Faith, courage, insight, and creativity, like a muscle, need to be exercised. As a personal trainer, I can appreciate the importance of exercise. There is a group of muscles referred to as core muscles that act as stabilizers for the skeletal frame. They’re usually smaller in size and atrophy faster than the larger muscles, like hamstrings or quads. Most injuries occur when these muscles get weak and fail during physical stress. Faith, courage, insight, and creativity are part of our emotional core. We need them to endure during mental stress to keep our emotional frame work healthy. Anyone that is wanting to be successful at making life style changes in diet and exercise to improve their physical health, will need to have a healthy emotional core.
What does emotional health have to do with whether or not we’re successful at loosing weight? Well, let’s start with faith. Obviously, you need to have faith in yourself to succeed, but you also need to believe that this endeavor is worthy of your best effort, a worthwhile cause. Next you need to have courage to overcome the doubts and set backs. “But, I’ve failed so many times before.” is one example. Insight is needed to be able to see what your potential shortcomings will be, like “I crave sweets and hate doing cardio.” And creativity is how you will find ways to get past these hurdles, like “I love dancing and will try new desert recipes that use fruit rather than sugar.” This formula can be applied to anything you want to be successful at, not just exercise and weight loss.
There are more important areas of life that will require the flexing of these mental muscles, – relationships, family, spirituality – so exercising them is vital. The more successful accomplishments you have, the stronger they become, but first you have to start with the easier exercises and build them up, just like your workouts.
A client said to me the other day after finally being able to do a certain exercise she couldn’t do before because of weak core muscles, “I really like how you say we’re waking the muscles up.” There are neuro-pathways to muscles that get “sleepy” and sluggish when not used regularly, and my job is to find ways to wake them up.
As I was thinking about what to name this blog, I remembered what my client had said earlier that day. I thought about how we have to wake up the mental core sometimes, too. It prompted me to go back to a series of life coaching exercises that I worked back in 2008, and found this “mission statement”: My mission is to awaken the courage, insight, and creative abilities that have always been in me, and use them to communicate the things I’ve been learning along my journey. Six years ago when I wrote this statement, I knew that these abilities were weak and needed to be exercised, but I feel like my client who was finally able to “find” her muscles, that I’m just now starting to “awaken the sleeper.”
This blog is a continuation of my exercises and mission statement. The drawing of the emerging butterfly was created at the same time as my mission statement, and has now become my business logo.