How to, "Release That Which No Longer Serves You," or, "Rewrite Your Stories." (Let's Cut Through the Noise, Shall We?)
A TUESDAY WORD ON TAKING CARE OF YOU (...a necessity tabled for later, more often than not, no?):
If you spend much time on the internet, particularly in the personal development and/or fitness mindset space, it's likely you've heard quite a bit of talk about, "rewriting your stories," and, "releasing that which no longer serves you."
Those are both important things, to be sure. If you've ever found yourself stuck in a loop saying, "that's just how I am," while secretly balling your fists up to rip your hair out of your head strand-by-strand in frustration, there's likely an identity or two (or seven, if you're anything like me) causing some friction for you. We're all quite good, by now, at taking other people's criticisms and internalizing them, led to believe they're an immutable part of who we are, but that isn't entirely true. We can change and evolve—in fact, we're meant to—at any time we choose.
Back to rewriting our stories: for a long time, these aforementioned phrases gave me a similar prickle to, "just love your body!"
Rather than the freedom these phrases were likely intended to impart, I was left with a slow-burning rage:
OKAY, YOU SUPER-EVOLVED BEING IN THIS TINY INSTAGRAM SQUARE, BUT HOW? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?
*insert failure and shame*
I'm not one to tell you exactly how, because, truth be told, I don't know exactly what it will look like for you. Despite my never-ending eye rolls at the word, "journey," this fitness and personal development thing truly is an uncharted path: you get to choose the direction, the pace, the destination, all of it. I'm here to act as a guide... or an irritating shotgun driver asking, "what would happen if we went over here?" (you know the one—you end up on some great adventures with her, ones you're super grateful for in retrospect, but for the love, could she just pipe down sometimes?)
In an effort to nudge you along, and help this release and rewriting actually get moving, I'm going to cut through the vague language to give you some better questions:
🐙 IMAGINE: you wake up in the morning, and your shoulders are not immediately creeping to your ears. You don't hit snooze 17 times to avoid what's ahead. You don't want to hide from your boss for fear of rolling your eyes at him every 12 seconds. You welcome the screaming child with...not a grimace and a sigh, at least. How different is this from your current morning?
🐙 What words, phrases, or threads do you notice? E.g., "why can't my kid get to bed on time? I did the snack, the story, the Daniel Tiger countdown, what gives, kid? I suck. I'm failing as a mother," or, "another day I can't make it to the gym. *sardonic giggle* of course. I never follow through with anything. Remember that time I ditched my friend on the playground in 3rd grade? Prom? Oh and that time I wasn't there for my mom in 1982."
🐙 How did these stories, these vested guards directing traffic in your mind, get there? Who associated boundaries or self-care with failure? Who decided you were in thought debt and you needed to self-flagellate to atone?
🐙 When did this start?
🐙 What sorts of situations cause the tapes to play?
🐙 Are they true? Are they the whole story, or simply the portion at which we've worn a groove in the record? Is there more to them?
🐙 Are they helpful? Are they inspiring change, empowerment, or anything at all that you want in your life?
Address these questions with compassion and curiosity: that's how we learn what is ours to carry, as well as that which we can put down.
Armed with that knowledge, we can tell a new story, this time with more context, more perspective, more direction—in short, a more complete tale, one in which the lessons from the fables are more clear.
PS- I understand these questions can be... not so fun. Certainly not part of most whole30s and 21-day-fixes and plans ripped out of magazines, and likely without easy, obvious answers.
These questions are the beginning of a new, powerful relationship,—one that is a source of peace, pleasure, and strength—both with fitness and with yourself.
If you'd like help uncovering the answers, or someone to pay attention to you while you create the space to give them, that's exactly what we do in The Bold Body Initiative: a 12-week program in which you'll find ways to eat, train, and care for yourself that actually feel good.
If you've been here a while, you know that the group last fall was nothing short of incredible. I'm excited to announce another group will open later this spring—look out for the announcement here first! You can learn more (and sign up for the waitlist, where you can secure your spot) here.