Monday, April 1, 2013

Whole Body Makeover

Editor's Note:  Yesterday was my ninetieth and final day in the Transformation Contest.I want to first say a big THANK YOU to everyone involved - Craig and staff for the vision to offer such an opportunity, and fellow contestants who have walked this path with me with courage, determination, insight, laughter, wisdom, encouragement , support and even tears at times. It is with bittersweet emotions that I move forward and continue my journey without the comfort of the "nest" of the community.  We had an ongoing discussion about the eagles being "nudged" out of the nest to learn to fly and then to soar.  This is my time to fly and soar from our group.  Several weeks ago, I wrote an article and submitted it for possible publication with the TC community and organizers. I was told I had not met the publishing criteria in that it was not an individual story about personal accomplishments.  Although I understood their reasons since this contest is about personal goals, at first I was kind of let down.  I started to rewrite it to share it from a personal standpoint, but, I really could not write an individual story if I had not been a part of this group, this community, this family! So today I would like to share my story with you who helped create it with me and to all my other readers who have been co-authors of the story of my life for many years.  I hope it helps each one of you realize the value that you play in each others' lives and that no matter where you go or what you strive to achieve you always understand that alone you are good but together we are great!  Everyone needs someone to walk along side with for encouragement and support.  Never underestimate the value of community!  YOU ARE LOVED!
Earlier this year, people from around the world were presented an opportunity of a lifetime right in their own inbox or social forums.  With the “click of a mouse” and a simple “yes I’m in”, 47,000 people embarked on a quest towards transformation.  People joined this journey from all over…Africa, India, New Zealand, Australia, Cyprus, Canada, Japan, Poland, the United States and more.  There were as many reasons for seeking transformation as there were contestants.  Some were looking for a health makeover to improve general health in the areas of weight loss and management, clearing of lungs upon kicking the smoking habit, or conquering food and substance addictions.  Others were cleansing their bodies of toxins to combat illness, fatigue and pain, while others were flushing out the negative thoughts in their minds.  Some were trimming down the size of their waists in order to fit in “skinny jeans” and others were building up their chest and arms to gain muscle, strength and endurance.  Many were peeling off layers of their emotions, some walking off negative attitudes, while still others were reshaping habits and balancing lifestyle. Most all of them set goals to build up their bank accounts, lose debt and many were developing strategies for business or life.  The goals for transformation ranged from hiking up a mountain to climbing the corporate ladder, and from writing a novel to typing up a business plan.  Some fasted from negative thoughts while others feasted on healthy cuisine.  Whatever the transformation, the end result would be a new person staring back at each contestant from the mirror of success. 

As these individual transformations began to take place, something even more amazing happened.  There was not just a makeover or transformation of one part of the body, mind or spirit of an individual, but there was a realization that each one of the contestants was a part of something bigger than themselves.  They were a part of a whole community, a whole body of people with one focus and goal – total transformation.  What happened next was nothing less than spectacular.  One of the contestants in the community was hurting physically, emotionally and spiritually. You know how it feels when you stub your toe or smash your finger?  Such a throbbing pain is hard to ignore.  It was just such pain that this contestant was enduring day and night that captured everyone’s attention. It isn’t just your toe or your finger that hurts.  Your whole body hurts!  Every part of the body feels the pain.  This is what happened to the Transformation Community.  They all began to hurt.  And as they did, the body started that natural process of sending healing to that hurting member.  The greatest transformation of all was taking place – a heart transformation of the entire community!  What began as a contest where individuals were competing for a grand prize had developed into a collective effort to help every one achieve success, especially the ones who could not tap in to their inner strength to succeed.  So one by one, like salve in a wound, cleansing to a cut, bandages to an injury, and nutrition to a body, members of the community began to pour out support to their fellow transformer.  The result was not so much a change in the contestant, because the truth is, he had already begun his change and transformation by reaching out and joining the transformation community. His courage rivaled most, if not all, of the contestants combined.  He had suffered for almost ten years through illness and unspeakable pain and had still found the courage to move forward. The most significant result was a change in the community as a whole; the contestants not only felt the heart of their fellow transformer, but the hearts of each other.  They began to step outside of their own goals, their own needs, and their own desire for transformation to become catalysts of change for others.  Support and encouragement resulted in marriages being put back together, grief was expressed over the death of a loved one; prize money was “paid forward” to someone who needed it most, courage was displayed to not give up on a talent or a dream, time and time again.  Websites sprang up, blogs were written, healthy living groups were started, businesses were expanded, and old habits were cast aside and new ones embraced.  True life miracles, true life transformations began to take place over and over. This was a whole body makeover but so much more.   It is true that gratitude breeds gratitude, success births more success, hope brings yet more hope.  And this time, the courage of one changed the hearts of many.  THIS transformation will transcend the rise of new businesses, the completion of college courses, the publishing of a book, the marketing of a product, the death of a bad habit, or the birth of a new one. For true transformation is not one action or decision, it is not a temporary makeover or a ninety day challenge; true transformation is a daily metamorphosis that lasts and effects a lifetime.