Into the Flow

Years ago, I discovered that people come to me to enhance their physical Body but it’s their Mind holding them back and their Spirit that suffers. Since then, my strategy has morphed from the physical tactics of diet and exercise to a strategic engagement centered on working through the Mind to uplift the Spirit and transform the Body.

All too often, my clients find themselves in the midst of anxiety, frustration, disappointment, anger, loneliness, fear, doubt, and several other fear-based emotions that only serve to get in the way of where they are and want to be. None of which can be resolved by way of diet and exercise.

Given I’m the catalyst operating in their best interests, it behooves me to share my best practice when I find myself in the midst of those same feelings and emotions: I bring myself into the Flow for healing, renewal and revitalization.

We all have limited resources and can only do so much on our own. However, the Flow is an unlimited Resource full of light, love, peace, joy, serenity, satisfaction, contentment, fulfillment and every other Love-based emotion that fuels our efforts to get where we want to be and become the fullest manifestation of our True selves.

You enter the Flow when you invite yourself to have a seat at the table with Relationality itself: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Here, there is a constant Outpouring and Infilling of Love, of which you can enjoy as much as you’d like or need.

The beauty of placing yourself into the Presence of Abundant Love is that once you fill yourself up, you can then empty yourself into the world around you and in turn, create space to be filled once more…the opposite of the vicious cycle many of us get stuck in.

This is the only sustainable resource I have yet to find. I find it an honor and privilege to share this strategy with my clients who have been around the mountain a time or two, still searching…the search is over when you move into the Flow.

 

“Faith does not need to push the river because faith is able to trust that there is a river. The river is flowing and we are in it.” Richard Rohr

Free Will is a Gift

“I know what to do, I just don’t do it,” she says! That’s the beauty of free will…you can know what to do and you don’t have to do it.

What keeps us from doing what we “know” to do is fear: of success, of failure, of praise, of ridicule, of the known, of the unknown, etc.

If you find yourself in the face of fear, it’s likely that love is not present. Love takes on many forms: vulnerability, courage, faith, surrender, determination, etc.

We always have a choice and sometimes we choose fear and other times love. Neither is necessarily right or wrong, they just are. Each decision comes along with a learning opportunity, be sure to take notes.

If will wasn’t free and you had no choice but to do the “right” thing, your decision would be insignificant and courage would have no clout.

“Free will is to mind what chance is to matter.” Charles Darwin

Knowing Your Purpose

For the majority of my life, I did what I thought others wanted me to do. I did it for approval, acceptance and assurance. I was doing the “right” things but for the wrong reasons…it’s only served to take from me, over and again.

It wasn’t until I discovered my purpose in life that I was able to act from a space of abundance, confidence and worthiness. I’ve discovered my purpose is to change the trajectory of world health and happiness through the health, fitness and wellness industry. This realization has created roots that enables me to draw from a Source much larger than myself.

When people hire me for weight loss and toning, they expect a diet and exercise plan but I serve them a dose of compassion and teach them the only missing ingredient from their desire to improve their health and happiness is love. Love heals, improves and transforms all!

My purpose has helped me to share love more freely and deeply…a gift I wasn’t expecting. It’s enabled me to insert compassion where criticism exists, to display empathy over sympathy, to challenge others instead of remain a sounding board, to seek motivations before bestowing judgment, to show grace and mercy as freely as it’s been given to me and to be a reflection of Light and Peace in the lives of others.

In turn, helping others discover their Purpose, compose a Vision for their life and lead a Values-inspired lifestyle is what actually creates context and meaning for all the activities associated with being health and happy.

The only thing I’d mention is that my purpose didn’t come and smack me over the head either. I was searching for something more. I’ve meditated, journaled and prayed for joy, contentment, fulfillment and insights into leading a fuller life.

The Purpose-Driven Life by Rick Warren is certainly a favorite.

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have live and lived well.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

The solution to a critical spirit

A pet peeve of mine is listening to people with a critical spirit. It’s an incredible waste of energy, it fuels exclusivity and oftentimes, the complainer is also struggling with the same behavior.

