What is change? Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary describes change in 7 different ways. In short, ‘to change’ could be to transform, to alter, to modify, to adjust, or to revolutionize – among others.

It is a complex word usually accompanied by complex decisions, actions, thoughts and emotions. I find it humorous that a tiny 6-letter word can capture all of that essence.

As I say the word repeatedly in my head it sparks an abundance of mental activity. I think about my journey, I think about my path and I think about my values. I’ve changed. Not because I was forced to, rather, because I wanted to – I was inspired to.

And simply because I opened up my mind and listened to my heart simultaneously, I continue to evolve as a result.

As many of you know, this journey has literally renovated me. Aesthetically speaking, I appear enhanced and improved – yes – but more importantly, foundationally I am stronger, more stable and more able to support myself.

While embarking on what merely seemed like a ‘weight loss journey’, I truly failed to recognize the domino effect that would unfold before me. Like many people do, in the beginning I was focused on the physical changes rather than the mental, social, spiritual and environmental ones that would follow.

I know I’ve spoken of this matter before, but I wanted to highlight it again. Why? Because it’s been 543 days since the beginning of my journey and my life continues to blossom positively as a result of it.

Now more than ever, it’s clear to me who I am, what I want, what I need and where I want to go in life – and learning these things has lead me down new and exciting paths.

Recently, I travelled to St. Lucia. For those of you who have never been there, St. Lucia is a beautiful island in the West Indies that has a stunning amalgamation of mountains, rainforests, low lying lands and beaches. Not to mention, home to over 170,000 of the kindest people I think I’ve ever met.

Oddly enough, what was supposed to be a short family getaway actually became a life changing event for me – another pivotal moment.

Just as my life was heading down one path I was awakened with the sight of what could be. I was intrigued.

On this trip I saw a life I’d always wanted. I saw support, simplicity, health, longevity, happiness, kindness and appreciation. In just one week I was captivated by the idea of living a life less monotonous that highlighted my values and propelled me forward – forcing me to always strive for greatness. I saw the future me.

It’s safe to say I came home and made some changes. After much self reflection I ended my nearly 4 year relationship, I moved into a new place, I grew closer with my sister (my new roomie) and began strengthening bonds with some new friends. And yes, in time, I also entered a new relationship with someone who reflects the same passions, values and beliefs as I.

I feel free. I have a warm sensation that I have taken a giant step towards the person I truly want to be, and I have my journey to thank for it.

To some, these changes may seem sudden – which they are. But do not get that confused with thoughtless. The thoughts, the feelings and the desire to change my situations at the time had been looming over me for quite awhile; I just hadn’t found my ignition switch. And I also hadn’t found the bravery to take that leap of faith.

My trip to St. Lucia and the people I met there showed me the way.

So if there is one thing I want to leave you with today it is this: embrace the change that feels right to you.

Like I recently wrote on my facebook page:

“With an open mind & a willing heart, there’s no limit to life’s adventures. Be open to new experiences & people. No matter how unconventional your path may seem, if it feels right inside, you can’t deny it. Life is filled with many paths, and who knows? Maybe the road less travelled will guide YOU towards YOUR happiness.” - Kristen Adamson