This week’s post is titled Renew. Ask yourself, “what is renewal?” “what does renewal mean to me?” “how can I be renewed?”
Renewal in this context means the replacing or repairing of something that was once run-down, worn out, or broken ~
The concept of renewal has been important to me in several ways. First, in a physical sense renewal has helped me heal my body from being an intense athlete and power lifter to learning how to take it easy, do lighter work outs every now and then, and be more accepting of myself when I am sick, too tired, or more interested in something else and don’t feel like going to the gym that day. Part of being an athlete is rest and recovery. Through the concept of renewal I have become even more self-aware and have learned that exercise is just as much about the days you are not actively working out as it is about the specific workout itself. For example, part of fitness is sleeping enough, drinking enough water, stretching out, mental exercises like meditation, pain management and prevention, and diversity of movements. As time goes by and I prepare to turn thirty in two and a half years I have gotten more interested in workouts that challenge not only my physical body but also my mind. These workouts build muscle and confidence. They are part of keeping my body from adapting to the workouts I do and keeping my mind fully engaged in the activity in a more present way. At the end, when I have the post-workout satisfied feeling it is more intense when I have done a mentally challenging workout that does movement sequences that are different from what I am accustomed to doing regularly.
Then, my renewal journey has a different component. Renewal, for me, has been intensely spiritual. It has incorporated being self-partnered and finding ways to block out the subliminal messaging from society that women who are approaching thirty should live in a house not an apartment, have a car, be married, and have a couple kids. This spiritual journey has been about finding the acceptance within myself that I do not want to get married, and that I don’t want children, that what I want is to travel the world, connect with differnt people, be the best nurse I can possibly be, and some day have a farm called The Burrow (yes, after The Burrow from Harry Potter). In renewing spiritually I have found myself writing more. I used a journal to make a list of the things I have done so far in my life that I am proudest of and a list of places I want to travel to.
The third component of my renewal journey began early on in my childhood when I began to get into yoga and yoga teaching. At the training we rose a 5am and were silent until 9am in order to cultivate a mindfullness practice and a self-awareness routine. It was an intensely challenging experience because it helped me start to contemplate my own thoughts and learn how to be kinder and less judgemental. The activity I developed doing is a mental exercise where everyday before work and before I do something that is scary, new or intimidating I try to picture doing that activity or that task 20 times in a row perfectly without mistakes. If I mentally picture myself making the mistake, then I start over from the beginning. It has helped me be able to build mental stamina, focus, and confidence. I tell people that one of the most difficult things in life is learning about the mind and finding ways that allow our minds to enhance our lives and not limit them.
Simple ways that you can renew are:
- cultivate confidence: cultivating confidence is done through your diet, sleep routine, physical exercise, being social and making connections, healing jealousy, doing something for yourself every now and then, and trying new things
- remembering: remembering can be writing down what you have done in your life that you are proud of and thinking about the things you still want to do, visiting a place that holds a lot of good and important memories for you, or looking at pictures mentally retracing your own story
- finding physical balance: Balance for everyone looks different. I am extremely physically active and I’m an RN which means I am constantly standing, walking and on my feet for long periods of the day which means balance for me is resting when I can, soaking my feet when I can, icing my knees, and doing lumbar back stretches and yoga for the spine in order to stay open, flexible and able to physically perform my job. Balance for someone else might mean adding a walk around the block in after dinner, or incorporating chair yoga into their day at work to add some movement, or starting a workout routine that is physically and financially sustainable. For great free workouts, check out Fitness Blender on youtube. I will link it below.
- Mentality: simple activities like meditation, or mental imagery are tools that one can use to build confidence, heal from painful or traumatic events, and also create a deeper sense of connection and trust with one’s own identity
Now, I am not a doctor and I am not writing these things in order to prescribe a health routine for someone. I wanted to share the things that have worked for me and have helped me physical, mentally, and spiritually renew in my personal life, relationships, and career. I think that in order to live our best lives as our best selves we must dig deep, but that can be challenging if we don’t know how or where to look. This post about Renewal is meant as your invitation to dig deep within the rich soil of your being and consider what is growing there, what you and others in your life have planted from thoughts, memories, past times, fears, hopes, dreams, fantasies, and what challenges you to grow as a person.
Instead of seeing failures, maybe look at those things as learning moments. If you start to take this approach, then you will realize that failure does not exist in the way we are taught to believe it does.
To the journey of Renewal-
Feel free to take a look at the website below or go to youtube and check out the workouts:
If you are looking to build muscle and curves, they have videos on that too. I like their philosophy because they workout to feel good and be functional and strong. Feeling your best is not all about getting smaller y’all!
Another great link to check out on youtube is Yoga With Adriene or google Find What Feels Good:
Root to Rise everybody!