It’s the holidays! A time where we start to settle from all the challenges of the past year, move into our cozy winter selves, and reflect before the new year approaches.
So I wanted to highlight REFLECTION to get the new year pre-start strong.
Can you reflect upon your life with truth?
I’ve been having great conversations with a variety of people in my life and I noticed that the difference between the people who move forward versus the people who feel stagnate is the ability to REFLECT versus getting stuck in RUMINATION or AVOIDANCE.
“Rumination is a sign of depression.” -Michelle Pan (Wellness coach/Body worker)
We all have gotten stuck in rumination, so we know what this can feel like. So no I'm not saying you're depressed, but ruminating can lead us down a dark path and very frustrating cycles. Guilt or shame over things that didn’t quite work out repeat over ‘n’ over ‘n’ over again, again, again… UGH! STOP!
Then we try to “fake it til we make it.” We repeat motivational quotes that speak to us but they don’t quite resonate so we desperately hope the coin will flip if we keep repeating it. And sometimes we skip trying at all and just avoid the situation entirely by distracting ourselves which is basically piling on more shit on top of more shit that we’ll have to deal with eventually.
Ughhh, it’s sooo exhausting. Trust me, I know! I’ve been there! The important thing is developing an understanding of truth in this NOW MOMENT, and to start redirecting the energy to find the solution.
Take a deep breath. Seriously, do it now!
Inhale on a 4 count… 4 - 3 - 2 - 1
Exhale on a 4 count… 4 - 3 -2 - 1
Repeat. One more time, please…
You’re welcome… ;)
When it comes to REFLECTING versus Ruminating or Avoiding it’s about following a path of questions & statements like these...
WHAT WAS MY EXPERIENCE?
Whether my experience was good or bad. Have an understanding of the lesson. The lesson is the solution. The emotions around it are NOT. Emotions are beautiful but they are not always truthful to you in the NOW MOMENT because they are based on past experiences and past habitual patterns. If we want to build a new response we must let go of those patterns to...
BUILD A NEW TRUTH!
CAN I RECOGNIZE MY PATTERNS?
The moment is now gone in the past so ruminating over the negative feeling or the why it happened doesn’t help the situation. And avoidance, well that just doesn’t do shit. Easier said than done but not as hard as you think once you put in the practice. To be honest, I used to really suck at this! I still procrastinate, but the difference now is that I catch myself doing the pattern I want to get rid of faster.
We all self-sabotage, the gold is when we catch it so we can burn the old pattern then turn it around.
CAN I TAKE RESPONSIBILITY IN MY THOUGHTS?
Everything in life is a tool.
Example… Social media is a tool, not the cause of someone feeling negatively about themselves, which I keep hearing about. Have I felt like I’ve compared myself negatively to others on social media? Unfortunately, yes. But have I also met some of my best friends and connect to humans all across the globe to deliver my loving message on social media? Yes, yes, YES! How we DECIDE to use tools is on us, NOT the tool.
Look at it without judgement. Recognize that our immediately reactive responses are just our internal security alarms that just may be having an over sensitive moment, and it might be time to reset the security system. This is not good or bad… Think of it as a refresher.
Change can feel worst than pain because our inner will is stronger than anything else. So own your body’s intelligence! It doesn’t take a motivational guru to know that change is beautiful, tough growth... But to choose habitual pain because “you’re use to it” is stubbornness and avoidance at play. Take responsibility in your thoughts. Your knee-jerk reaction to something stems from your habitual patterns. Not your present truth.
HOW DO I ACCESS MY TRUTH?
We can best access a truthful answer when we are in a place of peace, calm, & groundedness. And we can absorb the calm physically to help us flow into it mentally and emotionally.
Ways to access peace, calm, groundedness:
Breathwork. All styles work. The simplest form I recommend is breathing softly, quietly, inhaling/exhaling through the nose, full to empty.
Movement/Exercise - This is an important one! The body gets stiff and blocked in places when we emotionally feel stuck. This is why I love to flow daily. Move the breath, unwind the muscles, oxygenate the blood, push all the blocked energy to come into a state of flow.
Sharing time with friends who love you and accept you. If you don’t have accepting people in your life you can find communities by searching online. The internet and social media can be great tools for this.
Getting enough rest.
Whole food diet.
Constantly learning and growing daily.
Giving love back to others.
And finally, just trust that NOTHING IN LIFE IS PERMANENT, so don’t take everything so seriously, like SERIOUSLY! ;)
“You wouldn’t be seeking IT if IT didn’t exist.” -Eric Walsh
Once we are in that space of calm, grounded, non-judgement we can then access our truths that resonate with us deeply, and that will create the projection of our growth.
Thanks for reading my thoughts, and wishing you all the best in the new year and new phases of your life!
Love, hugs, & high-5’s!
