Anticipation

I find when I begin a new habit or behavior, I instantly know if it will be a crucial part of my routine and something that will keep me moving forward. As with many activities we start, there is the excitement of finding something that brings us joy, or energy, sparks our creativity or possibly relieves pain, helps us move better, feel better.

I believe the tendency is to replace something else in our schedule to be able to do this activity. We make it a part of our day or our week or possibly monthly. We add book club, its fun to feel the need to read and hook up with friends right? We start a new work out or fitness program, we initiate new habits with our eating, we start something that seems to make a difference.

GIVING WAY

After awhile, the tendency is to have some of those things we gave up or rescheduled, start hanging over our head. We maybe start replacing our new habit with an old one. We have our kids or spouses needs and schedules start wrecking havoc on our own. We justify our decision to pause in our own movement forward to accommodate others. This is our excuse. There are thousands of reasons to stop working on our selves and focus on the stagnate past behaviors we had shed just weeks or months ago. But no matter the excuse we tell ourselves, it we are honest with ourselves, it is always coupled with fear.

FEAR

Fear of disappointment, failure, what others will think of us or maybe if we give up time with the kids to take care of ourselves. We justify our choices pretending that we are selfish if we keep up the good work. We justify quitting with the fact that others need us and we must provide. HOW DO WE RECOGNIZE WHAT IS RIDDLED WITH FEAR. There are many ways to talk yourself out of success, how do we change our own mind and talk ourselves INTO success? How much energy will it take to retrain your mind to accept the truth, acknowledge it, possibly appreciate it and move on. What are the steps? The first step for any process should be to recognize and accept what we fear about taking care of ourselves. Accept that we are afraid and maybe discover what we are afraid of. This may sound simple as you read my abbreviated log if this 1st step, and it is. But it is as complex as it is simple. As you recognize your behavior starting to change, as you begin the conversation of self doubt in your head, this is the moment to remind yourself of the success that you have had with the new behavior. Do you walk taller, smile bigger, sleep better, have compassion and forgiveness for others? As you notice the changes emotionally and mentally, do you begin to feel a bit disarmed? You have the desire to change, the desire for certain goals, but as they begin to happen, what thoughts are fighting against your success in your own head? And what if on top of these thoughts, are you not reaching your goal? If this process of reaching your goals feels like it’s not working, what are your thoughts telling you now? At this point, most people give up. They think that the process or the diet or the workout program are failing them. What is failing usually is you. You are allowing fear to talk you into not supporting yourself like you deserve to be supported. Maybe you feel like your family or friends aren’t supporting your process, and the truth is, there may not be clear communications of what you are trying to achieve, they may be seeing changes in you that they don’t understand because it hasn’t been explained to them. Perspective is a powerful ally, or it can wreck havoc like an enemy. Perspective of a specific situation is the power to make it as it should be, and with understanding from not just those around you, but also yourself. We all have projects and desires, but we have to give ourselves the tools to achieve them.

PERSPECTIVE

I believe that once you have acknowledged your fears of failure, you can achieve an evolution in your perspective to change the way you think about your goals.

By including the people in your daily life, you can help them understand what you want out of life and they can better understand your behaviors and words and changes.

With these two perspectives, you can be more open about your goals, your successes, your failures and because you have chosen to share this journey with others, you can now listen to ideas or suggestions that may very well assist you in your journey. The ones around us ultimately want us to succeed, even though it may be a struggle at times, they genuinely want to be apart of the journey. On top of all of that, if they aren’t aware of the whys and hows of your journey, you may end up alienating them and leaving them behind. This perspective might me very harmful to your success and any support they may have to offer.

What I am getting at is that to achieve something might take a little revamping on your part, you need to open yourself to the world, open yourself to others, human thought is an unmeasurable wealth, the more you listen, the more you learn, the more you will have the capacity to become the person you want to be.

Gaining a new perspective on why we sabotage ourselves, why we try so many things that we don’t know much about but they have worked for others, and why we fail can be used as the catalyst that will propel you in the proper direction. Trust. Trust yourself to learn, trust yourself to grow and trust that those around you want you to succeed. Start with Trust. Trust yourself today.

Quote of the day:

“What you are afraid of is a clear indication of the next thing you need to do.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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!

Challenges….

In my life, which may be different than others when challenges have arisen, I do what is necessary to get through them with the least amount of stress to those around me. I always found a spin on it to make it positive.

