Wednesday, January 09, 2013
I had the chance to chat, face-to-face with four people, in the last four days. In the first conversation, it came across that this dear friend wanted to talk, wanted someone with whom to bounce off some ideas in a safe, confidential setting. At that moment, I had to shift gears in the conversation. There was something more happening here than I had expected. My friend was expecting, through my silence, to give her an open door to pour out the most intense and personal feelings about the subject at hand. So, it was no longer a question of: "I listen - you listen - repeat the pattern". This was a talk that went beyond my personal needs.
As I thought that way about the other, recent face-to-face chats, I realized that the experience was more complete and informative when I shifted from the focus about myself, and took extra patience and care to thoroughly explore the topics of conversation from someone else's perspective.
What does this have to do with healthy, active living? Sometimes we are so busy "doing" that we forget to listen to ourselves -- listen to the body -- listen to the mumblings of "why do I have to get up so early" "Isn't there a hairstyle that will work after I work out?" "What do I do so that lunches stop being 'bo-ring' (emphasis on BO-Ring)?" What would happen if we listened to ourselves with as complete and rapt attention as when we listen to a best friend? If we commiserated with ourselves and offered encouragement to get through that "rough patch"?
Very few goals get achieved in a straight line. If your fitness and nutrition goals seemed to be sabotaged, think less about "what am I getting from my efforts" and more about "how patient and confident am I being with myself", just as my best friends would offer me unconditional support and problem solving starters.
What am I getting? Experiences with a lifestyle that can be sustained for the rest of my life, the rest of my buoyant, quality life.