PS, make sure you are subscribed as a VenusFit Insider to get the latest on mind body soul flows & workouts! Move to live awesome.
This post is dedicated to one of the greatest unconditional loves of my life, Maxy “the boogerbear” Lau, til our spirits meet again.
(**Warning: Sometimes I’m blunt, use curse words, use sarcasm, run-on sentences, contradict myself because life is an evolving fluid smorgasbord and words are just a spit of the thoughts, feelings, and moments we experience.)
The definition of HABIT is…
a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.
Some habits are fabulous, some habits are eh, some habits serve us in no way and we are fucking idiots for continuing them. I’ve had sooo many of these.
Having a dog is a habit… A great one for the last 15 years of my life where I had to be accountable for another creature --
pick up poop,
train for treats,
and learn to listen & communicate in human-doggy language, you know, the kind of speak where your voice gets really high-pitched and you would never talk to another human above the age of 5 like that because you sound ridiculous? Yeah that.
Having a dog is unfortunately a habit I am learning to break as my heart broke and I had to put my dog to sleep 2 weeks ago. She let me know it was her time to go and it was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make.
My heart feels jabs of pain when I realize my fur baby isn’t around anymore… I didn’t realize how aware and in tune my dog, Maxy, and I were until she was gone. When I get out of bed and my feet touch the floor I anticipate the jingle of her collar and her head popping up. The other day I went to San Diego with a friend and had a moment where I thought, “I better get home at a decent time to feed and walk Maxy… Wait, no, I don’t have to be home at any certain time.” When I pick up my keys, when I open the fridge, when I turn on the shower, when I do anything at all! I anticipate her joining me or having to schedule my time to include her. Fuck, it’s so weird not having a dog! It’s so weird to not have to be accountable for anyone else other than myself. I still say hello and good-bye to her when I leave my apartment as if she was still there. She’s been a stable part of my life for the last 15 years. I miss her dearly, and have moments of sadness, but I’m not letting it consume me. It was her time to go after living a full and happy doggy life. I could feel it coming, and she definitely prepared me by becoming less attached to me the last couple years… Don’t ask me how I know, I just do. And life must continue to flow forward.
Even good HABITS have to die in order to EVOLVE in this life.
That’s the funny thing about life.
Everything is TEMPORARY.
Things have to come to a close.
We will grieve.
Because life keeps us growing.
And accepting this is WHAT MAKES HABITS WAYYY LESS SCARY TO START!
Habits should have a balance of structure & malleability.
“Suffer through the structure in order to conquer the chaos.” -Mike Fitch, creator of Animal Flow/my jedi master mentor.
Sounds deep cause it is! You really get to know what you’re made of when you force yourself to be accountable to something that brings growth and greatness into your life. Yes, you should have some passion behind it! Yes, you should have some fun! But will it always be fun? NOoooooooo, it won’t. I know that, and you know that! To me the fun is the process, even the shitty parts I roll my eyes at and relish having bitchfests about. The process of knowing I’m learning and evolving into a better self. It’s the attitude of embracing the present moment and saying, “Okay, let’s freakin do this. I got this and I’m totally capable of putting my big girl panties on myself!”
Once you begin a daily habit, the chaos begins to get conquered little by little, step by step. You see the light at the end of the scary dark tunnel. And with discipline we are granted freedom.
Okay, so here’s a straight forward way to start new habits.
Whether you want to get rid of one, like me letting go of my dog. Or start a new one, like beginning a movement practice…
Identify your attachment relationship with your old habit.
We all have some voice in our head that says “but I need, but I have to, but that’s who I am, but, but, but bullshit” -- Just identify your attachment to the old habit. Write down the things it has taught you, good and bad.
Address if it is CURRENTLY serving you.
Realize everything has a place and time and purpose. But is your attachment to the thing CURRENTLY serving you? My dog was an amazing sweetheart, she would break up fights at the dog park and protect the little doggy getting picked on… I’m not making this shit up, she was a boss. But it doesn’t serve me to not let her go and stay stuck feeling sad. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a robot, I have feelings… I’ve had a cry about once a day but then I move forward. Don’t get stuck in comfort, yes both sadness and happiness can be comforts, choose to grow forward. Just like the habit of not working out or not doing the thing we know we should do doesn’t currently serve your health or success.
Be VIGILANT & cut out the stuff that isn’t ALIGNED with your goal!
Seriously, do it. There’s good and bad in almost everything but it doesn’t mean we should continue something just because there’s a little bit of good. Get real with yourself. We only have a limited amount of time in our lives for certain things. Each decade seems to be going by quicker and quicker. REALIZE & ASK, What is most important to me?
