WE ARE THE WORLD PULSE WOMEN !

Urmila Chanam
Posted March 17, 2019 from India

11 March 2019 was not an ordinary day in my life. Against my true nature of being a night owl and waking up late, I suddenly woke up to a morning when I wanted to make changes in my life.Many people, the example they set and the advices of others had not fallen on deaf ears afterall; it only had taken a long time to move me to act.

I had begun to experience mild pain in my legs and feet when I woke up every morning, felt sleepy and lethargic during the day needing tea or coffee to make me remain alert, at times I felt dull and bored, my belly fat refused to go inspite of adopting diffrent diets which raised an alarm within me. Though I was enveloped on all sides by media, advertisement, fitness freaks, healthy food, social activities, events and even fashion centered around health and lacked no dirth of information or opportunity living in a metropolitan city of Bangalore, I just could not get myself to alter my sleep patterns.

I would have thought a 'night person' can never possibly become a 'morning person' had it not been the reality of my life since the past seven days.

On the first day I was the least coordinated; I did not have the right clothes to go for a walk, and the only pair of running shoes had caught a lot of dust just sitting there, unutilised. When I left my building, the security guard was taken aback to see me this early in the two years he had known me.The street right outside the building I live is in the main market of Bangalore and on other days I have to wait for the traffic to clear before I can cross the road but today there were no vehicles. I sprinted across the street looking at my neighbourhood which looked different, all because I was seeing it at a different time of the day. 

I came across many people who were taking a walk and majority of them were either accompanied by a spouse or friend or a pet dog. I started to enjoy the tall trees along the foot path on the sides of the main road that offered me shade as I walked, little flowers that had fallen down, the cool wind on my face and the quietness of the time as the traffic had not started yet. I struggled with my clumsy steps, so unaccustomed I was to waking up early and taking long walks. My legs started to hurt a bit; I did not know if it was good to continue the pace or halt till the pain subsided. I also felt breathless only after walking 500 metres.

I wondered if it was afterall a good idea to walk all by myself or if I should wait and collect few friends or interested neighbours to join me because walking alone comes with challenges of not being sure about routes, wanting conversation and so on.Then again I had waited for a group to get organised in the past and the delay coupled with my lack of inspiration had only served to keep me from starting a new life. 

When I got home I told Karen Quiñones Axalan, a World Pulse sister from Philippines city of Tacloban about my first day of waking up early and walking. In the course of our conversation I might have also mentioned my own apprehensions of the possibility of giving up along the way and about walking alone.To my surprise, she offered to walk with me everyday ( oceans apart but united in spirit) around the same time though where she lived she was two and half hours ahead of my time. 

Next morning waking up early was easier than the first day.Half an hour into my walk, I received a picture from Karen of her morning walk in Philippines. I sent a picture of my walk to Karen. I was bonded to Karen through our exchange of pictures, of walking together at the same time, in different parts of the world, Karen walking in Philippines to extend support to me and make me believe I was not alone.

I felt strengthened, like I had got reinforcement. 

Everyday Karen and I walked together in spirit, building each other up, sharing the events in our lives, current challenges and our goals.

It maybe a little thing to hear about but it was a big thing in how it played out for me, my situation and the phase I was in. 

I have started taking baby steps towards waking up early, getting good sleep at night and introducing regular exercise and body strengthening activities; I am alone but not lonely because my World Pulse sisters are with me.

I bought a MI Fitness band which helps me monitor the distance I have walked, the steps I have covered, my heart rates, sleep hours and so on greatly helping me to stay focussed and feel happy with each little milestone. I listen to music on my earphones, have more appropriate clothes to walk in, more stability in my feet and senses and above all, my days are active, alert with more stamina that lasts me the whole day. I have cut down my tea intake to just one cup in the mornings because I do not need them anymore to remain awake. Most of all, I enjoy waking up early and I never want to go back to where I was earlier. It is not as much about the weight that I have lost but having the satisfaction that I am slowly gaining control over my health and my life.

The annual impact survey of World Pulse discloses that World Pulse women are impacting 5 million lives every year! These lives that are impacted are not just people or women we reach out to but also within our global sisterhood, among us friends on World Pulse just like Karen from Philippines cared about my goal for a healthier version of me, World Pulse women care for each other's vision and support them.

One out of three World Pulse women are reported to be changing behaviours in their local community but women like Karen, Tamarack from Canada, Paulina from Philippines and Busayo from Nigeria are not just bringing change in their local communities but much beyond. Their presence in my life across continents is real, their impact felt is in how I live my life.

We may be from any country but we have common attributes- We lift up those around us, We speak out for what we believe in, We are a connector, We use technology, We listen with empathy and without judgement, we seek personal transformation, we are trustworthy and we are passionate about making a difference. We are the World Pulse women!

 

 

This story was submitted in response to Change Starts With a Story.

Comments 22

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Jill Langhus
Mar 18
Mar 18

Hi Urmila,

I love this graphic and accompanying story so much... thanks for sharing, dear one:-) Aw, that was sweet, and beneficial for both you and Karen to start up a new exercise regime, it sounds like:-) Great! I hope the new routine works out for you and that you start feeling healthier and stronger soon. And, yes, we are not alone. We are supported and loved by our sisters globally. We are blessed:-)

Hope you're having a good day!?

