Warning: Exercising the mind may cause pain and discomfort in the neck and butt.
Many of you have reached out to me in email with concerns over how difficult my weekly topics have been. First, to those of you who have emailed me stating that you’ve tried to do the exercises but it’s just not possible for you right now, that is perfectly okay! I never wanted this challenge to be something that would have such negative effects on its participants. I realize that what I’m asking you to consider, ponder, and think about doing each week can, for some, take months – even years to complete. This challenge was meant to be an invitation to realize your worth. Nothing more. Nothing less.
I have also been reading opinions that I proposed an unfair question: Spend at least 10 minutes going about your life believing that you are perfect exactly as you are right at this moment.
Never did I mean perfect in the sense of ‘complete and utter perfection.’ Obviously, no one is perfect, nor should we strive to be perfect in that sense. Perhaps I should have made that clearer in last Monday’s topic list post. If the word perfect confused any of you, please accept my apologies.
I made a comment on someone’s blog that I’d like to repost below. It clarifies what my intentions of last week’s exercise were:
I think that we all struggle with the inner turmoil we experience when we’re asked to take some time and accept ourselves as perfect the way we are. We automatically think, ‘but I’m NOT perfect; this is NOT where I want to be, so how can I truthfully think/say it?’ What it’s really all about it just knowing that in this MOMENT, there is no other place to be. ‘Here’ is all we have, and if we keep making ‘here’ a miserable place to be by wishing it were other things, then we’re really missing out…
If you ever decide to do the exercise again, maybe think of it that way; realize that ‘here’ is your perfect place to be.
I also received several emails from women who simply couldn’t accomplish the exercise due to certain mental blocks. They were becoming frustrated with themselves and I completely understand why that would be. I am asking you to challenge your thoughts, your beliefs, your habits and then confront them (as much or as little as you can, of course) in a matter of days so that you can write about your experience. If you are having mental blocks with these exercises, don’t feel like you’ve failed just because you cannot complete the task; remember: it took me years and years before I was ready to confront my days of being bullied as a child. It didn’t happen overnight, so allow yourself the time you need to work through your pain – however long that may be. And, if this challenge is just not working out for you right now, I suggest a proposal: commit to using your positive affirmation sheet. You can only gain from repeating kind words to yourself long after this challenge is over, so I hope you will keep that up; that, and follow along with the others’ updates. We all have a lot to learn from the women who have been really pushing themselves to get to the heart of certain issues and they could use our support and attention. Plus, it’s quite possible that you may read something that will give you the clarity you need to begin your emotional work.
Finally, just a few words to remember: Expecting to go from low self-esteem to embracing acceptance and respect for ourselves in a matter of days or a few weeks is unrealistic. If we haven’t yet learned to walk, how can we be expected to run and cross the finish line of a race? Change does not come overnight, so look at these exercises the same way you look at your exercise program: when you decided that you wanted to begin running, did you start with a 3 mile sprint? No. You walked; and every day, you walked a bit farther until you had enough strength to start running in small intervals. When you started kettlebells, or decided to commit to Insanity or Bootcamp, was it easy? I bet not. You knew that you were going to have to push your body in order to see the changes you wanted. Eventually though, the pain you experienced became less frequent because you were gaining strength in return. This Challenge may be a bit different because the types of exercises we’re doing are different, but the outcome is still the same: if you want to see change, at some point you’ll need to do the work.
Keep those emails coming in. I am always open to your thoughts and feelings on this Challenge and respect your opinions.
See you back here tomorrow for group therapy. Have a great Wednesday, everyone.