In the past I have literally hated what I do for a living. I don't like to even type that word, let alone say it. Living life like that literally sucked at my soul and made me miserable. I used to wonder "what is wrong with me that I couldn't be happy with this life, job and routine I had?"
Upon looking back I can see that, in a nut shell it had to do with me not knowing myself and loving and accepting that self. It seems like ages ago now that I finally gave myself permission to be ME, and forgave myself for having ever felt that way - like something was wrong with me. It's just how we are. It's a process, this whole 'growing up' business. As long as we're alive we are learning who we are. Or should be if you ask me. (I'll take "Personal Growth" for $1000 Alex) I believe we are on a journey here to find out who we are and then strive to be the very best version of ourselves. I've always been fascinated with discovering how and why I am the way I am and how and why I think the way I do - and seeing things in others as well. It has helped me many times over in my personal training business and with personal perceptions and feelings towards people in general.
Through this journey of life I have been able to "see" the many people and circumstances that have been placed in front of me which helped me get to a better version of myself. Sometimes we take the wrong path and have to double back, regroup and say to ourselves, nope, that choice was not for me, let's try again. The hard part is not beating ourselves up about it. It's really cool to be able to look back and see and understand why things happened the way they did and what a gift it was. Everyone knows however, one of the best ways to go about things is realizing it's a gift as the crap is actually hitting the fan - not after it's caked all over your face. That takes some practice. That practice can take decades.
Five years ago my world turned upside down. When all the "big gyms" started opening up I had to figure out how to survive instead of thrive. It seems that building wings on the way down after I had jumped has always been how I roll. Which honestly, I kind of dig. It's exciting and I am not a big detail lady. We'll figure that stuff out later right? What has saved me along the way is talking with people. It helps sharing my journey and challenges, listening and implementing ideas from those conversations, from those people that knew more than I do about this strategic business planning stuff and other areas of life. I can see where God's hand has literally plopped people and situations down into my life to help me along the way. Like an amazing game of chess He places them in just the right position, at just the right time. I believe our "job" is to notice, accept His grace. Feeling this way makes it easy for me to be humble, thankful and grateful and use those gifts - make the move, take action, jump.
For the record, I am not just another personal trainer chick. When the people that need me are ready and find me, which is part of their journey by the way, that's when the magic happens for them, and... for me. Our little worlds collide. Quite frankly, it's a gift every time it happens, and I have learned to see it. I get the honor and privilege of helping people once they make that decision, change their health and well being, not just that, but their very outlook and attitude. It is so awesome to meet someone, a stranger, start working with them, become friends and literally see them light up from the inside out as time goes by. Sometimes our meeting segues into other areas of life and opportunities and a whole new path reveals itself.
Right now, I love what I do for a living. I have worked out of the house with this business for eleven years, still being there for my kids their whole childhood. I am also involved with an incredible opportunity, another business that is going to help the world in a much bigger way. It's been really cool to be there for my sons and that makes me happy. I won't tell ya it hasn't been extremely difficult and frightening at times being a single mom and a sole business owner during these hard times. But as a dear friend says, "It's only hard until it's... not." With that little statement in my brain, a little light started to grow inside of me. My attitude, thoughts and energy...shifted - again.
Everyone knows that life is a learning experience, right? Don't you feel sometimes that you are deepening? Constantly shifting, changing, growing? I do. For me it seems it's on a three year cycle. I think it's important to surround ourselves with others who hear us, see us and support our personal growth. Look at it this way, you wouldn't want your kids hanging around people who don't lift them up and support them, so why would you let that happen to you?
How does this tie in to my personal training business? Well, I have found that losing weight and choosing a healthy lifestyle or an unhealthy lifestyle ties in to how people feel on a daily basis, their thoughts about themselves, the people around them, their habits, how they grew up and other psychological patterns. I do a lot of reading - usually about three books are open somewhere.
I am guessing you're not very surprised at this point when I tell you that I've been called "intense" on more than one occasion? Shocker!
Here are a couple of really terrific things that have helped me get unstuck; more dialed in and intentional with my life. If you feel you are stuck and unfocused, perhaps they can help you too get started on getting unstuck! Creating a better YOU can be challenging because you REALLY have to be honest with yourself. But I promise you, if you get real with yourself, you'll become a more authentic YOU and your whole world will open up. Don't let fear stop you. It's all good honey! When you start to get uncomfortable, that's when you know the good juju is happening!
