The Fit Life – 2019.29 – Just Be
Stillness; the absence of movement or sound
Guest post by – Sydney Vaughan
We are all hungry. I’m actually always hungry, could be because I’m ready for lunch … but you know what I mean. We are always looking to challenge ourselves and perform at our BEST in our careers, relationships, workouts and achieving our goals. Ultimately, we are all on the same path, even though they may all look a little different.
Honestly, I never thought I would be writing about meditation … I always knew myself to be the competitive, strong and aggressive athlete. I would hold onto that defeat after losing a match or put myself down if I made a mistake that let the team down. I was very hard on myself as an athlete. I felt I always had to perform, no room for mistakes, otherwise I was not good enough. My worth became dependant on how well I played, or how much external validation I received from my coaches, parents and teammates.
Being a soccer player and athlete was my IDENTITY. It was who I was … so when I decided to step down from competitive sports I literally lost myself.
I was first introduced to the concept of mediation from my dearest friend, Rosa. Rosa has been highly respected and successful in the fitness industry for many years and has built her business “Rise Mind Body Fitness” to be very successful and now she shares her story to over 200+ people at her “Journey to RISE” conference.
Rosa trained me years ago when I was playing competitively in Oakville, and I reconnected with her when I had an interest in becoming a Personal Trainer. Rosa was, and still is a mentor for me. I would travel to Oakville and shadow her for weeks at a time to gain as much knowledge as I could as I began my journey and career.
To put a long story short, at this time I was pretty lost. I was 30lbs heavier than I am today, I didn’t know what my purpose was or WHO I was for that matter.
So I began this journey of introspection and mindful movement which ultimately allowed me to shift my relationship with myself. I went right for the deep end. I desired that harmonious life of not overthinking things and getting stuck and shifted that to a state of “just being”. But trust me, I’m not perfect and still have plenty of learning to do and I still catch myself in the tornado I call my “spiral”.
At the end of the day I try my best just like you do. I make a conscious effort each day to be true to who I am, which at my core is leading with LOVE and FAITH not FEAR.
Here are just a few simple tools you can add to your self-care routine to become more connected to your mind and body each day.
1. Everyday upon awakening, take 10 deep breaths
Check out the link for Proper Breathing Techniques: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vca6DyFqt4c
- Inhale through the nose
- Hold your breath for 3 seconds
- Exhale slowly for 6 seconds
- Repeat 🙂
2. Integrate a Daily Practice
Set aside 5-10 minutes a day to breath. It can be as simple as that. No expectation or judgement. It may feel silly at first, I felt the same way. Trust me, it is one of the most important parts of my day. Focus your mind inwards and reflect on how you feel. Connect to your goals and desires, and just breathe into those positive thoughts. Investing in yourself is time well spent.
Our mind and body are strongly connected. Starting your day off with a “mantra” or a specific focus can be an effective tool for you to check in with yourself throughout the day. We can easily get distracted by the external “noise” in life but we can ALWAYS turn inwards to the stillness within us so we don’t REACT but we can RESPOND to everyday task and challenges.
Meditation doesn’t have to be sitting on a yoga mat with candles and zen music. It can be as easy as breathing in the car before heading into work, or a meeting. It can literally be done anywhere. All you need is your breath … it’s hard to find an excuse for that one.
Link: Guided Meditation
Here are a couple of the apps I have used that can be downloaded on your IPhone for a quick 5-10 minute meditation include:
3. Heal your Body
You WORK hard. Upwards of 4, even 6 times a week. We are so focused on our physical abilities, we tend to neglect our mind and emotions. Give yourself permission to listen to what you need today. This could be yoga over a workout, taking 20 minutes to meditate and stretch instead of 5-10 minutes, lowering your weight so you can execute proper form in a lift. Work on your body to re-establish proper function and mobility. When you have proper movement, your body will ULTIMATLEY be more efficient at building muscle and burning calories.
Second, incorporate a consistent recovery plan into your schedule. Take up a yoga class once a week to focus on your breath and flexibility OR book a massage or stretch treatment every month to keep your tissues healthy and manage stress levels.
Feel your body in space, breathe into the areas of your body you are working on. Feel your muscles engage. Also, recognize if you are unable to connect to specific parts of your body. It all starts with awareness. If you are unaware of something how can you change it or make it better?
Lastly, start connecting to your body. Self-love is a real thing. Love yourself through this journey. Make that conscious choice to change the perception of yourself. Don’t just workout to “be lean and have abs” but workout because you “love yourself and want to be strong and healthy”.
4. Trust the Process
Life will get busy and you WILL fall off track but that’s normal, not failure. Just get back at it and do your best. Each day will be different based on what life throws at you. Continue to surround yourself with people who will support and facilitate you on your journey to becoming your BEST you.
Self-care isn’t easy to implement in your hectic schedule. But definitely a tool that can change your life.
Registered Massage Therapist
Fascial Stretch Therapist
You can follow Syd online @sydvrmt to learn more great training, recovery and self-love tools so you can become the best you possible! You can also follow and book a consultation with Syd @2bfreetherapies