Indie Lee inspired us all at Imagine...then do it on april 18, 2012. Here she shares her thoughts on recovering from a brain tumor and our own life choices.
Today is Earth Day, but also my 3-year anniversary of being Herman Free (the name I gave to the tumor that decided to take temporary residence in my brain). In many ways it feels like a lifetime ago, and in other ways – bam it was like yesterday.
This anniversary feels much more emotionally charged then the past two. I’m not sure if it’s because of where I am in life, where the company is headed (think onwards and upwards) or just that I’m finally at a point that I can truly measure how much has changed since that morning almost three years ago.
I’m grateful that so many of the people who held my hand and kept me in their thoughts are still in my life. Times flies by, people change, life moves on…but the connection I have with so many of you that started with me on this journey is something that I will continue to and will always hold dear. Thank you for being in my life.
I’m also beyond blessed that Indie Lee & Co has brought so many new people into my life. I think some of these are the richest relationships I have (not withstanding my “family”…I use this term to include some close friends that are like family – you know who you are). I have the most supportive team of fans…who write me letters that remind me how far we have come as a company and the impact that we are making. I am also surrounded by a team, an extended family, that in a million years I couldn’t have put together so perfectly. It’s joked that I collect people…the truth is I do…and if my current cast of characters is any indication of my ability to choose…I am not planning on stopping. I have learned so much both professionally and personally from each of you. I will need another lifetime to just say a thank you that will measure up to what you have enriched my life with.
I’ve been quoted as saying, “I’m grateful for the tumor”. I still stand strong on that statement. I have no doubt in my mind it put me on this path toward healthier living, bringing out the truth surrounding toxic products in the marketplace and creating a legacy of products that stand for transparency, health and beauty. However, that is just the business side. The truth is it has given me a perspective on life that I would have never embraced had I not been confronted with my own mortality. I take everyday as a gift. Even my bad days (and duh I have them) are a gift...because I get to experience it. Perhaps it's a different, albeit odd, way of looking at life, but hey...after April 22, 2009 I never wished for ordinary life again. I wanted to really know what living my life felt like. Answer thus far: NEVER dull!
I had the honor of speaking at a woman’s leadership seminar this past week in Ohio - which also marked the unofficial launch of an amazing book (which I am in by the way...called Act Three...another highlight of this new life). One of the guests spoke with me before the event and challenged that perhaps it’s just that I am an optimist and that most people would not have handled the situation the same way. While I guess that is true – I am a glass is half full with champagne kinda gal (OK really scotch), but ultimately it always comes down to choice.
Folks, you are always in choice. There is always a different path. I’m not saying that people choose to live/die in every situation. I do believe we have a choice over how we handle our emotions, our perception and ourselves. Did I choose to live? YES…but I also chose to walk into the surgical suite with the belief that live or die, I was at peace. So what’s my point here? Why am I sharing this with you? It’s quite simple…each day, every moment, you are faced with decisions, choices. Think about it… what to eat and say, how to start your day or end conversations, what to stand for or what matters to you, even who to love and how to express it...you get the point, it’s endless.
It’s not my place (or really any of ours) to judge each other’s choices, but I would be remiss not to remind you all, that it is in the choices that we really live. Truly LIVE. Be Present to it. Take Joy in it. I hope none of you are ever in the situation where the knowledge that your ability to choose may be coming to a swift close…but the truth is none of us ever really knows and time passes us so quickly.
So my wish for you all is this: To live a life that you truly love – The Choice Is Yours.