I was walking the trail behind my house yesterday, and saw the same 40-foot tree dangling along a tiny cliff beside the walkway. Half the soil is missing beneath it, yet it hangs on. And each time I walk by, I’m reminded of all the tiny grains of soil shifting under the tree’s weight, one at a time, and I know one day, the last one will move, and the tree will fall. A tiny change: an enormous impact.
Wouldn’t it be great if by making small changes, we had an enormous impact on our lives?
Well, we can.
We are the same way. We can make very small changes which seem insignificant by themselves, but will eventually rock our world.
We can practice replacement therapy: the practice of replacing one habit with another.
Some two thirds of our cancers develop as the direct result of environmental factors: like poor diet and lack of exercise–things we can change. We can decide to move more. Or change the quality of the food we intend to eat for the next 30 or 40 or 60 years.
If we eat the food which is as full of life as possible, most like its raw state (though not necessarily raw, just pure), we give our bodies the benefit of all the micronutrients necessary for healthy cells, and none of the foreign matter.
Do we have to throw out our entire pantry and begin from scratch? No. We simply need to start replacing processed foods with whole foods. One at a time. When you run out of your favorite snack food, replace it with a more wholesome one. Even if it’s still corn chips, for example–find the corn chips which are made very simply of corn, non-hydrogenated oil, and salt. If you can find organic ingredients, even better.
Choosing organic foods makes your impact even larger. First, your own cells will not have to deal with any foreign substances. Second, the planet will not have to deal with foreign substances, like excessive nitrogen or pesticides. Third, you will be supporting farmers who practice clean farming. Fourth, you or someone you don’t know, will not suffer the consequences of ground-water pollution from chemically managed farm run-off, which occurs every time it rains, or fields flood. Fifth, you will keep the food chain and the earth more pure by rejecting genetically modified grains which are developed specifically to endure more pesticide application.
All that from a bag of corn chips!
And gradually, over the course of perhaps six months, you will have completely emptied and replaced your pantry, one item at a time. But you’ll barely notice the doing of it.
To move more, do we need to run out and join a gym? No. We simply need to move more.
What’s the easiest, cheapest way to add movement to our lives? Consider replacing one television show with a walk. Yes, take a walk! Even better, grab a friend and take a walk. Walk around your neighborhood. Or drive to a large store–Home Depot, Walmart, a mall–leave your money home–and just walk. Not walk/walk/stop. I mean walk, at a comfortable pace, for as long as you can. If it’s 5 minutes the first time you walk, stay with that the first week.
Aim for 6-minute sessions the next week you walk, and so on, until you’re walking about 30-45 minutes per session. Be really picky about the television you watch and replace any shows that don’t make the cut with a walk!
What will this do? Burn calories. Work your heart. Move your limbs. Grow your brain. Cultivate a friendship. Make you feel better.
In 6 months, you could be exercising–er, I mean walking–5 nights a week!
Imagine that: healthy, wholesome food and plenty of exercise in 6 months by making very small changes, one at a time.
And if we can replace one habit with another, painlessly, we’ll never be limited by ideas again.