Here’s a solution…

  • Replace the energy you’re using to criticize with a dose of compassion; our world could really use it.
  • Next time you see someone excluded from the crowd, be the bigger person and befriend them.
  • Before commenting, ask yourself why that other person’s choices (so long as they’re not impacting your health, safety or welfare) are bothering you so much?

In many ways, these were the things we were taught in elementary school but seemed to have forgotten. At the end of the day, you’re either part of the problem or part of the solution. Be the solution!

 

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” Dalai Lama

Innovation In the Fitness Industry

Every so often, I find it beneficial to remind my readership that my background is in personal training, massage therapy and chain reaction biomechanics.  People often hire me to help them lose weight and get out of pain but the conversations we have transcend the physical realm because while the body manifests with weight gain and pain patterns, the issues are typically found at a spiritual level.

I hope this context helps you appreciate where the personal training/fitness industry is going. Professionals in this space are far more than a vehicle to a good workout. And while that’s what we were taught to do, our clients are demanding and are in need of so much more. We’re learning how to work through the mind to uplift the spirit and transform the body…a truly inside out, enjoyable, rewarding and lasting approach.

Are we qualified to do this? I don’t know, what certification is required to treat the whole person? Do I need to become a physical therapist, psychologist and pastor to support the Body-Mind-Spirit connection? That’s ludicrous! Or can I just lead with my heart, meet people where they are at, support them the best way I know how and if things get a bit hairy, refer out?

The bottom line is this; most people will never enter the doors of a therapist or house of worship. And while they would likely benefit, I believe the fitness industry can be a bridge to get people where they “ought” to be. This is the revolution you will continue to see play out and emanate from personal trainers, group class instructors, yoga teachers and the like.

Watch this interview I performed with Pastor Tim Lucas from Liquid Church that discusses the spiritual aspects of health and fitness…you’ll appreciate it, even if you don’t go to church, as the message is bigger than “religion.”

“I alone cannot change the world but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.” Mother Teresa

Good Workouts Reduce These Three Things

When working with clients on the movement floor, what I focus most of my attention on is my clients’ threshold. Threshold is the edge of their capacity and if I’m not plugged in, quality can quickly be exchanged for quantity.

Whenever threshold is exceeded, feelings of dissatisfaction, inferiority and uncertainty are bound to follow. To help my clients prioritize high-quality movement, I tell them three things I expect to reduce throughout the course of our session: speed, range and load.

To prioritize quality over quantity, follow these progressions…

  • Speed: Fast —> Slow
  • Range of Motion: Deep —> Shallow
  • Load: Heavy —> Light

This advice is counterintutive, as our culture has shaped a “more is better” mentality. As you move through a routine, it’s natural to fatigue and your workout should reflect that along the way.

Notice I called reducing the speed, range and load as progressions. They are typically thought of as regressions but any tweak that keeps you on the plus side of your threshold is a progression.

By respecting your physical capacity, you honor your individuality and sustain your ability to work hard by working smart. Less is more, less is enough!

“The truth doesn’t change, your understanding of it does.” Gary Gray

Putting It All in Perspective

If you’re reading this, you’re alive!!! You woke up, took a breath, wiped the slate clean and are free to spend today however you’d like—at this point, there is more right with you than there is wrong with you.

The quality of your life is largely dependent on the perspective you take but I’d say if you slept in a house, are wearing clothes, have access to food, clean drinking water, people who love you, life is very good. Not to mention, if you have a device to read this post, life is far beyond good.

Which lens do you view life through—scarcity or abundance? Is it never enough or is there always too much? Are you poor or rich—in spirit? Can you share what you’ve got with someone who doesn’t?

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” Wayne Dyer

The path of least resistance

Imagine a big rock in the midst of a stream of water. It clearly impedes the flow of water but it doesn’t stop the water because it naturally follows the path of least resistance.

Now, imagine that big rock as a task, project or conversation you’ve been avoiding and as a result, you take the path of least resistance and focus on everything except what really needs your time, attention and energy.

When you behaviorally follow the path of least resistance…where does your attention go? Social media, reality TV, busy work, emotional eating/drinking, criticizing others?

