There are two things I want to achieve before I die. To continuously experience the Divine Loving that I Am, and a Perky Ass. Not because I'm vain and want people to like me, but because I think both require an insane amount of motivation, commitment, discipline, awareness, and courage. Experiencing the Divine Loving that I am and creating a fit and healthy vehicle in which that Divine Soul lives, will give me the opportunity to reach the full potential to which my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual realms are capable of. At the end of the day, that's what we're all here for right? To fully experience life on all levels.
If you are one that considers yourself to be "Consciously Awake" then you know that the path to healing and personal growth can feel difficult. So difficult in fact, that you may often feel like quitting or wanting to turn around and just go back to "sleep". If you are one that considers yourself to be a fitness buff, then you know the path to health and physical fitness can feel difficult. So difficult in fact, that you may often feel like quitting or wanting to turn around and go back to sleep. Literally.
I help coach some of my friends through their personal growth and spiritual transformation processes, and two questions I am always asked are "How long do I have to go through this before I see results?" and "How come I am trying so hard, but keep messing up?". I can talk spirituality all day, it's what I study, but when it comes to being healthy and fit, I sometimes feel like I have a long way to go. I had a baby a year and a half ago, and for the past 9 months I have been going to the gym A LOT, ya know....for the perky ass, and I have noticed that, I too, have had the same questions as my friends.
I realized there are a lot of similarities in the processes of getting fit and healthy and spiritual transformation. If there is one thing I learned while studying spirituality, it's that growth is a process, not an event.
Whether you are in the middle of getting your bum in shape, or transforming your way of being, here are 10 key rules to remember while on your journey to success.
1. RESULTS TAKES TIME & CONSISTENCY ok fine that's two
I think one of the biggest reasons people fail at anything in life is because they don't value the time it takes get the results that they want, and they aren't consistent for long enough with their efforts. Sometimes people quit just before they achieve their goals. The one thing I know about working out is you can't expect to transform your body after one day of hard work, so why would you expect to transform your life after one day of hard work. Both take time and both take consistency. Only over time and with repeated efforts will you start to see and maintain the results you want. If you give up half way through or take too much time off, well guess what, you may find yourself starting back from square one. Eventually we always want to try again anyway, so what would it look like if you just keep moving forward?
2. IT'S A LIFESTYLE TRANSFORMATION, NOT A QUICK FIX
If you are looking for quick fix, don't expect long term results. It's as simple as that. Back in April, I started a 28 day booty challenge to get ready for vacation. I saw before and afters, and it seemed like a quick fix before being in a bathing suit. A chance to win money didn't hurt either. I worked out harder than I ever had before, was more conscious about what I ate, and ended up losing 10lbs. I went on vacation feeling good. Once I came back from vacation, I did not step foot into a gym for a few months so as expected, my results did not last long. Once I finally started going again, about a month ago, I felt like I had to start all over. Similarly, If you want to transform your life and you want long term results and to maintain those results, its about making long term changes to your lifestyle. Develop a practice that is fun, fulfilling, and one you can continue to commit to over time. Personal growth is something you will work on for the rest of your life as you are always changing and creating different experiences. The good news is, the more you use your skills, the easier it will become and over time it will take less and less effort to achieve results.
3. PUSH THROUGH THE HARD PARTS
Whether it's working out or my spiritual growth process, there have been numerous times when I wanted to give up. "I can't do five more reps", "Can I do something easier?" "I don't want to be vulnerable and express my feelings" "I don't feel like being compassionate right now". It was just...too...hard. Most of the times when something feels difficult, it means we are out of our comfort zone. Being out of your comfort zone is the most powerful place you can be because it's the place where you have a chance to move forward and grow or look back and return to what you are used to. Let me tell you a secret, if you want a transformation to occur, you must choose something different then you have in the past. You MUST push through the hard parts. Don't look back
4. BE GENTLE WITH YOUR SETBACKS
In the past whenever I would have a setback aka make a decision that wasn't favorable to my success, ie; eat junk food or enter into victim mode, I would then judge myself and feel like a failure, which usually led to me giving up. The thing is, we all mess up sometimes. We may even mess up a lot, everyday, but when we are hard on ourselves, this does nothing towards bringing our energy back up to where it needs to be to continue on. In fact, it just brings us to a lower place of wanting to quit and give up, which we know doesn't lead to the results we want. Warning:, you WILL have setbacks or what some would call "failures" on your path. I mean, you're transforming your way of BEing, which isn't an easy habit to break. This does not mean that YOU are a failure. Setbacks are nothing but learning opportunities. Look at it as a chance to learn and move forward even stronger than before. Be gentle with yourself.
