Smallest Steps

8 years ago, after years of chronic pain leading to a health crisis that terrified me, I got desperate and started making some changes. Facing losing my life catapulted me into taking more responsibility for my health. It could have overwhelmed me but I chose to tackle smaller things, crossing each little bridge as I approached it. I started with some pantry items. As one thing ran low, I looked for a replacement that was #alittlelesstoxic . I started making my own cleaning products, one by one, and found it saved us money, worked great, and was fun for me. When a toiletry item ran low, I’d start looking for a better swap before I was completely out so I didn’t panic and grab the same ol’ trusty product again, that wasn’t serving my health.

I could never have imagined my fridge and cupboards would look like they do now. I wasn’t focused on all the things at once. I took one small step at a time and that made it possible for me to keep moving forward.

I slowly changed products, but very quickly began to reclaim my health.

While maybe it was just a few condiments or pantry staples with better ingredients at first, I was also paying more attention to ingredients in general and started choosing more whole foods and less processed foods. I didn’t throw out my whole life and spend outside of my means. I’d have had to give that up within weeks and I’d be right back where I was, or worse. With new discouragement and feeling like health was outside of my reach.

I’m still going just like I started. Pointing my face in the direction of what is good for me, my family, my neighbors, and this world and taking reasonable steps in that direction. Doing what I can, with what I’m able, and as it makes sense for me. Imperfectly giving my best.

I don’t think we ever “arrive” at some ultimate place of non-toxic perfection. Not on this side of Heaven. Not with food, products, thoughts, behaviors, or anything. I don’t believe having that as a goal is realistic or healthy. I believe every small change has impact on our health, lives, and ability to live well and serve well. Those small changes are not only more sustainable, they keep us moving forward, and they quickly add up.