I wonder how acquaintances perceive my life. As a fitness specialist, do they presume I eat healthy more often than not? Do they imagine me to be a home-body or socialite, always smiling, satisfied, regimented in my routine or chaotic? I cannot be sure of the impression I portray, but I do not intend to live a lie, and if anyone asks I will tell the truth to the extent I know. Despite what others presume, I live in constant attempt to improve like most. It would probably not be a stretch to say I miss the goals I set for myself more often than I achieve them. Often I set goals high, I super-focus on one interest, obsess, upset my life’s balance and get burned out. A common but deadly mistake many of us make is losing the balance in all the areas needed for quality in life. Keeping this balance is no easy feat, as achieving true wellness includes balance in life’s physical, mental, emotional, occupational, social, environmental and spiritual components.Thinking back to the last time I recall experiencing this balance consistently, I was still in graduate school. It was only for a season and six years ago now! In having had several transitions, ups and downs and drastic life changes since, do not let my example discourage. Whether your imbalance last one season, 24 seasons or you have never experienced anything but, there is always room for change to achieve wellness. During the time I recall living a balanced life, I was an intern at a job almost identical to the one I have now with a one hour difference from my current work schedule. Despite working an hour later than I currently do, closing at eight p.m. instead of seven, I managed to wake before six a.m. to assistant coach my alumni college cross country team before work. To imagine doing that now seems nearly impossible! I would coach, return home for a quick nap then wake for breakfast, time to read/journal then watch Live with Regis and Kelly before work. The one component of this time, providing reason for its' balance, was the fact I took time everyday for spiritual focus. During the time when I read every morning, I would read an excerpt from the Bible then ponder, respond or journal about it. Personally, God is my source for spirituality, but I believe as I have heard it defined to be “anything greater than oneself.”
In all of my schooling, it was during my second degree that I received the most valuable teaching. During which, I reviewed scientific evidence indicating our need for spirituality, for which I owe much gratitude to my professors, Dr. Thomas Fisher and Dr. Jeff Duke. I find it interesting that I grasped a better understanding of spirituality through my schooling at the University of Central Florida than my time at the Christian university I attended for my Bachelor’s. I have never taken easily to any concepts of faith, a higher power, creation or life beyond this. For every theory or concept introduced, I have to rationalize it somehow scientifically as if I have the ability to understand. I do not have the ability, just as none of us do, to completely understand that which could have created us, as one’s creator must be wiser than that which it created. But, I have seen the research indicating the need for spirituality to enable true wellness in life. To balance all components without a motive greater than ourselves is an endless battle. But to focus on that greater motive, stirring motivation, soul, passion and faith, we can defeat the odds, accomplishing more than we ever thought possible! But do not take my word for it; there is plenty of evidence to show.
Before you dive into your next goal or continue living a mediocre life, figure out what motivates you to excel, not only physically and mentally, but spiritually. Physical motives are very limited, as most of us know. Even great genetics can only take one so far and they could be taken much further with motives of the mind and spirit. Motivation of the mind is that which enables us to compete, pursue when it hurts and grasp understanding for the reasons to work hard. But motivation of the spirit takes us beyond that which physical and mental motivation can. It gives us purpose beyond ourselves. It reminds us there is a greater source of empowerment when our minds and bodies are not strong enough.
Often I can detect when someone has grasped spirituality. It is somehow apparent in their aura, intuitiveness and perception. It is not always a smile or contagious optimism that gives this away, as those are matters of the mind and sometimes their minds’ display that of emotional distress. A person's sense of something greater than their distress, optimism, mind and body is much different and not covered by the façade of a smile or tears. My uncle passed away this week and I recall his aura, the sparkle in his eyes indicating he was not living for this life alone and his joy that persisted in sadness, grief and anger. My grandmother had this same sparkle, for they knew their purpose.
With the reminder of this greater source of motivation, here’s one of my favorite leg circuits:
10 X Bulgarian Split Squats, per leg
10 X 1 Leg Romanian Dead Lifts, per leg
“How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. - Proverbs 1:22-23
Images by: http://romeroartistry.com/