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As of yesterday, August 30, 2020, I am two months smoke-free! I no longer wake myself up coughing or have to take a break and drink some water to clear my throat while I'm on the air. I can even tell I have increased lung capacity when I'm voicing audio. I'm able to do more with my voice without it sounding like I'm gasping for air. It's literally changed my life.

In case you're wondering, this is all a part of a master plan that I conceived of a few months after becoming separated. The end of my marriage was a shock for me. To this day, I'm amazed by how oblivious I was. After finding solid ground and leaning on my support system, I put together a plan. I was going to dedicate as much time as it took to work on ME! In other words, I was on a mission to heal myself, mind, body, and spirit.

Anyone who's been through a major upheaval in their life knows it takes a second to get your bearings. It took me a good five months to find forgiveness in my heart and begin my spiritual healing. In my humble opinion, you can't move forward and become close to Him while you still have resentment in your heart. I won't say it was easy, but it's true, forgiveness is more for you than anyone else.

I also had to work through a bunch of stuff mentally. To steal a term, I was a full-on 'dumpster fire.' I had a lot of unresolved issues that I had been ignoring for so long they had become a part of my very being.  I had to sort those issues out, spend time with each and every one of them, find peace, and then put them behind me. In short, you have to do the work! Part of that 'work' which I still do, involved helping kids from tough places by becoming a TBRI advocate through Volunteers for Youth Justice, volunteering to support individuals with special needs as I train to become a Path Intl Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor, and also volunteering my time to help veterans with PTSD through Warrior Horse. Take it from me. It's much easier to face your demons from a place of giving and gratitude. Even though, truth be told, working on your own issues is a lifelong journey, not a destination.

The next step was taking care of the body the Lord gave me that I had so sorely neglected and connect with why I had done so poorly by this gift. It helped that I had already done a LOT of soul searching. With the help of my doctor, we decided I should put down cigarettes successfully before attempting to improve my physical fitness. Trying to quit smoking during a pandemic and major life changes is hard enough, but when you throw a hurricane on top of it and you still don't smoke? That's when you know you've finally made it!

Now its time to get to work on the rest of the mind-body-spirit wellness plan with a 60-hour reboot! I've decided to do a 60-hour fast in preparation for the keto diet. I've never fasted before so this should be interesting!  In an effort to turn lemons into lemonade, I figure I’ll make having to throw out everything from my fridge/freezers thanks to Hurricane Laura a positive, fresh start!

One thing that I've learned through this whole process is that each day is a new beginning, a new chance, and never to settle. Embrace the ones who support you and your effort to become a better person both mentally and physically and don't be afraid to disconnect from things and yes, even people, who don't build you up. As a woman, I've been a people pleaser and nurturer my entire life, ignoring my own wants and needs to my detriment. No more! After all, you can't take care of anyone else if you're not already in peak condition!  Plus, you're worth the work!