Being Deliberate in 2014
By Rae Lewis-Thornton
January 14, 2014
This piece originally appeared in Rae's blog, Diva Living With AIDS.
Yesterday, as I was making lunch, I started to think about living versus being alive. I've got to admit, some days in my past, I was just alive and not really living. That tends to happen when I get sick, like when I'm having a round of IV medication, I stop functioning at full pace -- not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. Then, when I get better physically, I have a hard time bouncing back emotionally and mentally because I had shut them down. It's almost like having to have physical therapy on my mind and spirit after each bout of illness.
Now these last few weeks I've been struggling physically and I had given myself over to the physical, and honestly, after the doctor dug that swab in my raw vulva on Wednesday, I was at a low place. Then something happened between Wednesday night and Thursday morning ... low and behold, I found myself at the gym Thursday morning -- sore vagina and all ... Then again on Friday ... and again on Monday! Still sore vagina and all.
As I settled back home from the gym on yesterday, it hit me right in the middle of cutting up fruit -- while I am grateful to be alive, I said to myself, "Girl what you are doing at this moment is being deliberate, you are, living! Then it hit me, I like how this feels!
Yes, I was being deliberate about being deliberate. I could have stayed on the sofa, and I could have just as easily had potato chips rather than fruit. Then I was thinking that one deliberate thing creates a path to another deliberate thing.
See it's like this: CrossFit made me want to eat better. Like why would I have such a great workout then turn around and factor it out? One good thing lead to another good thing. And while I'm still healing, those two good things -- CrossFit and eating healthy -- have added to my feeling better more each day and added to my productivity.
Yesterday I actually completed eight bracelet designs in the new 20 Collection, for RLT Collection commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Essence cover story.
I woke up happy this morning! Happy to be alive and happy in my skin! So it's official as I go into 2014, I am being deliberate about being deliberate about my life. I'm putting action to my life in all areas of my life to be my best me for me. 2014 makes 31 years that I have lived with HIV, 28 years that I have known my status and 22 years that I have had AIDS. I have no idea how much longer I will live, but I really want to live my best life for the rest of my life. Being deliberate is putting your best foot forward...
When you are deliberate you see progress no matter what areas of your life, whether it is working out, eating healthy, taking your medication, using a condom to keep yourself safe, studying hard in school, working on projects, pursing your dreams and putting action behind your goals. BTW, a goal without action is futile. Yep, I'm being deliberate about being deliberate!
Will you join me in 2014?
Rae Lewis-Thornton Speaks
Rae Lewis-Thornton is an Emmy Award-winning AIDS activist who rose to national acclaim when she told her story of living with AIDS in a cover story for Essence Magazine. She has lived with HIV for 27 years and AIDS for 19. Rae travels the country speaking and challenging stereotypes and myths about HIV/AIDS. She has a Master of Divinity degree and is currently working on her Ph.D. in Church History. Rae has been featured on Nightline, Dateline NBC, BET and The Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as in countless magazines and newspapers, including Emerge, Glamour, O, the Oprah Winfrey Magazine, Jet, Ebony, the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune, to name a few. She earned the coveted Emmy Award for a first-person series on living With AIDS for Chicago's CBS News.
Rae is an active user of social media -- read "Long-Term HIV Survivor Discovers the Power of Twitter," an article on TheBody.com about Rae's social media activities.
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