Stoic Mindset, Hmmmm

stoic-Danae Theoharis [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Stoic Is What?

Stoic is defined as;

a person who can endure pain or hardship without showing their feelings or complaining.

Google Dictionary

Is “not showing your feelings” the same as “not feeling”?

I do not think so.

Is it unauthentic?

That, I think, is a personal call.

Since I am sensitive to other people’s emotions, it would be great if being stoic was more of a thing.

These days emotion seem to be used as a weapon.

There is so much shared outrage over small to big things.

If a person feels it, they have a real choice to express their outrage to a wide audience.

Responsible Emotions

Being selective about sharing emotions could be considered responsible.

There is a difference between feeling it and emoting it, but choosing not to express it.

Growing up with a person who did not know how to express anger, but you knew when they were angry, gives me an understanding of emoting feelings.

The silent treatment is an expression of emotion, even if it is not being verbally expressed.

Can a person feel an emotion, recognize the emotion and decide what to do with it, without expressing it?

I think with practice a person can do this. In meditation it is called equanimity.

Maintaining calmness, especially in difficult situations.

Sound familiar?

Cutting Anger

Feeling anger towards getting cut off or seeing somebody jump in line is something we all face.

Filling in the backstory of why someone cut in can help ease that anger.

It is a minor annoyance in your day.

Does it really need to impact the rest of it?

How we choose to react to our feelings of anger is all on us.

Maybe recognition of the emotion is enough. Something like this;

“Yeah, that person cutting line sure made me feel angry.

But that is over now and I do not need to feel that anymore.”

By the time you are out the door, you have moved on with your day.

Sounds nice. 🙂

Something to contemplate while training... Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Practice Movement To Keep Moving

moving-Ben Sutherland [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Moving Practice

Practicing movement can be what helps keep you moving.

I saw a great video of a group of seniors in China who meet outside to practice movement.

This group were doing calisthenics and gymnastics way into their 70’s.

Not just touching toes, but doing splits. It was amazing and bizarre to watch.

The strength they exhibited, along with flexibility was very unexpected.

It gave me hope that even if I never reach that level there is the possibility to be amazing.

Start off Small

Small in this case means pushing you to your limits, where you are at.

Not measuring your ability against anything outside yourself.

Finding inspiration, like the Chinese seniors, is a great way to be motivated as long as expectations are kept in check.

I know that most likely I will never be as flexible and strong as the people I saw, but I will be the most that I can be.

Why do I think it is important..?

Because it will help with balance and staying mobile for a long time.

Mobility and Longevity

Watching my parents navigate the world, I see how important it is to have confidence in moving through an environment.

How you experience life can shift to be more cautious just through your movement style.

Confidence in movement can help you stay connected to that feeling of confidence.

Which can allow you to advocate for yourself in situations you come against.

In what ways do you find mobility, flexibility, and strength enhance your life?

Will you training today give you a boost of confidence?

Yes, I want online training!

A Steady Pace of Life

Setting your own pace

Keep It Steady

How can you find and maintain a steady pace of life?

Is this what mediation is about? Finding a pace that works for you and working to maintain it.

I believe the best way to find this pace is to go inward, with mediation. 

Listening to your heartbeat, the sounds around you, and your breath.

What is it that keeps you moving?

Hurry Up And Get Annoyed

Lately I have been approaching life like an interval session.

From fast and furious to quiet and slow, then fast and furious again…

Funny thing is, just like when you do training with intervals, as you get past 3 to 4 sets, that earlier “fast and furious” starts to catch up with you.

It gets harder and harder to keep it up.

I find myself thinking resentful thoughts and planning my escape.

When I got up this morning with little to no desire to get working, I faced that I was doing this to myself.

The work is not bad and the people are nice.

Just like any job there are moments of uncertainty. 

How to approach a problem. Who to ask a question.

Figure It Out

Figuring out a steady pace that will get you the results you want from work and life is a challenge.

One that takes a little experimentation, and redirection now and then.

As life changes and you adapt, can you make adjustments that bring you back to your center?

Does the change alter the course forever?

If you look at a “choose you own adventure” book, one change makes a big difference.

Keep it steady, and get in a training session today. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Wake Up With One Eye Open?

Wake - Pavel Ševela [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

Wake Up With Movement

When you roll out of bed, but really just want to roll back in, what do you do to wake up?

I used to get in the shower as soon as possible.

It may been brutal, but it worked.

Of course, the shower ended up being long and scorching.

Anything to avoid feeling cold.

I have been doing some joint movement exercises this past week and it feels good.

Then I jump in the shower, so I feel put together and grown up.

Jump in or Ease In?

Jumping into the day was a shower, easing in has been about moving.

Either way I keep the lights low and the sound to a minimum.

Maybe I need to throw on the lights and turn up a song and get going.

For me that feels like an invasion.

It does not feel like I am getting a jump-start to my day.

More like a shot out of a canon!

You Pick

There is not one “right way” to approach how to begin a day.

People who are sensitive to the world around may need a softer start.

People who need to create their own stimulation may need that extra “I am alive”. Take charge by turning on all the lights, and the radio.

