I used to reeeeally hate exercise. I was born with a type of dwarfism that led to osteoarthritis by the time I was 8, so physical activity was pretty painful. It also triggered every insecurity about my lovability and my future. I regularly buried those fears in the backyard of my brain, where an entire Belief System (BS) began taking root.
(A gentle reminder before I continue ~ the early bird price for my new group coaching class ends tomorrow ~ “Building Soul Blissipline: Releasing the Belief Systems (BS) and Practicing Awe, Self-Care and Mindfulness.”)
Now back to my blog…
In 1993, when I was 30, I had both knees and hips replaced. It was a grueling recovery and rehab. When physical therapy was over, I knew I needed more work. I had to find . . . a gym!? So SCARY. Way out of my comfort zone. I thought I’d be the laughing stock of any locker room. They’ll KNOW I don’t belong!
In the past, when friends had complained about workout pain, I didn’t understand how they were able to push through it, when I could not.
It must be my fault. I’m just lazy. Too soft. Spoiled. Undisciplined. Can’t take the pressure. Loser.
But. Now that I had these new joints, they were giving me hope. So I gathered every speck of sweaty courage, and registered at the most unassuming gym I could find. Gulp.
After a week at the gym, I got the shock of my life.
This new “pain” I was experiencing, after exercise, was totally… acceptable!? No sharp jabs, long nights and clenched teeth.
I never realized that the pain I’d known most of my life was nerve pain, not muscle pain. I wasn’t a loafer after all! I was actually LOVING exercise?! WHOA!
After about a year at the gym, however, no matter how hard I’d pushed and stretched, I could not get my knees and hips to flex farther than 90 degrees. That’s when the buried BS began to bite me right in the gluteus maximus.
Since I was a girl, I’d been dreaming of deep knee bends and dance moves. Fantasizing about holding my knees to my chest. Drooling over sitting Indian style, kneeling, or being able to pick up keys, coins or pens off the floor.
I felt devastated. Imprisoned. Punished.
Enter stage left. My husband! Life got very rosy! And busy. Kids came. Work kicked in.
I didn’t go back to the gym.
Since 1994, there have been many, many attempts to resume a daily routine. The stationary bike. Then the treadmill. Then yoga. The stair climber. Chiropractic. Massage. Then the treadmill again. Exercise videos. Acupuncture. Then chair yoga (!) The coveted flexibility stayed way out of my reach. It confirmed the old BS that I was still, indeed, a flawed sack of fertilizer.
Then five years ago, I was facilitating a mastermind. Each week, we would hold each other accountable to a small step toward a bigger goal. Someone shared that he needed to get back on his bike to ease his back pain. Hmm. His sensible self-care sprouted some of my own.
I’d been doing plenty of spiritual working-out, but still avoiding the physical. But this time I wasn’t going to push myself. No demands or disgust. No harsh instruction or judgment. Fresh ground to walk on. I planned to be understanding and kind when the steaming hot BS hit the pavement. I just wouldn’t step in it. I’d honor and accept what I’d done in the past. I’d focus on health and enjoyment, today.
Just because I’d been hurt and unsuccessful before, didn’t mean I always would be! Maybe I would never be able to put my socks on the way others can. But I could still be happy. Maybe I would never move like a dancer. But I could still dance like me!
My beat-up body deserved this love offering. An honoring of what my vehicle and I had been through. A gift of self-care to a super-soul container.
At the next mastermind meeting, I was thrilled to report back to my group that I’d walked, three times! And much to my surprise, four other members had been happily exercising that week, too! We felt the powerful energy of accountability pull us forward and help us meet our separate needs, together. The blissipline was contagious!
I continued walking, gently. Mindfully. With tenderness for the girl who thought she was pile of poo.
Five years later, I’m still walking, daily. I’m floored! Given my history, it’s really quite epic. Exercise has actually become one of my auto-magic blissiplines. And when I miss a day or two, I don’t sh** all over myself. I step back on track without shame.
Over the years I’ve found a bunch of simple yet soul satisfying practices – EFT tapping, affirmative prayers, calling in angel assistance, green smoothies, mealtime grace, mindful chores and quick visualization. Each one has unearthed its own resistance! Each needed to be ‘worked out.’ It takes practice, patience and pruning of the BS.
If you’re ready to weave some every day mindfulness into your Spring and beyond, please join my group class! We’re going to grow our own unique spiritual blissiplines, for the the joy of it, the energy, the connection, the fabulous feeling when we follow through.
Feel free to email me here with any questions or comments!
With much love, light
and soul satisfation,