It wasn’t until recently that I realized that my life has been apparently very difficult. I wonder if living in denial was a better way to go. But I know that’s not true, even though it sure sounds easier! Right? But it was that denial that lead to other physical restrictions and lessons that have been hard to learn.

When it came to my physical issues, I broke my 1st bone at the age of 8, the last at 15. 7 times between the two. I broke my clavicle when I was 5. My leg when I was 13. broken jaw at 19. I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease at age 19. That one threw me for a loop. Ended sports and no more scholarships. I fell into what might be considered a dangerous state of depression. I watched my parents go through an unbelievable separation and miraculously reconcile 5 years later. I was the youngest child, the only one living at home (besides moving to school and being a nanny for a short while) and not married. I learned a lot about what emotional stress does to the physical body, heart and mind. I learned what effect physical stress puts on the heart and mind. But my mom always told me to put my big girl panties on and get on down the road. So I did.

I am fair skinned and red hair. I grew up with a mother who instinctively knew this put me as risk for skin cancer and it was a never ending barrage of sunscreen and shade until I was old enough to rebel. I loved the sun. I loved the warmth. Some would say i worshipped it. I was careful each day, but my goal was to “build a tan”. And I did. I also had multiple bad sunburns along the way. My mother was diagnosed with 3C breast cancer when i turned 40. I had already been seeing a dermatologist that specialized with skin cancers since my 1st pre cancer at 22. Shortly after my mother passed away from the side effects of her treatment, I found out I had melanoma. My bottom lip was cut off. Yep. Just off. The small spot on my forehead was cut to the bone. My arm, well it was ugly. On top of the over 300 pre cancers that have been burned off, dozens of basil cell carcinomas and multiple squamous cells removed, I now had to make the choice to go a little deeper into treatment or take the chance that the melanoma was gone. I was scared after mom died. I wasn’t about to take a chance that it was hiding somewhere.

When I found out that the discs in my lumbar spine were basically disintegrating, the doctors told me that surgery would be the only solution. Luckily, I didn’t believe a word they said. In the 80’s and 90’s , a doctors words were gold and they were the all knowing, right? So many people taking pills to fix one problem with the body, and another pill to fix the side effects of the other drug. Some folks I knew were taking an assortment of 10 or so pills, every day. Now at this time in my life I switched gears from engineering to physiology. I was not about to believe that at 20 years old, I was doomed to have a fused spine and reduced digestive function, leg function and neurological problems for the rest of my life on top of not being able to run, jump, flip, climb, ride. There was no way I was going to live that life. It came to be that this moment defined who I was to become. I found out I was fierce, completely capable of educating myself on all the things I need to obtain the tools that my life would require if it were to be fulfilling in all the ways I thought it should be.

I’m 47 now. I can touch on other eventful moments in my life at another time if warranted. These just happen to be some that have been the catalyst to my education, training and lifestyle. I have many more pages I could write of my challenges (can”t we all), but the fact is, everyone has challenges, and though they may be different by nature, they can achieve the same emotion and sensation that each of us can understand. We hear stories of others challenges or struggles and either find ourselves feeling either more blessed or more burdened. This is because we feel the emotions and either identify with them or can’t understand them. These reactions are the building blocks of how you deal with your own struggles and challenges in life. We either empathize ourselves, or avoid understanding. I have always felt blessed. Maybe it’s because of my mother, my younger life challenges or maybe it’s that I’ve always had a deep understanding that life is what it is…hard, but that my existence within this life doesn’t have to be. It is because of the challenges that have been laid before me in life that I have become who I am. I was never willing to settle for what others told me, that I was destined to live a life in pain and disfunction. I wasn’t willing to accept that life as others told me I should. Instead, I researched. I learned. I experimented, failed and succeeded many times over. I have become very confident with the idea that the body and mind are powerful tools that react to stimuli and work to make things function for survival. Not only have I survived, but for the most part thrived.

It is this journey that led me to develop Cognizant Reconstruction. I have an intense desire to help others to find, accept and love what life has given us and use the tools that god gave us to become truly cognizant and reconstruct this physical, mental and emotional self we call our own. It is such an awesome thing to grasp, and once we are cognizant, we can truly open our minds and body to comfort and exuberance within this day to day jungle we live in. This crazy little life is meant to be that… crazy and little, it’s our existence that can be joyous and big. I’m so excited to embark on my next chapter!

%d bloggers like this: