Healthy Life 101 – Embracing the Hard Lesson

double rainbow north shore of Maui

They only last a moment – drink it in.

Summertime for me means a trip home to Maui, where my heart always longs to be.

Each time I return I always get a chance to experience and renew my love for this place and see friends that over many decades have made it so special.

I always make the trip alone and many people have questioned why.

The yearly visits home have become much more than a summer trip.

It’s become a place of life lessons for me.

Although it’s practically a perfect place, the trip is always far from perfect. I discover much about myself, some which I’m not particularly fond of, but I get stretched as a human being. There always seems to be something that happens that makes me take a good, hard look at what’s important.

My trip is about half over and of course a hard lesson’s arrived and it’s something I would have never seen coming.  Although the temptation is to analyze the crap out the situation. The why, the what if – but after I got past that, it hit me hard.

We are never  in control. Ever.

Things just get tossed your way. We’re here for only a moment – like a double rainbow. What illusion we have of control is just that – an illusion. To stop and breathe, to quiet our minds, and to learn to dwell in a place of gratefulness – no hurrying, no yesterdays or tomorrows, no what-if’s – just taking in the lesson. Seizing it. Embracing it. Being grateful for it.

Because each time you’re being polished and refined.

There’s joy and peace just being present in the moment. Present with the people you’re with for the little time you get to have with them.

So for the next week or so, I’ll windsurf, stand-up paddle, get a little too much sun, hope for a south swell to surf, heal a gash on my foot from the reef, hit health food stores, and occasionally brush my bleached-from-the-sun hair. I’m going to sip each day like it’s hot green tea and try to be open to whatever lessons life throws my way. There’s always another one coming. The refining never stops.

I’m not counting calories, or logging miles, or timing workouts. Focusing constantly on what workouts to do and what to eat can steal away life’s moments and joy. We can become so busy looking in the mirror we miss everything around us. We can become pulled away from the things that truly matter. We can miss the lesson. I find that when I look past myself (not always easy to do), become less self-focused, and become grateful and focused on others, the healthy decisions just seem to fall into place.

And now for your perspective — Do you feel you embrace the lessons in your life?




  1. Kerri Olkjer says:

    You’re so wise Joyce. “learn to dwell in a place of gratefulness” most important life lesson ever. 🙂

    • Joyce Cherrier says:

      Maybe I’m just old… like one of those turtles 😉 

      Thanks for always being so awesome Kerri xo

  2. I’m a big believer that we are constantly being refined by the Refiner’s fire.  It’s not always easy but we come out on the other side better for it in some way.  Hugs to you for whatever it is you are going through.  

  3. Great post!  I embrace life’s lessons… then forget ’em ten minutes later and have to learn them over again.  🙂  Good thing it’s about journey and not destination!

  4. I think many women would benefit from a bit of alone time.  It is very difficult to truly look inward when you are pre-occupied with the daily rush of taking care of others, a home and moving on to the next item on the calendar.  Most women I know won’t even take themselves out for a nice meal alone, not just because of a busy schedule but because they have the perception you just don’t do that and I think there is so much benefit to be had by embarking on some of life’s adventures solo.

    Lovely post Joyce, can feel your passion and connection with Maui.

    • Thanks Tania 🙂

      I totally have experienced the same feeling from women and have actually had women look at me a little strange because I take some time to myself. It really makes so much sense though. Women carry so much. By taking time to recharge they can come back refreshed – a benefit to all their relationships. 

      Looking forward to seeing you soon! 🙂 

  5. Hi, i just found this post and love it. I try to learn from the lessons in my life, learning to eagerly embrace them though is still a work in progress. While reading this post it occurred to me that carpe diem goes hand in hand with not being in control of what happens but taking control of how you react to what happens. (If this makes sense…it does in my head…it was my aha moment :-)).


  1. […] One of the great things about social media is the crossover to real life.  When I first signed up for Twitter, I confess I primarily did it because I thought it was something I should do as a blogger.  The biggest misconception I had and many others have about Twitter is that everyone is tweeting their thoughts and what they are doing at any given moment.  There is a little bit of that going on that but Twitter is so much more than the random isolated thought or status update.   As a reader I love that twitter is full of links to great content and on a personal level, I love the engagement with people you may have never met otherwise. I’ve gotten to know quite a few people on twitter who are also the loveliest people in real life.  One of the women I follow on Twitter, Joyce Cherrier (@joycecherrier), is from Maui but has since moved to the mainland.  Joyce is a personal trainer and slightly obsessive health nut (her own words).  She is the force behind the site Freaking Fitness where she writes about living a healthy and fun lifestyle.  She tweets great links and also hosts fit chats on twitter. When I first visited her site, I was inspired and learned more than a thing or two.  Joyce is on Maui this month and reached out to me to meet in real life. We had a phone conversation today to plan a get together and we clicked right away.  Even through the iPhone I could tell she is full of life and positive energy.  Joyce wrote a wonderful post that I think you’d enjoy about her annual treks back to the Valley Isle, living in the present and life lessons here. […]

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