A while ago I was struggling to put together some material for a leadership course I am involved in and I finally found out why. Over the years I have been an avid student of the mind ~ body ~ spirit and the journey has been incredible. What I have learned and been able to share with others has been such a joy, it has become my life’s work. Yet, despite all the knowledge accrued over these past twenty years or so there are still areas that show up where all my knowledge doesn’t help, where everything I have ever learnt seems to simply disappear like mist in the morning sun. I cannot tell you how frustrating that is, to know better but not be able to do better.
For example, I started weight training at the age of 13 but I did not step on a stage to compete until the age of 47, it took 34 years for me to get to a place where I had the courage to step on stage and be judged by others. Was that the piece, the being judge by others, the reason why we don’t do better? Or is the judging of ourselves in our own minds that dis-empowers us from moving forward? My pursuit of knowledge into the realm of human consciousness, relationships and behavior spanned the course of over half of my life, and it has been an incredible journey of discovery in so many ways, but despite all that “knowing” I found myself coming up short in the areas that meant the most to me.
And then the pattern began to show itself, though I believe I was aware of it but could not accept it at the time, that when I struggle with something in my own life, regardless of what it may be, I buy a book(s) on the topic and take a course(s), and research the crap out of it so that I “know” everything on that topic so much so I could write a dissertation, yet I still find I am not fulfilled in that area of struggle. Dos this resonate with anyone? And again, my hesitancy to take action wasn’t that I did not “know” better but rather I could not do “better” in these circumstances. If you look at the words “know” and “do” they are very different, in that “knowing” implies knowledge or awareness and “doing” implies action, and when I don’t “do” or act on my knowledge I reach out for more knowledge as it makes me feel like I am “doing” something but in reality I am avoiding an uncomfortable situation where I am emotional weak and fearful of being judged. I think you may “know” what I am talking about. So what I am going to “do” about it? Would you believe I found that answer in a Dr. Zeus character? As a child I was a reader and one of the books in our house was “Green Eggs & Ham” and the main character was an incessant little character “Sam I am”. Well, the name SAM I have used my fitness practice for years as it was an acronym for “stabilize ~ activate ~ move. I had discovered that I could help clients get better faster physically when I first taught them how to stabilize their body properly through core development before we introduced them into any other form of exercise.
What do you suppose happens when you have a weak core and you try to exercise a weak area of your body? You get hurt! I saw this over and over again and realized that the lack of being centered was the issue, that without a strong fixed position to move from we could not guarantee that our clients would not get hurt, and we saw this thousands and thousands of times! Then it dawned on me, is this the reason that when I try to move forward into a weak part of my life I get hurt and find myself withdrawing again and again? What if I used SAM and decided to become centered emotionally and spirituality “before” I dare step into the areas where before I fear to tread?
Of course!!! I am such an idiot for not seeing it sooner! Then the beautiful simplicity of it revealed itself to me, that in order to move forward in my life emotionally and spirituality I had to first to have a “core” belief system (stabilize), a centered place from which I would start to exercise that new muscle, but it had to be consistent throughout my life, that my “core beliefs” would be foundational cornerstone for everything in my life, not just for something’s. It wouldn’t make sense to only to use your physical core in some exercises and not others would it, so why would I only use my spiritual and emotional core in some areas of my life and not others?
Then from there I could begin to make plans on how I was going to move forward (activate my goals and focus on what I want) and then lastly came the “doing” (move) and these would be the actions step I could take to move closer towards my goal. It is so amazing that in this world of seeming complexity that there often are such simply truths that we overlook and ignore, choosing to stay in the dark, staying in pain trapped by fear and the frustration of our own indecision’s. For me, my journey forward from here, is to use SAM outside of my fitness practice and in my emotional and spiritual life as I think that this is the key (for me) to having a centered and well balanced life. Thank you, thank you SAM I AM.
C. David Gilks
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