Hopefully the people we live with can find neutral ground where we all get a bit of what we need.

How do you like to start your day?

Have you ever changed it up?

Train a little in the am to see if that wakes you up. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Diving into Emotions to Chill Out.

diving-Christopher Michel from San Francisco, USA [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Diving in, to Chill Out

Can diving into emotions help you to chill out?

Listening to a meditation audio today I was struck by the advice to dive into negative emotions, in order to chill out.

The idea being that the longer you avoid them, the longer they stay with you.

Which makes perfect sense.

If you have ever been around someone who gives you the silent treatment, you know nothing changes until they bury it deep, or finally talk.

When they talk it is more a conclusion than seeking to find common ground, or a joint resolution.

Can you really move on and put an emotional situation out of your mind if you bury it, or “decide” how it’s going to be?

Moving On

When faced with emotions that do not feel good, how does sitting with it and experiencing it make it better?

In someways it seems like wallowing in it.

If it is factual news that triggers emotions then I understand trying to get past why it makes you feel the way it does.

A fact can not be changed, and preventing someone from reacting a certain way is unpredictably impossible.

News is news. They aren’t good or bad, they are just news.

How we choose to take those news is our own choice.

Of course, being told horrible health news usually results in some distressing emotions.

But is recognizing them and experiencing them instead of running away by keeping busy, or making sure you have purpose, any better?

When my mom was in the hospital, I coped by being the caretaker of both my parents.

I cannot say that I sat with the fear of the unknown.

It was always there. Not really holding my hand, more like clinging to my leg.

I am sure life will offer up other opportunities to try something different.

Do you find diving into your emotions a solution that works for you?

Training can be an escape, or it can be a connection. It all depends on perspective…

Yes, I want online training!

New Work

Thinking about new work...

When you’re thinking about changing your career and start trying to find new work, things tend to get stressful.

Managing Stress

I used to think I was pretty good at managing stress.

In some ways, I am.

And in some ways, the past year has proven that I was quite wrong.

Thankfully, stress comes in many forms and I can handle most of them well.

Family related stress is a piece of cake to manage (I have a wonderful helper).

Emotional stress is pretty easy to resolve (same thing applies about the helper).

Workload related stress; No sweat!

The type of stress that really gets to me seems to be uncertainty about “the means to my lifestyle”.

I’m not saying I can’t handle “living on the edge”, financially (We can).

It’s just that “living on the edge” elevates my subconscious priorities to a level that far exceeds any other priority I think I may have…

Health, fitness, relationships, workload and pretty much everything other than making sure my “means to a lifestyle” is intact, it becomes irrelevant.

For the past 6 months, I’ve been playing with how to fix this.

The obvious choice would be to find a new job.

I realized something about finding a new job

For me, that’s likely to be with a company where the American version of “work/life balance” is considered a curse-word.

I want a “regular job” that I think I will enjoy. (For me, that means returning to the Tech Industry, probably in Product Management).

I really enjoy solving business problems and if I find something that I enjoy, it won’t feel like work.

The past 6 or so years has helped me define what work/life balance actually translates to (for me).

I believe it’s highly individualized and depends on things like;

  • What you grew up with;
  • How you view life in general;
  • What you think of as important;
  • Etc.

For me, I need to work for someone who understands the value of “freedom with responsibility”.

Trust, but verify…

US President R. Reagan (paraphrased)

Micromanagement and I are a lot like oil and water.

We simply will not mix for long.

A new job means finding a management team who wtll trus the people they hire.

I prefer the “you’re an adult and you applied for this job, so we presume you’re actually here to get your work done” attitude.

It’s an approach I’ve used successfully whenever I’ve managed teams.

There’s also research to back up that employees who feel trusted tend to perform a whole lot better.

Not only are they more productive, they also speak up when things are starting to go sideways.

Most companies, whether they realize it or not, benefit from that.

(Just ask Facebook, Google or any other company that have been in the spotlight recently…)

Finding a place that matches my values will significantly reduce my stress levels.

A workplace where health and fitness is a core value and not something they offer lip service to because it lowers their health insurance premiums.

To me, that’s what work/life balance is truly about.

A company that matches your core values, across the board. One that is as supportive of you and your goals as they are of their own.

Something to think about as you train today, perhaps? Cheers!

Yes, I want online training!

Start Again, Again, and Again.

again-Markus Spiske markusspiske [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Again, Time to Begin

Is it time to start again?

I read an article today that was pushing the idea of starting resolutions again every Monday, instead of once a year.

The idea of sectioning time and goals into smaller chunks definitely spoke to me.

But instead of once a week, I agree more with the idea of cleaning the slate.

Meaning, if you had a junk food meal, or skipped a training session, you clean the slate and start again at you next meal or opportunity for movement.

To me this seems more powerful, then thinking “well I really went off the rails at Wednesdays dinner, but I can start again next Monday”.

I think the Monday resolution approach promotes thinking “I can keep messing up and making bad decisions for the rest of this week”.

Weekly Goals

One way I have been successful with weekly goals, or resolutions, is to decide something like “I will train three times this weekl.

