This week, I’ve been really focusing on getting my mind, body, and spirit into better balance. I’ve been reading a book that attributes a quote to Buddha that says, “To keep the body in good health is a duty….. Otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” I have seen that in my own life, but there has been something inside of me that has revolted at starting another diet, joining another gym, trying again only to set myself up for failure.
Through different events at the beginning of this week, I started to have a shift in attitude about physical health. I didn’t have to start Weight Watchers again, keep a journal of everything I put in my mouth, work out an hour a day, avoid all foods that aren’t good for me, use my weight loss hypnosis cd, read self-help books, and all of the millions of things I’ve tried to do all at once. I just had to take the next small step that I am able to handle.
When I look at the gap between where I am and where I would like to be, I can get overwhelmed and feel powerless to make lasting change. I end up feeling defeated and not wanting to try anything. But seeds don’t grow into trees overnight. All I have to worry about at this moment is planting.
I decided that one small thing I could do would be to incorporate jogging into my morning routine. The weather has been nice this week and there’s something about being outside in the morning that lifts my spirits. I’ve heard it referred to as “moving meditation”. And I’ve found that to be true.
I used to jog with headphones in my ears and music blasting. That kept things interesting and fun, but I prefer now to go without it. When I can concentrate instead on the songs of the different birds, the dogs barking, the airplane passing overhead, the feel of the breeze against my skin, I feel much more grounded and in the moment.
In contrast, I’m also able to let my imagination roam and work out problems. At first, I have to push myself (“Okay, I’m going to run to that mailbox…that telephone pole… that for sale sign… that corner…”). But soon, the repetitive motion of my feet on the pavement takes me back to being a kid. I can actually hear the crunching of the blue plastic tires of my care bears big wheel on the sidewalk in front of my childhood home on Russett Road. Or feel like I’m racing my friends down the hill in back of Rock Creek Valley Elementary School by the sandbox. Thoughts come that are answers to prayer and I’m only brought back to reality as I pass a man who is kind enough to smile, take a headphone out of his ear and say, “Keep it up! You’re doing good.” And I realize how my face is probably red, my breathing ragged, and my stride not very fast. But it feels good, and that’s okay.
Just changing one small thing hasn’t been too hard, and the rewards have been really worth it. I can make other changes in time, but it does feel good to be moving forward again… literally.