How to move forward while Retreating…

I focus much of my time moving forward. Being stagnate in movement, creates a frozen place in life, being stagnate in life creates a frozen place in movement. It takes awhile to accept that a forward motion in any aspect of your life, creates forward motion in all aspects of your life. Let’s say I do yoga this morning, I then have increased circulation and warm fluid movement of muscles for the entire day. I also have a grounded sense of happiness. My mind is clear and I can focus on many tasks throughout my day. I have a deep sense of accomplishment and this bleeds over into my ability to accomplish things that are actually important to my growth and not just daily requirements to reach the end of the day.

A kind word

One of the most effective ways to achieve happiness and forward motion each day it to say a kind word to a stranger. You may ask how this effects forward motion? If I have a goal to acknowledge a stranger today, I am walking around in my daily routine with my head up, a smile on my face, I have a purpose. As soon as I have contact with the eyes of a stranger, I smile and say hello. Simple. At that time, I actually stand up taller, may even have a bounce in my step and low and behold, someone else is eager for a greeting. My heart feels happy, my burdens feel light. Not to mention what it does for the other person. Yes, I do this for my own feel goods, but what if they feel lighter and happier? What if they greet someone else along the way and brighten their day, EVEN BETTER, right? It is a very small goal, that is easy to achieve, but can have a gigantic impact on others around us as well as ourselves. So, no matter the burdens I may feel that could make me stagnate and feel helpless, I have these moments that take me to a better place. This is by far, the one goal I make sure to achieve every day.

Forward is sometimes backwards so call “Uncle”

There are times, when in one corner of my world, I feel fear or anger or regret. These are 3 of the most common emotions that create a stagnant lull in our journey. If we are struggling with a specific relationship, a disability, a regret from the past, these can hold us down like a big brother torture session. You know, you caught him with his girlfriend on the couch and threaten to tell mom, he chases after you, pins you to the floor and tells you to say “Uncle”. Of course you fight back and refuse to say “Uncle”! I mean, why should you give in. Why does he get his way. But alas, you cave. You say “UNCLE”! He releases you. He lets you up and threatens to do it again if you tell. You feel defeated for a moment until you realize your alive, your breathing, your not trapped anymore. And mom will be home soon and you are still going to tell her. Uncle is an easy word to say. Was it really necessary to fight? Why? Ego? Defiance? Screw that. Look back at the experience and have faith that in the future, he will still let you up when you say “Uncle”. and know that by retreating, you are moving forward, more comfortably, mind you.

So, can you be cognizant of the things that enter your mind that might need to go so that you can move forward? Forward out of the discomfort or negativity? Can you go back to the memory of regret, decision making moment, heartache, sadness, disappointment? Can you objectively think of forgiving yourself for maybe nothing more than hanging on to that emotion? Of course you can! Cry “Uncle”, get yourself out of the discomfort, take a deep breath and by God, let it go. Find something to smile about, and maybe even realize the comfort of forgiveness and make a memory of that feeling. Move on from there. It’s true, these thoughts may still pop into your head in the future, but as you practice letting go, as with practicing anything, you will get better at it.

“A man who is the master of himself can end sorrow as easily as he can invent a pleasure.”

Oscar Wilde, A picture of Dorian Grey

So much to learn

When we start on a physical training and diet plan, what thoughts go through your mind? Do any of the following sound familiar?

  • I need to loose weight fast
  • I want to look better
  • I want to feel better
  • my doctor told me too
  • I just don’t want to be fat anymore
  • I want to do activities I used to do

When it comes to a diet, do you always turn to the latest and greatest diet that has helped others? Do you turn back to diets from the past that worked for people? Do you think you know enough about nutrition that you can trust the old adage of “burn more that you eat” ? Do you think you know enough to eat a balanced diet and give your body what you need?

With so many options and advertisements, and data that proves this or that, it’s hard to think that ONE of these won’t work for you. It’s hard to put a little more thought into your needs when you are bombarded with professionals telling you what you need and what will work, this without ever meeting you. Without ever finding your health history, without knowing your current diet and exercise regimen. Let me 1st take a moment and mention something you might find mind blowing. If you aren’t currently taking part or partial part of some fad diet. YOU are still on a diet. As a matter of fact the term “on a diet” is a very misleading term. You are on a diet, your diet. A diet isn’t some gimmick that is different from what your eating now. Diet is a term that refers to the calories and nutrition that is given the body through the mouth and digested. Your diet is what you feed your body for fuel. So even though you aren’t on some other diet, you are living on your diet. If you are always looking for another diet, you will probably fail in reaching what ever goal you are trying to reach by changing to a single form diet. When you follow a specific diet, designed by someone else, it may work temporarily for SOME people. If this diet fails you, the fact that it isn’t the right diet for you may play a large factor.

