Peace and kindness.
Until recently I would have said these words were fairly overrated in their use.
Well now, I couldn’t speak their praise enough.
The first way that I mean this is within.
Finding peace and kindness for and of yourself is quite possibly the greatest challenge that you can face, also without doubt the most rewarding.
It is infinite power and wisdom and of course in such a peaceful and serene way. It can move mountains with its’ force and ensures that you are never alone. It helps you sleep better, move with freedom and breathe more deeply.
It allows you to live an ultimate life and who doesn’t want that?
This is the universal human longing. Plain and simple.
I should say that by no means am I not human and there are many an occasion where peace and kindness have flown my coop and are nowhere to be found. A journey however is exactly that and none of us are exempt from this.
A few years ago my present day reality would have not only seemed impossible, though outrageous and in all manner of speaking. To be flying up the back of a plane, en route to Europe to be married, holidaying with my loved ones in Italy and feeling peace, all without pharmaceutical intervention. Feeling gratitude and kindness to be in such a position and all without annoyance at my cramped seat, without fear and anxiety about being so high above the ground in a metal tube with absolutely no control, without anger and all without wishing time away.
To be living my dream and each day working with love and devotion to grow that dream. To know that my life, my experience and my knowledge is empowering other’s, to have loved ones who support me endlessly and to know that my inner stillness is priority number one.
It occurred to me when I was driving several weeks ago that I had been spending less and less time in the future. By that I don’t mean I’m a character in an 80’s movie (look up the reference if you don’t get that one) though simply that I had been in the present moment as opposed to spending each moment contemplating the next.
This is what our world is all about and it can be a serious undertaking to push back and to say no. Even our nearest and dearest can be guilty of pushing this way of living on us.
Even when I look at my current state and judge it, I can’t override the calm. It’s like looking for a wormhole back to anxious and panicked Nadia and discovering that she is further and further away each time.
Practice makes perfect and although my anxious and intense thoughts can often be a default setting, I refuse to admit defeat and accept that this is my only option.
It could be said that I have been a high functioning anxious and depressive-type for most of my life so much so that many people would be totally unaware of the dialogue going on inside my head – lucky them!
Let’s talk about the other side then, the one where without this peace and calm, there is havoc. Havoc/stress/anxiety/fear and a body that won’t keep up nor give you what you want.
Those 4 gym sessions and delicious wholefoods each week can only go so far and they can not operate alone, they are team-players after all. In dire need of sleep, support, balanced hormones, slow and gracious thoughts and movements (as well as hard and fast ones), they need help.
An enormously overlooked issue to do with stubborn fat loss and body change is this exact and crucial point. It will continue to be an issue for each of us until body and mind are seen and embraced as one, not to be separated.
There is actual science to back this up… When anything occurs in our body, there is a hormonal reaction and in the case of stress this hormone is called cortisol. Cortisol levels can be directly attributed to fat around the belly area and the typical image of corporate types all stressed out and with expanded mid-sections is not far from the truth.
Just as true is the reality that when our head says one thing, no matter how much our body tries to do another – it simply won’t work in our favour. I know a thing or two about this…
For many years I told myself that I was not good enough as I am; especially in the body department. No matter how well I ate or how much I trained, my inner dialogue went something like this – “your arms are still so fat”, “you are not lean enough” and “work out until you are perfect”.
This unkind and non-peaceful language was so much more harmful than I ever realised. The constant worry, the fear, the obsession was in complete opposition to all of my other actions and most of all it was exhausting!
Sounding familiar to you?
So what did I do about it?
The reality is that I am still doing something about it. There is certainly no quick-fix though rather a journey of self-corrections to welcome more kindness to my world. It commenced with awareness of the situation (thanks Mum!) and followed on with the removal of negative and damaging influences in my world.
From friendships to jobs, food habits and even types of exercise.
It continues today with breathing more deeply at points in the day when I remind myself, with a joyful and devoted yoga practice, with purposeful movement, nourishing and energising food, enlightening individuals, rewarding work and as much gratitude as I can muster.
If nothing else, that last bit is both the most important and the most powerful.
Fear not. Instead choose kindness and know that you are worthy of such from yourself and others. There is absolutely no downside and you only have joy to gain; in so many ways.
If you are wondering what the second way that I refer to is, it is simple.