Today is Ash Wednesday, a day when Western Christianity begins a time of Penance and Self Denial. It is often symbolized by "Giving Up" something for the 40 days and people give up chocolate, sweets, meat, alcohol and the list goes on and on. However, if all this Self Denial does not lead to some sort of self improvement going forward, it is all for naught. Self Denial is at its best when it leads to change in our Life Style Routines. It when that change becomes like brushing your teeth every morning. It should be positive and not negative. Instead of giving up chocolate learn to eat healthier dark chocolate. Instead of giving up foods you love add a salad with your meal and eat a smaller portion each meal. Self Denial does not have to be a negative experience, but small steps in a positive Life Style Change. The path to Enlightenment begins with small steps in the right direction. Lent is a Path of Self Denial crossing the bridge to Enlightenment.