TRAIN THE BODY, TRAIN THE MIND, TRAIN THE HEART: CULTIVATE FITNESS
1. IT WILL CHANGE YOU
When we complete a particularly hard work out and reflect on our personal performance metrics with pride, we fall a little deeper in love with ourselves, right?
We want to like who we are in that moment, or at least we convince ourselves that we are ‘good enough’ as a result of what we just achieved. Conversely, if we are unsatisfied with our performance, our thought stream flows toward self-deprecation and we accept that we aren’t good enough. We become our harshest critic, and this critic stays in our head, often taking up real estate and moving in. We hear from this critic regularly and are influenced by its message in ways that trap us into a cycle of negativity.
Social psychologists and anthropologists tell us that we are all on a quest for acceptance. This is a critical need for each of us. This struggle for acceptance begins within each of us- in our own thoughts and inner criticisms of self. We must have compassion for our selves in order have compassion for others. Mindfulness teaches us to cultivate this necessary compassion and leads to stronger humanity in all dimensions of our lives.
Mindfulness trains us to look at both the world and ourselves differently. We learn to practice non-judgmental of our personal performance metrics; we notice our performance and drive it to higher levels without judgment, but rather with focused intention. As a skilled athlete, we notice our weaknesses and train to them rather than wrestling with them in our head with critical and unproductive thoughts. We train our heart, mind and body by adding simple mindfulness practice to our routines. This radically changes the emotional, mental and physical experience of our work out, and this wake of positivity follows us into our workday, our social relationships, and how we communicate even in a world connected by technology.
2. PEOPLE WILL NOTICE THE CHANGE
Soon, we learn to weave a mindful presence throughout the rhythms of our day- in the gym, while commuting, in our professional work, in our faith practice, in our personal relationships and in simply encountering strangers with gentle humanity, yet strength. Peace through strength…of mind, heart and body. Practice mindfulness and you will show up differently, and people will notice.
How we present ourselves and how we show up, can be incredibly influential for ourselves and others. Amy Cuddy writes about practicing a mindful presence in her latest book and her infamous TED talk . The bottom line here is that our attitude and our fitness of mind, body and heart determine how we show up, and determine how other’s perceive and respond to us. This is powerful. We have an opportunity with mindfulness practice to show up with greater humanity, and therefore greater positive influence to help make the world a better place through our own fitness practice.
Cultivate Fitness - Cultivate Humanity
Written by, Richard Goerling
Cuddy, A. Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges. (2015) Little, Brown. New York.