Linda and I started working together back in 2007, when I first held the weight loss group at The Yoga Factory. After I moved into the Clear Rock studio, she continued to meet with me for private coaching sessions, and was a participant in my I Know What to Do, I Just Don't Do It seminar.
She'd come to our coaching sessions with page corners of my book turned down, plus pages and pages of journal. She exercised. A lot. She joined the walking group. She lifted consistently.
She didn't lose a pound.
She could not have been trying harder, or been more stuck. And at 250 pounds, her knees were taking a beating, and she was just sick of it. But still, no weight loss, even though she really wanted it.
Something always took over her best intentions and sabotaged her.
Last year, Linda's mom died. Then very shortly after, her dad died. Right around the same time, she lost her dog. What she told me next, I remember experiencing myself. She said her soul started to die. She was dying. Not because of poor health or "obesity". She was dying on the inside.
Have you experienced this? It's awful. The darkness. The abyss. The alone-ness.
"Pushed to the wall, I called to God;
from the wide open spaces, he answered.
God's now AT MY SIDE and I'm not afraid."
She told me something came alive within her, and that she didn't want to die.
Then, she remembered me making her stand at one edge of the room, and telling her to jump across in one giant stride. And she said she couldn't! So we walked together, one step at a time, across the room, "left foot right foot".
Then, she remembered me standing in a box I'd made on the floor with pink duct tape, the box I called STUCK. Defeated. The comfort zone. And she described me stepping out of that box, and standing in the CHANGE box, recounting all the things that come at you. The lies. The fear. The tsunami of why I can't, it's too hard, it takes too long, I'm not worth it. And she remembered the arrow. That arrow you only get to if you STAND STRONG against the tsunami. God at your side. The arrow of move forward. The arrow of FREEDOM.
Then she remembered us standing before the mirror, when she was learning to see herself and her beauty, just as she was. All the tears, the times we prayed.
She said how sorry she was that it took so long, but that she had heard me. She'd heard the message of Truth and life. And in that dark moment of almost giving up, she reached for God and found God there.
She kept thanking me, even though I tried to say it was her journey with God that got her here. And she kept apologizing to me, that it took all those years for it to click, even though I told her that God's timing was perfect.
She's lost the weight.
But I will be honest. I don't care all that much about that. I'm delighted that she is enjoying shopping, her knees are pain free, she's off her meds, etc. All good.
Here's what I care about: I saw the LIGHT within her. It was different. She was truly alive. She has been changed from the inside - out.
Here's what I know.
That light had to come on FIRST. Her soul had to come near to death. She had to look into the abyss and feel the darkness. She had to call to God and hear him answer. She had to decide she wanted to LIVE.
The rest was healing of the symptoms.
Suddenly, food had NO power.
Suddenly, things that triggered her into a binge no longer mattered.
Suddenly, she felt a peace overwhelm her that she's never known before.
Suddenly, she was free.
So, did it take a long time? Or was it sudden and miraculous? It was both! Who cares. God has an amazing way of redeeming the time.
Sometimes I feel drowned out, speaking out against all the crap this world is trying to sell us. But what Linda taught me was this. Those seeds we plant? They are germinating. Those seeds we plant? They are growing. Those seeds we plant? They are alive and well, even if they are buried deep in the dirt.
"I will not die an unlived life
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance;
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit."
-- Dawn Markova
Thank you, Linda. You gave me an incredible gift by telling me your story. I'm so, so happy for you. Enjoy your freedom. Enjoy your life! I love you!!