I burst out in tears after a 15 minute weight lifting session recently. My body was trembling all over. I immediately felt ashamed of myself, even though I was alone in my house.
Oh my god, get a grip on yourself. It was only 15 minutes.
Other people lift way more than you.
This crying all the time is kind of pathetic.
These were my shameful thoughts. And, when I am physically tired, I am less resilient. I let them slip through and seduce me.
Having a mindfulness practice saves my life in these moments. Although I don’t always catch myself when I am beating myself up, I am getting better and better.
That was hard for you. Good job.
I’ve got your back, G. I am right here with you.
Crying is your old story leaving your body. Those shameful thoughts are on the way out.
After a lot of practice, I still beat myself up. Why? Shouldn’t I know better? Well yeah, AND I’ve had decades of practice being mean to me. Now, I like my new practice more. Compassion practice. Empowerment practice. Mindful awareness of my brain resisting change.
Mindfulness is a practice.
Building physical strength is a practice.
Building emotional strength is a practice.
Strength increases your capacity for more.
Slowly, if I keep lifting weights and stretching my comfort zone and trembling a little, I will be able to lift more weight. My muscles will endure a greater capacity for stress. My nervous system will rewire for more. My body will grow leaner and more efficient and increase in multiple health measures.
We understand and desire physical strength. We see the work it takes to get strong. Most of us opt out of that work. Too uncomfortable.
Mental strength is similar. It also requires trembling. It also requires leaving comfort zones. It requires a greater capacity for stress. Our nervous systems have to rewire for more. It might bring up tears to flush out the old stories about our capacity to become a different person.
Most of us opt out of that work. Too uncomfortable.
The brave act. The speech in public. The sweaty ten minute conversation. The boundary you set. Speaking truth to power. Saying that you will not tolerate your own abuse, or any abuse from others. Using your voice to say what is important even though your voice shakes.
Where is your limit for strength? What is your limit for joy? What body is too good for you? What emotion is too good for you?
What is your capacity to have more, be more, create more?
I don’t like trembling.
I try to avoid every workout I plan.
I try to avoid every difficult conversation.
I would prefer to blame other people for my limitations.
I would prefer not to cry all the time.
And yet, in the quiet peaceful moments, there is a greater desire.
I want to be strong. I want to love big. I want to be able to have more and share more. I want to embrace this turn at life in the most fulfilling way I can. I want to see what I can do. How good it can get.
And so, I practice.
And I tremble.
And I cry.
And I flush out the scared crap in my brain that doesn’t work.
I fumble and create new neural networks and stories about myself.
I try to have my own back. Then the shame pops up again. It doesn’t want to let me go. But I have new places to be.
Where do you want to go? What new place do you want to be? What have you decided is too good for you, your body, your life? Are you willing to go to the mat to prove yourself wrong? Are you willing to tremble? Are you willing to be uncomfortable until the new version of you becomes your new comfort zone?
What do you have to lose? Only your entire old identity. Are you willing to let it go?
Loving you out there. What if the old you was gone? Who would emerge? XO