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Leap Into Action

"Everything begins with the resolve to take the first step. From that action, wisdom arises and change begins. Without action, there is no change."- Daisaku Ikeda

I picked up my daughter from work the other night. It was trash night, so the trash can was sitting near the front of the garage door, waiting for her to take it out to the road. That is the ritual. My son's job is to round up the trash and put everything in the outside trash can, and her job is to take it to the road in preparation for the garbage collectors to dump it early the next morning. As I opened the garage door, my headlights spotted a frog leaping toward the receptacle. I lost sight of it and couldn't tell whether it had hopped right into the garage or was behind the trash can or had leapt into the yard. We got out of the car and I used the flashlight on my phone to try to get a glimpse of where it had gone, but was unsuccessful. It wasn't in the garage as far as I could see and it wasn't behind the trash can, so I figured it had gone back home to its natural habitat. She took the trash to the road, I closed the garage door, and we went to bed.

Fast forward about two hours later. I'm fast asleep and I am abruptly woken up by the sound of my phone ringing. I see before I answer that it's my son calling from his downstairs room. "Mama!", he said, his voice agitated. "THERE IS A FROG IN MY ROOM! COME HELP ME GET IT OUT!" I couldn't believe it! The frog must have been in the garage after all, and was still enough to blend in with the leaves that had been tracked in over time from cars, bikes, etc.. Now it had made its way under the door that leads to the house and was holding my son hostage on the other side. I laughed a little to myself, imagining my son's face when he spotted that thing jumping around from the corner of his eye. Poor kid probably damn near had a heart attack.

By the time I make my way downstairs, the frog had hopped under his bed, so we begin the process of removing his sheets so we can remove the mattress and somehow get the frog out of the house and back outside where it belonged. But it wasn't exactly as easy as we had planned. As soon as we got the mattress out of the way, the thing positioned itself directly into a corner and played dead. So now we were going to have to coax it to move and be ready for it to

go in either direction. We were planning to catch him in a shoebox, but in order for that to happen, it needed to hop to the right. Naturally, as soon as I poked it with the top of a water bottle, it hopped left. Very quickly, I might add. Luckily, my son was following its path and positioned himself so that the frog thankfully jumped right toward the open box that my son promptly shut and ran outside to set the frog free and out of our house, where it absolutely did not belong.

"Don't wait for your feelings to change to take action. Take action and your feelings will change."- Barbara Baron

The frog situation got me thinking about how absolutely willing and determined we are to get something like a frog out of our house, where it does not belong, yet when it comes to ridding ourselves of behaviors, attitudes, and relationships that have no place in our lives, we somehow lose our resolve. We won't rest until those unwanted creatures are banished from our home, but we allow our mental house to be cluttered by all kinds of invading thoughts and emotions that cause nothing but stress and chaos in our daily lives. However, we CAN escort our negative thoughts, poor self-care habits, and toxic relationships right out the door the same we evicted the frog- with a little resolve, a dash of stick-to-it-ive-ness, and conscious, decisive action.

Take stock of your life. What about it needs to change? Get honest with yourself. Without beginning an honest conversation with yourself, you won't be clear enough to take the steps necessary to implement lasting, healthy change. Once you identify, what needs to change, find someone you trust and who encourages you to hold you accountable. You can do the same for them. We were not meant to do life alone. However, we must be sure to surround ourselves with people who live the kind of life we desire. Then, and most importantly, take action NOW. It doesn't matter how great or small. Just move forward in the direction you wish to go. Don't compare your action to others. You didn't start where they started, so the comparison will always be distorted. If all you've ever eaten was canned and processed foods and washed it down with soda, getting rid of the soda would be a victory of gigantic proportions. Start where you are, but continue to move forward. Get a life coach to help you on your path if you can't find an accountability partner who is useful. The bottom line is stop making excuses and start making moves in the direction of your dreams. Before you know it, your quality of life personally, as well as in your relationships, will grow leaps and bounds.

With love and gratitude,

Kinda and Rachel

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