There are simple and profound rules of life. The rules just ‘are’ and we will live our best life if we follow them. The rules apply to everyone and do not waver. This morning a profound and important truth was stated without fanfare but landed on me with the force of a freight train.
It All Started with Slouching
Several years ago I noticed that I was slouching at my desk. One thing led to another and I found myself on ‘the Wave’ (a speed slimming workout system) which began to strengthen my core muscles. Whatever you do athletically, a strong core is critical. Even running, crazy as it may sound, can be done much faster and better if you have a strong core (try running slouched over and you’ll see what I mean).
So, . . . Here’s the Rule
While running on a treadmill with my friend, Clare, she said, ‘When you are pushing yourself to a place that’s uncomfortable, it’s important to keep your core in-tact’. Brilliant. Although she was referring to running, this applies to your mental health, your spiritual health and entire your life.
Identifying the Core
The core is the central, innermost, or most essential part of anything. Our physical core is easy to see. It is the area between your chest and thighs. This area is can be targeted and strengthened with the right exercises. Our mental/emotional core is a little more difficult to get at. It is what we say to ourselves and how we see the world. It involves our judgments and opinions and what we believe to be truth along with our cognitive abilities. When it comes to our spiritual core, we need to identify what we have faith in and how that effects our decisions about right and wrong and our place in this world.
What is Your Core?
To live your best life, you need to assess the ‘core’ in the various parts of your life. Oh, you can ignore it or not face it but that will leave you weak and without direction. Is that what you want?
How strong is your physical core? I have noticed over the years that mine has gradually weakened. Working on strengthening your physical core will improve your overall health as it improves your posture. You can then breathe better and not put undue pressure on your organs. Change does not happen quickly but you will notice gradual improvements over time.
How strong is your mental/emotional core? What ‘truths’ do you tell yourself? How do you view yourself? Do you compare? Do you love yourself? Are you still listening to things that people said to you long ago? Do you talk to yourself like you would a friend? Are you hopeful about the future? Do you love those around you? Do you think mostly positively or mostely negatively? Do you have conversations with people in your mind instead of facing them directly? Is yours the only opinion that matters?
And, . . . what about your spiritual core? This is not about ‘religion’, but about faith. What are your beliefs? Do these beliefs help you? Do they scare you? Are they yours? Have you wrestled with them? Do they give you strength and purpose? Do they give you peace?
And How Will You Keep Your Core it In-Tact?
In a piece of fleshy fruit, the core is the central part that contains the seeds. What are the seeds in your core? Think of one core exercise in the three areas of your life I have mentioned. Here are some suggestions:
- Crunches and sit-ups
- Balance exercises
- Plank position hold
- Identify your personal goals (this is an on-going process that will change your entire life)
- Write out 3 beliefs that you have about yourself and say them out loud
- Learn a new skill, read a book on a new topic, or join a group to stimulate your thinking in an areas that you are now unfamiliar with
Strengthening your core will allow you to keep life in-tact when you are in a place that is uncomfortable.
How will you do it?