Live Your Life Like An Athlete

August 11, 2012 by  
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I usually go to a spinning class on Saturday mornings. Today, as I was riding and sweat was dripping, I heard an inner-voice that said: “Do I really need this? Why am I doing this to myself?” To which one of my other inner voices responded: “I can do it. I’ll relax and commit. Just watch me.”

No, I’m not turning schizophrenic. I’m just aware of the inner dialogue that ensues when we are faced with challenges. When we are faced with hardship a side of us wants to give up while other parts want to keep going. It is in this tug of war that success or failure is decided. If our cheerleader voice is louder than success is the outcome.

Exercise – either extraneous like spinning or intense like Yoga – is a microcosm of life. If we are to last the whole class or training session we must learn to relax, commit and silence the negative voice. The same happens in life. If we are to succeed in our careers or an undertaking we must learn to pace ourselves and overcome the obstacles without giving up.

Athletes have to learn this from day one. They have to overcome physical difficulties and pain. They have to overcome competition. And they have to do all of that with complete commitment – mental and physical.

We have to learn to approach our dreams like athletes do their sport – with relaxation and commitment. Because for most of us getting what we want means working at it. It means applying ourselves without giving up.

I love exercise – not only for health reasons – but because it helps me understand in an innate way what my posture in life has to be if I am to get what I want.

So, pick an exercise routine that challenges you. Observe what your mind tells you. Turn off the negativity. Relax. Commit. And witness your personal achievement.



Self-Esteem, A Serious Business

May 16, 2010 by  
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4295397307_51942ab407So much of our angst comes from low self-esteem.   Envy, depression, self-hatred are some of its by products.

The reasons for low self esteem are many and at a certain point they don’t matter anymore.  What matters is to recognize the issue, understand how it affects our lives and change.

In my case my low self esteem came from the “shoulds” I accepted as the measurements of my worth.  By the age of 20 I should have accomplished XYZ, by the age of 30 another XYZ, you get the idea.  Where the shoulds had come from didn’t matter to me.  What mattered is they were making me feel less then – because I had not accomplished the XYZs – and envious of others who I thought had achieved their “shoulds”.

What I had forgotten is that each life is unique.  I had also set up “shoulds” that did not take in consideration a life I had chosen to pursue which was about creativity and self- questioning.  I hadn’t realized I had taken a set of societal values – which were often not in harmony with my own – to be mine.

The self badgering and the constant inner talk of low self esteem make living a hard experience.  When I came to that point I knew I had to find ways to change.  I knew I had to make the voyage inwards to understand who I really was so I could honor my individuality.

In my quest I have learned some truths that I want to share:

There are no two people alike.  None of us have had the same experiences and therefore have the same way to see and process the world.  So how can we possibly compare ourselves to anybody else?

The commitment we have in life is to ourselves.  To give our emotional, intellectual and spiritual self the support needed to experience and grow.

It doesn’t matter what others think of us.  They don’t know and we don’t have the obligation or the time to explain to each person why we want to have specific experiences in life.

There is no right or wrong way of living. I’m not talking about criminal activities which obviously have a right and a wrong, but I’m talking about our own individualities and quirks.

Learning to appreciate our uniqueness is a process of self-discovery which results in freedom.  It is a journey well worth taken.  I know from experience.


Sometimes It Takes Commitment

April 21, 2010 by  
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love-sick1My husband died five years after we met, but I think if he were alive we would have stayed together until we both looked like old prunes.

The reason I say this, is because Chris and I truly loved each other and were each, were each other’ best friend and most importantly made a commitment to invest in our relationship and to trust each other.

We both had been married before and knew how lucky we were to have found each other for a second chance.  We were aware that in the course of our lives we would meet other people and that sometimes we would get tired or upset at each other.  We knew that before committing to a relationship, so when we did, we knew we were going to deal with things as they came up and would always remember the love and friendship that had brought us together in the first place.

So although Chris is no longer here, in the five years we had together we got to experience an entire lifetime.  We also stuck together through it all.

There is nothing like truly sharing your heart and trust with someone else.  It changes you in many ways.  And if, like in my case, the relationship comes to an abrupt end, the love doesn’t;  it lives on.