Then you have a goal that you know will point you in the direction you want to go in. At the same time, it will not restrict you from doing more activities.

I also like “eat a vegetable every day”, or “2 vegetable servings at each meal”, depending on where you are at.

Then it gives you a goal to shoot for and if you do not make the goal, a place to look at why.

If you were not in control of your food that week because you were away from home, how did that impact your goal and what could you do different next time.

If you did not get in three days of training, why was that the case? Is there something different you can do to prepare for weeks like those?

Wiggle Room

Accepting upfront that there will be times when eating healthy and training regularly is more challenging is important.

It will give you the wiggle room to start again, without the cripling guilt.

Having a desire to take care of yourself, for you and others can be a great motivator.

Sometimes priorities shift and what was once extremely important becomes less so.

Making adjustments and letting go of how it used to be will give you room to move forward with how it is.

Take some time to look at your priorities and see how health and fitness fit in. What might work now?

Training today can help make things clearer. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Before and After Feast Movement.

feast-Anthony92931 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Feast And Movement

A little bit of movement before and after a feast can help with digestion and lethargy.

For my family, today is a day of feasting. 

It starts at five and ends around seven (pm).

I already went for a longer walk today to get my circulation going and to give me a mental boost.

Movement helps me feel connected to life.

Heading into family time, it is nice to feel alive and vital.

Our body likes to move to keep our systems functioning well.

I have noticed on days when I do not walk, I have swelling in my legs.

It does not matter if I spend the day sitting, standing, or doing both.

If I do not get out and move, it appears that fluid settles in my lower half.

Old or What?

I have not really explored why this is. It it an age related new thing, or changes in diet..?

What I have noticed is that getting out for a walk, or run, helps.

The lymphatic and circulation systems need movement to work optimally.

So I am guessing it is an age thing and a shift in body composition towards less muscle.

Feast Day

On a day of feasting, having a system working at its best sounds like a good plan.

Helping with digesting a heavy meal, and possibly alcoholic beverages, alleviating the feeling of over-fullness.

Taking a little walk with loved ones between feasting and festivities can be a nice addition to a day that includes a lot of sitting.

On those days, the one who gets to move the most is the one making the meal.

If there are kids around, consider playing a game that includes all ages. 

“Simon Says” is a good one. As is “Follow the Leader”.

Both work as long as inclusion is your main focus.

Have fun, enjoy your day, and train just a little. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Abdominal Strength Rules

abdominal-Luca Boldrini [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

We cannot stress the importance of abdominal strength enough.

If you have ever had to sit out during an injury, or surgery to your abdominal area… You know how it impacts your whole body.

What once seemed easy is laughably hard.

It also seems to impact your overall work capacity. You get tired more quickly whenever your body tries to compensate for a weak core.

There are some exercises that focus a little more on your core muscles, but really are full body.

For instance a plank works your glutes, shoulders, quads, back…pretty much your whole body.

Yet, many experts refer to it as a core exercise.

Doing a “core exercise” that really uses your whole body in concert has its benefits.

Your core is a stabilizer when the rest of your body is moving. It is where your center of gravity resides after all. For men, it’s along the waist and for women, around the hips.

Having strength and control in your core opens up a whole other level of movement possibilities.

More advanced body weight movements that can help with agility, flexibility, and mobility.

If you experience an exercise as being too hard, it may be leaving your core muscles too relaxed.

Try and brace your core by taking a deep breath and squeeze out all the air.

Hopefully you can sense what “braced” feels like.

Or you can always imagine being punched in the stomach…

Yeah, that’s the feeling.

Practicing bracing is working your core muscles. Bracing while moving is the secret sauce.

Brace yourself as you train today. Cheers!!

Yes, I want online training!

Strive To Get Things Done

What makes you strive to get things done?

Strive Ahead

What makes you strive to get things done?

Is there something that drives this behavior in you?

Right now perfectionism has taken over the wheel and has been driving my car.

I would say what perfection has been doing is driving recklessly and putting me in unwanted danger.

The degree of wanting to perform perfectly shining through is grating on me.

Sometimes I think, on the outside it looks like I am a hard worker.

But then, I also realized my behavior can come across as someone who doesn’t set their own limits, and is a bit of a pushover.

Stakes In The Ground

Setting your stakes in the ground can come across as abrasive to those people who do not agree with the boundaries you are trying to keep.

Those are the complainers. The ones who like to push, just for the sake of pushing.

I have a hard time setting out stakes. Mostly because I’m thinking that my boundaries impose on other people.

This may be true. But if you do not set boundaries, then you become the imposed upon.

Add a smile, and some useful feedback. You may find boundaries become a lot easier to accept.

Letting Go of Perfection

I find perfectionism a creepy little feeling.

No warm fuzzies, just flashes of anxiety.

Thinking about all I did that day, picking it apart in the details.

Not considering that their details will not match mine.

Instead we fake it. We fake it until we become that version of ourselves we believe has it all figured out.

Do you reach for perfection? How does that impact your life?

Training today can mean a better day tomorrow.

Yes, I want online training!