The Mental Gym
Being among yogis, health nuts, and body workers for over 25 years, there is one common thread that seems to poison these chosen paths. The contamination begins when these health junkies focus on the purification of the physical body through fasting, sweating, juicing, massaging, and exercising but completely neglect the thoughts that are ruminating in the mind.
The mind is where it all begins.
Here are a few examples of healthy bodies and polluted minds :
1. When we go out to a restaurant and order our kale salad and carrot juice, and the person next to us orders a plate of fries with a grilled cheese sandwich and we begin to judge, the judgement is more harmful than the grease of the fries.
2. If we run to a yoga class and squeeze out all the toxins, and then go home and scream at our kids or partner, this erases all the positive affects of yoga.
3. If we are eating right, practicing healthy movement everyday, but constantly complaining about how miserable we are, then all those positive actions are cancelled out due to chronic negative thoughts.
When we begin with the body in order to make a healthy change, we have it backwards. Start with the mind first, then it flows to the body. Let’s call it your “mental gym”. How can we train our minds as diligently as our bodies, you ask? Well, it’s a daily mental challenge.
The time to begin your mental workout is as soon as you open up your eyes in the morning. Think of all the things you’re grateful for. A few examples are as simple as your mattress beneath you, your pillows, your hot shower that you are about to take, your electricity, and running water. How about recognizing your health, hands, arms, legs, feet, eyes, nose, ears etc...,. You get the picture.
Watch your thoughts on a daily basis. Choose them. Be cognizant of your self-deprecation, putting other people down, or complaining about your situation, or the state of the world.
Health truly begins in the mind. Having a negative voice in your head about yourself, other people, or the state of the planet, can literally wreak havoc on your organs, tissues, cells, and soul.
Always begin with your “mental gym” and constantly focus on what is perfect about you and the world, and your body will naturally follow. If your mind is filled with negative thoughts and your body is filled with healthy foods, there is a major discrepancy going on between the mind and the body. Align both the mind and body by doing prayer chin-ups, affirmation push-ups, complimenting sit-ups, and constantly sipping good thoughts morning, noon, and night.
In summation, we can all be well-rounded if we pause before we judge. Give each individual the dignity of their own path. That means the choice to eat and move and live how they see fit. It is truly none of our business what others choose. The best way to live is by example as opposed to lecturing. If others ask for help, then I am happy to share my knowledge, but unsolicited advice can be conveyed as rude and impolite. To be honest, I know some miserable health junkies, and I know truly remarkable happy potato chip eaters. Visit your mental gym daily and watch your happiness biceps and joyous triceps grow. Give it a try!