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  • Marcia

What I Can Control

photo by Brooke Lark

“But here’s the paradox - the only way to feel truly powerful is to fully grasp how powerless we are. When we understand how small our sphere of influence is, we are empowered to do those things that will truly have an impact.” - Mike Sturm

There is very little we can control in this life, and that can be an anxious thought. But why are we focusing so much on what we CAN’T control? It blinds us to what we CAN do, and living from empowerment is where I choose to be.

Think of your conversations with friends, family and coworkers. How often are ailments laid at the feet of getting older and/or having bad genes? ALL THE TIME. And when you start paying attention, you discover we are conditioned to believe this. We hear it from the medical community, from advertising, from each other. It’s so pervasive we don’t think to question it.

Here’s the problem: We can’t control the passage of time and our constant aging. And we can’t control the genetic hand we were dealt. There is absolutely nothing to do be done about either one of these things. But that doesn’t mean we stop there. And we do, all the time!

I concede there’s nothing to be done about either time or genetics. I DO contend that our inability to affect these factors leaves us without options. My journey has shown me that there are three things that are absolutely in my control, always, right now. And they can ALWAYS help. Maybe not fix, but they never fail to improve any situation.

  • What you eat/drink

  • How you think

  • How you move

These three things are unquestionably within my control, and experience has shown me how very effective they can be. These three things have become my health trinity, my touchstone to keep me headed in the right direction.

Don’t get me wrong, I have mastered exactly none of these. I do, however, make a daily practice of learning more and improving step by step. If I focus on what I can’t control I become a victim. If I take responsibility for what I can do, I become my own health advocate. It motivates me, empowers me, and energizes me to do even more.

The first step is awareness. In each of these categories, try to bring your attention to even one thing. For instance, take note of how you feel after you eat a particular food or meal. How’s your energy? Is your digestion disturbed? Or make a game of catching how many times in a day you think a negative thought directed at yourself. Or find even one activity you would outsource to technology (kitchen appliances, for example) and decide to do it by hand, just that one time. There are so many small, bite sized ways we can begin!

I love small, positive habits because they make us feel good, and feeling good feeds the good habits and makes us want to do more. It’s a positivity spiral!

What do you think? Have any pointers to share? Please do! A community of empowerment is the best positivity spiral!

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