Less Talk, More Action: Evolve Thyself

Posted on June 9, 2013

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We talk a lot about improving all aspects of ourselves and our lives, not just the physical part…(well, your “we” might not, but the people I’m around talk a lot about improving ourselves mentally, getting emotionally healthy, cutting stress by becoming meditation rockstars, etc.) But do we actively address these things as much as we can? Or are we sort of skating by hoping we’ve done enough to make it all the way through without slipping our legs out from under us? ie, are we all ‘talky talky’ or are we ‘walky walky’ too? I’ll admit, I’ve been more talky than walky when it comes to my work on the ‘be an evolved person’ stuff, until recently.

So- when I work with clients, I keep a log of everything they do. Whether I actually write it in my notebook, or track it online, or remember it in my head, I know where they are headed, where they are coming from, what they showed me in their last workout, and what I’d like to see from them in the upcoming workouts. G-D that sounds so logical when I write it out. So why have I not been treating my “everything beyond the physical fitness bit” part of myself the same way??

Non-optimal excuse #1….I’ve been too busy. (insert wiser-than-me person rolling their eyes here)
Non-optimal excuse #2…the gym has been busy (which is really just #1 again but is my attempt to ‘pass the buck’)
Non-optimal excuse #3…uhh, I don’t have one…because I haven’t worked on this stuff in so long that I don’t even remember how to do it on a regular basis so I can’t even come up with a good excuse

Here’s the deal: we make changes to either move toward a positive, or avert a negative. So if you think your life is pretty a-ok, then you likely aren’t going to do much work on this “stuff” that makes you look inward, take stock of yourself, and evolve. Unless you’re seriously evolved, in which case, I bow on my meditation pillow to you. I did a LOT of work on myself after college and got to a really great place in my self-evolvement (is that a word? I just made it one if its not). And after a while, for no good reason at all, I stopped working on it as much. Then I got “busy” by opening a gym. And the gym really did get busier. And, poof!, all “free hours” seemed to get eaten up by responsibilities I took on. I started living from a place of reaction vs creation.

Fact: you will always make time for what you think is important, so those hours that ‘got eaten up’ were ones I allowed to get eaten up by other stuff. And then I noticed my body & life sending me signals, (they were practically hitting me in the face with a rock since I clearly ignored the early signals) and I started thinking about the “self-improvement” aspect of my life again. And I thought some more about it. And I re-tweeted quotes that made me feel like “yah! that’s what I should remember as I create my life!” And then I’d forget about it and go back to my busy, stressed life….and I’d wonder why I wasn’t at peak performance.

I was the gal who wanted to do fitness but didn’t actually make the alterations to my current situation to get fit. I did it when it felt good. And I reverted to old patterns anytime things felt challenging. And finally, I got to the end of my rope, I was either gonna hang myself with these sub-optimal patterns, or I was gonna start climbing that rope back to (& beyond) the evolved self I worked so hard on after college.

And here’s what I realized right off the bat…it’s HARD to work on your mind, psyche, and stress response! Spoiler alert: It’s not actually, but when you first dig in, just like when you 1st start an exercise routine, it feels abnormal, uncomfortable, and easy to stop doing. If you’re going to really take on this whole evolved-self thing – that is, you’re gonna be so much more than the person who just ‘skates by’ – you’re going to need to practice it. alot.

Read, every day, someone who is more self-evolved than you.

Write, every day, something that you feel, think about, or are frustrated by.

Let writing happen anywhere, in the margins of your book, on the notes section in your phone, in a journal, in a Word doc on your computer.

Put specific reminders in several places that you’ll see them regularly to keep you in check…I have mantras & little paragraphs that I review, as the wallpaper on my phone, in my car, on a meditation download that is always open on my computer…you get the idea. The more serious you are about evolving, probably the more places you should put reminders of what you’re trying to evolve to.

Meditate. Don’t be scared by it. I had no idea how to do it so I downloaded to my phone some voice-guided meditations and some that are sound only-those ones are LOVELY to fall asleep too-sleep is like meditation…go with it.

Think. No seriously, THINK! I realized I hardly had any skill when it came to controlling my thoughts, manifesting my dreams, and visualizing my future. Sure, I can set my mind to something and usually make it happen, but strength of will and self-actualization are two different things.

I’ve taken a leap (I reaaaally wanted to call it a “quantum leap” here, that was such a good show…but I’ll reserve myself) in my self-evolvement recently, and have no doubt I’ll take several more this year. For instance, a piece of dark chocolate has been the best fitness tool I’ve used so far this year. I’ll tell you about it next time I post. So what about you? Got anything to add to my list of ‘stuff to do to evolve thyself’?

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