Ahh, Paris. A city known for its food, landmarks and for love.

For me, it was going to be a time to spend having fun with my favorite person at Disneyland Paris!

The sites, the sounds and the beauty of Disneyland Paris at night around Christmas is just awe-inspiring. It was gorgeous. We enjoyed a fun parade and rollercoasters, which was a lot for someone like me who likes to keep both feet on the ground. Seriously thought, it is important to take time to stop and enjoy the company of the blessings you have surrounding you everyday that we often take for granted and for me, that meant a much needed family vacation.

As a plant-based eater, I must say finding healthful food at Disneyland Paris at night is close to impossible. Although, we enjoyed the “Vegan Kitchen’s” wonder meals during the daytime, in the evening finding an unhealthy, but delicious vegan burger at Planet Hollywood stopped the tummy grumbles. Finding food when we grew weary of our homemade sandwiches after the journey there became a daunting task and yet, it paled in comparison to the task of finding transportation during the strike.

That’s right! Despite my efforts to schedule after the original date for the end of the strike, there we were…stranded on the side of the tram road waiting for a bus to get us to the hotel after struggling to get from main Paris station to Disneyland. Why? Because of the ripple effect.

Do not get me wrong. This has nothing to do with the strike and what the French were seeking to protest concerning their rights and privileges; I respect their right to protest. Rather, this situation made me think of the parallel of other areas of our lives and how ripple effects tend to tip the scales either in our favor or against us as the waves increase.

In life, we often focus only on the here and now. For health, we often focus on the physical and what we can see. We count calories, eliminate categories and even push our bodies beyond limits without properly refueling all in an effort to look “healthy”. But what is the ripple effect of our actions today? See, we feel doing these things will benefit us longtime, while the evidence points to the contrary. In fact, my past physical decline proved this not to be factual. We can not ignore the cries of the heart, mind and spirit and believe the body will not begin to mimic these silent screams. The waves of our inability to adapt, change and let go and let the tides roll and wave will lead to our collapse. The inability to choose self-care today, stop and release suppressed anxiety or fear from one moment will being to ripple and sceep into the other parts of our lives.

So do me a favor this holiday season. When given an opportunity to enjoy a cookie, eat it. When given the opportunity to stop work early to play in the snow, take it. When given the chance to savor the beauty of the sunset, enjoy it. Embrace change, challenges and unexpected turns of life with an attitude of optimism (not pollyanna) and gratitude. For in the ripple effect of life, our physical beings will be a reflection of how we let our attitudes, mindset and perspective shape our lives…based on the shift towards optimal wellness, full of eustress or towards the side of illness along the road of distress and dis-ease. We get one choice; this holiday season, I implore you to choose wisely.

TAKE ACTION: For one day this week, just be… no judgement, no worries… just be.

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