I found my footing one stride at a time.
After experiencing the greatest loss of my life, I instinctively started running. I remember the first run… I felt like an emotional zombie, and I huffed and puffed three quarters of a mile on the treadmill at the gym. I hadn’t run in almost five months, and my body was like, “WHOA NOW, what do you think you’re doing?” But my spirit, fueled by an anxiety I had never experienced, pushed me forward. We needed this. And so we ran.
And then I just kept running.
Nearly every single day since I returned from the funeral. Even on the days my calves screamed and my ankles faltered. The days I was so exhausted from lack of sleep, that I could barely see straight. The days I was weak from not eating. And the days I had so much anxiety I didn’t think I could stand another moment inside my own skin.
Before I knew it I was running 1.5mi, 2mi… and now I can breeze through 3mi, and then do it again the next day. The level at which I’m able to stand tall in this life again is directly proportional to the distance I can cover.
I found my center one sit up at a time.
A few years ago I went through a hard breakup that challenged me on so many levels. I was hurt, angry, betrayed… at and by myself. I had let myself sink into a situation and space that really didn’t serve anyone involved. I stayed with someone for years who wasn’t right for me, and who did some things that really cut deep. And so I headed to the gym. I started working with a trainer that pushed me harder than I’d ever been pushed. Much of our work centered around core strength, something I’d always hated… until I started finding my center in both physical and emotional ways.
And I kept going.
Every day, sometimes twice a day when I needed it, I would go to the gym and push my limits. Everything I did revolved around core in some fashion, because the stronger my ab muscles got, the more grounded in my body I became. I felt like I could stand stronger in this world, and like I could take on anything.
I found myself one loop at a time.
Not too long ago, I had run my body into the ground with stress, obsession, and unhealthy habits. I had a clear, simple truth surface: slow down and try something different. And so I slowed down and stopped pushing myself so hard, obsessing, and driving my body into the ground. Instead, I started walking. I went for short little treks on the paths near my house, picking sunflowers, listening to music, and just letting my mind wander. And suddenly, there I was again. I hadn’t even realized I was gone.
And so I kept walking.
I walked for miles, every single day. The further I walked, and the more days and miles I logged, the more divine inspiration and guidance flowed through me. The more deeply I connected to myself and my purpose. Poetry, blog posts, future TED talks, and clear guidance poured into and through me. I was home, I was connected, I was back to myself.
When our spirits go through the hardest challenges they’ll ever face, we have to settle in and let our bodies lead.
Our bodies are beautiful, wise animals. They’re wired to survive, and to carry us through this life, handling so much of what we throw at them.
When I found myself battling anxiety for the first time in my life, all due to a tragic death, my body said we have to move. And so we moved. Through that movement, my spirit calmed, my anxiety dissipated, and I came through the blurry fog with more clarity and strength (physically and emotionally) than I’d ever had before.
When I found myself lost in a heartbreak I’d caused myself, all due to choosing to stay with the wrong person, my body said we have to move. And so we moved. Through that movement, my wounds healed, my emotions leveled, forgiveness flowed, and I came through the pain with more connection to my truth and center than I’d ever had before.
When I’d gotten so lost in things that didn’t matter and was running myself down, my body said we have to move in a new way. And so we moved. Through that movement my grip loosened, my spirit opened, my muses returned, and I reconnected to myself on a level I’d been missing for some time.
Settle in and let your body lead.
Your body is of this world, and it’s wise in ways we’ll never fully understand. Trust your body. Really tune in and listen, no matter what you’re going through in your life right now. Your body knows what’s needed.
Take a deep breath, move out of your mind, and just feel into this beautiful animal that you inhabit. What does it need?