STEP INTO LIFE: Where did this saying come from?
After several years of declining health due to a congenital kidney disease, on my fortieth birthday my nephrologist told me it was time to start renal dialysis awaiting transplant. For seventeen months I made the hour long drive from a small town in North Central Washington state to a dialysis unit in Wenatchee. The beginning of each treatment involved two needles being inserted into a Gore-Tex fistula which had been surgically implanted in my left forearm. “Dirty” blood would go out of a vein through the needle into the dialysis machine where it was filtered and then put back into my body through another needle which flowed into an artery. This process replaced the natural function of my no longer working kidneys.
During those seventeen months I had the opportunity to re-think my life. What would my life be about when I was, once again, able to, “Step Into Life?” Along the way I realized that ability was still mine. And so I started getting ready for life renewed by daily finding ways to step into life. That might be taking more time to listen more closely to my kids as they came home from school, taking a slow walk up a long hill with a patient friend, playing racquetball, badly, with a really patient friend, or reading a book to a child or group of children in the church’s preschool. The list grew as the possibilities for stepping into life became ever more apparent. They were all around me.
By the time the pager I’d been carrying through those many months went off for real–not a wrong number, of which there had been several–the daily practice of looking for new ways to step into life was an embedded discipline.
On the whole, I’m not an incredibly disciplined person. I love junk food, consider ice cream a serious form of dairy, stay up too late and sleep in too long. But for the most part, over the past twenty-five years of life with a transplant I’ve been able to continue practicing that discipline of daily finding new ways to step into life.
There have been bad days and tough seasons along the way. Times when just getting out of bed was hard enough. And yet, eventually, the long established discipline won out. Life beckons. Time to get to stepping.
When it came time to come up with a byline for Headwaters Coaching, only three words were needed: “Step Into Life.” When I started to work with my graphics artist (Josh Huisenga, Chalkbox Creative), he put three lines next to those words and called them, “a river.” Over the past few years I’ve used that river in many conversations asking, “if that river is your life, where are you at?” Some are at the beginning, where everything is tight and closely aligned. Others are at the end, where a new alignment has been attained. Others still are in the churn of rough waters, getting tossed around and trying to figure out what the next steps might be.
Making a promotional sticker with the “Step Into Life” mantra was a no brainer. I’ve given away several hundred of those stickers. As I give them away I ask recipients to, “put them where you need to be reminded.” They’re small, just 4.74” long and 1” high, but have proven impactful.
Some have put them on the door of their refrigerator. Another, as a reminder to stop worrying about money, placed it on their safe. Yet another placed one over their bathroom door and every morning taps it as she steps into life anew. If you had one, where would you place it?
HERE’s THE FREE OFFER: I have a big stack of these stickers and I’d rather they be where you need to see them, not on my shelf. If you want one, email me here and I’ll send one to you. If you want more than one, send me a stamped, self-addressed envelope to this address and I’ll send up to five in return.
Here’s what won’t happen. You won’t be placed on a mailing list. You won’t be called. I won’t sell your information. This is a gift. A truly free gift. To thank all those along the way who have and continue to help me step into life.
Thanks for taking the time to read all of this notice. Most of all, thank you for being you. Have fun finding your many ways to, each and every day, “step into life!”
Thank you for sharing the incredible journey of life.