For years and years, I have tried and tried and tried to drink more water. For the sake of my skin, muscles, digestion … by glory, I have tried. And failed. Over and over and over again. And it’s not even like I don’t like water. I actually like it. Purified, tap, sparkling or spring — I’ll take it. I just suck at remembering to drink it.

I often tell my clients to eliminate obstacles and incorporate helps when working to achieve goals. If they want to work out in the midst of a necessarily busy schedule, join a gym they pass on their commute. If they want to quit smoking, first toss the carton and get a box of patches or buy a vape. So, when I wanted to start drinking more water, I knew having water with me at all times would be essential to success … so, a hunt for the perfect portable water bottle began.

Portable = Light. Small. Refillable. Comfortable and easy to drink from on the go. Indestructible.

And, ridiculous or not, my hunt has continued for years. Many a BPA-free plastic bottle has graced my kitchen counter and eventually made its way into a cabinet coffin. My goal of hydration had all but fallen to the wayside when I stumbled upon FRED in the aisle of my local Fresh Market. 

Yup, it’s shaped like a flask. Yup, it looks like a small vodka bottle ... but it comes filled with water and is refilled with water several times a day … by ME (Miss Couldn't Ever Remember to Drink Water). Yes, I'm drinking water these days like it's going out of style. Granted, my recent increase in water intake also coincides with the recent acquisition of our first refrigerator with an in-door filtered water dispenser, BUT I’ve also never been happier with a water bottle than I am with this FRED flask (learn about the product and company here). 

But, WOW, THE LOOKS I GET when I take a swig out of that thing.

Seriously, I meet judgement on a daily basis. Even people that know me (clients, co-workers, friends and family) have done double-takes. And all of this condemnation tossed my way (unwarranted) has gotten me to thinking ...

... About how often I have judged people without knowing the details of THEIR story

… About how often I have condemned another based on assumption and an unwittingly ignorant, self-biased perception. 

... About how little compassion I offer to those who appear different from me.

See, it looks like I’m throwing back whisky, but it's actually my attempt at getting what I need — life-giving H2O. I've chosen to drink water out of a flask because that works best for me as a I pursue healthy and whole. I am okay with how that's not always known and/or perceived as okay by others.

Every sideways glance of recent has been a reminder not only to continue working on self-compassion and self-acceptance, but to also cut others a break and refrain from judgement.

Unless given the privilege to hear and enter into another’s story, I cannot know why they are who they are and what they’re actually doing. My profession teaches me that in glimpses on the regular, but sometimes, when it’s personally impactful, I finally apply the lesson I’ve been learning ....

So, I’m grateful for FRED … for making it easier to reach my goals … that of healthy hydration AND that of growing in Christ-like compassion.

Join me?