Wherever you go, realize you’re doing the best you can with what you’ve got and in all likelihood, you’re subconsciously numbing painful feelings just beneath the surface…if you’re aware of the source of your pain or avoidance, then that ‘s the first big rock needing to be tackled.

Thankfully, the solution is always in the situation. With regards to your rock…

  • Schedule it in – unless it’s on your schedule, it’s more a matter of wishful thinking
  • Remove all distractions – escape your kitchen, avoid caffeine or alcohol, leave your phone at home
  • Visualize success – change happens in the mind first, think about life on the other side of this obstacle

The path of least resistance will keep you “comfortable” yet dissatisfied, whereas the path of most resistance (although uncomfortable) will cause you to find your self-worth, value and strength along the way.

 

“Everything we want is on the other side of our fears.” Jack Canfield

The cost of inconsistency

As part of the transformational experience I deliver to my clients, I set obstacles in front of them in the form of 7-Day Challenges that help them become who they want to be.

Once we’ve found the “right” challenge, meaning the one that caused a significant change in their quality of life, we formalize a 30-Day Challenge.

One of the biggest keys to success is to initiate the challenge at my clients’ threshold…low enough so they can achieve success but high enough that the challenge is rewarding.

The next thing we discuss is the important of consistency. Winston Churchill said: “Continuous effort, not strength or intelligence, is the key to unlocking our potential.”

To position them for success, I paint a picture of the cost of inconsistency upfront.

Lets say we set a challenge to workout 3x per week for 30 days and that roughly equates to 12 workouts within the month.

I have them consider two approaches …

Approach #1 – Consistent effort

Week 1 – 3 workouts (100%)

Week 2 – 3 workouts (100%)

Week 3 – 3 workouts (100%)

Week 4 – 3 workouts (100%)

* This consistent effort is equally challenging each week and is the easiest to manage.

Approach #2 – Inconsistent efforts

Week 1 – 3 workouts (100%)

Week 2 – 1 workout   (33%)

Week 3 – 2 workouts (66%)

Week 4 – 6 workouts (200%)

Now, they we’re “successful” in both scenarios but we can see how the inconsistent approach created a lot more stress due to the inconsistency. We must also appreciate that if success is being measured by enjoy-ability (and not just completion), approach #2 really loses its appeal.

Honestly speaking, someone who’s not working out at all actually has very little capacity to workout 6 days in one week and the effort quickly becomes unenjoyable, unrewarding and unsustainable.

So, rather than telling my clients “you have to be consistent—or else,” I try shedding some light on their options and this awareness often causes them to make decisions consistent with who, what and where they want to be in life.

 

The best teachers are those who show you where to look but don’t tell you what to see.” Alexandra K. Trenfor

Overspending Time

Amazing that even though a budget is managed by simple addition and subtraction, so many of us still struggle to manage our resources well.

While we all have various monetary budgets, we all have the same budget of time—24 hours in a day, not a second more or less.

If you find yourself wishing there were more hours in the day, it’s clear you’re overspending your budget and/or lacking priorities.

Patrick Lencioni brilliantly states: “If everything is important, then nothing is important.”

Interestingly, though overspending your budget of time is an issue of the mind, it’s largely manifested in your spirit as a lack of joy, contentment and fulfillment.

I’ve never met a “busy” person that was also deeply satisfied with the quality of their life.

If you’re “busy/successful” is it worth a compromised quality of life? It all depends on your drivers and how you measure success!

More often than not, my clients overspend their budget because being busy is a measure of their worth: Busy=productive=successful=happy. (It’s a farse!)

The solution is in the situation…it’s all in how you’re measuring success. Here are three ways I help my clients measure success when managing their schedule…

  1. How much time they invested in their physical, fundamental needs (movement, nourishment, rest).
  2. How much time they invested in exploring meaningful relationships.
  3. How much time they invested in helping those who are less fortunate.

As Peter Drucker said: “What gets measured, gets managed.”

At the end of the day, it’s not about what got done but…did you live with love more than fear, act on courage more than comfort and lead a life your proud of more than you regretted?