By Michele Zehr
When I was 4 years old, I fantasized of someday having big muscles. I felt, even at that young age, that this was my body’s most authentic physical expression. It was a few months away from Christmas and my parents always had my sister and I browse the toy section of the J.C. Penny’s and Sear’s catalogs (this was in the 1970’s folks), and we’d circle anything that interested us so that my parents could “communicate with Santa” and avoid giving duplicate gifts (yup…good one). So imagine my absolute delight when I turned the page of the catalog and saw inflatable Incredible Hulk muscles! The television show was new at that time and my family watched it every week. I knew I had to have them, so I excitedly took my pen and made several circles around the picture as to say, “Ok, I MUST have these muscles!” As you can see, Santa delivered and I was feeling like one self-actualized 4 year old little girl giving my best Incredible Hulk impersonation when my parents took this picture.
Confession—I have never stopped feeling the desire to have “muscles.” I don’t mean in that unhealthy steroid-taking, She-Male way; but natural, healthy definition and mass that is proportionate for a woman my size. I want to get cut as they say, and it’s scary for me to admit this publicly because my “you’re going to fail at this” demons get triggered every time. I’ve made friends with them so they don’t prevent me from authentically expressing myself, but it’s still scary nonetheless.
This week, while sweating and working my butt off with Mo, I had a moment of re-membering. What I mean by this is I had a moment where I got back in touch with that knowing part of myself that was so easily accessible when I was a little girl. And you know what came out of my mouth? “So Mo, is it possible for me to have definition lines around my muscles?” His response? “Oh heeeeelll yes! You’re going to have beautiful curves and lines!” For a moment, I felt that familiar flutter of total joy again, just like I did when I found my inflatable muscles as a child. A few nights later, I had a dream and all I can remember is that I was standing sideways, passing a mirror and in the reflection I saw my bare left arm with nice lines. That’s never happened before actually. This to me is a sign that a re-alignment is happening even at the subconscious level. It’s all very exciting.
What I’m exploring here is what I explained in my very first blog post. At some deep deep (I call it spiritual, but you don’t have to) level, there is a “knowing” of who I really am, and that includes not only mind and Spirit, but also body. They aren’t separate in fact, but they do become separated in our minds as we develop as children and are taught to put everything in separate categories (just look at how traditional medicine separates the body into specialized areas).
Realizing the full potential of what my body is capable of is a complete mystery to me in this context, and until now it felt like an impossibility. I am like an old acquaintance who is getting to know herself all over again in the physical realm. If this past Christmas, a mere month or so ago, you had told me that the third week of January, I’d jog 10 miles along with additional daily exercises, I would have asked you what you were smoking. Perhaps the biggest self-limiting story I created and bought into was that it was too late to realize what I’d known since I was 4 years old. But now, I’ve gotta own it and pull the bullshit card on myself as clearly, it’s not too late; I just have to be willing to work for it and most importantly, I have to continue to challenge my self-limiting beliefs and flip them into empowering beliefs. It’s really true when they say that you create your reality inside of your own mind.
I’m stoked because I experienced two milestone moments this week. On my route that I jog around my neighborhood (6 laps=2miles), there are two short hills. When I started working out with Mo three weeks ago, I could not jog the loop (1/3 mile) without stopping and walking up those hills and even on some flat parts. Week two, I still had to walk up the hills and some flat parts. But this week, I was suddenly able to continue jogging the entire 2 miles that I go each day and did not have to walk up those hills or any flat parts. Now I’m not moving at the speed of light and honestly, many people could probably speed-walk faster than I’m jogging, but none of that matters as I’ve given myself permission to be guided by my body and it is clearly responding.
The second milestone I experienced was I woke up Thursday morning so incredibly sore. My first thought was, “Oh gosh, I don’t know if I can jog this morning.” My fear was that the pain I was feeling in the moment that I woke up was not going to go away but get worse if I tried to move my body. The opposite is actually true. It’s when I don’t move my body that I hurt more, so I got up, put on my exercise outfit and walked outside. I put my favorite music on my iPod and to my disbelief, not only was I not hurting, I actually had energy to run and it felt good for the first time in my life! Now shhh….we can’t let that get out because I’ve been totally committed to the story that “I hate running.” I’m not saying I’m madly in love with it yet, because it is still hard for me, but this was a first, and if you’d seen me, I had a smile on my face. Yet another story of resistance flushed down the toilet.
So speaking of being sore, Mo told me if I could soak in a hot tub that would be really helpful. My own tub is just a standard tub that slowly drains water even with the stopper in, so it’s not perfect but I decided it’s better than nothing. But then, support from the Universe showed up and even though many people would call this a mere coincidence, I do not believe that anything happens by chance. See, I’ve personally experienced time and time again that the Universe will support what wants to happen next in our personal evolution, and in this context, it is supporting me in ways that keep me giggling like a child when it comes to caring for and loving my body on this journey. I mentioned to a friend that it’s pretty bad that the only stipulation of a Valentine’s Day get-a-way was that the hotel room had to have a Jacuzzi tub because I’m so sore. Then my friend goes, “Hey, I have an outdoor hot tub that you are welcome to come over and use anytime.”
Coincidence? I hardly think so (and hot tubs have been appearing in my life from the very beginning, even while traveling), as this is a perfect example of how we can approach our lives from a heart-place of gratitude—taking nothing for granted. I can honestly say I feel as if I am being supported through this journey in ways that are making the course just a little bit easier.
P.S. If you decide to sign up with Mo because of this blog, please mention you heard about him because of Michele’s Blog. Mo offers every customer a free session for each referral, so I’d appreciate it greatly. Thank you.