I’m a competitive person by nature. I maintain high expectations for myself. A goal-setter. Boundary breaker. Maybe it’s the Taurus in me. Maybe it’s the Long Island in me. Maybe it’s the “me” in me.
Conversely, and more importantly, I am soothed by Nature. To be in a place away from the everyday distractions…the hustle and bustle. Where you are in tune with your true self in a way no other surrounding can exude. My forever happy place.
I gave up keeping up with the Joneses years ago. Yup, left that lifestyle and never looked back…well almost never. Unless the Joneses are your best friends. Then by all means, keep up with them. Have a block party together. Rent an adventure van and travel the world with them.
Nevertheless, my gut guided me towards another path. My tougher, truer road, as you already know. A beautiful, soul-filled path towards inner freedom. And most days, the walk is natural. Full of ease. But. I still struggle. My two sides are in a constant battle with each other…between pushing on and slowing down. Between sweating vigorously towards a better physical self versus breathing it all in and loving it all out.
Both extremes. Both ends of the pendulum. The yin and the yang. I know myself pretty well now. I can hear my inner whisperings. I recognize what is beneficial and harmful to my soul. However, I also know how easily I can be consumed by either end of the pendulum.
Maybe you feel that too?
Recently, the tugging to the extremes has been in full effect again. I just want to go, go, and keep going! The unglamorous side of me that hates waiting kicks in. C’mon Jen! Set goals and crush them, just like we used to.
I caught myself fairly quickly this time around. That moment when you say, “Whoa. Just whoa. Time to take a step back and quiet the mind.”
Here’s what happens…I set goals. I’m much more realistic about them now since my hip dysplasia diagnosis. The practical voice inside reminds me to train safely, listen to my body, stop when I need to, so I can preserve what is left of my hips. On the same token, those “limitations” fuel the pendulum swinging. That competitive nature. The tough love, power-through side. That fighter girl in me who thrives on pushing limits, to make sure I’m still alive, strong, unstoppable.
Then Fear pipes up. Pulling me back towards the other end of the swing. Don’t do it Jen. Better not risk it with that hip, Jen. Stay safe Jen. Just take a long nap Jen. You’ll feel better in the morning. The inner dialogue is a riot. Both sides vying for leadership.
Yup. Those days when my goal-oriented self tries to take over and be the boss. The head honcho. Numero Uno. Then my quieter, balanced true self gently pats me on the shoulder…Jen? Time to stop. To slow down. And yes, I know you’re worried. But like always, I promise you that you won’t implode.
And….like always, I’m a terrible, stubborn non-listener at first. Then I get jumpy. Shaky. Until eventually the gentle pat on the shoulder becomes a firm poke in the face. (Sigh)
(How soon can I get that bionic hip?? Haha)
So…yea…whoa. Time to let go or be dragged. Let go so you don’t fall. Don’t waste the energy worrying or feeling frustrated by limitations.
Let go and let the pendulum gradually, effortlessly return to the middle way. Be gentle with yourself. Or maybe I should be reminding myself of the same thing. I am still in the rebuilding phase, a period of transformation. And this phase can be tricky, overflowing with crazy, rollercoaster emotions. I know this. I.know.this.
Ughhh and that box. Fitting inside the box. Thinking outside the box. Forget the darn box! Throw that thing away. Or break it down and put it in the recycling bin. Either way, it is nothing to do with your journey, and the Joneses left for Timbuktu a long time ago.
My brother and I had a conversation not too long ago about which is right: A strong body leads to a strong mind? Or a strong mind leads to a strong body?
Naturally, I chose the latter. Although you could make arguments for both. But for me, it’s always been my strong mind. And like always, my strong mind needs a night off too from time to time, to decompress. To free up the mental stress to stay strong. Let go or be dragged. Yes, I know this. I.know.this Why I continue to be so hard-headed with myself, I’ll never know. Haha.
Ok…a graceful return the middle way. I’ll meet you in the middle, baby. We love it there, remember? It’s where we are our best self. Where we can be strong, yet gentle. Humbly powerful. The goals are set. They’re coming. Just be patient. Remember to take time to recharge. To have fun. You’ll be back to crushing goals in no time. But for now, write your permission slip to stay present and enjoy the ride. Liz Gilbert would be proud.
Humbly eating my own words,