I’m going to be quite candid in this post…
I’ll start off by saying that I’ve had a crappy week.
It’s just been incredibly stressful – and to be honest, sometimes I don’t feel as though the results I’d like to see from my efforts are anywhere to be found.
You put in the time, effort and your heart into everything you create – not just because you’d like to see it pay off, but because what you’re doing is a direct expression of your state of being.
I’ve discussed the concept of falling in love with the journey several times – whether in writing or through conversations.
And while I do feel it’s important to stay connected to the process when it comes to reaching a goal, I’ll be the first one to admit that even though I do this – sometimes it’s easier said than done.
When you feel this way, it’s easy to want to give up. In matters of weight loss or healthy living, sometimes these feelings can lead to overindulging or quitting your program altogether.
So now that I’ve spilled all of this out to you, the question is – how do I deal with it when life lets me down?
I’ll share my approach with you in the hopes that maybe somehow, it’ll help you to get through the days, months and even years when you feel like life is a mountain you don’t have the strength to climb.
How I Use Well-Being As A Tool For Personal Empowerment
A while back, I had enrolled in personal training school. I went through these crazy tough courses – all in an effort to not only change careers, but to make healthy living my occupation.
I had no clue what I was going to do with my certification. I didn’t know what personal trainers earned, nor did I have any sincere desire to market myself through networking events, etc.
I’m an introvert by nature. I love Humanity. But crowds really aren’t my thing.
Through most of my life, I’d struggled with my weight, self-esteem, and subsequent eating disorders, so as far as I was concerned, if I could somehow take what I’d learned – not only about health and fitness, but my own struggles and transformation and make a difference in the world, then my life would take on new meaning.
I would no longer be living by default…working in a career that felt unsatisfying to me – all the while abusing my body in the process.
I’ll tell you – the curriculum at Fitness Institute was HARD.
I was no scholar – and these classes required me to learn things I used to daydream through in high school (like Algebra).
I spent 15 months of my life working two jobs, doing some side work and going to school. I used my “free” time to study my ass off. I made exercise a big part of my life, often working out twice a day to lose the weight that damaged my self-worth.
I cured myself of my eating disorders. I don’t manage them. They’re completely gone.
With my education, certification, and a new body, I thought life would suddenly work out.
I had even delved into new territory by starting to write – which had always been a deep passion of mine.
I found ways to express my knowledge and share what I’d learned about healthy living with the world.
It wasn’t just about what to eat or how to exercise. It was about the journey itself. How in order to change your body, you must shift your perception.
As far as I was concerned, this information was golden.
If I, someone who used food, alcohol, and many other substances to mask my pain and abuse my body as a means to cope with and escape my pain was able to rewire her brain by doing the deep, insightful inner work required to not only do different things, but BE a different person altogether, then I KNOW that others would benefit.
Because I’m not special. I’m not chosen. I’m not different.
It’s just that I’d found something useful.
I found a way to alter my perspective from the core.
And because of this, my behaviors changed naturally.
But sometimes you can be and do things differently, and life will still shit on your head.
I’d love to say that when you change, life changes – but that isn’t always accurate.
What is correct, however, is this:
When you change, your response to life changes. This is when you can alter the results. But even then, sometimes that doesn’t work.
The idea is to KNOW that regardless of what life throws at you, you can still take charge of your inner-world and not collapse under the weight of things. This is when the miracles happen.
I’ve done a lot of work over the past several years. I’ve completely changed just about everything I believed about life, myself and the world.
I’ve gotten real with myself about some pretty painful things.
I’ve built a solid foundation and have created material that I’m proud of.
But regardless of this, life still screws with me sometimes. I could crumble, or I could respond.
So what does this have to do with using well-being as a tool for personal empowerment?
Well, it works like this:
Using Well-Being Deliberately
When you’re down and out (like I have been this week – and many other times), you have to know who you are.
For example –
- I know I am not my problems, my thoughts nor my feelings.
- I am not a success, nor a failure.
- I am not my role, my title, my accomplishments nor my downfalls.
- I am also not my body.
- I HAVE these things, but I am not them.
- I AM infinite awareness.
- I AM my imagination.
A while back, I had realized that to remain in a state of balance regarding my healthy living regimen, I would have to know that my motivating factors would change. They always do, so how to stick with your program when your “why” changes is a tough thing to do for most of us.
