Friday, July 9, 2010
Thoughts: Beauty, Health, Love, all come from the inside.
What do you say to your self when you look in the mirror?
We have to live inside our heads a large part of our waking life. Granted, when we are working, playing, exercising, or socializing in any way - relating to family, friends, co-workers, etc...we are taken outside of ourselves, out of our heads, and our own mind-chatter is less present.
Are You Really In Your Body? Do you have yourself or does it have you? Are you rotting from the inside out?
Comfort and luxury are usually the chief requirements of life for your ego—its top priorities tend to be accumulations, achievements, and the approval of others. Consider a new alternative for what makes you happy, one that soars beyond the superficial demands of the ego. It starts in the inside and is the philosophy of Rebecca a personal trainer at Big Al's Family Fitness.
Today I had the opportunity to train with Rebecca and her 'be in your body' approach. She wants people to feel good about themselves, especially while training with her, and explains how some people are afraid to look at themselves in the mirror as they will think about themselves in a negative way. "You wouldn't let someone stand there and tell you how ugly and fat and disgusting you are, so don't do it to yourself!".
When we are in a mood of doing, figuring out, analyzing, pondering and planning, we utilize a ton of mental energy which disconnects us from the present moment. And as a result of this disconnection, our body becomes a machine to execute the tasks our mind commands rather than something we are aware of inhabiting. Usually when I exercise my mind is chit chattering away and I am not in my body, nor experiencing the workout. I especially allow my mind to wander if the exercise I am doing is burning in my muscles to avoid the pain. Rebecca's training today involved Mindfulness: State of being present in the here and now; being in the moment, being in your body; not being on 'autopilot’. She explained to me that all the avoiding and being on 'autopilot' as I go about my exercise routine is hindering my body's process to transform!!! How when you are present, and experience each movement, each burn, and visualize your muscles sculpting perfectly the way you want them, it is going to happen! And certainly a lot sooner than me just going through the motions of exercise but actually being elsewhere with my mind. Be there totally.
I considered how much time I spend in my mind while my body is doing something else. I ride my bike on complete autopilot, space out when someone is speaking to me, I rush through a meal barely tasting any of the food, I race to the supermarket barely noticing the sunshine or the sounds of birds chirping, I read three pages in a book and suddenly realize I have no idea what I have just read. Checking out of the present moment has become a nasty habit!
So this training session was about directing my attention into the body and generating my self from within. I feel it from within. Is it alive? Is there life in the hands, arms, legs and feet, in the abdomen, the chest? Can you feel the subtle energy field that pervades the entire body and gives vibrant life to every organ and every cell? Can you feel it simultaneously in all parts of the body as a single field of energy? Keep focusing on the feeling of your inner body for a few moments. Do not start to think about it. Feel it. The more attention you give it, the clearer and stronger this feeling will become. It will feel as if every cell is becoming more alive, and if you have a strong visual sense, you may get an image of your body becoming luminous. If you cannot feel very much at this stage, pay attention to whatever you CAN feel. Your body is coming alive. Never loose touch with it.
If you practice presence in each moment of your life, it will come naturally to you especially while you are exercising and you will be able to 'be' with the pain in the muscles. Examine where your attention is at this moment. You are listening to me, or you are reading these words in a blog. There may be things happening around you, busy street, people, noise. See if you can be in touch with your inner body at the same time. If you are in the gym working your body out, practice the same. Keep some of your attention within. For many years I tried cheating by thinking about other things while exercising, and as a result did not feel the transformation happening in my body and therefore did not happen. Let this be your practice in weeks to come. I will ;)
Attention is the key to transformation and full attention also implies acceptance.
Do not give all your attention away to the mind and the external world. By all means focus on what you are doing, but feel the inner body at the same time whenever possible. Then observe how this changes your state of consciousness and the quality of what you are doing.
Rebecca caused me to see how can I be present and enjoy my life if I'm not present and enjoying being inside of my very own body?
I am my own worst enemy.
Being Present is to be You - the real you. The real you only exists in the present moment. Your feelings are calm. Your reflexes are fast. Your wit is quick. You are decisive. You know what you want. You know what's right for you. You perform your best - public speaking, sports, music, relating to people. Your confidence is deep. You know you're not perfect. This lets you be real. You accept you have weaknesses. So does everyone.
A racing mind is evidence that you don't trust You. This condition of constant self-analysis disconnects you from your inner knowing. You experience inner conflict and second-guessing - struggling to be true to yourself, yet afraid others will hurt you if you do. Accidents happen more often, and people you love feel unloved by you, because you feel unloved by You.
Being present is the time frame you choose to focus on. There are only three possible time frames - past, present and future. Once you become aware of the thoughts you are having and the content of those thoughts, you will notice which timeframe you are in at any given time. You will begin to notice how often your thoughts and feelings are focused on the past or the future. Many people spend less than 1% of their time living in the present.
It has never NOT been the present moment.
The path to being more real in the present is to stop comparing. You compare the present with what "should" be happening. The result of this is judgments. You judge situations, other people and ourselves. Being in a gym is easy to judge others as there are so many other people around you with different bodies, health and fitness levels. Judgments make it hard to be real. That's because others will judge you right back, which hurts. The Bible tells us so in Matthew 7:1, "Do not judge or you will be judged..."
Being present happens in an instant. So does not being present! An upsetting thoughts triggers emotions based on the past hurts or future fears. It happens in an instant and is highly dependent on how good your boundaries are. Both result in conflict and unhappiness rooted in past and future-based thoughts and feelings. This is the real You that you want to keep hidden.
Being present begins with NOTICING when you are trying to alter the present moment and learning what you can do about it. You move from seeing yourself as a victim of circumstances to a decisive person who makes wise choices in difficult, uncertain and even scary situations. Your self-confidence and self-trust grow tremendously, as does your faith. People who want to be who they are while making wiser choices have no regrets, no matter how things unfold.
Challenges: It has never NOT been the present moment. Constantly reminding my self to be present is a challenge as it is not long before the mind comes chit chattering again and I get lost in it's story!!! Hehe ;)
Triumphs: Exercising and training with Rebecca today, reminding my self to be present, in my body, and actually experiencing the work out! “Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart” Kahlil Gibran
What I Ate Today:
Food fest 1: Beetroot, Carrot, Celery and Ginger Juice - the bowel cleaner!
Food fest 2: Orange and grapefruit juice
Food fest 3: 3 nectarines
Food fest 4: Herb Avocado Salad! Ingredients: Parsley (from our garden!), coriander (cilantro), spring onion, avocado, lemon, a dash of olive oil and himalayan salt, and hemp seeds!
Food fest 5: A avocado
Food fest 6: Spanish Beans and Rice! Mmm! Ingredients: Kidney beans, garlic, onion, parsley, oregano, tomato, rice, olives and himalayan salt!
Recipe: The recipe for Herb Avocado Salad and Spanish Beans and Rice is on The Earth Diet website and will also be in The Earth Diet book being released later this year.
Exercise: The 1 hour training session with Rebecca from Big Al's Family Fitness :)
118 days to go!!!