Archive for the ‘Conversations with Clients’ Category

Why I Stopped Working Out

Posted by myhealthexperts on December 11, 2008

Relaxed, Centered, Being

Relaxed, Centered, Being


Muscles tense, heavy thinking

Tense, Forward, Thinking

I’ve taken the last two months off training at the gym. Not because I lost my motivation, but because I no longer wanted to act from motivation. Instead I wanted to act from inspiration. There is a big difference. As one of my clients admitted stress (and fear) is what gets him out of bed in the morning. He needs it to stay motivated.’. Motivation is a fear based action. Now, there is nothing wrong with this, I’m merely sharing my own personal insights. God knows many people may not relate to how I think about life, but that does not make them wrong.

Inspiration on the other hand is different. It comes from a mind free of fear and mental chatter. It desires nothing other than to simply express the passion inherent in the existence of being! Inspiration literally means ‘in spirit’ – to breathe in the Divine and act from this Presence, in the present.

I must confess, a large part of my motivation for the gym was to maintain a certain image I had of myself. I wanted to be seen a certain way; athletic, fit and looking like a ‘personal trainer’. Muscle was my friend, fat was my enemy. I was at war…with myself. One of my female clients on this topic noted ‘I’m in here for a similar reason: resale value. I feel the need to keep looking fit and trim so my husband is still attracted to me. Or, God forbid, if I am ever single again, which is always a possibility. I need to be seen a certain way…’

Long ago my kung-fu teacher taught me the essence of martial arts. “When you relax and let go, and have no fear, just being present, the art will flow from you naturally. Think of the Buddha, as opposed to Rodin’s ‘Thinking Man’ who symbolizes the Western mind – he is tense, leaning forward, and heavy in thought,” he said. The two images above depict this contrast.

Men are motivated to conquer the world, to think of clever ways to make a ‘killing’ on Wall Street. Inspired, they seek to be at one with the world, to exist in peaceful harmony. Someone once said ‘its easier for a rich man to go through the eye of a needle than to enter the kingdom of heaven’ referring to the different lives people of motivation live versus those who live from inspiration.

Now moving from inspiration, I go hiking most weekends. I chop and stack wood, or go out in the forest for my walking meditations. If I feel like it – I will do some pull-ups on a tree branch, or some push-ups on a rock. When you are in the flow of life, you will want to move, to exercise, to play! For me this natural inspiration happens easier in the natural world, not in the concrete jungle of the gym.

Now that winter is here, I’m returning back to the gym, but my workouts have changed. I am now making it a priority to do whatever feels good – I am experienced enough to know how to train myself intuitively and make my workouts productive but fun.

I know for me committing to inspiration over motivation has made all the difference in the world!

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