Over the past couple of years, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what it means to be successful. Does that mean making a lot of money, having fast cars, or not wanting for anything? Or does success run deeper?
I’m like most people. I would love to have an easy life, without worries, health issues or debt. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Several years before starting my writing career, my husband and I decided to take care of the debt issue by being laser focused and making wise decisions to reverse the typical “I’m an adult and I can make my own mistakes” syndrome that far too many teens experience. It wasn’t easy but it was totally worth it.
Next we focused on making a way for both of us to do what we loved. I became a full-time writer and my husband became a PR guru with his company Red Coat PR. We were both working from home, setting our own hours (which happened to be WAY more than what we used to work when we had a boss to report to) and found happiness in owning two businesses. In doing what we loved, we found that our worries diminished because we were in control of our work life for the first time. The effort we put in determined what we got back out of it and we found that we could help people and give back in amazing ways that furthered our love of our new lifestyle.
But there was a third point to that equation that I was still working on: health issues.
If you follow me on Facebook, you may have seen a post on Jan 29th about how a few years back I underwent Gastric Sleeve surgery. Details about my reasoning and experience can be found here, but that journey didn’t end with surgery. It is an ongoing process.
I have found after years of reading hundreds of health books, self-help books, chatting with people online and my own personal experiences that health is subjective to your mindset. For some, a number on a scale defines them. For others, it may be fitting into their wedding dress or prom dress many years later. And for others, it’s being able to get out of bed and walk across the room without pain.
Culture, media and peers many times give us a skewed view of what health really means, and in line with that success. This places rules, negativity and a feeling of “I’m not good enough” on people who feel too overwhelmed by the big, terrifying picture to stop and enjoy the baby steps along the path.
Yoga has helped me to focus, to calm my thoughts, to reconnect with my body (in some rather painful ways haha) and to take time for me. Many people, women especially, feel pulled in too many directions. We have children to tend to, household chores that are never ending, carpools, meals to create, husbands to spend time with and a zillion other time sucks that make us sometimes feel like it is wrong to slice off a piece of time just for ourselves but I can tell you that it is CRUCIAL to your health and well-being to do so.
Losing weight is a great goal, but it should be a side effect of what we truly want: the ability to move, to wake up rested and have enough energy to push through all of the day’s demands and to fall asleep each night knowing you can do it all over again the next day.
Health (interchanged with SUCCESS) isn’t about a number on a scale but the ability to LIVE LIFE to the fullest.
So to this I say success is beautiful, no many what shape you are.