“I hate hills” is a pretty common statement I hear from runners, and one I heard myself saying on a recent run. It may be a fact, but it’s also a fact that when I believe that thought, I send a cascade of stress hormones through my body as my body resists, contracts, gets tunnel vision and as I noticed this reaction, my energy drained out of me. Not helpful in a race. Ok, so it may be a fact, but what else is true? “I love hills.” I love the challenge, the exhilaration at the top, the oxygen that is pumping through my veins, the muscles I am building. Ok, now I am ready to take on the world, one step at a time of course.
Am I lying? I prefer to look at it as making a choice that feels better and takes in the wide array of reactions we could have to any situation when our awareness expands. If you have a ‘hill’ in your life, do you make it the size of Mount Everest, or could you love it because it is there in your path already? Why not make the journey easier?
There will always be hills. It’s a question of how we want to feel, and that is a choice.
I am not a believer of ‘think positive thoughts and all will be fine’. Our bodies are much wiser, and will only accept what is believable. The key is to notice the emotional reaction. If I can say “I hate hills” as a fact, a truth, neutral, no reaction, then fine… no impact on my life. BUT, if the thoughts you are thinking are toxic and keeping you contracted and narrow, then open up to accepting something different.
When we accept what is, we become at peace with the world. We don’t give up. When we resist, we create struggle and stress. Now move on.. love what is and then decide what to do. As poet Mary Oliver’s famous line says:
“You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.” Ever.
Have a great week everyone,
ps. The last Thursday mindfulness class is this week! 12 noon at Askews uptown community room.