How to effortlessly find the motivation to take action especially when it is hard, uncomfortable or unpleasant

Photo by @helloimnik via unsplash

Photo by @helloimnik via unsplash

A few weeks ago, to my surprise, my spirit urged me to start a running training program.

I’ve never been much of a fan of running. It can be pretty punishing on the body, boring and create a lot of discomfort mostly of the mental kind, where you want to quit because it feels hard but you keep pushing yourself to keep going, unless of course you do quit because you don’t win the mental battle and either walk, go home and/or never go for a run again.

Why running?

Well I’m not a fan of the gym, and while I love boxing (I trained in boxing for many years and was even going to try some amateur bouts until I sprained my ankle then suffered hip and back problems for a couple of years) I’m not feeling the call to go back to boxing right now.

My main goal is to move my body, get fit and feel good. My secondary goal is to work up to running 5 kilometres, just because it feels good to have to something to aim towards that will extend myself.

So I googled and found a simple training program that combines walking and running that builds up to only running over a number of weeks so that I can ease into it, build up strength and stamina and reduce the risk of injury by going too hard too soon.

It’s not been the best time of year to start training here in Melbourne. It’s winter. They days are short and cold, sometimes windy, and we’ve had a lot of rain. So you know what’s coming next….

Common excuses not to take action

Being winter gives me at least 4 reasons not to go outside and run:

  • It’s too dark.

  • It’s too cold.

  • It’s too wet.

  • It might rain.

 The other excuses I can come up with include:

  • I’m still sore from the last run.

  • I’m too tired.

  • It’s too hard.

  • I’ll go tomorrow.

My favourite and most consistent excuse is:

I don’t feel like it.

As humans, we’re pretty wired for comfort and safety. I think it’s a rare person who wakes up and says to them self…

“Gee I feel like getting out of my comfort zone today!”

Well at least I don’t wake up thinking that or saying to myself that I really feel like going for a run, although maybe one day I will. 

So far, three weeks into my training I haven’t missed a training session and I’ve managed pretty easily not to give into my excuses and allow them to stop me and this is why…

My secret motivation booster…

Last year, my teacher/coach introduced me to Kundalini meditation and yoga by prescribing some short meditative practices to help with anger and negativity, heart protection and self-love.  I’ve tried different styles of yoga over the years but never clicked with them the way I clicked with Kundalini yoga. I felt completely different after the first short 3-minute practice I was given.  Since then, I’ve been practicing almost every day.

One of the things that I love about the kundalini practice is that often there is time allowed to sit, breathe, notice the body and it’s energy and integrate the medicine of the practice. The energy in and around my body may feel different depending on the practice but there are usually very delicious feelings to feel.

I’ve transferred this practice of awareness and integration into my running training.

When I arrive home from a run, I sit for a few minutes and feel the energy that is around my body. Yes, my legs or feet or knees might feel a bit sore or achy, but the energy in and around my body feels light, vibrant, alive, vital, joyful and sometimes blissful.

It is by paying attention to how I feel after I’ve done the hard work i.e. the fruits of my labour that motivates me to go back and run again, to put myself through discomfort.

The running might be hard at times but the more I do it, the more I start to experience pockets of joy as I run. The more I pay attention to how I feel after running, the more I want to go back and do it again.

Bask in the goodness. Soak in all the delicious sensations.

Photo by Melissa Askew

Photo by Melissa Askew

It’s that simple. And it’s something we can apply to almost any difficult task we have to accomplish whether it be a university assignment, cleaning up a very messy house, making a difficult phone call we’ve been putting off.

Try it…

So I offer you this short practice to try:

  1. Drift back in time and remember something you accomplished that felt good to accomplish.

  2. Remember how you felt.

  3. Notice where the feeling is located in your body and what the sensations are like. It might not be in your body but just around your body in your energy field or aura.

  4. Name the feelings or sensations.

  5. Bask in the feeling and sensations.

Doing this will effortlessly build your motivation to take action because…

  1. You will more deeply map the feeling to your body and energy system.

  2. The next time you have to do something hard or uncomfortable, your body will remember the good feelings .

  3. Those good feelings will help you move through the uncomfortable part.

  4. It will become easier to take action and consistent action towards your goals because those good feelings are going to pull you towards them.

