I was writing in my five-year journal recently and noticed that I started my entry with, “it was a super-sweet day.” I’ve been writing the same thing for a while. The thought came to me then that this has been the happiest year of my life. That’s a bold thought—but I checked and double checked, and it’s true. And in this vlog, I want to share what made it so, because so many of us are striving for happiness.
I came into the year shiny Bright and doing well, and all I wanted through the year was to be steady with that. That was my word for the year: STEADY. Steadiness doesn’t come naturally to me, but I have been this year. My food has been super Bright. That was also the case in my thirties, but I had other challenges, including two premature twin babies. In my forties, Bright Line was born, and it was a huge success, but it was also a whirlwind and a challenge. So I’m pretty confident that this is the happiest year of my life.
It's not just that my food is Bright. My habits have been dialed in, including a new layer I added recently: I’m taking a low dose of hormone replacement therapy (some bioidentical estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone). It helps. I’ve always struggled with depression and high/low moods. This routine of hormone supplementation helps me feel way more even keeled, punctuated with moments of great joy.
Other than that, what made this the happiest year? I have three stories I want to tell you that have deep lessons. All three have to do with relationships.
I am in service again in a way that’s making a difference—peer-to-peer, volunteer service—sponsoring in twelve-step programs. I’ve been so busy with Bright Line that I stopped doing this. An old friend urged me to get back to it, so I did. Volunteer service, heart-to-heart, soul-to-soul, is so good for me. In fact, I talk to one of my sponsees who lives overseas at 5:15 am and while I talk to her I use my light box. That structure has given me an uptick in my well-being, which I attribute to the human interaction, the biology of light, and the structure. That’s the first lesson: peer-to-peer support matters. So if you can do peer-to-peer support in Bright Line Eating, (being a guide, leading a Gideon Games team, etc.) no matter where you are on your own Bright journey, I recommend it. Here's what that could look like, even if you’re not Bright yourself right now. Step 1: GET BRIGHT. Get two weeks of Bright Days strung together, and then post in the online community: “I just got TWO WEEKS of Bright Days, after struggling for a long time, and now I want to help you! Do you need a guide to help you Rezoom and get your first two weeks under your belt? I can share my experience with you.” Boom. Service.
The second lesson is this: you don’t have to take out the trash; you can compost just about anything with love. I found this out when one of my primary relationships was ruptured. We tried to get back to each other and couldn’t. And then—probably because we both were praying very deeply—we just tentatively reconnected. Since that day, every single interaction has been off-the-charts loving. No reflection on our past disagreement. Just love. It was like our rupture was a garbage-filled backyard, and I thought we needed to clear away the trash before we could plant flowers. But instead, we took bags of love-soil and poured it on top. And soon we were able to plant flowers in the love-soil, and I realized that all that trash would just compost underneath. I think I was arrogant in thinking that everything needs to be worked through.
The final lesson is that it is never too late to reinvent yourself and dramatically revise a story you’ve been telling about yourself for a long time. My motherhood journey has been a hard one from the beginning. When Bright Line Eating was born and I was saddled with massive working-mom guilt, I worried that my kids weren’t getting the best of me. But that’s shifted this year. My kids are older now, and their needs are a better match for my skills.
So I started showing up a lot more for my kids, and I crafted, sometime mid-year, what I called my Four Pillars of Joy:
- A thriving marriage
- Micro-moments of love with my kids
- Joy in manifesting Bright Line Eating’s vision
- A strong, healthy body
One of my kiddos was not showing up for class, and I took away her cell phone. When she was protesting afterward, I wasn’t frustrated, nor did I think that I was a terrible mother (even though she was telling me I was)—and in that moment, I saw how much my inner narrative had changed.
The next morning, I had a card under my door from one of my other kids. It was filled with love and affirmation.
That card is a result of my changing the narrative of my motherhood journey. So if your lines haven’t been Bright; if you’ve struggled with your relationships, your appearance, or your food, it’s not too late to change. My narrative changed because I took action, and started investing in micro-moments of love with my kids.
It’s been the happiest year of my life. My word for 2024 is JOY. I’m going to keep focusing on my four pillars of joy.
And 2024 will have a lot of anniversaries. David and I will celebrate 25 years of marriage. I will turn 50. And Bright Line Eating will celebrate all its ten-year anniversaries: January 26 is the anniversary of the meditation where the universe told me to “Write a book called Bright Line Eating.” August 5 is the anniversary of the BLE email list and hence the entire BLE movement. September 9 is the anniversary of the Bright Line Eating Solutions, LLC entity. And October 24 is the anniversary of the Boot Camp.
My New Year’s resolution is to keep on doing what I’m doing now. Writing in my journal. Focusing on my four pillars. Writing down my food, committing it, and eating only and exactly that. Being of service. Keeping my food simple, so I can be fulfilled, nourished, and happy. It’s the right formula for me. It’s what makes me happy.