Yesterday I put up a post on Facebook that set me thinking. It said “sometimes the journey you are afraid to start is the very one that will set you free”. I was talking about overcoming barriers to fitness – the way we justify to ourselves why we are not doing stuff – but it applies just as much to other areas of our lives, and Mindfulness is one approach that really does work.
Why Put Up Barriers in Life?
Why do we put up barriers? Well, from the moment an event occurs in our lives our mind starts to analyse it. It makes comparisons with an ‘ideal world’ situation. Events are replayed, scenarios re-enacted. Often we are left feeling inadequate and ashamed of our actions or the outcome. In our minds we create negative feelings and thoughts, and we seldom let go of them. Surely we can learn simple lessons, let go and move on?
Human suffering & Mindfulness
The fact is that human suffering almost always comes from within. We allow ourselves to listen to, believe in and act upon the thoughts within our minds. The future is a constant worry and we continually regret the past. Guilt, restlessness, dissatisfaction, pain and fear fill our minds.
Our mind will compare our status in the world to that of others. We choose who we feel better than or inadequate to, and compare our own lifestyle to that of others so that ultimately we feel envy or guilt. Maybe, we wish for the past or a different future and compare what is happening now to what we feel should be happening and so become dissatisfied and resentful.
Then what? Our thoughts take over our lives. So, we try to seek out ways to relieve the suffering. Perhaps we turn to therapy or medication or maybe we decide to take up activities – fitness, sport, dancing.
Making that decision to overcome barriers and take up an activity to help ourselves is a major step forward on our journey to defeating that ‘victim status’ we create within ourselves. But the next step is even harder. Now we have to take action.
As a fitness professional, and indeed as a person, I know how hard it is to move forward. Especially in fitness. Brand imaging portrays every fitness centre as glossy, full of happy, smiling people. Everyone is thin, young and super-fit. No one is red, sweaty and overweight. And once again our mind goes into overdrive and we feel inadequate and afraid. We cancel the appointment – suddenly the dog needs to go to the vet, little Swampy needs an eco-costume for school show-and-tell, the rellies have just turned up unexpectedly from deepest darkest who-knows-where. Ultimately we breathe a sigh of relief and sink into the sofa with a large glass of wine and tell ourselves we’ll do it tomorrow. Yep, I’ve been there.
In all probability you are now beating yourself up because you were so close and yet are still so far away. But all is not lost! The realisation that everything we do and feel represents nothing but the actual here and now can help us see the bigger picture. Once we know that in fact that moment of panic was exactly that – one moment in time – then we can also realise that every journey starts somewhere with one moment, one step.
Live in the moment, in the here and now. Take a step forward and let the journey begin.
If you would like to overcome your barriers and begin your journey to fitness and would like us to walk with you then visit https://devillespilates.com.
You can find some free mindful meditations at http://franticworld.com/free-meditations-from-mindfulness/