If every time we see a hill and think, "Oh gawd, that looks like too much work, too hard, I'm not gonna go up there," we'd never get anywhere, literally. We'd stay stuck in our same neighborhood, same block, our comfort zone. At the top of the hill and beyond the horizon is our future: loves, career, friends, and adventures. I don't know about you, but I'm willing to climb hills more because I'm curious to see what's up there.
Today is the last day of my 10-day walking meditation challenge. The picture is a hill in my neighborhood that I go up and down every time I run or walk. I intended to walk today so that I could say I walked at least two days during this challenge, and I did start off walking. I walked .70 miles and then decided to just run one mile and then walk the rest of my planned 5K (3.11mile) walk. Well, that one mile turned into four miles of running. I did walk the last .5 miles so in total I walked 1.2 miles which is the second longest walk during this challenge. Yay! I was able to stop running and walk for awhile.
I know exactly why I can't stop running now, and even though I am conscious of the reason, I am still running. I'm just consciously running where before I was asleep running. I now have the work of breaking my current association with running and learn a new association. In the “Four Stages of Learning," I'm at stage two where I recognize my deficit and can see the value of learning a new skill, but I'm stumbling. It's like when you have taken off the training wheels and start riding a bike yet keep falling down because you don't know how to balance yet, or you start yoga, and you can't stay steady in a pose and fall down. Stage 2 encompasses much falling down literally and figuratively.
But we keep at it and move onto Stage 3 and then 4 where we become masters of a skill and can do things without even thinking about it. For example, I can write a blog post in my sleep and even drunk off my ass where six years ago it took me 4 hours to write 300 words steady and wide awake.
I stepped on the scale today and I gained back two of the three pounds that I lost in the last two days. I was surprised that I gained two pounds overnight which means that I ate something that caused inflammation in my body. I went through everything I ate the day before. I bought some new rice crackers and didn't check the label like I normally do for some odd reason because I tend to be retentive about reading food labels. Guess I fell into unconsciousness while shopping. These crackers had two food additives that are often used with MSG, and my body goes into mutiny whenever I eat MSG, so I found my culprit.
This time when I saw the weight gain, I did something different. Instead of acquiescing to the fear, "OMG, I gained weight." I replied back to the fat fear by saying, "And so what. It's two pounds. And what if I gain weight and get fat again. So what. What's the worst that will happen?"
Mental hell broke loose.
Chatter whirled up in my head outcrying about how getting fat would be awful, disastrous, embarrassing, humiliating, depressing, and on and on whatever my mind could rationale. This time I was able to sit back and be a spectator to the chatter. Instead of being in the story, I was watching the story, and wow, what a big difference! All the negative self-talk wasn't affecting me at all.
I could separate myself and see the chatter for what it was...endless chatter.
Fear is not who we are. Love is who we are. Our fears are learned which means we can unlearn them, and go back to our natural state which is love. This is what becoming conscious, mindful, is really about. I am now fully understanding, grasping, this concept. I've known it logically for awhile but it's never really emotionally sunk in. I think now we haz it.
I could separate because I know the chatter, the fears, are not true. This was a BIG deal to be able to find myself in this place. Just like wearing the skinny jeans again doesn't mean happily ever after, getting fat again doesn't spell disaster. It's just weight. I'm the one who attaches emotional meaning to the weight whether I gain or lose pounds.
What I learned in this walking meditation challenge
It felt good to stand up to my fears with my weight and see the chatter for what it really is, distraction. I felt proud of myself that I didn't get sucked into the illusions of my fears even if it was only for a moment this morning. I'm breaking the old habit. Everything is not fixed in one moment like in the movies, but yay, it's a start, a breakthrough!
That's one of the biggest points of meditation, to help us see that the fears are just distractions, smoke screens from the truth which is that we are beautiful. We have everything we have always wanted inside of us: love, acceptance, acknowledgment, belonging. We have just not seen any of that because we got sucked into the fears. We believed an illusion instead of reality.
I didn't succeed at the walking meditation in the actual walking part, but that is okay, I can keep practicing. Remember, the messy middle is where success is born. I got something deeper from this walking meditation challenge. I got to bring to the surface some significant unhealed hurts and fears, so that I can now work on healing them.
I learned that I actually like running in silence with no music where previous I thought I could never run without tunes. I blogged for ten days in a row which I have not done in a couple years, so I got to refresh my writing skills, and connect to my audience in ways I used to. I got a few emails and messages from people saying how they enjoyed seeing the old blogging Steph back.
10-days may seem like a short time, but during this fitness challenge, time felt MUCH longer, sometimes distressing especially during the two emotional mudslides and sometimes grateful because I gained so much in a short time. Honestly, I am joyful I did this challenge, but oh yeah, I'm so glad it is over lol!
Overall feeling: Grateful :)