This morning I woke up feeling tired. I stayed up working way too late and didn’t get enough sleep. Sound familiar? We’ve all been there. Even though I wanted to sink back into sleep and ignore the world for an hour longer, I didn’t. Every morning I wake up my body and mind through movement and stretching (aka I get my sweat on). An older version of me would have made an excuse along the lines of, “but I’m so tired, I should rest instead,” or “I just don’t feel like it. I’ll do it later on today when I feel more awake.” The updated 2.0 version of me knows better.
You see, I finally understand that there are two parts of my mind that are always vying for my attention. One part of my mind is completely and utterly resistant toward change, movement, and growth. It wants to be as lazy as it can get away with. The other half knows what’s best for me: change, movement, and growth. Guess which one I choose to listen to? Hint: the latter. Wouldn’t you rather be seduced in to success by a positive voice than succumb to self-sabatoge?
Change your mind, mind your movement
I decided that I’ll show up for myself, no matter what. We often create and accomplish more than we ever dreamed possible when we are pushed into tight, uncomfortable places in life. When we are thrust into the unknown and uncomfortable, we want the scenery to change as soon as possible, which challenges us to problem-solve and practice courage, focus, and determination against all odds. Those attributes of success are, more often than not, born out of practice and failure.
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Elizabeth Appell
Make movement a priority
Do you know the telltale sign that you need to be moving your body? When it hurts, when you’re tired, and when you really don’t feel like it. We actively (and often stubbornly) resist moving our bodies. It’s our resistance toward change at it’s most basic expression in our body and mind. The more apathetic our view toward movement, the more we really should get up and cut a rug. Yes, I know it sounds contradictory, but think of it in terms of Newton’s First Law of Motion: An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion.
What we focus on, grows; what we put our energy toward, increases; and once we get the body moving and grooving, it likes to stay that way. It thrives on movement. The challenge? Getting over the initial hurdle of stagnation and immobility. The answer: making the daily choice to prioritize your health and honor your body. Sure, you’ll have days where conditions are perfect: you wake up with a twinkle in your eye, ready to run 5 miles. Most days, you’ll have to simply make the choice to show up and push yourself a little further than yesterday.
A method to push to your edge…every. time.
Retrain the internal dialogue that wants you to give up. Equip it with affirmations, and turn it into your personal coach. Set a goal (one more lap, 5 more breaths, 30 more seconds, etc.) and when you feel your muscles shaking and your mind cracking, call upon your inner coach for support. Practice mantras like: You’ve got this. You only have one more lap. It’s just a breath, you can do 5 more no problem. You’re so close, just 30 seconds longer. One more lap, you know you can do it! An internal dialogue that encourages you around every corner helps you reach the edge of your limits, and push beyond them.
Trust me, it will feel good
When you’re done with your daily movement practice, take a moment to appreciate the open, free feeling in your body and the clarity of your mind. The process of changing your mind is one of awareness. Being mindful of your alignment, muscular engagement, and breath during movement is the golden key to unlocking the treasures of a powerful mind-body relationship.