Hello again! Sending lots of love and peaceful vibes here from stormy Florida! I hope that you are safe and sound wherever you are, and that despite what’s going outside, that you have some peace inside ♥
Life’s been one hell of a crazy ride lately, and I’ve had to decide between doing the best I can with what I’ve got and pushing myself beyond reasonable limits. The latter was my former modus operandi, but with time, healing and working a program of recovery, I’ve learned to do my best AND to take it easy on myself.
I’ve wanted to write for a while, but it felt more like a chore and less like life’s passion and purpose. Now that I have a moment to breathe (it’s interesting what gifts a storm and evacuation can give us), I can take a moment to write, share and spread some empowering love!
Onto the inspiration behind this – lately in my fitness classes, I’ve been asking folks what inspires and motivates them to work out. The overwhelming response has been about appearance, and what people feel this will bring into their lives. Though I see the merit in that and can definitely relate (when I lost 100 pounds, looks were a huge factor behind my motivation), it’s truly not the end-all.
Look, it makes sense that we want to appear attractive and to attract a hot partner. But what then? What other flaws will we be hung up about? If someone doesn’t want to be with us because of some flaw, doesn’t it hold true that they’d find something else to dislike about us? Okay, so once we lose the excess fat, what happens when we age? What do we do then?
One of my students is still pretty young and like many young women (hell, like many women of any age), she wants to lose weight to fit in, to look good, to feel better about herself. Will all those things happen? Very likely, yes they will. But from my own experience and from working with folks who have also transitioned into a healthy lifestyle after a lifetime of obesity, I’ve found that the glimmer fades and we then latch onto something else to self-deprecate over.
So, does that mean we’re screwed?
No. Not at all.
In recovery, we learn to accept that our problems lie way beyond the substances, but so do the solutions. We learn to lean into the discomfort of vulnerability and to move beyond that. We do this by first addressing the underlying problem. We learn to stop seeking more, more, more things outside of us, and find the solutions within.
The beauty about this is that it’s a process; there’s no quick fix that “solves” the problem immediately. Why is this so powerful? Because when we earn things over time, we value them more. That’s how it should be. When we work hard for something, we learn new skills as well as the priceless gift of patience. We learn to react differently. We learn to stop seeking the solutions externally, and trust on our own guidance and intuition to find the solutions within. It takes time, and little by little, we progress. Those little things are truly the things that add up the most. I promise ♥
There’s something else I’d like to share with you – often when I’m teaching group fitness and yoga, even though I preface each class with teacher’s permission to pause, wipe down and hydrate whenever each student needs it, I *still* have to stop the class from time to time to give the class a break. At that point, I ask the students this question: who is in charge of our practice – the teacher, or the student?
This was a hard lesson for me to learn personally; quite frankly, I learned it when I was 199 hours and 40 minutes into my 200 hour teaching certification. 20 minutes before the final physical practice of our training, I got fed up with the instruction and declared ownership of my practice. From that moment, I’ve totally owned my practices and each workout ever since.
I share this with you because I wish the same for you. My hope is that my experiences can be used to empower and inspire people to be unabashedly and unapologetically authentic, to be encouraged, to be REAL, perfectly imperfect, as-is.
Let’s take a moment to fully own up to our choices, our circumstances, and everything that we’ve done to get here, both the “good” and the “bad” stuff. I use quotes there because it’s all relative. The bad stuff teaches us amazing skills, and the good stuff makes us feel pretty awesome. It all serves us well.
In this stormy season, may life provide you with all the tools and resources to give you the strength to bear the storm. Even better, may you come to the realization that peace doesn’t come from the outside – it’s an inside job.
Let’s take ownership of our reactions, our lives, our mindset, and in how we react to life’s storms.
Carry on, warrior friend. All my best to you and your #Tribe ♥