Do you think that a diet plays a big part in achieving any of the goals above? Do you think that exercise plays a big factor in achieving the goals above? Well, you are partially right. You are right about exercise and diet. You may be way off base in your approach.

For 17 years I have worked with folks that have very generalized goals like the ones above. Making generalizations is a key to failure, at least in your own eyes, because you didn’t reach your [probably very specific goal i.e., 135lbs, or working out every day] to achieve a very general, vague goal. We as humans have become very successful at failing. We are always looking forward for an answer that feels easy. We avoid conflict, especially within ourselves, by always making plans, trying someone else’s plan, and before you can even take the time to work on these, you are accepting your future failure and trying to find the new thing that for sure will work for you, right?

So bear with me for a moment [ you may be finding out that my moments are fairly involved and longer than you would imagine]. What if your body was designed for survival? What if your body has been through different physical, mental and emotional trauma that differs from someone else? What if the diet you were raised on, wasn’t the diet that provided optimal health? What if you struggle with genetic issues that have effected your health? What if you suffer from extreme stress and possibly depression? These are the tools YOUR body has had to work with throughout your life. The human body is a chemical machine, driven by hormones, designed to compensate for just about anything, just to achieve survival. Survival, mind you, isn’t optimal health, it’s just what will get you through the next day, the next week, the next month, the next year. The body depends on equilibrium, breathing, a beating heart to survive. It will alter what ever it has to at the moment to survive that moment. It is soooooo amazing! The down side is that compensation, over time creates it’s own issues, as as the body continues to compensate, we realize that our health is declining, our muscles hurt every day, our headaches are getting worse, our ability to compensate begins to slow and the stress on the body, mind and emotions can become so intense!

What I would like to suggest is to give yourself a break from looking for a solution. I would ask that you show a little gratitude to this amazing body of yours that has survived. Be grateful for your life experiences. Because when you do, when you embrace what you have been through and what you have survived, it brings your mind to the right place. Understanding and loving what your body has done for you, is the 1st step. The next step is to embrace the opportunity to work backwards. Only then, when we unwind and un train the body, can we allow it to find a path of comfort and progression.

“The wise learn from Adversity; the foolish merely repeat it. ”

Anonymous

Let us be wise today!

Do you have a motivational quote you would like to share? Always feel free to share in the comments. I will add your quote to the quote page!

Courage

When we touch on the subject of challenges, the first word I think of is Courage. Not that we need courage to face challenges necessarily, but that courage is what we are given when we work through the challenge and step forward. Courage is like a muscle, if we exercise it, it gets stronger (Ruth Gordan). So as we overcome or even give into challenges, we are exercising courage. If we can become aware of this accomplishment, we become more cognizant of the power we hold within our heart and mind. I like the idea that to exercise courage, I need only to look forward to each challenge as a workout session! It allows me to not be afraid or negative about the next broken windshield or leaking roof, or the next loss. As each challenge exposes itself, I have the opportunity to be excited about what’s to come. Excited about what will enrich my life next, excited about the opportunity to find something else out about myself. This brings me to my next favorite word in the series and that is Action! In the book, The richest man in Babylon, on page 56, George Samuel Clason states that “Action will lead you forward to the successes thou doest desire”. I read this often enough that the page is worn. It means some much in some many different contexts.

First, even if we are not really desiring something specific, any action in any form, can lead us to our desires. And if we dream of something, if we want to create something, if we want to achieve something, it’s the action of the first step towards that goal that enlivens our courage and propels us forward.

And it doesn’t always have to be something big or a major life changes, sometimes it’s the really small moment that exercises our courage by action. This morning it was cold outside. My car was warm, i was in the parking lot of my favorite coffee shop…. “ugh, i dont want to go out in the cold”… But it’s coffee, so of course I’m going! I thought of my warm Americano with steamed heavy cream inside waiting for me, the endorphins hit my brain and I smiled all the way in, where I was greeted with happy faces and “good morning” s all around! I cracked a joke about the cold and such. As I bounced back to my car with a hot cup in my hand, I felt some good about the day. This, because I actively changed my perspective to one of happiness! That overcoming the cold, to say hello to beautiful people was much more powerful than any cold grey day could erase. Now, as I go through my day, I find joy in each moment that I think of that happiness and my day is awesome.

It may sound silly, but each action, big or small can make a difference somehow, each day, my environment is affected by me instead of my environment effecting me. I use courage as a catalyst for action and it always takes me somewhere better.

So today, join me and exercise your courage!