Living Your Life Like an Amish Quilt

by in Kitchen Sink April 29, 2008

quilt.jpgThe Amish are widely celebrated and respected for making the most beautiful quilts.

What many people don’t know about these coveted quilts though is that Amish women intentionally sew one imperfect patch in to each and every perfect quilt.

The intention is to serve as a reminder that nothing man ever does is perfect, only God is perfect.

Regardless if you are Amish, or believe in God or not, no one can argue that life is perfect. Life is just not perfect, nor are people.

So why am I talking about quilts?

Well recently a few dedicated readers have felt a little bit overwhelmed by all the new health tips they are working to follow.

They are heroically battling the plastics in their kitchens, avoiding the evil enemies of the kitchen table, trying to eat whole foods, learning to eat less fatty animal products, trying to remember which foods to buy organic, working to deal with the root cause of their problems while simultaneously juggling the demands of work, family, friends and life in general.

So do you have to be perfect? Do you have to do it all?

No, you just have to be fabulous like an Amish quilt.

The best quilts are made piece by piece with room for imperfection.

Recently a new friend commented on how “practical and real” the advice on this site is.

Happy she was able to recognize the goal of this site, my response was that “as a doctor I have realized that most people just need to keep things in a healthy state of balance, if you aren’t sick you don’t have to do the extreme. I am working to teach people tips for happier, healthier, more enjoyable living both in the short term and the long run. I am also passionate about preventing disease, because disease prevention is so much more simple than treating disease.”

So, please raise your hand if you think I follow every single bit of advice I ever dispense…(wonders if anyone actually thinks that HIGHLY of me to raise their hand…)

Does that make me a hypocrite? No it makes me as authentic and real as an Amish quilt.

My hope for everyone that I encounter is that they are inspired to do the same.

All you have to do to prevent disease and enjoy happier, healthier living is gradually piece together the advice that resonates with you. Pick your pattern and choose the colors that best reflect who you are. Continue reading about the different ways to improve your health so you can easily weave in the new tips that work for you. Many kudos to all of you that so diligently try to follow all the ideas I dispense! Self care is the best gift you can give yourself.

Personally, I follow the “80/20” rule in life. Eighty percent of the time I eat right and exercise, sleep well and take care of myself; so that the other twenty percent of the time I just don’t have to worry about things.

Ultimately I think that worrying about things is worse for us than anything else.

If that is the case, do you really need to worry yourself sick over that one inevitable imperfect patch?

Or would your time be better off spent ensuring the rest of the quilt is brilliantly pieced together?

~Dr. Nicole Sundene

  1. Dr. Nicole,

    What a beautifully written article.

    I’ve heard that story of the Amish quilts, and found it quite fascinating. They do have the right idea. We are not perfect, and no matter how hard we try, we never will be.

    I like your idea of using the 80/20 rule for diet/health/exercise. Although it may seem like a cop out, it does give us a chance to not be so strict with ourselves that we can’t keep up.

  2. Hey Dr Nicole. Sorry I’ve missed the last few blogs =( Mad busy at work.
    I love this image of an Amish quilt. Regretably I’m not up to that 80/20 level yet; more a sort of 10/90 =(. Pathetic.
    I guess I have fallen into the trap of working too much, getting home late, grabbing a drink before I take my shoes off and then thinking, duh I don’t have any food, and bunging something in the microwave. Will Power is what I lack. Help!!

  3. Nicole great post!

    Your tips are always fantastic…I’m glad we met and I can start reading them and stumbling & bookmarking them.

    I too, “follow the “80/20? rule in life. Eighty percent of the time I eat right and exercise, sleep well and take care of myself; so that the other twenty percent of the time I just don’t have to worry about things.” We’re human and sometimes a Ben & Jerry’s sounds really good. LOL

    It used to not be that easy, before I assisted my eating lifestyle with The Feast & Beyond Berries. LIVE whole food nutrient dense nutrition has given me the ability to be able to consume 10-14 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Far above the minimums that government set at 5-9 servings.

    I believe we “resonate”. 🙂 Do they still call it, “great minds think alike?”

  4. LOVE IT DOC!!!!!!!! Your analogy of the quilt is…perfect!

    I’m working on it, but every step in the right direction of life always puts you further away from the incorrect, ya know?

    Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither were these quilts that are so beautiful…..

  5. Hi Barbara- Thanks so much! As always I appreciate your support with my website and writings. Yes, some could say 80/20 is a cop-out, but then if you read Justin’s comment below you that serves as strong evidence to me that even 50/50 might be better than nothing!

  6. Hi Justin- I’ve missed seeing you around, but understand what it is like when work gets crazy. It is just eat, sleep, work and not much else.

    Remember progress not perfection. Stick with me and we’ll bump that 10/90 to a 15/85 and then go from there… 😉

  7. Hi Timothy- I’m so glad we can stick together and work to shift some paradigms about how people perceive their health and wellness!

  8. Hi Erin- you are destined to be the most beautiful quilt of them all. I am so proud of you!!!

  9. Erin Happycamper April 30, 2008 at 8:15 pm Reply

    Aww, shucks! Thanks. I’m more proud of you!

  10. That was perfectly put! I feel the same way because all we need to do is our best and it is never going to be perfect. Great analogy.

  11. Fantastic post with great imagery. I’ll remember that imperfect Amish quilt patch and smile when I’m stressing over a mistake. 😀

    Super blog!!!

    Hugs, JJ

  12. Hi JJ- glad you liked it. Thanks for stopping by 😀

  13. What an amazing post! And a beautiful quilt analogy!

    You are correct, not one single person on Earth is perfect, but I believe that the 80/20 rule IS perfect!

    If someone were to live life without any “guilty pleasures” at all, how boring would that be? What quality of life would they really have? I mean, I must admit that I do feel guilty if there is something recyclable that I just throw away, but sometimes it just has to be done! LOL! So, that 20% of the time, I’ll deal with it, knowing that 80% of the time (at least), I’m helping our environment. Eating well…that’s another story for ME! LOL! I’m working on that!

    Thanks Doc for your fantastic insights as always!
    Doc KC

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