5. NEVER COMPARE YOUR PROGRESS (OR PROCESS) TO OTHERS
After two weeks into the booty challenge, some girls start posting before and after pictures to share their progress. I remember feeling a bit jealous because they seemed to have better results than me. At times, it made me want to quit because I didn't think my results would be good enough. I had to remind myself that I was doing this for me. My progress had nothing to do with their progress and it would be silly of me to think otherwise. There were people who had different starting points, different body types, different exercise and meal plans. Remember that your life and experiences are unique to YOU and no one else. Don't compare yourself to the person next to you. Everyone has their own struggles and difficult times as well as their own victories. None are better or less than the other. Your progress is YOUR process.
6. IT'S UP TO YOU AND NO ONE ELSE
The one thing that used to scare me about the gym was the thought of other people watching me. What if I wasn't working out hard enough? What if I look like I don't know what I am doing? One day while I was at the gym, I felt myself getting nervous. It was right then that I was able to recognize how I was giving my fear the power over my own goals. A fear that wasn't even real. I had to tell myself, "worrying about what other people think is not going to get me where I want to be", and in that moment I was able to take full control and dominion back. Other people aren't in control of your happiness and growth. YOU are. So take control and dominion over what you want out of life and don't let the fears stop you from creating your dreams. Chances are, no one else really cares anyway. In fact, you may be inspiring other people without even realizing.
7. NO EXCUSES
Rain outside used to be on of the best excuses for me not to go to the gym.The first time I went to the gym while it was raining, I had to make a decision that rain was not going to stop me. There will always be a millions reasons why we can't do something. "It's raining, It's the weekend, It's a day that ends with a Y". It's time to start focusing on what you can do, and how dedicated and committed you are to doing to it. If meditating in the morning helps you remain peaceful and happy throughout the day, then you make sure you meditate every single morning no matter what. Rain or shine, or even if you have to wake up 15 minutes earlier than normal. Get it done. You will be grateful you did.
8. YOU WILL RIP OPEN BEFORE YOU HEAL & GROW
When you lift weights, it actually causes micro-tears in your muscle fibers which your body then repairs in order to adapt enough to handle the amount of weight you are lifting. This is how your muscles grow. When you are on a path of spiritual transformation, all of the obstacles in your way will become clear. All of the issues you stuffed below, will rise. Everything that isn't Love will come forward so you know exactly where you need to heal. It can be painful and it can feel like you're ripping apart. There is no way around it if you want to be Authentic. Just know that whatever comes forward is an opportunity for you to heal, grow, and become a more loving, compassionate, and joyful person. A chance to adapt to handle the situations that will continue to come your way. When you think you can't handle anymore, that's actually you just getting stronger.
9. SELF NURTURING IS A MUST
Whether you are pumping iron or discovering your Authentic Self, it is very important to take care of yourself. Any transformation can take a lot of energy physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Make sure you nurture those parts of yourself. Don't work too hard to the point of burnout. When you get burnt out, you are exhausted and end up not wanting to do anything and can even end up giving up completely. Resting is a way for your body to repair and replenish itself and is a great self nurturing practice. Make sure you take time to relax, meditate, do some yoga, journal, create powerful affirmations, explore. Find a way to stay at peace in the midst of the chaos otherwise taking place.
10. SUPPORT AND ACCOUNTABILITY HELPS
One of the things I value the most are support groups of people that are doing the same thing as I am. Whenever I am feeling down or need an extra boost of motivation, having a group to support me and keep me accountable is the most amazing thing. Finding a good support team and people to hold you accountable with your progress can be very important in any success. Maybe even one of the best things you can have. You are not on your journey alone. Take advantage of the people around you that care about you and love you. They aren't here to judge you. They are here to lift you up. Use them. Always make sure you have someone to talk to that helps you feel safe and if you need to check in with someone every week or even everyday, do it.
And you know I love to give bonuses.
*11. YOU JUST HAVE TO START... AND START AGAIN...AND AGAIN
One of the hardest parts of accomplishing our goals is STARTING. It's always "tomorrow" or "later" or "when I am more prepared or ready". If you want to accomplish your goals you have to just start. And if you mess up and have a setback, guess what, it's ok, you just have to start again. When you first start, on any path, you may find yourself going through cycles of success and setback. Starting and quitting. Over and over and over again. It's OK. As George A Custer once said, "It's not how many times you get knocked down that count, it's how many time you get back up". Just Start!
As there are many factors that contribute to achieving a fit healthy body, there will also be many circumstances that will influence your success on your spiritual transformation path. Transformation of any kind, takes a lot of motivation, commitment, discipline, awareness, and courage so just stepping foot on the path in the first place deserves an applause. There will be hard days, there will be mistakes, there will be setbacks and success, there will be crying and laughing, joy and pain. You'll want to scream, smile, and fall apart all at the same time. The most important thing is that you keep going and enjoy and experience ALL that life has to offer you. It may not be easy, but it will sure as hell be worth it, because in the end, you will be able to experience what it's like to reach your full potential in every way possible. There isn't much greater than that.