After moving into a great building in New York that has a gym downstairs, my wife Phoebe and I have started working out a lot. Weights, cardio, yoga, and other stretches, along with diet, all in a wonderful combination governed by the best health coach imaginable – Phoebe. And it really shows.
After about a week, I noticed how even though I was enjoying it, an old part of me was also dreading it, afraid of collapsing, and longing for the day when I’d be all set and done, and would never have to work out again. The day when I could just chill out with a glass of wine or an ice cold beer, and enjoy a good burger or a great salsicce pasta dish ever day, because I’d done my time, paid my dues.
And that’s when I realized at a much deeper level than ever before: It never stops. It really never ends.
Being alive means we have to exercise. We have to be mindful of what we eat. We need to sleep, brush our teeth, shower, go to the toilet. We need to meditate, practice self-love, express our creativity, work, play, love. We need to do all of these things all the time, and it never ends.
I see it in particular when it comes to self-love. We know we need to practice self-love. To stand there in front of the mirror and say “I love you, Calvin. I really really love you. I love myself unconditionally”, or whatever our chosen phrase is. Daily. And we do it for a while. And we feel how we light up from the inside out. We feel how things start to magically happen around us. We feel the deep joy and satisfaction. We feel the love.
And so we stop doing it. It feels silly and awkward. Seriously, do you really think Steve Jobs or Jeff Bezos or Barack Obama does (did) this every day? the little voice asks. (Answer: Probably not, but I bet they’d benefit if they did.) And so we stop. And for a while we don’t really feel the change. But then it comes. Old habits and patterns creep up on us, and before we know it, we’re back to talking negatively to ourselves, back to limiting ourselves. And we didn’t even notice it. We don’t make the connection. Until something wakes us up out of our trance.
If you’ve fallen off the self-love wagon, the exercise wagon, the meditation wagon, the getting enough sleep wagon, the eating healthy wagon, the doing something you fear every day wagon, or whatever else wagon you chose to be on, let this be that wake-up call for you.
My soul honors your soul,