Relax

Actually, no. Don’t. Don’t relax just yet.
You know that part of you where you tend to hold tension?
Your shoulders, neck, back, or jaw. Find it, and tense it.
Tense it up nice and tight.
See if you can contract every little muscle in that area.
Got it?
Feel what it feels like.
Now try and move, without losing the tension.
Hold tension in your shoulders? Swing your arms.
Hold tension in your neck? Turn your head.
Hold tension in your jaw? Speak freely. Open your mouth wide, shout out loud.
I’m guessing, it’s not easy – if not impossible.
Yet, we do it every day. Perhaps not purposely.
Perhaps not tensing every little muscle.
Perhaps, not even in the body.
But tension can build every day – until you get to the point where you have no idea how to relax it or let it go – or it’s so tight you need someone else to help release it.
Today, take 5 minutes – if you can, work up to 5 minutes every hour – and do a body scan. Holding tension somewhere? Take a deep breath. Intentionally relax that area. Roll it out, move it, shake it if you have to. Release that tension, and let it go.
Tension in anything makes it harder to move. Uncomfortable or even downright painful.
Whether it’s the body or work or a relationship or…..
Relax into it – whatever it is, and feel the freedom.

Get out of your own way.

It’s amazing – you may not realize it, but so much of what you are not is because you are literally standing in your own way of becoming. And what I’m pleading with you about is, get the hell out of your own way!
~Leo Buscaglia

Labels as excuses.

Most of us, have labels that we have given ourselves (or been given) over a period time. Some true, some not so true and some simply feel true because we’ve lived them for so long.

I’m….
too old.
far too young.
too fat.
shy.
not good at ________.
too slow.
not funny.
too serious.
not a “people” person.
an introvert.
stressed out.
a geek.
not smart enough.
just starting.
not fit enough.
tired.
not athletic and/or coordinated.
worried what others might think.
too busy.
not good enough.
not ________ enough.

Ever use one of these (or something similar) as an excuse to not do something? To keep you safe? As a reason why you couldn’t start that project, lose that weight, make that call, go to that event, start working out, etc.
We all have our excuses.
I’m not so coordinated, hence I don’t even try aerobics classes. I’m always that person in the back that’s facing the wrong way or turning left when I should be going right.
I’m a bit shy, and have a tendency to watch and listen before jumping in.
I’m directionally challenged, and I care what people think some times – and that prevents me from doing things. Fun things. Silly things. From losing my balance and falling. From attending aerobics classes, despite my lack of coordination. From occasionally trying something new while others are watching.
As part of my own evolution, I’m shedding some labels that have been with me for a long time. I’m a bit shy is one of them. It serves no one, and quite frankly hinders me from being totally authentic. Caring what others think is another.
I can’t say that I’ll have them totally licked this week….but I can always take the first step.
What label(s) are you willing to shed?

Allowing

I spent this past weekend at Chi Running workshops with Danny Dreyer, the founder of Chi Running. AMAZING. I was like a sponge the entire time – trying to soak up as much Chi as I could!

A theme of the weekend, that seemed to thread through everything we talked about and worked on, was allowing.

Allowing your legs to relax while running instead of using them to propel you.
Allowing your structure to hold you up, instead of your muscles.
Allowing your pelvis to relax and swivel, rather than holding your hips in place.
Allowing gravity to pull you forward.

Allowing…such a huge word, and not only in terms of running.
What if we spent more time allowing and less time controlling?

Allowing yourself to eat when you’re hungry, rather than sticking to some stringent diet.
Allowing your thoughts to wander, and expand into creativity.
Allowing things to happen as they may, rather than controlling every minute.
Allowing yourself a day off from exercising, because you don’t feel like it – instead of forcing a run or a walk or a workout.

Allowing. Imagine what might show up in your life if you allowed it to happen.

It’s all about timing….

Today is father’s day.
I have to say, it hasn’t been my favorite day of the year.
While it’s my husband’s first father’s day (YAY!), it’s my first father’s day without my father. And today, I miss him. A LOT.
In the past, I never treated father’s day as a big deal. A card and a phone call – it’s father’s day, right? Not a big deal. I didn’t realize how important the day was, until I didn’t have a father to celebrate any more. And I’m sure he knew that I loved him dearly…but if I could just have ten more minutes – TEN freaking minutes – I’d make sure that he knew, beyond a doubt, how much I loved and respected him.
While I’ve spent most of today on the edge of tears, I was reminded this evening, that my father is still with me.
I inherited many things from him….my sense of humor, my quiet shyness, my love of math, and the competitor in me. My son even looks like a little replica of my dad. There are also bits of wisdom that he imparted over the years that stay with me still.
I remember, while still in high school, my dad told me that it’s all about timing. I’m pretty sure, that at the time, we were talking about sports, and the timing of a set or a pass. However, over the years, this phrase has come true for me in many ways.
From meeting my husband, to training for and running a race, to starting a business, to having a child.
Force something, and it almost always doesn’t work – or at least, it may not feel right.
“Making” it happen can sometimes be painful (see above, about forcing)
Bide your time though, and keep working at it. Be patient, and trust your instincts and you’re bound to succeed.
Timing.
It’s all about timing…

Gratitude, no matter what.

“Gratitude should not be just a reaction to getting what you want, but an all-the-time gratitude, the kind where you notice the little things and where you constantly look for the good, even in unpleasant situations. Start bringing gratitude to your experiences, instead of waiting for a positive experience in order to feel grateful.” — Marelisa Fábrega

Gratitude is easy when things are going well.
It gets harder when you’re in a rough spot.
When something happens that you have no control over.
When you’re learning a major lesson.
When things don’t make sense…
But it these times that call for gratitude above all.
What are you grateful for today?

Run Thru the Pain

Run Thru the Pain.
As a runner I have done this more times than I care to count.
Knee pain? No problem! I can finish the last couple of miles.
Shin splints? Ppppbbbt. I’m fine, it’ll go away in a mile or two.
Feet hurt? No worries – I may lose a toe nail…but who really sees those?

I remember going to get pedicures with a sheepish grin and shrug to the technician – “I’m a runner,” I’d say. And it’s amazing how the human body compensates. It’s totally natural to run with my right foot turned out, right?!

In the last 6 or so years, I’ve taken up ChiRunning. Not only has my running become more mindful, my every day life has too. Now, if something – anything – starts to talk to me during a run, I make adjustments as I go. Knee pain? I adjust my foot strike. No more pushing thru pain or limping around after a race.

I’ve found the same holds true for every day life. Too often we make every day sacrifices because it’s easier to be mindless or ignore those little whispers of “something isn’t right”. We rationalize and distract ourselves. And again, it’s amazing how the body compensates and backs up those whispers.

It’s not always easy to make the adjustment – sometimes you might even have to make several…but your body will thank you for it. Trust me.

What pain are you “running” thru?