Monday, September 10, 2007

My Sacred Life Day 22

Gentleness, Not Forcing, Being Me, and Believing in Me

Today I had a little decision to make, but it actually was a big decision that I've been thinking about for a week (you'll see why later). LoveHubbie is joining a gym, and so I've been considering joining, too. Again. Yes, again. Despite that every time I've ever joined a gym, I've stopped going due to (1) injury or (2) lack of interest. I SO want to get in shape, and joining a gym would enable me to be serious (because I'm paying money), be with LoveHubbie, and be with my friend Karen who belongs to the same gym. But it has been this huge dilemma for me, and until today I didn't fully understand why.

I have this little personally-designed movement practice that I've been doing since last week. It involves:

Yoga...super-beginner yoga...mostly stretches, actually, but I like them. I'm using a book, but I have DVD's for later when I get a little flexible. The one I'll start with is yoga for obese people that looks like it's just what I need. In my forties I only was successful (as in didn't get injured or drop out from frustration) at gentle classes for seniors.

And yes, hula, a longtime ambition of mine to learn. I flunked out of the local community center beginner's hula class (really) after one semester because I couldn't get the was too fast-paced and strict for me. I would cry in frustration after every class, because I loved it so much but absolutely could not get it. But the desire to learn to hula has never left me. So I'm learning hula now from DVD's. And playing each part over and over and over and over again, giving myself the repetition my class had lacked.

And then there are the weights. I like free weights, although it's been years since I've worked with them. When I was in my thirties I was a personal trainer (can you believe it?) so I found and dusted off my weights and started back last week with a few simple upper body exercises that felt fantastic.

Oh, and I walk up and down my driveway (1/4 mile round trip) throughout the day to think and process things and sometimes take longer walks outside, too. I wear a pedometer and do an average of 10,000 accumulated steps.

Anyway, it's a very gentle and peaceful movement practice, and I do it here in my house in the woods where I can have silence or else listen to Oprah and Friends XM. I love it, but somehow it feels like it's not enough, or that I'm not going to keep with it, like I'll let myself down or I won't progress and it will just be a drop in the bucket for what I need to do. It's not "serious" like joining a gym. Plus, walking outside is great now in the Pacific Northwest, but is hellish for me in the rain and cold and snow and ice. It feels like it could so easily be a failure overall, because it's all up to me.

Well, today I realized that "gentleness" and "not forcing" is ME now, and it's the way I want to do things, even if it is slower, or riskier, or harder in the winter. I love being alone. And exercising in a gym, with the music, the indoor air, the machines that force certain predefined settings, the frenetic activity of everyone around you (and of you, too)---it's just not me now.

I want to take the step to trust myself and give myself a chance to succeed on my own terms.

I've had a free pass to this 24-hour gym for almost a week now and haven't been able to "force" myself to go once. Now there's a clue! I could listen to my body and my soul instead of doing what makes sense to everybody else, and in fact, is right for so many people---just now me, not right now. And believe in myself... It is a scary step for me to honor my feelings and my intuitive sense of what will work for me instead of whipping myself to do it the way other people think I should. And it is scarier yet to believe in myself when I've let myself down so many times before.

But it's what I'm choosing.

For many of you, this would probably be a normal, natural step, but for me it was an epiphany. I couldn't wait to share it with you :)


Patti said...

It's so great that you have had this epiphany! The way you have chosen, doing what feels right for you makes sense. After all you know what your body responds to the best.

Beverly Keaton Smith said...

I completely honor and trust that you know what is right for you. Congrats on giving yourself full permission to choose that very thing! Doesn't it feel great? Bev

Doe Grozs Art said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog. Yesterday I went oooh so slowly and carefully with our first class and so glad I did. Yoga should be about tuning into your body, knowing what it needs. It has it's own wisdom and we need to listen.
Anytime you need some encouragement, I'm here for ya!

Olivia said...

Thank you, Patti, you're right, I do know, I'm just not used to knowing that I know, if that makes sense...

Yes, Bev, it does feel great...thank you for the affirmation!

And Doreen, thank you, too, that is nice of you, and I appreciate your support.

This community is so supportive; I have not found such support elsewhere, and I treasure it---thank you all so much!

The Dream said...

Be gentle with yourself. Not too much, too fast. That was always what led to failure for me. I used to psyche myself out - over and over again. So today, I do the best I can. And that seems to be working pretty well. All the best - cheering you on from Maryland!

Olivia said...

Thanks, Lori-Lyn, that's good advice. And for the cheering, too :) I have pushed myself so many times and it always ends up in an injury. I hope that I have the wisdom to pace myself this time and learn from my mistakes. Sometimes enthusiasm can lead to misplaced intensity.

(Hint to LoveHubbie who will be reading this, my new Workout King!)

Good advice for us both.

Journey Through Life said...

Just a thought... Have you tried going to Curves rather than a regular gym. I would never go to a standard gym, but Curves I love!! I find it much more gentle, friendly, and all around better for me. It is a quicker work out that is much more focused for women. Well worth looking at!

Olivia said...

Thanks for the tip, Annie. No, I hadn't thought of Curves...but I will see what it's all about, thank you :)