This is why we “fall off the wagon” so easily – and so often.
For me, I no longer have weight to lose.
I don’t care if my delts (shoulders) are super toned, if my arms look muscular or if I can do spiderman pushups to impress others – or myself.
My worth isn’t dependent on these things.
So the motivating factor that drove my behavior when I was in “weight loss” mode doesn’t exist any longer.
For me, well-being is my response to the adversities of life.
It’s my way of declaring…
“Regardless of what you throw at me, I’ll still take care of myself because if nothing else, it makes me feel better.”
It’s a way to feel healthy and empowered.
It’s an act of self-respect.
These things may not alter the situation I’m dealing with in and of itself, but because I’m the observer (rather than the limited egoic personality that interacts unconsciously with my environment), I can conduct this shitty sounding orchestra in a way that at least sounds like music instead of noise.
This week has been nothing but frustrating for me on all levels.
In fact, it isn’t just this week.
My life, at times, feels like the most challenging adventure to endure. Regardless of what I’ve learned or practice, sometimes I feel like I’m running on a hamster wheel – going nowhere.
But when this happens, being the conductor that I AM, I still make well-being my response.
I’ll make my smoothies – all decked out with my greens and other beneficial ingredients instead of snarfing down soda or indulging in fast food the way I used to.
I’ll make a kick ass salad and consume it knowing it may be the only thing I can do to respond somehow in a positive way to the pain I’m feeling.
I’ll get the exercise mat out and stretch to make my body feel limber and flexible. To experience a sense of relief.
I’ll use fitness in any way that feels right to me – and I don’t care if it’s an easy one-mile walk at home program or if it’s a high-intensity strength training program complete with dumbbells, the TRX trainer or resistance bands.
I’ll just incorporate wellness into my life in whatever way I am most aligned with. But the only reason I can do this (as someone who used to abuse everything) is because I had experienced both extremes and eventually, found balance.
When well-being becomes your automatic response to life’s adversities, you may not change the situation.
But you’ll alter your response to the situation which all on its own, may make you feel better.
If we rely on circumstances changing to make us happy, we may wait forever.
But if we become someone who allows well-being into our inner-world in an authentic and honest way, it will become our natural response to our problems.
It’s the most efficient way I know how to not only keep my weight down, but to remain steady when the oceans of life become turbulent.
I cannot stress how important it is to do the consciousness/ personal development work.
But it’s also imperative to make this enjoyable.
A few things you can do to use well-being as a response to adversity are:
- ADD high-quality nutrients into your diet. Make salads, smoothies, and other healthy recipes – and use this as a creative form of self-expression.
- Make yourself a cup of soothing, relaxing tea. I know it sounds simple – and it is. But when you sit down with something naturally designed to help you to relax and bring you optimal health, it somehow puts you in a state of being that promotes overall wellness. I do this often, and it does work.
- Read something inspiring, uplifting or enlightening. Well-being is far more expansive than “diet and exercise.” It’s all-encompassing.
- STAY AWAY FROM ALCOHOL! It’s not only a depressant, but it warps your perspective on just about everything. It won’t help. It may cause harm…and it’s an overall BAD idea.
- Watch movies or documentaries that awaken your desire to be well, live well and act well. One of my recent favorites is “Peaceful Warrior.” If you haven’t seen it, I encourage you to check it out.
You can view the trailer below.
Wrapping This Up
Life isn’t always easy.
Sometimes it’ll bitch-slap you when you aren’t looking. Other times it’ll beat you up so badly that you may feel as though you’ll never get back up again.
I know what that feels like. It’s been the story of my life.
But I DO get up. And I will continue to do so – until I’m no longer here.
When life f*cks with me, I respond by using well-being AS my way of life.
It may not change the situation, but it’s my way of falling in love with the adversity. If I can’t change it, I know I can respond consciously and deliberately.
This week has been lousy. My Faith is tested on a regular basis.
But I still made my smoothies.
I drank my apple cider vinegar water.
I did sets of core exercises and stretched.
I watched films and listened to audios that inspire me.
And I’ll keep on keepin’ on.
You can do the same.
I hope this gave you some insight into how to use wellness as a tool for personal empowerment.
I look forward to hearing some of your stories and examples in the comment’s section.
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How do you deal with adversity?
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