LOSE THE WEIGHT OF COMPARISON

The act of comparing oneself - including one's body - is human.

Comparison is essentially identifying two or more items to establish similarities or differences. On a basic survival level, it can serve as a safety mechanism. What is similar is known, therefore safe; what is different is unknown, potentially not safe. 

However, when it comes to the betterment of Self, the act of judgment often gets layered on top of comparison with an additional layer of judging yourself for not being fill-in-the-blank enough. 

A three-layer cake gone wrong. 

"Look at their _______. It is so ________. I should be ________."

Be honest. When you are comparing an aspect of who you are with someone else's "aspect," are your truly comparing (just identifying the similarities or differences) - or are you also judging them and/or yourself also?

How do you feel? Inspired or deflated? What do you sense in your body? Positive vibes or ugh?

How much does this kind of comparison weigh on you? How much is it costing your wellbeing?

Now, without judgment, notice that.

The reality is that comparing yourself *in this way* is unnecessary, creates more separation, diminishes your power, and is a learned behavior. The good news? You can lose this weight!

The HOW: take back the true act of comparison and (without judgment) just identify, notice, or acknowledge what is similar or different about you and other. 

Another power tool: CURIOSITY

What is this?
Interesting...
Fascinating!
Hmm... 

Imagine going to the gym, a clothing store, an airport, or looking at a magazine cover! and just notice. What would it be like to be "fascinated" by social media posts? How would it be to simply acknowledge your body or parts of it and say "hi." Like a young child seeing something for the first time, be curious.

This is going to take some practice. Believe me. That's OK. Be kind with yourself as you unlearn the act of displaced judgment.

As an energetically sensitive being, I used to walk around with the weight of other's people's worlds, compare myself with judgments about thoughts, ideas, or energies that didn't even belong to me! Curious questions such as, "What is this?" allows me, as well as my clients, freedom to lighten up.  

Your body wisdom is also here to support you. When you are comparing and feel a contraction, tightening, or some version of "ugh," you may have entered the world of judgment. When you are simply comparing similarities or practicing curiosity, notice feelings of spaciousness, openness, and perhaps even awe or wonder.

This is a practice worth practicing. You not only experience less energetic weight, you also embody a lightness of being that is yours to reclaim. 

But Lisa, I don't want to go to the gym!

Guess what? You don't have to. Unless you *want* to.

This pleading refrain came from a client who wanted to increase her energy, had redefined "exercise," wanted to move, and then felt completely overwhelmed with HOW to do it. In the past, she had joined a gym, didn't really want to go, so she didn't. Then she would feel bad about herself for not using it along with the stress of spending money on something that looks good on paper but in reality, not so much.

Another client was talking about getting back into her physical activity routine for stress reduction. She was describing that she would need to first get her knees and low back in shape, so that she could get back to running. She stated this as much enthusiasm as taking a standardized test. I asked her, "Do you like running?" You can guess her reply: "Nope."

This quandary of feeling overwhelmed of where to begin, underwhelmed by limited choices, or stuck in uninspiring routines is not uncommon. It is a weird, warped experience of begrudgingly moving one's body, yet wanting to check out of it at the same time.

What's missing?

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Play! Fun! Joy!

I went to an indoor trampoline park with my son recently. Pure JOY! Do you think I got my heart rate up and engaged muscles that I don't normally? And then after, found new ways to stretch to help those muscles recover?

You betcha!

You do not have to tolerate moving your body in ways that don't feel good. 

Sure, there are times when you are stressing (in a good way) your heart muscle or any of your other 600+ muscles that may not feel comfortable for those last few reps or moments because you are asking your body to change, grow, and evolve; however the ways you are moving can be downright inspiring.

If you are feeling stuck, bored, overwhelmed, or underwhelmed, try these suggestions I offered my clients and use myself:

1. Become a researcher - discover how YOUR body *wants* to move
2. Look to your childhood for inspiration
3. Ask 3 people what they do to move their body
4. Give yourself permission to not like an activity - or LOVE it!
5. Keep trying new activities 

Remember that your body is essentially a walking ocean. This fluid nature calls for diverse expression. There are SO many ways to move and nurture your body - and brain - to evolve your best self.  EnJOY!

Stop "Exercising"

Unless you really like this word.

