My tendency is to be doing, not being. But, that way of life is draining, exhausting and overwhelming. Being type A, it’s hard to admit this. But it’s true. It took me a long time, and many books to realize that my over analysis of everything, my urge to be busy and productive ALL the time were not activities driven by a superior intellect and motivation, but by a superior ego!
That truth stung a little (ok, a lot), but being ego driven, I then became determined not to be ego driven like all those other people out there. I was going to rise above it all…. Do you see this catch 22??? It was hard to change this tendency and to stop listening to my ego.
The ego fights us, and if we are unaware, it usually wins. The key to letting YOU emerge, is to still your mind, and listen to you. Luckily for me, God hit me with a 2×4 last November. I was training intensely for a triathlon, determined to win my age division and do a PB on my 5K segment. About 3 weeks before the race I fell off my bike injuring my wrist. But I was mentally still going to do that race no matter what! No wimping out! Real athletes push through, no matter what- right? As I contemplated my decision, a little timid voice said “why?- why do the race and risk your wrist forever, who are you trying to impress?” . It took me tripping over my feet and putting my back out before I committed 100% to listening to that timid voice saying “why?”. But I’m thankful I did.
So how do you still your mind? Like any skill, it takes practice. You take in a deep breath, hold it and slowly exhale. As you breathe concentrate on only that breath. If any thoughts arise, let them float through your mind. Do not engage them. If you find yourself engaging, just gently bring your mind back to your breath. In the beginning you may have a quiet mind for 30 seconds! Congratulation yourself! This is the first step. Gradually 30 seconds will become 5, 10 minutes or more. It is during these moments that you can hear YOU and tap into what your heart, soul and body want.
A great book is “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. He taught me a lot about the concept of ego and how important a quiet mind is. Meditation is also a great tool to quiet the mind. You can use meditation to simply rejuvenate yourself, for prayer, to answer questions about yourself. It is something I look forward to doing daily.
Over the past few months as I have been quieting my mind, my life is almost stress free. I get as much done as I did before, except now, I’m not the crazy lady! If things don’t get done, I don’t sweat it. I can get to it tomorrow. Who cares? And is someone does care, that’s about them, not me!
How does this relate to fitness, health and nutrition?- It’s living in the moment. Enjoy every moment. When working out, be grateful for your energy and health to do what you are about to do. When choosing foods, focus on what nutrients your body is asking for. Be grateful for every healthy day you have. If you do have health issues or an injury see it as an opportunity to refocus on other aspects of your life, that will support you. By living in the moment, you can do the best you can in that moment. Don’t compare yourself to a past version of you, or a future version you want to be. Setting goals is vital, but obsessing about them is viral. Once the goal is set, focus on the process or journey to get to your goal. Be positive the whole time. If there are any setbacks, see them as lessons to be learned.