All of us have this one thing in common. Every single person I've ever known, met, read about, or heard about has a common desire: to be happy. There's probably some evolutionary origin - perhaps concerning self-preservation and security of life, or something - that has evolved into the modern idea of happiness, or the general desire for one's own well-being.
This desire leads to a life-long pursuit, though we may not always be aware of it. We pursue our own happiness in the friends we acquire, the relationships we cultivate, the career path we choose, the subjects we study, the causes or belief systems we embrace, the style we adopt, the clothes we wear, the trips we take, and so on. We can try so hard to find happiness that we end up creating and living in an energy that is far from happy. Or we can busy ourselves so much with the pursuit that we tune out cues that we've already found the happiness we were looking for.
You've heard the quote that happiness is not a destination, but a journey. Well, even the journey can be a misdirect. The truth is that happiness is found in gratitude. Pursuing goals and loving people and otherwise creating a good life is a way to experience happiness, but only if you stop to notice how those things are making you happy in this moment. We must be mindfully grateful for that friend who always has our back, that career that stems from our passion, and those jeans that fit just right. The fruit of our happiness pursuit is happiness itself.
Is happiness an elusive goal for you, or something you experience everyday?
What's one thing you're absolutely grateful for right now?
The New Year is upon us again and no doubt many of us are thinking about our goals, particularly fitness related. Being healthy should always be at the top of our priority list. But health is multi-faceted: it's physical, environmental, spiritual, and mental. We would be wise little birdies to keep all aspects of our health and well-being in constant review.
Our physical health is an obvious one. We improve it with exercise and eating smaller portions of healthier foods. It's a simple formula, but can be difficult to adhere to consistently. Yet our best efforts will not be wasted if we really try.
Our environmental health is in our control as much as we can choose where we allow ourselves to be. We can choose the people we surround ourselves with. We can take measures to prevent inhaling and consuming toxins by living as naturally as possible.
Our spiritual health is very individual and ranges from devout religion to simply being at peace with oneself in the choices and situations of life. Daily practices and rituals help us to maintain or achieve higher levels of spiritual awareness.
The one that ties them all together, however, is mental health. Our mind is a powerful force. It drives us to strive for or shy away from any pursuit or path. The battle for our entire health is fought in the mind. Physical, environmental, spiritual - everything depends on what you have set (and continue to set) your mind to.
So make a resolution to feed, nourish, engage, relax, and strengthen your mind. Pay attention to the energy of people and places and situations. Stay in the positive as much as possible and remove the negative from your life. Sometimes it's not possible through willpower alone and in those cases, other options are out there. But as much as you have control, take care of your mental health. There is a line in a song: "Free your mind, and the rest will follow!" When your mind is well, you will be too.
Share your thoughts:
Do you have resolutions for the coming year?
Do you plan to improve some aspect your health? How?
This morning I awoke with fitness on the brain. My physical fitness, to be exact. I've been slacking off on my exercise routine lately and I'm starting to really miss it.
I'm the type of person that takes awhile to make a change because I want to be sure of what I want and what it will take to get there. I like to think out my plan and consider all aspects of a thing before acting. I like to have a degree of certainty that something will work out before trying it. I need time to visualize the habit forming before I start something new. In my experience, this has been an asset in some situations and a hindrance in others!
When it comes to working out, I tend to not want to do it all if things seem fine without it (ie: not gaining weight, no aches and pains, having a general feeling of positive self-esteem). But deep down I know that exercise is a necessary part of good health, it improves your mood, and it's a great way to break out of a rut - mentally or physically. Not only that, but I'm still on a journey and I haven't made it to my goal yet.
One thing I've realized about the dreaded weight-loss plateau is that, if you're not careful, it can become your new comfort zone. Now, despite the bad rap comfort zones get, I do not think they are the devil. In general it's okay to have a safe place as long as you're not afraid to leave it sometimes. But in the case of my weight loss intention, it's not on plan to stop right here. You could say "well, if you feel good and are healthier than before, why not scale back your goal and just be happy with where you are now?" I've actually asked myself this question...quite a bit. The rumbling in my spirit is always the same - "you're not there yet." I don't want to just live on this level. I want to go bigger (or smaller, actually).
I have been persistent along this journey - from the beginning, cutting portion sizes, adding more and more exercise. I've been consistent to maintain my weight loss to this point - adopting permanent changes in my eating and learning to pay attention to my body. But I'm discovering that there is a little more to it. When you reach a plateau, you have to start over with new persistence and new consistency. This is where I am now - working on renewing my persistence and building a new level of consistency. As we always discover, it's a mental battle to win. If you're with me in a similar place, let me know in the comments below.
Share your thoughts:
Does your personality lead you to be more of a "plan it out" type or a "just go now" type?
Have you ever found yourself in a plateau? Did you get comfortable or keep fighting against it?
How do you stay persistent and consistent in your fitness efforts?