Words have energy. They feel good or don't. Or are sometimes neutral.

Notice what you sense *in your body* when you hear the word, "exercise." What does it feel like? What thoughts/images/memories/associations do you have with it? Do you want to "exercise?"

The information you are receiving is from your body intelligence. It will guide you to YOUR truth. 

Your body is made up of over 600 muscles, 200 joints, a web of fluid-based connective tissue, a variety of physiological systems, a plethora of organs, and more. You are essentially a walking ocean.

Given this architecture, it is clear that your body is designed to move.

Simply, "exercise" is moving your body in a variety of ways. However, you get to choose what you call that experience. If "exercise" doesn't do it for you, give yourself permission to redefine this critical aspect of physical wellbeing. Ideally, you want a word or description that inspires you; not make you feel obligated, shoulded upon, or filled with dread. That is a recipe for a vicious cycle: doing something that is good for you, contracting against the very thing that is good for you, and adding more stress, tension, adrenaline, cortisol, negative thinking, disconnection, and disembodiment.

Not exactly what we are going for. 

How about "physical activity?" Or just, "movement?" What do you sense *in your body* with these words?

Some other out-of-the-box suggestions: Powerful Play, Chemical Chain Reaction, Divine Dance, Fearless Force, Spiritual Solace, Ecstatic Experience, Energetic Expression, Transformation Training, Embodied Exertion, Revitalization Reason, Life Force Leverage.

I invite you to experiment with word play. Notice the impact on how it makes you feel and the action you take (or consider taking.)

Once you have a name for "it," then you also get to choose HOW you do "it."

(More on that next week!)

P.S. I would love to hear other words or descriptions you come up with! Feel free to let me know as well as any questions or comments at: lisa@soulisticarts.com 

Are you sustaining YOUR Earth (Body)?

"If you don't take care of your body, where will you live?" Anonymous

In the spirit of Earth day on Sunday, April 22, I invite you to consider how you are sustaining YOUR Earth, your body.  

The simple, and often underrepresented, Truth:

You have a body.

You are not your body.

You are in a relationship with your body.

Your body is the residence of the best YOU. The YOU that shines your light, your greatness, your planetary purpose, your peak performance, your soul/essence/divine spark, your magnificence, radiance, and brilliance - and many more descriptions that words cannot sufficiently convey.

Let's come back down to Earth.  

What is the state of your body? Are you suffering in survival mode? Are you settling for so-so? Or are you thriving?

Imagine approaching your body as part of the Universe...

What choices would you make to ensure your body's sustainability?

A suggestion: get out of your head.

The "inconvenient truth" is that if you don't care for your personal planet, the best YOU is limited in expression and evolution. 

Want a stronger foundation and more sustainability for your body? I believe in incremental shifts. What is the simplest choice you can make today that will support your body's wellbeing?

Seriously, I am talking v-e-r-y simple. Like one deep breath, a sip of water, 25 more steps. 

YOU CAN DO THIS!

I celebrate your potential to thrive, to evolve, and to sustain this beautiful home called your body.

Carbs, Candy, and Cab, Oh My!

Stressed? Stuck? Seeking to Soothe?

I get it.

When you are not feeling like yourself, you just want to feel good. Or at least better. There are MANY ways to access that state of being. Some will suffice, some will satiate, and some will never, ever fill your well.

It has been a long winter where I live in New England. Every winter is long and some feel longer than others. I am "done" feeling cooped up and longing to splash around the sparkling water and glittering sand.

In the meantime, I have a good size feel-better-in-my-body toolbox. Sometimes I'm using it consciously and reap the rewards of restoration that bring me back to the center of myself. Sometimes I go unconscious and reach for the carbs, candy, (and) or Cabernet. 

The truth is that these choices help me feel better. Temporarily.

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SLOW DOWN

However, if I don't pause long enough to tune in and ask my Self (body-thoughts-emotions-spirit-soul) what I r-e-a-l-l-y need, I will not feel better. I will continue to numb my needs and mask my truth. I will feel like "it" is not enough. I may even feel like I am not enough. The unsatisfying cycle will continue. 

What to do? Simple. Pause, ask, and choose.

You MUST pause the external so you can access the internal. Then choose from and for you - the best version of you - to fill your well being.

What will YOU choose?