Skating Uphill - November 2019

Living a Healthy Lifestyle

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I love the old saying “Blessed to be a Blessing”
as it has a special meaning to me.
– The Uphill Skater –

We all know that living a healthy lifestyle has as many pieces to it as a big jigsaw puzzle, and one of those pieces, without which nothing else goes together, is gratitude. Yes, actual data-driven studies have shown that people who are grateful for what they have, be it a lot or a little by the definitions of others, live lives that are less stressful, happier, and less driven by acquisition of goods or wealth. Being a grateful person brings many life benefits, but perhaps equally important, it also brings health benefits.

If we embrace the wonderful piece of the puzzle called gratitude, it reflects the way we interact—both outwardly and inwardly— with our loved ones, co-workers and all we encouter. “Blessed to be a Blessing” has tons of implications when you think about it.

Being blessed can mean that you have been given many different types of gifts. I know a man who, while not a physician, has led medical missions to Haiti for nearly 20 years. He has organized mission teams of doctors, nurses and helpers and headed off into the great unknown. For those who share his commitment, it has been life changing. The men and women of his teams come from all over, and they unite into a well-organized group who bring medical aid to those who have literally nothing. He has given blessings to so many who may never even know his name.

This brings to my mind perhaps one of the most blessed couples in recent history—Bill and Melinda Gates. So often the very wealthy is revered as being totally different than us “regular” folk. We think of jewels, face lifts, Lamborghinis, yachts, mansions and the vast list of materialistic treasures. Well, yes, that is true in many cases, but not Bill and Melinda Gates. Their foundation has pledged to give away all of his wealth in their lifetime. They have made grants, cured diseases worldwide, fostered education for women and girls and so much more. Sharing such abundant blessings must feel so good!
You, too, have been blessed in many ways. When someone says to me that I should “count my blessings”, I have absolutely no trouble. I have many. Not huge wealth, not great beauty, no movie contracts, and all right, I am old and a little tubby. Just so you know, I never look at life that way. I am totally into doing for others; it makes me happy. It is as simple as that.

Here are a few things to try that might make you happy, too!  

Do something for yourself! Get out/go out/ set out/bust out! This could be anything from a long walk somewhere beautiful to a weekend getaway. No extra money? Make yourself something delicious to eat, and watch a movie in your pajamas. Just between you and me, this is one of my favorite things to do. Read a book. Again, no money? Go to the library or thrift shop, where books are free or often one dollar.

Do something for someone else! I know I always tell you to do something for yourself, but this time it is your turn to do something good for another person. (Selfishly, it is a real “feel good” for you.) Try it and you will see I am right. Go visit someone. Call a person on the phone you have not talked to in a while and who you know would enjoy a call. Take dinner to a sick friend or an elderly neighbor, or maybe one of your friends going through divorce or loss. While you are at it, take out someone’s garbage or blow off their driveway. None of these things are hard, but boy, what a good payback emotion—the path to “Blessed to be a Blessing!”

Go to church! If you have a church, go. If you do not have a church, pick one and give it a try. Don’t be discouraged if you do not feel an immediate fit in your first try or even your second. Whether you go to increase your spirituality, find a relationship with God, or just to surrounding yourself with a church family, God calls each of us differently, and there is nothing wrong with that.

“Blessed to be a Blessing” has lots of twists and turns. Start by looking in the mirror both physically and emotionally, and checking out your blessings. Then, think of ways you can share what has been given to you. Let me know how it goes!

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Judith Lawrenson is a former Hilton Head Island resident who has a huge heart and is loved by all who meet her. She has served and volunteered with numerous charitable organizations while living in the Lowcontry making an impact wherever she went. She and her husband recently moved to the wild hills of West Virginia to be closer to grandchildren. Judith is an avid sailor, a retired reading resource specialist, and a children's TV host whose local show originated from the Boys and girls Club. Judith is also a long time seeker of healthy, happy living and a lifestyle dedicated to service to others balanced with love of God and love of self. Check out her BLOG for fun info, recipes and nutrition ideas, current updates on nearly everything in the world, and lots of comments and opinions.


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