For me it is spending time with people in my life I truly care about and having awesome experiences full of love, laughter, and joy. And being able to share that with others through my passion of movement and fitness. I’m very simple (whispering: “and complex”) and I’m creating a life where I can do those things. But I don’t have time for bullshit. When something doesn’t feel aligned I let it go. And to be honest I use to be absolutely terrible at doing this, still a work in progress.
Identify the new habit that will propel you to your passion or forward motion.
Start the new habit on a level that will promote consistency with you and you only! Not every way of starting a habit works for everyone. We are all so individual. Know how to trick yourself as a full proof plan. Start simple. Know your triggers and don’t allow yourself to go there. Only you can be the super hero and the villain at the same time. Take responsibility for your life. No blaming.
Make time for your new habit. Everyone has 15-20 minutes a day to make a priority a priority.
Otherwise you might as well just say the damn truth… “I’m lying to myself of what my priorities are. I really don’t give a shit about making my life better. And I’m just straight up lazy with too many excuses.” Again, start simple. 15-20 minutes a day re-trains our brain and emotions to re-pattern… But don’t overthink it, just fucking do it! The more we put the value of an excuse or negotiation in our head, the less power we give ourselves… And then the habit starts morph into a monster of a big deal. Don’t be so overly dramatic… It’s just 15-20 minutes day. Make it a common practice, a ritual, a normality in your life… Something you put in place and can’t give up. Once it’s a consistent habit you enjoy, evolving it into something bigger or more time is super easy peasy.
Find your tribe -- Even the lone wolf was meant to be a pack animal.
Resources, teachers, guides, friends, a community that supports your new habit… More importantly support you and all your greatness while calling you out on your bullshit. Find people who make time for you, who want to actually know you, who truthfully accept and support you by being an extra hand when you’re distraught. People who can teach you, keep you accountable, lean on when you feel unmotivated. Support really matters. Plus it’s very telling of who you should have in your life… It’s actually part of the new habit. Good vibe tribe matters.
The people you surround yourself with is the energy you will carry. It’s all a domino effect and at the end of the day we are all connected in some form or fashion. When I didn’t feel like I had enough of the right people in my life I turned to podcasts and social media. Podcasts are full of fantastic information where you feel like you’re in the same room with those brilliant minds. Surprisingly I’ve met a ton of likeminded amazing friends on social media. Seriously! We had like-minded interests, followed the same people, and started following/commenting on each others page then eventually met up in person to geek out in real life. Nothing beats real interaction so reach out!! I want to help empower and connect others so if you notice another person commenting on my page that you vibe with reach out and say hello… Tag #venusfit cause it would seriously make me giddy happy to see it.
Keep being consistent. Keep being consistent.
Be flexible to evolve.
Keep being consistent.
Flexible to evolve.
Okay, you get it. Cheers, high-5’s, and thanks for tuning in… Now go do your thing!!
***(Caution: I sometimes curse, I won't judge you if you won't judge me)***
▵▵ Blogshmog 1... INTENTION 1st, then HABIT▵▵
Get clear with what you want,
Where you're at,
Why you want it,
Adjust to be true to you & you only!
Create habits that lead you there.
Sounds as simple as a motivational quote, because the concept IS. SIMPLE.
But execution can be challenging. Challenging can be simple but our screwed up brains often go to complex. Take a DEEP BREATH (right now, seriously do it!) because complex is just a big cluster of simples.
Things get simpler once the INTENTION is clear.
Perhaps you've set aside the intention of becoming a better mover until now...
When we think of "being a better mover" we think of things like dance, elaborate flows, or perhaps difficult skills like a handstand. Sometimes I think to myself, "oh, man, I wish I was a gymnast or dancer when I was a kid. I'd be more coordinated or stronger. Because muscle memory, right?" But the truth of the reality is that if you start with simple steps, and get good at them, the complex stuff works its way out.
And let's face it, muscle memory is ehh, it’s a good fallback to access patterned pathways but without consist practice muscle memory won’t deliver optimal performance. For example,. I played piano for 7 years as a kid. I could read sheet music and play it like I was reading a rhythmic Dr. Seuss poem... Cut to today and if I needed to read sheet music or else my finger would get chopped off, well then bloody good-bye finger! Haha.
Memory requires consistency and habit... A daily habit is preferred for an automatic response from the body. Everything we do is a LANGUAGE.
The language we speak to ourselves in our head. The verbal language we speak with our mouths. The body language we exert to others. The body language we practice. It starts with the A-B-C's then evolves to words, sentences, paragraphs, elaborate stories, etc, yaddah shmaddahhh.
But let's rewind for a sec...
SET THE INTENTION 1st!
STEP 1... FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU WANT.
Just freakin state it. I want "insert x-y-z here" and be specific to every last detail. Don't worry it can change. Everything in life is fluid, it undulates and evolves. But we gotta start somewhere. Don't overthink it! Just state it! Write it down so you can refer to it often. Again, you can always cross it out and rewrite a new one. Life is always in the rewriting process.
