Community Makes All the Difference

Whether it’s a formal organization that we join or a group of friends who stand by you always, a community of support is imperative to staying the course. I’ve learned that first-hand over the past week and a half as I’ve done the Yoga Body Cleanse by Deborah Williamson.

Yes, Debbie is a client, but that’s not why I’m writing this blog. She is a wonderful, inspiring person I met in July who became a guiding light for me the minute I met her. Because of a 20-minute coffee chat in Wisconsin, I transformed my business model, got my novel on the road to being published and made other life changes that have made me happier than I’ve ever been. That’s what she does.

So when she became a client and set about launching her Cleanse, I figured, why not give it a try? I’ve been trying to shed a stubborn 8 pounds forever and maybe this would do the trick. The thing about Debbie is that she doesn’t judge or finger-wag; this cleanse is voluntary and it’s about ADDING in veggies and fruits, not about depriving myself of foods I love.

Like so many others, I’ve tried diets, tracking what I eat and how much I exercise, and limited sweets, processed foods and meats. Still, 8 pounds are holding tight to my midsection.

Anyway, this Cleanse offers recipes for juices, soups and salads, all involving a plethora of delightful vegetables and fruits. I’ve lost some weight. I feel lighter. My clothes are loose. But the reason I’ve stuck to it is that I have a community of people around me, cheering me on.

We grow up in communities our parents choose for us, whether by their own belief or affiliation or location. We are handed faith at birth, whether those before us believe in it or not. We grow up with a set of preconceptions that guide us toward certain friends, certain colleges, certain jobs.

Whether or not those are our people.

I’ve been a part of a lot of different communities, and in most I didn’t feel like I fit. The minute I walked into my kids’ school, Norup International, I knew this was a community we belonged in. When we decided to join Adat Shalom Synagogue, it was because my entire family felt like it was a second home. When I play tennis at Beverly Hills Club, I know everyone is welcome on the court, without judgment.

The key denominator among all of the communities I belong to is that they are populated by people who suspend judgment and are friendly to everyone. They are truly supportive and embracing of the myriad ways we live our lives.

As far as Debbie’s Cleanse, I’ve kept on course for two reasons: I feel so much better and healthier eating these amazing recipes (thank you for developing them, Kellie Lin Knott!), AND I feel a part of something vibrant and dynamic and populated by great people who want me to achieve the best for myself.

It’s why I cheer them on – because positivity breeds positivity. It’s a self-fulfilling cycle. I care about these people I’ve only met online and want good things for them because their energy is contagious. They’re wonderful. Supportive. Encouraging. Kind.

And those are the characteristics of a community of people who genuinely care. That support makes all the difference.

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