What’s your true intention?

Today, I am getting back on the horse.  I started a new workout regime in the spring.  It involved specific weight training sessions as well as a nutrition element. I was excited and motivated with a new purpose and a clear direction. This plan started without a need to change or better myself.

This is a different “beginning” for me as in the past I typically start new things with a feeling of “not enough” and a hope to feel complete once I have achieved the outcome. This was not the case here, I was not looking to alter appearances or to have anyone accept me. I had done all that inner work and my mindset was simply to become stronger in mind, body and spirit.

Everything was going well, I felt amazing and begin to see changes in my body.  Friends and family started to ask me what I was doing and telling me that I looked great.   And then just like that, I was hooked, like a sneaky fox, my mind shifted from “I love these workouts, I am having so much fun, I feel great energy in my body and clarity in my mind” to a place of attachment.

My workouts and food became a means to an end and that nasty demon of “not enough” reared its ugly head. Of course, this was not conscious, I told myself that I was still in a place of acceptance but my monkey mind and subsequent behaviour showed a different story. If I could just get more muscle tone and leaner legs then I will finally be good enough. I pushed myself harder, became more discipline and lost all of the joy and excitement that I was originally feeling.

Then I crashed, 3 migraines, constant fatigue and a cold sore later I was forced to slow down. It was not pretty, I resisted, cried, became anxious and then finally let go, not because I had the grace and wisdom to do so but because I had no other choice. My body took over.

With time I can see the gift in this suffering as it allowed me to embrace a new level of awareness.  I realize, I have lots of love and acceptance for myself but it is very conditional.  I can be with myself in a beautiful way when my body is in line with my expectations.  Without the ability to complete the things on my to-do list, I turn on myself within days.  The love only comes when everything about me is “behaving”.

Once I embraced a different kind of daily practice with a beautiful meditation, I began to see that my obsession had nothing to do with behaviours.  The process of calling out the attachment and sitting with what the deeper need is, which in my case is acceptance from self was the first layer and under that was the hope of freedom.

So many of us share this misguided belief that once we get the body, the recognition, the money… we will be accepted and finally be let out of the cage we have created for ourselves.  It is with this awareness that we can shift perceptions and be honest about our intentions.

So yes, now that I am feeling better I am going to go back to the gym. I am and will always be a person who needs to move but my version of “getting back on the horse” is a different one. This is not about building bigger biceps or ensuring the proper amount of protein. I am restarting with the ultimate intention to move with complete acceptance and to receive the joy that comes from this.

Note: Meditation Reference