Write Down Your "Stuff"
What do you want from this life? How do you want to wake up feeling? Write it down. Journal your thoughts. Who's pissing you off? Who's stressing you out and irritating you? Are you bored? Write to yourself how bored you are. Write your errand list down. No matter if nothing comes to mind: Write. It. Down. I promise this is the best, cheapest therapy you'll ever experience! This is a huge outlet for figuring these things out in your life. White, lined paper, blue ink. It works. Write your stream of consciousness out, don't think about it, just write. Got it?
When I first started journaling it was messy, angry writing...but hey! I was angry and in a bad place. However as time flowed my writing got smoother, easier. I was guided by this awesome book that a friend told me about. I had been betrayed horribly by someone I considered a friend. Can you relate? I was desperate to not feel the way I felt so I jumped at it. It was a self-propelled 12 week course book. Every Sunday night is when I would read the chapter and then follow through with the "homework" for the week. This is the book: The Artist's Way. It literally changed my life and started to help me get back to... moi! It will challenge you and is not for the faint of heart. Personal growth never is. However, you can do it. Stop the b.s. and get real with you. If you are interested in other great books that might help you to get you closer to you, feel free to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I have so many many others that have shifted my perception for the better, my greater self. Just let me know. (((Hugs!)))
Be Definite In Your Aims, Don't Drift
You are not a life raft. We were not meant to drift along aimlessly in this life, letting things bump up against us or just 'happen' to us and saying "Well, it is what it is" or "That's just the way it goes." Whooey! I believe we were born with a definiteness of purpose. We are all human. We drift. We get side tracked with life, loves, jobs and other things that sweep us off course. Only to awaken, if we're lucky, and realize years have gone by and we've slipped into a rhythm, a habit of just going about our days doing the same thing over and over, even when we know somewhere deep inside it's not where we're supposed to be. There is an incredible book I've read that will, well... kinda freak you out when you read it! It is chilling and inspired me to take a stronger hold on the reins of my life.
I'm a Christian woman. Yep. A Jesus Freak if you will. Oh, don't leave me now honey! Hang in with me. I'm not all crazy, shoving it in your face or anything, but it's a huge part of every waking moment of my being. He is always on my mind. Have you by chance opened and read a Bible lately? Seriously fascinating stuff. Revelations?! Hello?! That'll blow your doors off! Mine is a study bible. It helps me wrap my brain around understanding what is trying to be taught to me. I have learned more in the last three years or so about how He loves me, and it has made me stronger; kinder, more compassionate, more loving... more me. It has made me a happier person and woman.
The book that I referenced to above that has opened my eyes a little wider about who I am is "Outwitting the Devil" The Secret to Freedom and Success by Napoleon Hill, (edited and annotated by Sharon Lechter. READ this book and get your pen ready as well. This book made me extremely aware of my behaviors and rattled me a bit! Put your armor on. Knowledge is power.
What is my intention here in writing this? Well, who knows really. I am not sure I do other than the fact that I was pressed to do so from some source inside of me. This IS my 'journaling' I suppose. As you know, I normally like to write about weight loss and fitness, however this is so extremely pervasive in people's lives that I find I cannot not write about how it affects us all.
If at the end the day, by reading one of these books and you have one, just one epiphany and grew into a better you - then I'd be so blessed. But I'd never know that I'd participated in deepening your spirit. Those are sometimes (always) the best kind of blessings.
I hesitated to share this last one, but would be remiss if I didn't share this book as well. I originally bought it because of a relationship I was in a couple of years ago. Long story short, that, thankfully, did not work out. However, I also know how to look and find the gifts in this type of life experience. The book is called Calling In The One: 7 Weeks to Attract the Love of Your Life. Don't let the title fool you. This book is for ALL. I had one seriously huge epiphany about myself while reading this, well two I suppose. One was personal, too personal to share here, but the other? The one that this book made me realize once and for all? You my friend, YOU. YOU ARE THE ONE. God, You, Spouse, Kids, Job, Friends. Things get lost easily in the shuffle of the deck.
Nosce Te Ipsum!!! Are you ready?! My canvas still has room to draw on.
At the end of the day, I have no doubt that you have the power to make choices that can liberate you from the mental prison that fear creates. You deserve to live fearless and free.
— Terri Cole