I don’t actually care if you move better. I care if moving better will make you happy. Most of the time, it will. If it won’t, then we don’t need each other in that way right now. You have to want stuff to do stuff. (And definitely to do the amount of hard work and effort it takes to get moving better.) You have to have some idea of:
1️⃣what you want
2️⃣what feels good
3️⃣what makes you happy
How do you figure any of that out? Start listening to your internals.
One of my favorite things I read in 2016 was from somewhere I can’t even remember specifically to attribute, but it went something like this: people today relax through stimulation. Think about it – we “turn on the tv to wind down”, or “listen to some music”, or even “read a book before bed.” All of these are fine and good, but it’s introducing stimulation to supposedly chill out. Let’s be honest, most of these have really been supplanted by skimming through social media, playing games, or otherwise skimming through our phones anyway. Again, this is all fine unless it’s getting in the way of something else you want to be doing or more likely, you never just spend time with yourself. Unstimulated. Just you…and you. In silence. Whoa. Crazy, huh? Over 80% of the people in Tim Ferris’ new book Tools of Titans meditate as part of their daily rituals. Many of them go on to clarify what meditation means to them, including tips as simple as “one breath” (Chade-Meng “Meng” Tan), apps like Headspace or Calm, full courses, guided meditations, journaling, walking, even focusing your thoughts into gratitude and happy thoughts directed at other people….I’m a fan of the school of thought that meditation is whatever works for you as long as it focuses you and clears you. For now, I choose to “listen” (for lack of a better word) to myself as much as I can throughout the whole day, without much specific time carved out for it. Kind of like my preferred approach to movement maintenance – make it just a part of what you do. Things will feel right, wrong, or more right, and the more I feel for it inside the better I seem to get at it. I can do whatever I want, but I choose to listen to these vibes more and more often, and am always happy when I do.
Follow Your Stress
To me, stress is a universal signal that something needs to change. Put enough stress on a twig, it will change by breaking. All injuries are the result of force exceeding capacity. Dr. Andreo Spina famously says that “force is the language of cells.” I choose to take that farther, and believe that all stress, mental and physical, is a sign that we are not doing what might best suit us. This could mean that the change needs to be your own attitude, or it could be some force I can’t apply current science to trying to direct you away from something that doesn’t suit you, a sort of proverbial “fire is hot, move” applied to the way you feel, all the time. This has not turned me into a lazy bum who only eats chocolate all day, contrary to what watching my current holiday vacation lifestyle may have you think. That doesn’t feel right to me long term. I’ve had this gut feeling when it meant tripling my monthly business expenses in order to expand. It wasn’t easy to make the decision, but it absolutely felt right. I have never regretted it. I think if I had not done it my old practice would have suffered for my inaction.
Bruce Lee has about a zillion awesome quotes, many of them about water. Just realize that running water gives life, stagnant water smothers it.
Fear is ok. Things can feel scary but still feel right. I think this takes practice to develop the sensitivity. You have to try a lot of stuff to learn what is actually good or bad for you. Continue trying because many things take time to develop that may be great for you and something that wasn’t right a few months ago may be perfect for you now. Things are always happening. Other things happen because of those things. Forever.
Stoicism is something I discovered this year thanks to my brother’s recommendation of the audio version of Marcus Aurelius, Meditations. It was the closest thing I’ve ever felt to feeling religious about a text, jiving with nearly everything I’ve been thinking about over the past year. It’s short, and not for everyone, right now, I think eventually it will be good for you, no matter who you are. When you’re ready, give it a try. I haven’t delved into any of the other founding stoics yet.
Listen to yourself, accept everything. “Life happens for us, not to us. It’s our job to find out where the benefit is. If we do, life is magnificent.” – Tony Robbins, someone everyone recommends that I haven’t read any of yet.
All of this is in the pursuit of happiness for YOU. YOURSELF, and what YOU want. You can’t control anyone else, so start getting to know yourself. You need to learn how to swim because the water is moving all around you. Follow it. Be happier. Be scared. Realize you always have a say in the matter. I love you and wish you happiness.