(To listen to this blog post click here: https://www.podbean.com/media/player/hqs5k-5f8ed2?from=yiiadmin )
I got up very early this morning to go running with my husband before he had to go to work. I’m still a NEW runner … if you’ve been keeping up with my journey you’ll know that I just recently started calling myself a runner. Previously I have been very adamant about the fact that I don’t run (I adore hiking, walking, and yoga. I can do those everyday and feel amazing afterward! Running? I’m working on it) … SO … you can imagine that as a new runner I would have some challenging things to work through, physically and mentally.
Today was a “both of those” day.
My joints and legs ache (I’ve had 7 babies … my hips need strengthening.) … and today I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that they were seriously achy and I just kept dwelling on it … it’s like I couldn’t let it go, and I was frustrated with myself for not being able to and I almost quit. I did finish our run, but I did so feeling deflated and upset and hopeless and tired and I thought “Why am I doing this? What is the point?”
We got home and as we were stretching I let it ALL out. I almost cried I was so upset. I focused on and spoke out every fear, worry, stress – all the frustration spilled all over the floor I was stretching on, to the point that I could almost NOT get up because the floor was so slippery. (frustration is a gooey mess if you didn’t know.)
I BELIEVE in the power of my thoughts. I BELIEVE that God and the Universe will sustain my actions when I step forward in faith. I BELIEVE I can do anything I set my mind to doing when God is on my side. I do. But believing and knowing are not the same. And until I receive the successful experience of doing the thing, I don’t have knowledge, I have just a belief.
Sometimes my belief starts out VERY small and shaky. Today my belief was shrouded in my doubt and I struggled to keep putting one foot in front of the other in faith.
As I was sitting listening to an uplifting inspirational book after my run, before the kids were awake, I was scrolling through Facebook and Instagram as I listened … and a few quotes popped into my notice:
“Oftentimes, challenges are merely distractions meant to keep us from pursuing our destiny. Stay focused on the prize ahead!” – Victoria Osteen (FB)
“Stress is who you think you should be, peace is who you are.” – _I_am_healing_ (IG)
“Imagine if we obsessed about the things we loved about ourselves.” – peace_love_light (IG)
“Every thought of yours is a real thing, a force.” – Prentice Mulford
“The path is right in front of you, intuition is guiding you, that’s why you have that urge to spread your wings and fly away. You see signs, you feel the nudges. Trust yourself, trust your instincts. The only way you’ll ever learn how to swim is by jumping in the water. No one or no thing is holding you back but yourself. Get out of your own way. THERE IS NO CEILING.” – thinc_ (IG)
“Nothing binds you except your thoughts. Nothing limits you except your fears. Nothing controls you except your beliefs.” – star_light-photos (IG)
“There are only two options: make progress or make excuses.” – rebelthriver (IG)
That is some very pointed, perfectly timed inspiration. I am grateful I read those today.
I spend SO much time in my head over-thinking, dramatizing, living in the future or past, worrying, stressing, picturing the “what ifs” – basically limiting myself through my limiting focus … and here’s the thing, NONE of that matters. Not really.
Does it change anything to stress about it all? Nope. Nothing changes in my over thinking.
Does it change the fact that my body needs to adjust to running in its own time and I have to just let go and allow it to do just that? No, and that’s the crux of this particular situation. I cannot change what is, I can only accept it, let it be, and keep moving forward, one foot in front of the other. I don’t need to worry about running next month, or how much I’ll be able to run in 4 months … I just need to do now. This run. Today.
When we do things that are MORE than we have done before, there is growth involved … and growth is sometimes (seems like most of the time really) painful and awkward and hard. It’s different, it’s unfamiliar, it’s pushing ourselves BEYOND what we’ve previously subjected ourselves to. It’s HITTING THE CEILING – reaching the limit we’ve known and then going PAST it if we’re able! That’s why it’s called progress. I’m guessing there are many things that aren’t hard to grow into, and maybe some people have an easier time at progressing than others. Where I am at, the juncture I’m progressing through … there’s challenging limiting things that need to be worked through. And it’s hard. And a little painful. It’s like I just keep smacking my head against that ceiling, not even realizing the ceiling isn’t even there.
Today I have to just accept that this is hard for me. I am extending myself beyond what is comfortable. Everything isn’t easy and I’m not less than for struggling here. My goal is attainable, but I will be challenged along the way. I have to “submit” to the awkwardness and allow it to just be there, not judging it, not stressing about it, just moving forward through it, in faith, that I will grow, I will get stronger, I will EXPAND.
I MUST let go of the stress and the struggle … will the achy legs still be there? Yeah, I think they will for a while. Will I still need to affirm to myself that I can do anything, that I can do hard things, that I am a runner? Yes. I do need to keep positive affirmations and thoughts about what I desire to accomplish in my focus. Do I need to FIGHT that mental battle within me? No. I think I should let that part go.
HOW do I let that go?
I focus on what I BELIEVE, instead of the fear of failure. I focus on where my faith is, instead of where it is not. I CHOOSE to see within my POTENTIAL, not within my limited view and ability today. It is about looking BEYOND today into who I want to become, holding that focus, and then allowing for all that is needed to get me there … if it’s slow, if it consists of having achy joints for a while, If I struggle, if I have doubts, if it’s knowing I must focus my thoughts so I don’t drown in the doubt and the gooey frustration … I will do it. I will do it and I will keep moving forward with one foot in front of the other.
One moment of doubt does not define me. One moment of doubt does not derail me. One moment of doubt is only one moment, and I can ALWAYS shift out of doubt into faith in any moment. The moment I choose faith I am back into alignment with that divine potential that lifts me up, eases my burdens, lightens my load, and sustains me through the challenging journey toward my potential.
So today I have decided to give myself a break. I don’t have to be perfect. I can rest. I can regroup. I can reset.
I took the kids to the park to play. We spent an hour being outside, enjoying the cool spring breeze, watching the geese on the lake, and playing and having fun.
I have found that in the struggles and challenging moments remembering and focusing on something else, some ONE else, some other aspect of my life that I ADORE, is ALL I need to give me a little pick-me-up and to help me refocus to a better “mind” space.
So today that is what I will do. I plan to play with my kids, clean the kitchen, maybe make them cookies, read a good book, and enjoy the present moment. I will think about the fact that I love my home, I love my family, I’m grateful for the view out my back windows, for the food in the pantry, and the possibility for rain (I ALWAYS love rain!) … I have MUCH that is lovely and fun and joyful in my life.
And so I will do that. And in 2 days time, I will go on my next run. And I will take it one step at a time, believing that I can do all things, and having faith in the growth that comes when I extend myself, when I go a little further than I’ve been before, and when I focus on the present moment … I CAN do anything in the present moment, I don’t have to project into the future and fear what that might look like … I’m grateful for that.
Now is doable. And right now I can see that there IS no ceiling after all … and the next time I feel like I’m banging my head against that ceiling, I’ll take a step back and look up and focus BEYOND the ceiling … beyond the ceiling ALL things are possible.