Summer break for me started three weeks ago. Every morning I would get up at 8:30, eat breakfast and attend a 9:15 exercise class. My friend, also on break, marveled at my ability to get up at a decent hour and be out the door by 9:00.
She said, “How do you do it? Do you just find an exercise class to take every day at 9:15?”
“Yup!,” I proudly admitted.
This week has been a very different story. While I have continued to get up at 8:30, I have decided that I don’t have to exercise if I don’t want to exercise. In addition, I decided that I don’t have to do ANYTHING I don’t want.
After reading Darla’s post on getting to know your whole self, I decided to think about my own thinking. In psychology, this is called metacognition. When we think about our thinking, we can separate ourselves from our thoughts and feelings. Thoughts are not necessarily true. That’s why we need to challenge our thoughts to see what is really going on.
Byron Katie, a spiritual teacher, asks her readers to look inside and not necessarily change their thoughts, but rather to acknowledge them and then ask the following questions:
- Is it true?
- Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
- How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
- Who would you be without the thought?
It is true that I don’t want to exercise. But that thought or feeling is just one of many thoughts and feelings I have about exercise. My rebellious 13-year-old girl says “I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do. No one is the boss of me!” She is my rebel who doesn’t want to exercise.
I’m learning to listen and acknowledge that 13-year-old. And when she is done screaming and pouting, I use my Wise Self to let her know that she is just one of many in my inner world. I have a 37-year-old woman who wants to exercise because she knows that it is awesome self care, it feels great, and it helps me get stronger. She also knows that cardio helps me release negative emotions in a healthy manner.
I knew it was time to indulge the 13-year old, and so my Wise Self bought that beautiful set of luggage, pink and all!
I have a 13-year-old girl, a 37-year-old woman, and many others in my system. My Wise Self listens to all of my thoughts and feelings from all of my different parts. She is then able to make a decision that is best for the whole person.
So, when I decided to exercise, my 37-year-old was pacified. But it was time to take care of that 13-year-old. How could she engage in healthy rebel behavior?
My 37-year-old self needed to buy luggage. My 13-year-old self wanted pink luggage. My manager part said that is not sensible. But, I knew it was time to indulge the 13-year old, and so my Wise Self bought that beautiful set of luggage, pink and all!
Tune into your Wise Self when you start and end your day. However, make time for that rebellious inner teen of yours, and listen to her story.
Photo by Yvette Inufio Photography