My mother always said that anything that’s good is good enough to work for. If you’ve been reading this blog for the duration of the past 40 days, you already know that you’ve had to work at reading it and then you had to work at living it. But you also know that you have been changed and that the change is worth the work.
If you are just now joining us, no worries; get in where you fit in.
When I was a teenager and attended a Pentecostal church, our pastor, Rev. Ross Rainey would undertake the amazing feat of a 40 day fast. During this time, he ate no food and drank very little water and juice. I was always amazed by the transformation that came over him. Never boisterous or verbose, Rev. Rainey became quieter still. During this time, his sermons were even more powerful; focusing on what Christians should be doing for the world rather what the world owed to Christians.
At 17, when I left home for college, I began the practice of an annual 40 day fast. Now, before you start to close this page let me state clearly, I DO NOT WANT YOU TO GO ON A FAST. If you have been reading this wellness blog for 40 days, you’ve already been on a one. You have dedicated time and energy to change and transformation so in effect, you’ve done the work. But so you know, abstaining from food for 40 days is grueling business and I do not recommend it. (Somewhere around the fifth day, I usually see Jesus and he’s holding a buttered biscuit.) My purpose for fasting is always purely spiritual and should not be done for weight loss, physical outcomes or monetary and other personal gain.
The point I want to make has to do with the commitment to doing something for 40 days. As you learned earlier, 21 days of repeatedly doing something forms a habit; 40 days breaks a cycle. Now it’s time to celebrate. By reading this on a daily basis and by applying the lessons to your life you have broken cycles of underlying causes to lifelong habits. By simply enduring the work for 40 days you have been changed. I’m sure that you have felt it, now others will begin to see it.
I’ve heard from people who are losing weight, but more importantly, they are gaining life. These people tell me of being able to finally forgive others for the pain and abuse they inflicted upon them. They have learned to release themselves of blame for any harm they caused and they have begun to see themselves as deserving of love. Some have returned to the activities they loved but let go, like dancing or running and some have applied themselves to their job in a more purposeful way. There are some who have stepped out to do the things they secretly desired but were afraid to try and they are having the time of their lives.
We still have a ways to go; 325 days to be exact. But think about how much you’ve done in just 40. How much better will you be by the end of this year? I am in for the long haul. I’ve seen the effects of my commitment to doing this and I am rewarded by increased wellness and inspired by the fact that you are taking this journey with me.
Today, take a moment to think back over these 40 days of a new year and recognize that unlike years before, you are still on track. We’ve had a cupcake here, or a Twizzler there, but we are still on the path of wellness; the realignment of the spirit, mind and body.
· Celebrate—reward yourself with a wellness present. Yesterday, I bought exfoliating scrub and lavender oil. (Okay, now that I’m writing it, I guess I could have gotten something more, but you know what, my desire and need to shop have gotten better too.)
· Write a letter to someone you love and tell them that you appreciate them.
· Take a brief moment to look back over what you have accomplished and get ready for more.
· Write a letter to yourself that you can re-visit at the end of this year
· Take a picture of yourself today
We are on a tremendous journey. When you become well, others around you will too.
Be You, Be Well, Be the celebration of love and life.
Bertice Berry, PhD.