What Does WOW Mean To You?
I've been thinking a lot about WOW lately. What the word means. What experiences make you say "wow". What feelings surround a moment of wow. Even the letters as an acronym and what they can stand for.
Because Living WOW is the name of the lifestyle program and the framework of thriving with autoimmune disease, I've been dissecting it, analyzing it, and defining it to bring the mission of living WOW to you with the characteristics that make it universal but the details that make it individual to you.
Think about the last time you said "wow"... Do you remember when that was? Do you remember how you felt? Do you remember what was happening?
Mine was this morning as I got in the car to come home from an early appointment. The sun was rising as I walked down the sidewalk noticing the yellow leaves covering the sidewalk and parking lot as I got in the car. Fall colors are on full display as they softly crunch beneath my feet. As I drive out of the neighborhood and come around a curve, the open sky is lit up with the most beautiful sunrise of pink clouds with orange hues set on a pastel blue backdrop. "WOW!" I said out loud to myself. "That is a gorgeous sunrise. What an amazing way to start the day." I then thanked God for the opportunity to witness this beautiful creation and enjoyed it as it evolved and eventually dissolved into the daylight.
Upon arriving home, I exclaimed to my husband how gorgeous the sunrise was and how it makes getting up for these early morning appointments worth it. How I could do a sunrise walk every morning and it would do so many amazing things for me. I could get in a daily walk for exercise, be in nature, and start the day off right. We then discussed how, when I did that with a group of friends in our previous community, I loved it.
Why don't I do that? Why did I stop doing that? How can I start doing that again? What can I do with my schedule or my routines to put that in and get back into a habit that allows me to have these experiences more often?
Have you ever felt that way?
That is what is meant by living WOW! Living in a way that you are aware of the things that bring you joy and make you feel alive. Sharing those moments with those around you and celebrating the wonders of life. Being intentional in the choices you make and how to bring more opportunities to experience WOW moments into your days. This is what I characterize as thriving and it's made possible by living WOW.
The problem is that I don't always see the sunrise so I forget how much I love it. I don't want to get up that early. I am inside working and don't get to see that part of the sky. I'm busy with other things and miss it. Basically, I'm on autopilot going through my day getting things done, and don't make the intentional choice to watch the sun come up even though I know how much better it would make my days. Truth is, I forget how much I love it and how much better it would make my days because I just have gotten too far away from it.
This is an example of the autopilot of what I call the SAD life. The Standard American lifestyle of automatic, rush, noise, and busy that distracts us from living our best life. I easily fall back into SAD because it's exactly that, easy! Everybody's doing it. Whether it is a morning routine, food choices, exercise, sleep, or how we relate with each other, there is a social norm that we fit into and go with the flow. Have you missed a sunrise too?
I use this analogy of the sunrise because it literally happened to me this morning and it is a great reminder to me of the contrast between living WOW and living SAD. It's also a great reminder to me of why I am so passionate about sharing WOW with you because that is the secret to thriving with autoimmune diseases.
Making intentional choices that support the systems of your body to repair and function more optimally is powerful. Living WOW supports a positive health cycle that once experienced can not be ignored. Living life with energy and awareness that brings joy is available to everyone but if you are like me, you have lived SAD for so long you don't believe you could feel WOW.
After experiencing my first transformation, I wanted others with autoimmune diseases to understand that you can thrive despite a diagnosis. In writing the book 8 Lessons Lupus Taught Me: From Surviving to Thriving With Autoimmune Diseases I shared my journey and changed perspective toward my diseases and life as a whole.
After tumbling full speed into SAD with the events of 2020 triggering every survival instinct I had, I found myself with pain, weight gain, depression, exhaustion, and flares that I had eliminated years earlier. I felt like I had gone back in time 12 years. What was different this time was my belief. I knew that I could thrive amid difficult times. I knew the process. I had the tools. I knew that it would take a series of perpetual choices and probably a few re-starts. I knew it would take time but I knew it was possible.
So in the depths of a pandemic and worldwide chaos, I decided to live WOW. I decided to step out of the SAD life that had again consumed my everyday choices. I decided to make a change. What seemed overwhelming and frustrating as I struggled to make order out of chaos slowly started to give glimpses of living WOW.
Better food choices and supplements (fuel & maintenance) kept my immune system strong against the virus battle. Choosing better material for my mind (the driver) to listen to and focus on kept my mental tracks hopeful. Quieting the chaotic chatter of the world helped me tune into the spirit (the navigation system) and remember who I was born to be and the journey that I am on.
Nine months later I had completed what I now refer to as my second transformation. Once again thriving with autoimmune diseases, I had successfully embraced intentionally living WOW and had cut the time down from 5 years (first transformation) to 9 months (second transformation). WOW!!!
Just like my mission after my first transformation was to give hope to those with autoimmune diseases, to not suffer and just survive. Knowledge to not settle for a diagnosis with the masking of symptoms that may lead to a cascade of more disease but instead love your autoimmune diseases. Learn to understand them and find joy in the journey.
Now, after my second transformation, I am compelled to give you the framework for living WOW. To empower you to step out of SAD and embrace WOW. Change is scary and most of us won't run headlong into change because we are comfortable where we are. Even if we aren't comfortable, it's familiar and there's that. Moving away from comfort and familiar takes courage even if we know it's going to be better.
So just like I came home and told my husband about my sunrise experience, I'm sharing my Living WOW experience with you!
Don't you do that?
When you eat something delicious you want to share a bite. When you see something beautiful you tell someone about it. When you experience something life-changing you want to have others experience it too.
The Living WOW Center is a holistic wellness practice that utilizes the framework of the WOW lifestyle to identify system failures or maintenance needs. Whether you just need a tune-up or a complete systems overhaul we support you as an individual to get back out on the journey and Living WOW.
We will run diagnostics and assess the situation to determine levels of function, needs, tools, resources, and/or providers that may be best equipped to guide you as you step out of a negative health cycle and turn it into a positive health cycle.
The next generation of lifestyle awareness that will transform your life significantly