Posts Tagged ‘Philosophy’

Yesterday I wrote about the Survival Cycle, and if you’re human, you’ve been in this cycle. It’s a part of having a mind and living this life. Everyone steps into the Survival Cycle in some aspect of his or her life every now and again. The problems with the Survival Cycle happen when it’s the only cycle you know. If you stay in this cycle too long you can fall into hate and resentment or worse apathetic depression. If the past equals the future and you aren’t living in your life, what’s the point? This is a dangerous place to live and it’s important to recognize the cycle before apathy sets in.

So, what is on the other side of the Survival Cycle?

If the Survival cycle is habit driven and past focused then the counterpart, in my mind, is living each day while making your life and circumstances better and better. I call this the Fulfillment cycle.

So, what are the characteristics of the Fulfillment Cycle?fulfillment_Cycle

 Present -> This is the act of noticing what is happening in your life, right now. What do you feel, what are your senses telling you? Being present is the act of stepping out of the story in your head and seeing what is happening right this minute.

Compassion -> If you are fully engaged in your day, you are more capable of knowing what’s happening around you and being compassionate with yourself, your circumstances and others. You’re less likely to project a story and more likely to take in what is actually happening. “Oh, that kid is crying in the store and that mom is drawing a great boundary.”   “I didn’t get enough sleep last night and I’m being a bit forgetful and short tempered, I need to take care of myself.”

Balance -> By seeing the world around you more clearly and by breathing into compassion for yourself and others, there is a settling and relaxation that occurs. You see where you currently are in your day, your relationship, and your life. In this place you feel an openness and freedom.

Power -> When you are in the moment and feeling open, you feel the power to take control of your actions. “Yes, I’m tired AND I don’t have to react to other people negatively.” “I can create what I want for myself.” “I will tell people ‘no’ and be kind doing it.” “I can smile at that mother and child who are having a tough day.”

Possibility -> When you feel compassion and power, all of a sudden there are more possibilities you can grab a hold of, options you can take, and ways of being that can change your direction.

Belief -> All of these possibilities start to show you that you are not your past. You start to see your value, what you WANT to be, and where you can grow and build new things. Your beliefs become more forward thinking. You aren’t stuck; you are building your life.

Decision -> With possibility and the belief that new things are possible, you feel empowered to make new (sometimes bold, sometimes baby step) decisions. These decisions slowly build, and you start to notice how the world and others show up for you differently. You are creating new circumstances!

Excitement -> Decisions don’t always work out. However, with the knowledge of possibility and your expanding belief in your growth, your excitement builds. Decisions aren’t right or wrong; they turn into learning experiences and stepping-stones to what you want and who you are becoming.

From excitement the cycle continues on again.

So how do you get into the Fulfillment Cycle?

For me, the Fulfillment Cycle is created by what I call the PLAY Mindset™…

I know, “play” can be a word that gives a motivated or stressed out person pause. I mean, who has time to play when there is so much that needs to be done?

Stick with me here. When I say PLAY I’m not talking about recreation or leisure, and I’m not talking directly about playful action. I’m talking about a set of skills we’ve always had, that as adults we abandon for stress and worry. I’m talking about a purposeful mindset that supports a person in creating success AND fulfillment. It’s my way of getting out of the Survival Cycle and into a purposeful, meaningful Fulfillment Cycle.

Stay tuned for more on the PLAY Mindset™ and the tools that help create Fulfillment…

 

Ever since I had my son my mind and my body have not been on the same page.  My mind has been very judgmental of my body.

I hear myself thinking:

“Why does my back hurt? I didn’t have this issue last time I was getting myself in good shape.”

“What’s up with my knees? My ninja alter ego is severely impaired by the bubble wrap sound effects they keep making every time I squat.  Not to mention that random feeling of pliers pinching my left knee during deep knee bends.”   

“Why can’t I do a muscle up, again? Oh yeah, I’ve never been able to do that one.  Keep practicing silly.” 

Crashing

I was skim boarding. Really!

Yes, the years before I had my son I would get out of shape, start working out, my muscles would ache, I would love and hate it all at the same time, I would grow strong and that was that.  My body, however, has changed and my mind hasn’t been working with my “new” body to help it adjust.  Instead of honoring where I am, my mind has been judging where I SHOULD be.  Needless to say it’s been extremely hard to make any forward progress athletically.

It wasn’t until recently when I started to pay attention to this mind/body separation that any forward progress has been made.  First, I’ve had to acknowledge that there is a level of dysfunction throughout my body.  Structurally my body is out of alignment, my connective tissue is weak and I’ve been forcing movement patterns my body just isn’t ready for.   Secondly, I’ve had to let go of the way I trained when I was in my twenties.  I just don’t heal as fast or recover as quickly as I use to.  Lastly, I’ve realized that I actually have to practice with focus and purpose.  For me this means coming up with a program that has a progressive nature and not just running out the door and trying the hardest thing I can think of until it works.

So, you might think that I feel a bit discouraged about the current state of affairs, but in reality I feel free for the first time since my son’s birth.  I now know where I am and I can make steady progress and move forward from that place, and not from where I “think” I should be.  Basically I’ve taken my power back.  Before taking this personal self-assessment I felt as though I was settling and being weak if I didn’t push through.  Now I realize that I’m not settling.  I’m starting from where I really am.  The goals are still high, but the starting point is realistic.  Since I’ve done this self-assessment, I’ve been making marked progress and my perceived setbacks have been few and far between.  It’s great!

So what’s the lesson?

Before I started to pay attention to my body I allowed my mind to decide, based on the past, where my physical body was in this moment.  So, for me, the lesson is to create a practice where I listen to my body first.  Where I’m honest with my physical state of being and then, from that realistic starting point, I allow my mind to come up with my next steps to achieve my goals.  The funny thing is, the more I dedicate myself to this practice physically, the more I see how it applies to my whole life.