We’ve spent a lot of time focusing on the inside. Reviving your spirit, letting go of things you’ve held on to that have caused you pain and harm has been our task for several weeks now. I encourage you to continue with all the good you’re doing for in the end the new you that emerges will be strong, powerful, positive, and determined. But in all this transformation don’t forget about the outside.
It’s easy to overlook because you may think “well there’s nothing wrong with the way I look”. Are you sure? Let me ask a few questions and then you decide.
1. When you give yourself that one last look in the mirror before you walk out the door are you smiling?
2. Do you look with excitement and anticipation to the day ahead?
3. Do the clothes you wear reflect the new you you’ve been working on?
4. Do you look up and not down when you’re going about your business.?
5. Do you greet people with a smile and/or a nod of hello?
6. Does the physical you reflect a person focused on being healthy as well?
I ask these questions because if there’s been a transformation on the inside it should reach the outside as well. The new you should exhibit an air of confidence and assurance that you know exactly who you are. At first it may seem strange and out of character bit why should it? Haven’t you worked hard to let go of things that have weighed you down? Then your new walk should reflect your new air of lightness. There should be a sense of purpose in every step and a determination that lights up your face.
I’ll never forget the time last year when the months of February through July were not kind to me. I was in a lot of physical pain and there were more than one day when it took everything I had to get up in the morning and make it to work. I had an ankle that put me in the hospital for three days only to still not resolve the issue. I’ll never forget the day I was at work and when I got up to go to the restroom I could barely move. A co-worker actually pushed me in my office chair to the restroom. Instead of feeling embarrassed I joked about it and laughed but made sure to thank her for her kindness.
I can remember what used to take me an hour to get dressed and ready now took an hour because with a shattered left wrist and a right side that was swollen, black, blue and green from a horrible car accident I struggled to do simple things like put on a bra or pull up my pants. I was blessed to have a wonderful husband who helped me get through it all. Not only did he help me to get dressed but we went through my clothes to find things to wear that would require the least amount of effort. Then he’d take me to work and pick me up in the evenings, fighting Atlanta traffic 4 times a day.
During this time I had clients depending on me to encourage them as they made decisions to be safe and happy and in healthy relationships so I didn’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I think the fact that I had so much to pay attention to helped me from falling into deep despair. Don’t get me wrong there were days I wasn’t sure I could make it but I was determined to not give in. So the outer person I presented to the world had to reflect that determination I had on the inside.
MY clothes were clean, even if I had to wear them more than once, my hair was always together and most important of all I wore a smile and it was one that reached my eyes as well. But it wasn’t just my smile; I have been accused of having a larger than life laugh and it served me well during my healing.
Why am I sharing this? Because I want all of you to prosper so if your thoughts and actions have changed then be sure to let the physical reflect the new you as well. In other words if you used to dress provocatively but your inside is transformed then that dress code no longer works with the new you. Put it down and take on a new look.
If complaining, and feeling sorry for yourself used to be the norm but now you’re hopeful and full of joy then let shine in the new words you use and the new way you approach a problem or any situation. The old way is poison don’t let it infect the new you.
Okay don’t worry, I’m not about to get on a soapbox as the older generation would say and start preaching but I am going to encourage you to do a few things:
1. Get some exercise – walk, bike or join a gym if you can afford it, either way don’t let money or the lack of money keep you from improving your physical health.
2. Eat more fruits and vegetables and drink lots of water while cutting down on sugar and empty calories.
3. Get a new wardrobe one that reflects the new you and again don’t let money or lack thereof prevent you from making a change. Use your creativity, you’ll be surprised what you can do.
4. Let the joy on the inside be reflected in the face you present to the world. Smile more and often, and greet people with a genuine look. Don’t be surprised if you get them back in return.
5. Make a promise to yourself to love you enough to give the above a real try.
Today is the last holiday of the summer enjoy it with family, friends and loved ones. Most of all I encourage you to enjoy it with the new you you’re creating from the inside out.