SFLP: Part 7

So how have you been?  Are you learning things?  To me, it seems that lately most people have been feeling stretched thin and stressed out.  Have you been saying “WTF?” more often than not?

Any time we embark on a new course, things tend to get messier before they get better.  And right now, with Saturn in Scorpio and Pluto in Capricorn, there are powerful forces afoot, asking us to break down old structures and transform our innermost selves.

For Part 7 of this inner journey, I suggest taking some quiet time for yourself to ponder and write.  Consider these twelve topics, and then record your thoughts.

1.  Who am I, at the very innermost core?  What things, actions, thoughts define me best?

2.  What material things really matter to me, and what things do I really need?

3.  How do I best communicate?  What do I need to be an effective communicator, an effective learner?  Can I learn to understand others better?

4.  Is my house a home to me?  What do I need to feel “at home?”

5.  How can I be more joyful, more creative, more childlike?  Do I need to be?

6.  How can I be more practical, efficient, and organized?   Do I need to be?

7.  What areas of my life are out of balance?  How can I regain balance?

8.  What things am I passionate about?  Have I lost passion anywhere?

9.  Is it time to go back to school, learn something new, travel, or otherwise expand my horizons?

10.  Are there areas in my life where I need more structure?  Less structure?

11.  Are there areas in my life where I’ve become too detached?  Do I need to make new friends and join new groups?

12.  Do I need to forgive and forget and move on anywhere in my life?

Happy thinking and happy writing!

 

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SFLP: Part 6

How has your internal road trip been going?  Are you keeping notes?  Have you thought about the guilt you’ve carried around, about the ways you can simplify, about the role of fitness in your life?  As a coach, I often tell my athletes, “Pick one thing you can do better right now.”  Have you found one thing to do better?

For Part 6, I’d like you to think about your posture.

Proper posture will allow your body to operate more efficiently and effectively.  To achieve postural alignment, imagine a plumb line beginning at your ear and extending through your shoulder, hip, knee, and ankle.  Have another person view you from the side in order to get an objective picture.

Poor posture can cause muscle pain, limit performance, affect digestion, impair organ function, and increase joint wear-n-tear.  And good posture can actually improve your appearance by making you look taller and your stomach flatter.  And hey, who can turn that down?

Learn to recognize the warming signs of poor posture–backache, stiff neck, headache–so that you can correct it.  Develop an awareness of your body (called a kinesthetic sense).  Relax, and don’t tense up muscles you are aren’t using.  For instance, watch yourself in the mirror as you brush your teeth.  Are your shoulders up in your ears?  Do you hold you arms stiffly and up in the air?  Do you have your head tilted back?

Learn to breath and mentally scan your body for tense areas.  Re-align and soften those areas.  Get yourself back into “plumb.”  I often find that just dropping my chin down a bit reminds me to sit or stand taller and straighter.

Take note of how often you hold yourself in stressed-out posture.  Take note of how often you sit tilted-ly in your office chair or how often you lean to one side more than the other.

It will certainly take time to reverse bad posture habits that you’ve had for years, but I am guessing that the improvements in the way your body feels will be the positive reinforcement needed to maintain a new habit.

 

 

 

SFLP: Part 5

For this part of the Simply Fit Lifestyle Program, I’d like to give you an easy, at-home strength training routine.  Of course, you need to make sure you are healthy enough for an exercise program.  You need to make sure that you have a doctor’s okay, especially if you have a heart condition, are pregnant, or are at risk in some way.  And you need to make sure that you understand that sometimes you can drop a dumbbell on your foot, pull a hammie, or otherwise hurt yourself.  Consider yourself waivered and informed. . . .

To do this routine, you will need a few pieces of inexpensive equipment:  dumbbells, ankle weights, and a stability ball.  It’s a quick and easy program that you can even do in front of the television.

I do not list an amount of weight to use because that will vary with each person.  I am suggesting that you do 3 sets of 10 repetitions of each exercise; therefore, you will want to choose a weight where you are able to complete the 10 reps and are glad you don’t have to do any more.

This routine suits the individual who is “just getting back into it.”  It is also a nice workout for those who have progressed past the beginner stage and are ready to mix it up a little.  It may be too easy for some, and too difficult for others.  But it’s free and it’s simple and it’s convenient to do at home when you are short on time.

I suggest trying this routine for four weeks.  Do the routine twice a week.  (I have Tuesday & Thursday listed, but do whatever two days suit your schedule…. just don’t do back-to-back days.)

Please feel free to ask questions in the Comment Box below!  Happy strength training!

Full Body Home Workout

SFLP: Part 4

How has your Stretching Challenge been going?  Have you been able to work in five minutes daily so far?  Or have you skipped a day or two?  If you have been stretching, did you find it easier to do in the morning or in the evening?  Did it help you to wake up, or did it help you to relax and fall asleep more easily?  Or did you not do it at all and learn that you really don’t give a rat’s patoot about stretching?

No matter what your experience has been with the Stretching Challenge, I hope that you have made some realizations about yourself, either physically, mentally, or emotionally.  Experience is the best teacher, I think.

On to the next part, then.  This time, rather than adding something in, let’s take something out.  Call this phase Project Simplify.

In this age of technological overload and Faster-Better-More, it is all too easy to chase one’s tail in the pursuit of some perceived need.  Or to fill a perceived void.  And so, for the next five days, I suggest that you take a break from some form of Distraction or Convenience.

Perhaps you find yourself always grabbing fast food on your way home from work.  Perhaps you spend hours on Facebook sharing the latest pictures of your beloved doing something adorable.  Or perhaps you fill your time by focusing on perfectionist details meant to impress others when in reality they are done out of a need to redeem yourself and feel worthwhile.  But really, are these the lasting, important, and valuable things that a Warrior on the Path of Learning needs to do?

Slow down for the next five days.  Cook fresh, whole food with your kids and teach them healthy  habits.  Unplug and read a book instead.  Sit and be still for 15 minutes.  Find ways to let go.

At first, it might be difficult to have stillness and quiet and simplicity.  And in this discomfort, you may learn a few things about yourself.  Hang in there for the full five days.  Find a place of Quiet Confidence inside yourself.