**This post is not exactly going to be about nutrition or working out. It’s going to be a good life-pondering post, one for the soul. :) **
A word that has been resonating with me a lot these last few months is the word balance. Not like the balance of standing on one leg, but the hippie soul meaning, the yin and yang, the buddha meaning. Tatramajjhattata (Pali) is a Buddhist term that is translated as “neutrality of mind". It is defined as a mental attitude of balance, detachment, and impartiality.
In my life for the past three months, balance has come up in things I have been reading, conversations I have been having, and signs I have been seeing. Backing up about two months ago, I hurt my legs badly while working out (I still can't do many leg movements.) Now it's not like months before that they didn't hurt or weren't super sore, because they were, but I just kept lifting. I was not listening to my body at all. I was lifting extremely hard, long, and heavy. 3 hours at the gym was average for me, 7 days a week. It was the center of my life.
Nothing else came before the gym. My body hurt, I was sleeping 10 hours a night (not healthy at all), I was tired and cranky all the time. But it did not matter because I was a beast in the gym. I never would have advised any of this to my clients, but in my mind I was invincible and strong. I chose not to listen to my body, even though I know it was screaming to not be pushed so hard and take breaks. My brain and ego took over, until I came to my breaking point.
Two months ago, there was one day where I could not do another squat. My legs and knees were hurting so bad I had to stop. I didn’t choose to take a break, so my body chose for me. Prior to this day I had been noticing the word balance come up a lot and this, I realized, was why. I was so mad, feared that I would lose my strength and figure if I couldn’t work out, I didn't know what I was going to do. Dramatic? Yes.
As mad as I am that I still am unable to lift, this has been a big life lesson for me. My focus has now shifted from wanting to be only physically strong, to finding a balance in being equally strong spiritually. Loving myself even though I wouldn't have abs or muscular legs, connecting with my spirit and emotions. Not being able to lift has freed up a lot of my time, I am sleeping less and spending less time at the gym. This has added almost 4 hours to my day (from the definition of balance above, big detachment from the gym was needed) .
Why am I telling you this?
BECAUSE IF THIS IS YOUR SIGN TO BALANCE OUT YOUR LIFE AND TAKE A BREATHER THEN HERE IT IS, NICE AND CLEAR.
(I highly recommend getting energy work done if you think you need some life help/balance. Pain and soreness are trapped emotions and energy blockages. If you do anything for yourself go see Michelle in Green Bay at http://www.yourenergywithin.com/ I cannot rave about this enough, I feel like I can breathe again.)
I forgot that I loved to make things, and that I am pretty good at art. I forgot that I loved to read. I didn't realize that I used the gym to cover up issues I should have dealt with. Bring balance into your life. Take away (AGAIN DETACH) the things that you think define you, in your own mind and to others (ask your family and close friends if you don’t know what defines you). A few months ago, I defined myself as super healthy, strong, and the gym was my life. All of this was pulled from under me pretty quickly, I felt like my image was going to be gone. I was forced to take a step back and really rethink who I am. I wasn't healthy, I was beating my body so badly that I literally broke it. Sure I was eating well, but that's not going to prevent that amount of abuse on my body. I was strong, but clearly not mentally or emotionally strong, or I would have stopped before I broke. Gym cannot be life. The gym can’t define someone, the gym not an adjective. I want to be defined for who I am, not what I do. Being forced to take time off from the gym has made me learn so much about who I am.
Today, I know that I am Ashely. I supply my body with all that it needs and loves, strong both physically and emotionally, creative, intelligent, a small business owner, and many other great things I have yet to discover.
Listen for words that stick out to you, they do for a reason. Don’t wait until you learn the hard way. Take away what you are “defined by” and do some self-work. Go see Michelle if you would like to find out more about yourself then you may even know. I was using the gym to cover problems that only my subconscious knew about. Listen to and see the signs. Look for the good in the bad, and have a wonderful day my friends.