STEP 2... GET CLEAR WITH WHERE YOU'RE AT.
The toughest part is being honest with the current situation. Not focusing on past nor future. Where are you now?
I'm using being a better mover as the running theme in my head, but all these concepts can apply to anything life presents us - career, relationships, new skills, letting go of patterns, goals of many varieties. Plus one of my biggest goals is to help people to connect to their bodies, so naturally I go to the goal of being a better mover, duh right? But it starts with MINDSET AND HEARTFELT VULNERABILITY.
SO SOME QUESTIONS YOU CAN ASK YOURSELF ARE...
STEP 3... WHY DO YOU WANT IT?
To feel important? To feel connected? To look cool? To... What? Why? No answer is wrong. Let your ego have a battle out conversation with your heart. I don't think anything is ever wrong if it's aligned with you. But it's like that little kid constantly asking, "But why? But, why? Oh, okay. But, why?" Be that little annoying or, ahem, I mean adorable, curious, little kid.
Curiosity killed the cat yet the cat has 9 lives.
FOR EVERY ANSWER YOU COME UP WITH, ASK WHY 5 MORE TIMES MINIMUM... ughhh, annoying I know! But it kinda works. Each time you ask you get closer to the real answer. The answer is all about the feels and sometimes we just aren't vulnerable enough with ourselves until we whittle ourselves down.
STEP 4... ADJUST TO THE NEW YOU, NOW THAT YOU KNOW THE WHAT, WHERE, & WHY.
Knowing the 3 W's can slightly change the angle of how we see things. That's a great thing! If we want change, invite the change. So there should be a slight adjustment to the approach.
For example, I wanted to be a better mover because I was constantly having pain on the right side of my body after doing intense workouts. It was frustrating because I moved my body daily and thought I was in great shape. I'm a trainer, I am responsible for teaching people, I'm doing the work daily, so what the fuuuuuuck? I also had more of an ego that wanted to feel cool. I was young and insecure. Don't get me wrong, I'm human, of course I still want to be "cool" but not at the cost of feeling like shit for the rest of the day. That's not true alignment with what I really wanted. Now being cool to me is getting through the workouts and flows with that sensation of feeling alive, energized, connected and released. My workouts support the rest of the day that I'm not working out.
So let's say you want to be able to do a handstand because you saw a post on social media that inspired you, plus it was coupled with a bomb inspirational quote by a super hot yogi. Buuuuut your wrists hurt if you do a plank for 1 minute, and even that 1 minute plank is too challenging... Then you're gonna have to keep that inspirational quote in your pocket yet drop the sloppy kicking up into handstands & slamming into the wall back a notch my friend. And instead start with planks on your knees or another modification until you build the habit and consistency of being comfortable on your hands. Hence adjusting for the new CURRENT goal. Future goals are great, but that's the future that you have no control over.
I was that chick that wanted to do handstands after seeing that oh so fab post on social media then proceeded to do a zillion sloppy shitty handstands with horribly inflamed, sore wrists... I can be a stubborn asshole. I made a new goal of just being good at the foundations of groundwork and flow... Then magically I started to be able to do handstands. Not sensational at them yet but now I'm totally comfortable on my hands and upside down because I:
ADJUSTED THE CURRENT GOAL & ALLOWED IT TO LEAD ME TO THE NEXT THING.
And even more important, I'm appreciative of where I'm at in this current moment. I have a new current goal, a clear picture of where I'm at, and my why. This which leads me to the next step...
Step 5... CREATE NEW DAILY HABITS.
I've been told it takes 1,000 reps for a movement to be able to be performed on command by the brain. 10,000 reps for it to be an automatic response.
Once you create the habit the body/mind/spirit will run on autopilot. I can't go more than a couple days without working out or flowing but this was not always the case. And on days I don't feel like doing anything at all I have a minimum of 15 minutes to do something, anything! Even if that means turning up the music and dancing by myself in my apartment... Okay, this is a daily thing for me already but you get the point. And maybe your goal is not physical, maybe it's mindset, then journal 15 minutes minimum a day.
My golf instructor used to say, "Every day you don't practice, you lose 3 days that you did practice." Intense right!? I don't know if it's totally true but I can attest that there is some truth to it.
Message: Be a Daily Doer. Give it your EXCELLENCE.
**I'll go into more detail on Habits on the next Blogshmog!**
Hope you enjoyed my words. Swing back by for more of my verbal spits. I plan on writing more. Possible topics: Weight-loss, self-care, judgement, mind-body-soul stuff, guest bloggers, fitness/product/events/class/funny reviews, etc. And give me feedback! Try to be gentle or hilarious because I'm just as human as you... Thanks so much & high-5's! P.S. I love pirate jokes.