Try it and let me know how you go.

Oh and if you’re one of those people who does wake up in the morning looking forward to getting out of their comfort zone, I’d love to hear from you too. Let me in on your secret.

 With love and courage,

Kym xx

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PS This is me on my way back home from a run, rugged up for the cold and rain jacket on because it was possibly going to rain but it didn’t…


Why you should slow down and take your time

Sometimes it seems this world is in such a rush to get somewhere and especially to cram as much as possible into the short time we have to live this human incarnation.

But doesn’t rushing feel like skating on the surface?

And doesn’t cramming it all in feel confining and stifling and like there’s no space for joy to wrap around the experience?

In our efforts to realise our dreams, we skip over uncertainty, and we don’t mine the gifts of our procrastination, fears, avoidant tendencies and other blocks.

I’m a proponent of slowing down and taking your time.

In my work place, I see time and time again how too much focus on getting the job done often in a rush and not enough focus on the unfolding journey called process causes errors, sub-standard work and re-works making the journey take twice as long and a whole heap of frustration and lost goodwill. A lot of business studies have shown that slowing down is the way to speed up.

As a scuba diver, swimming too fast has two implications:
The first is that you will suck your tank dry of air quickly and your dive time will be greatly reduced;
The second is that you won’t see all the camouflaged, hidden and tiny creatures as you swim right past them. You might see more of a big site but really you will see less.

As a pilgrim (or hiker or every day walker), walking through the world brings you into direct contact with the world around you, the ground, the sky, the weather, the sounds, the smells, the textures, the small and hidden details, in a way you can’t experience it in a bus or train or car.

As a meditator, your experience of life slows right down to this moment, this breath, this inhale then exhale, the thoughts floating through like passing clouds and all the sensations that are here to be noticed and felt fully.

There’s a time to leap and jump and swing through life, and there’s a time to bust through your procrastination and other blocks that hold you back, but mostly I think we need to slow down.

The fullness of life is not in how much we do or how far we go or how much we achieve but in how deeply we experience and treasure each moment that it presents, even the ones we want to bypass or reject.

With love and courage,

Kym xx

You will rise back up and bloom: faith learned from life and the garden

 

This is what happens,
after life cuts you down to the ground.

You may be stunned and startled,
hollowed and halted,
broken and disheveled,
cut off from everything you knew
and were growing towards.

But slowly over time,
nature will have her way.

Your roots will draw sustenance
from tears and sobbing,
the pain of desolation, 
and the barrenness that breathes you
when your dream has been snatched away.

One day, maybe tomorrow, 
maybe next week, 
maybe next month
or even years from now,
you will rise back up, 
and you will bloom
more beautiful than ever before. 
Radiant with all your scars
and all your new growth. 

Despite everything, 
you endured. 

You risked, you loved, you lost
and in the end you won,
twisted, stretched, scrunched and moulded
into intricate living wisdom
that cannot be learned from reading books,
only from embracing 
and bowing to life herself,
no matter how willing or unwillingly
you fell to your knees and plunged
into the mud and the darkness.


 

PS Please share, with love.

What you are capable of

When you are tired and your feet are throbbing from the forty thousandth step and the fourteen kilos loaded on your back.

When your hips muscles spasm rebelling against the thirtieth kilometre you have walked today alone.

When your body is crying its song of pain only you can hear and begging that you stop.

You do not.

You question why you do this day after day and if it is the only way to find what you seek.

But each morning you still wake to walk, and you keep going until you reach the place you know you must be to find shelter and warmth and nourishment to thank your body for its service despite its complaints.

As you pass through another village, the chalky smoke of old fires burning invoke desire for rest.

The dark whispers tell you that it’s okay to stop, that you can quit and just go home.

But your spirit surges through your heart, strong and determined.

It tells you, laughing kindly, that you still don't know what you are fully capable of and you will never know if you skirt the flames.

You did not come into this world to live easy.

You came into this world to find out who you are and to discover the enormity of your own power.

You came into this world, to live this ordinary human life extraordinarily.