal stories and other fun blasts from the past as I celebrate my 40th birthday tomorrow. It’s a milestone that I am thrilled to be celebrating with my friends and family. My sister is flying in from Vancouver tonight and my BFF Lee-Anne is arriving from Quebec. I am so excited to be surrounded by the people I love this weekend!
Gratitude Tip: Gratitude is what grounds us in the present. Every once in a while it’s good to take a peek back at where we came from and what we’ve overcome, focus on the positive and what we’re grateful for. The benefit of hindsight is that we tend to look back on more difficult times with a softer view and our memories of the good times are amplified.
Since it’s Thursday, I thought I’d share a little throwback to my 30th birthday. I was able to find these photos on a CD from when I lived overseas. I celebrated my 30th in Switzerland while working at the John F. Kennedy International School in Saanen (not far from Gstaad) as a French teacher and in the boarding house as a house parent. I didn’t have that many friends to celebrate with so I enjoyed an evening with a few fellow teachers and some of our students. Why I received a pair of underwear as a gift, I cannot tell you!! When I look back on these photos, I do remember some of the wonderful times in Switzerland and also I am reminded of the person I was then, and I’m truly grateful for the person I have become.
From the outside, life looked amazing. I taught in the morning, had a break to go skiing (or train, as I was training for Ironman Switzerland) and went back to work either in the afternoon or for the evening shift. I had a apartment that was paid for, with a view of the mountains from both windows. Yet I can see from the photos two things: Even though I was training for Ironman, I didn’t look that healthy. And second, I wasn’t really happy on the inside. You see, I didn’t have many friends because of the person I was, not because of the lack of people to be friends with. I was living in EGO and was more concerned with myself than others. I’m not talking about healthy self-care (which I didn’t even know about yet) but truly being selfish at times. I remember a time when I was ‘negotiating’ my role with my employers and what I was really doing was focusing only on what was best for ME instead of what would be best for ALL.
There are definitely memories that make me cringe. And when I look back now, I see how my close friend Leanne gave me an enormous gift when she shared USANA with me, just as I was planning to come back home to study to become a certified teacher. At the time, I thought I was getting into a vitamin business. I was training for Ironman and the vitamins helped me with recovery, better sleep, more energy and avoiding illness and injury. I had no idea that is was really a personal development and leadership business. With the 20/20 vision of hindsight, I now see that the person I have become today is the direct result of the investment I made in myself a decade ago.
From a health perspective, you can see that I’m not in the best of health at that time. If you’ve been to my Get Your Healthy Back nutrition seminar, you know that what I share is what I have personally done myself and shared with thousands of clients over the years. Wellness and health maintenance is a lifelong journey, I’m always learning and adapting and with God’s grace on my side, always moving towards a healthier future.
This weekend I’ll be asking you to take a look back at the last decade. Are you happy with where you’ve ended up? We are either growing or shrinking, there is no such thing as staying the same. Change is the one thing that is constant. Which direction are you heading?
Only 1 more sleep until we’re starting #40daysofgratitude a simply, daily challenge, where all you do is post a photo (or a phrase) on Instagram or Facebook and tell us what you’re grateful for today. All of the details can be found here. Are you in?