Urmila Chanam
Mar 19
Mar 19

Dear sister Jill,
Our lives can get isolated, we may get alienated because our generation is fast paced, with long travel times to get to work and get home, high workload, less space to live and rest in, economically high standards of living and expectations. I found great respite in our loving fellowship among us sisters on World Pulse. This good feeling in one aspect then touches all aspects of my life. We are privileged!
Loads of love,
Urmila Chanam

Jill Langhus
Mar 19
Mar 19

Hello dear,

Yes, and that makes sense. That's awesome, and great to hear. I'm here for you, if you ever need me:-) And, yes, we are fortunate:-)

XX

Paulina Nayra
Mar 18
Mar 18

keep walking Urmila. You’ll collect fellow walkers along the way, around the globe. Just like Forrest Gump. The journey of a thousand miles or a lighter weight begins with a single step. Huggs ❤️

Urmila Chanam
Mar 19
Mar 19

Dear sister Paulina,
You said it so beautifully; 'the single step' is indeed the deciding factor of where we will go and reach.
Love and hugs,
Urmila Chanam

Sophie Ngassa
Mar 20
Mar 20

Congratulations to these amazing world Pulse women. I am so proud of you. I can feel your presence in my life too.

Urmila Chanam
Mar 20
Mar 20

Dear sister, I am proud of your resilience and the progress of your center. We are one.

Sophie Ngassa
Mar 20
Mar 20

Congratulations to these amazing world Pulse women. I am so proud of you. I can feel your presence in my life too.

Urmila Chanam
Apr 18
Apr 18

You are a World Pulse woman and look at your leadership and warmth for us!

Dawn Arteaga
Mar 20
Mar 20

Urmila - I got a little teary when I read that Karen sent you a photo on her walk. What a way to be a sister across an ocean. Sending so much love to you and all the beautiful sisters pictured for walking the walk - literally! You are so inspiring. Thank you!

Urmila Chanam
Mar 20
Mar 20

Dear sister Dawn,
I hope you know I live on my own in one of the biggest cities in my country and accompany myself to walk or any other task or chore. When I felt I have no one Karen made me feel I have her. I too feel teary eyed remembering. Words cannot convey how it feels when another person shows you they want to be with you. We are indeed one.
Loads of love, Urmila

Hello, my dear shero sister Urmila,

I always feel it is an honor to connect with you. What a greater honor it is that you’ve written a piece about our morning walks here.

I am so glad to read that you have a MI Fit Band because I also have one! Haha. We didn’t talk about this.

You inspire to take different routes in a day since I only walk on one route. Thank you giving me glimpses of your beautiful city. We shall meet there one day.
Cheers to our journey of a healthier us, sister! Love and hugs from the Philippines. :)

Urmila Chanam
Mar 23
Mar 23

Dear sister Karen,
It so happens most of the times that one does not realize the impact of their actions in other's lives but I wanted to write this so you know what you have done for me. Its the little things that matter the most, a push in the right direction, a pat, an empathetic ear and encouraging heart.
Love and prayers,
Urmila Chanam,
India

I always treasure every word coming from you, sister Urmila. Thank you so much. You’ve uplifted, inspired and encouraged me more than you know.

I honor you. I love you. :)

Urmila Chanam
Apr 18
Apr 18

Karen, let us walk together in the journey of our lives no matter how many kilometeres and oceans separate us because World Pulse unites us.

Rupali M
Mar 29
Mar 29

Hello Urmila
It's awesome to connect with so many women who r exactly on d same page with us..Makes me feel there is a little hope still left..Only women can understand each other perfectly well n tat connection is made easy by World Pulse, thanks ..Thanks to all wonderful ladies to share their stories..

Urmila Chanam
Apr 18
Apr 18

Rupali, we are the hope!!! One step at a time, in love and accomodating diversity, histories, sentiments and aspirations.

Corine Milano
Apr 11
Apr 11

Urmila, this is so wonderful! I love this story so much. And it's inspiring me to think about walking more and enjoying fresh air, in the early mornings even!

Urmila Chanam
Apr 18
Apr 18

Dear sister Corine,
My life has changed so much since 11th March since I began waking up every day early in the morning and going for a long walk. Since then I have been to Taiwan to speak at an International Human Rights Summit and been in that beautiful country, meeting new people, making new friends and exploring partners and sponsors. A little change in my life has given me new zeal for life and tremendous confidence and strength. Thank you for reading my story sister.
Love always,
Urmila Chanam

Corine Milano
Apr 19
Apr 19

Amazing! Congratulations on that speaking engagement - and I do hope to read about all the successes that brings to your life soon!

Tamarack Verrall
Apr 19
Apr 19

My dear Urmila,
It has taken until today for me to discover the mystery of what you had planned when you asked for a photo of me in my Ambassador shirt. That shows how big and full of life and stories World Pulse is, now. So many stories pouring in! I am so grateful to have met you through World Pulse, and cherish the close and loving friendship that has grown over the years. I have been happy knowing that you had begun walking in March. What fun to read that Karen has been your companion walker. You actually inspired me too, with the snow leaving I began to run in the nearby park. I love knowing that you and Karen have sync'ed your walks. We are all stronger as we take care of ourselves, and we are all stronger because we have each other globally now, so many of us on the same path here in World Pulse.
Much love dear Sister,
Tam

Urmila Chanam
Aug 28
Aug 28

Dear sister Tam,
What a lucky woman I am that even without disclosing the reason, I have a sister who gave me a picture of her in World Pulse t-shirt. Indeed, that is trust and friendship and such friendships and sisterhood is the biggest gift from our World Pulse family.
Love and hugs,
Urmila Chanam