Back when I was obsessed with food and fitness and how it could change my body, strangely enough, I was NEVER satisfied with my body. But hallelujah, through my own process and the work I’ve been blessed to do with hundreds of others in lifestyle wellness and therapy, my obsession is now with being the best version of myself according to God’s plan for my life. And now that I have that focus, held in grace and accountability, I’m blissfully accepting of my own body and connected to the way it shows up. This is a tangled web, but I want to try and help you understand how you can get what you’re really looking for in life.
See, I believe there’s a core mission among us. We all really just want to be loved, accepted, believe what we’re doing is making a difference, feel good about ourselves, and enjoy the people we’re doing all of this with! We could boil this down to three easily-understood categories; health, purpose, relationships.
We minimize our true needs into surface level immediate gratification so that we can project them onto the tools and resources we have, abuse those things for the wrong purposes, and get stuck in the cycle of defeat, dissatisfaction, and a very clinical term I’ve come to use quite often- Not-Enough-ness.
Sound like the human experience you may or may not have had recently? It’s really an epidemic right now! I’m seeing it in my 1:1 work, in my girlfriends, in my family members, in my clinical counseling work… anxiety, depression, eating disorder, general malaise and lack of motivation with life, destructive marriages, feeling just plain helpless about a lot of things.
Listen, I believe in the very core of my identity, that YOU are here for a purpose and to enrich the lives of those around you while you pursue that purpose. I believe that you were created uniquely amazing, and that you are supposed to feel fulfilled and joyful as you journey through this life! You were not put on earth to be an example of what not to do, or to suffer so others could have it better. You are not destined to codependency, excess weight, or chronic illness. There is better…and YOU can access better.
See, we are a victim of our environment and our thoughts when we are unaware of the power we possess over these things! Further, even when we choose to learn and believe that we can change and choose our thoughts and environments, sometimes it feels so hard, we get defeated before we start!
This is the paradigm we live in; not-enough-ness is the catalyst for so many of the problems we face in life, including and not limited to anxiety, depression, inability to lose weight, chronic hunger, metabolic disorders, eating disorders, relationship problems, so much!
When we can grow the confidence in who we really are, and then follow through and honor that version of ourselves by aligning our behavior and how we show up in the world with it, then we will truly be able to have the life, and body that we really want!
I understand that this sounds a bit woo-woo, maybe far fetched, perhaps unattainable. But, trust me, not-enough-ness is the manifestation of the human condition of shame. Our basic psychology, as designed by God and manipulated by Satan when Eve ate that apple, is rooted in a desire to be connected, loved, and accepted. When we lack awareness and relationship with our core self, as created by God, we will seek it elsewhere, externally. When we see that we are different than our external human-comrades, or fear that we will be going against-the-grain, we automatically feel shameful at the possibility of being rejected or invalidated. Think about it, back in the tribal days, someone who went outside the ways of the community WOULD be excommunicated. This mentality is a part of how we think! But, oh my gosh, we’re SUPPOSED to be different!!! The beauty of life is felt when we can come to terms with our different-ness, AND show up next to our brother and sister and offer them the same compassionate space to figure that out! So, we’re beating ourselves in our own game; a self-sabotaging disaster, isn’t it!?
Add to this the current culture of “be yourself,” and “different is beautiful,” but also strong pressure to assimilate to external standards and expectations, and you’ve got a very uphill battle to climb. We’re set up for confusion when we don’t have solid roots in who we are and why we’re here! We are enticed and entranced by a self-conflicting society.
I’m going to leave this with a directional shift toward how we start to get it right. These are a few wide-brush-strokes that scratch the surface of what my work has been allowing me to do with clients and what is slowly, but surely creating a shift toward long-term change in those who commit to this process;
Understand your make-up
You are a spirit identity and there is NO ONE just like you on this earth. You possess a mind, a soul- where you problem solve, think abstractly, explore will-power, cravings, instincts and more! You live in a BODY, that has a specifically determined way of operating to support the mind and spirit, while simultaneously reflecting how the mind and spirit are living. The mind, body, and spirit are supposed to be in harmony; understanding one another, working together, and being equally fulfilled through grace and discipline. Do you know yourself? Do you understand your mind? Do you honor your temple?
Experience is a teacher, not a template of truth
Because of the intricate dynamics of our brain and the importance of our awareness thereof, most of us become victim to the trap of automatic schemas. We learn the world based on how we’ve been through it, what others have shown and taught us. The real deal though is that what we THINK isn’t always what is TRUE. One of the ultimate conflicts to being human is having the ability to rise above our feelings and see what’s true even when our experience doesn’t match that truth. Our choice to move forward on feeling or truth is what creates our next step, outcome, and ultimately, our life.
What’s happening in the mind and spirit, will show up in the body
Whether you are repressing truth, avoiding dealing with things, holding on to limiting beliefs, or struggling with self-acceptance; each of these things will show up in the body one way or another. Our internal issues have to work themselves out somehow or we’d internally combust! Consider the inability to lose weight as an unwillingness to release old beliefs, hurts or fears. Consider skin issues as unresolved anger and rebellion against discipline. Consider eye problems as refusal or denial to see things clearly. I could go on and on. The body speaks to us, and because of the culture we live in and the human shame-complex, we think we can “fix” the body without addressing what the body is holding – mind and spirit.
And this brings me to our final concept for today:
Inner work and Outer work are not mutually exclusive
True change, fulfillment, and peace can be found when one commits to getting out of their own way. The inner work eluded to above must be done alongside the outer work in order for external, tangible gains to be sustained. We have so many resources, tools, strategies for accessing results and change, but when we don’t couple them with the mental and spiritual work, they will be fleeting, at best.
I believe those who truly want to commit to this process are seeing the impact it can have on their life. Even someone who feels overwhelmed and just wants to lose some weight to feel better about themselves is finding more peace through addressing mindset first regardless of how many pounds have been lost.
In the process that is evolving through Awarding Life Coaching, we’re seeing a need for a customized weaving together of the inner and outer work. This is what I mean by “meeting you where you are.” What you bring to the table is not the full picture, but your current reality needs to be processed before we can get to the real you! It is such an exciting journey, filled with personal assessments, priority-rankings, self-fulfilling prophecies, purpose defining, thought reframing, strategic target goals, inner critic transformations, lifestyle routine alignments, promise keeping, self-loving, Creator meet-ups, and so much more!
I share all of this with you today because I want you to know that your current reality is a tiny, limited version of what’s really FOR you in this life!! We can learn to be content and at peace with reality while also redirecting toward our dreams at the same time! You have ideas, inspirations, and dreams planted inside you that are FOR you to bring to life in this world! The world NEEDS you to align with your core identity and live out loud.
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