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Life is precious.

Often we get distracted by day-to-day trivia – those oh-so-important must have’s and must do’s on our lists. But, in the end, most things and activities don’t matter people do.

That’s what hit me – hard – as I visited my father in the ICU. In one week, he had endured two open heart surgeries – the first one planned, followed by an emergency second one to correct the first one gone bad.

Magically, all trivia vanished. Priorities crystallized. The power of love and human connection reigned. It soothed, healed, and beckoned hope. It was palpable. My presence made a difference. So did his.

Remember, you do matter. In the busy-ness of your day and caring and doing for others, remember that the greatest gift you can offer any human being is you – your love, your presence.

Take care of you first. Put yourself and life-supporting choices on top of your “must-do” list – every day. You will be awed by the evolution and wonderment of you and all you have to give.

If you refuse to take care of you for you, then do it for the father, the mother, the son, the daughter, the sister, the brother, the grandchild, the spouse, or the friend who loves and needs you, radiant with energy, joy, purpose, and love.

Consider adding these eight daily must-dos to open doors of awareness inside of you, calling forth the greatness in your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being, enabling you to fulfill your life’s purpose by calling forth the greatness in others:

  1. Fuel your body with nature’s best-for-you foods – whole, fresh fruits and vegetables, your weight and disease warriors and health and energy heroes.
  2. Avoid or eliminate processed, packaged, refined, junk, salty, sugary, and fast foods and drinks that deplete you, not feed you.
  3. Fill up first on the best-for-you foods. Eat last those high-fat, high-cholesterol, high-calorie, low fiber favorites.
  4. Eliminate artificial depressants and stimulants.
  5. For a minimum of 60 minutes every day, exercise aerobically (pumping the heart and lungs), such as moderate walking. If you can only walk ten minutes, then go for it! Next time a “yeah, but” stops you from moving your body, say this to yourself: exercise doesn’t take time, it gives you time when it counts – at the end of your life.
  6. Sleep from 7-8.5 hours a night. Uninterrupted sleep is necessary for the body to heal, restore, and re-energize.
  7. Drink clean water (or homemade fruit and vegetable juices) and breathe fresh air. Needless to say, don’t smoke. Every cigarette is one more nail in an early coffin.
  8. Be grateful for home, safety, food, warmth, health, freedom, relationships, and life itself — and for the gift of being you.

And never, ever allow “stuff,” whether it be intangible “stuff” inside your head or tangible “stuff” in your daily life, to interfere with feeling and expressing, from your heart, the three most
powerful words in the English language: “I love you.” You could even add: “Thank you. Your life makes a difference.”

Barely conscious, my dad’s first words spoke volumes: “Les, what are you doing here? Don’t you have to work?” In my father’s heart, albeit wounded, I mattered.

I smiled. I cried. And I knew in my own heart of hearts that at that moment there was nothing more important than that man, who had gifted me life, the roots to grow, and the wings to fly. That man, to whom I can still say, “I love you, Dad. Your life makes a difference. And I know mine does too.”

Never underestimate the power of love and human connection. Don’t ignore it. Don’t take it for granted. Do cherish it. Appreciate it. And nurture it – now – while you still have the chance to give the greatest gift of all – you.

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Dr. Leslie Van Romer, author of the weight-loss book, Getting into Your Pants, and companion workbook, Getting into Your Pants PlayBook, is a chiropractor, motivational health speaker, and weight-loss cheerleader. Offering simple direction and hope, she empowers individuals to lose weight, boost health, and feel good about themselves. Her passion for life and people are infectious and make her very accessible and approachable.

Dr. Leslie has spent nearly thirty years building a thriving, full-time practice, developing a wide-variety of health presentations, creating her own registered weight-loss program, called 10+10 for Life, producing a series of CDs and DVDs, and writing Dr. Leslie's Lifelines, a weekly on-line newsletter.

Dr. Leslie has expertly helped thousands of people sort fact from fiction, shift their eating and lifestyle choices, and shed the layers, from the inside out. She lives her talk and leads by example. By eating a plant-based diet for years, with emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables, and exercising at least one hour, seven days a week, Dr. Leslie maintains her ideal weight and level of energy, fitness, and health.

As a single mom, Dr. Leslie raised three children in the foothills of the Olympic Mountains in Sequim, Washington. They are now young adults and successfully finding their own paths.

For more information, please visit

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Yes, you read me as I am. That is my life. After I put the bottle down, and got a good look at who I thought I was. I used the bottle,to numb the pain of my parents,and continued till it wasn’t working any more.I became grateful for my life.I say those 3 words,every day,To myself,and others. I am no better then anyone,just might be doing better.Every day I get these inspirations, and Just about every one is how I live my life. I make a diffence in so many others lives,as well as every one I meet.I Love you, Linda,for you making a difference in others lives.
    Lots of Love.

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