Today I mostly worked out – did some yoga in the morning, a barre class in TO at noon, and followed that with learning the cueing mantra for the type of classes I’ll soon be leading. Something interesting happens when you are focused very mindfully on your body and your breath. You can actually listen to your heart, because your thoughts are quiet. You can call it heart, intuition, soul or self.
While holding a plank in class today I finally understood what I had been striving to do, but only really getting it 80%. I finally got it. Knew what I had to do, and what so many people before me have already understood and put into practice, in a way that keeps them living their optimal life.
Those of you that know me, or have read things in detail that I’ve posted, know that I struggle with a somewhat invisible disease. It’s one that comes and goes, and while I seem to function well, it’s eating me inside. Lately I’ve been having a rough bought with a flare and can’t understand why my normal medications aren’t helping me get better. I knew I was missing something, and that my stress levels were too high but I just couldn’t understand what I needed to do in order to get better.
I always have the intention of putting my health before all other priorities, but somewhere I failed on that in the execution. I actually have been putting my job before my health for years now. I literally believed that my occupation defined me, and that I needed to be the best employee to satisfy that internal perfectionist before I could tackle anything else in my life.
I thought that by adding in a fitness element to my professional life I could swing the pendulum a little more towards being focused on my health, but that too is a job – something you do for other people. Don’t get me wrong, I freaking love it and can’t wait to get started, but it alone does not encapsulate what health as the number one priority is.
It finally clicked today that health as my number one priority has little to nothing to do with what I do as a job, and everything to do with who I am as a person. You can have any job you’d like, but when you are tired, you rest; when you are sick, you take leave; when you need a break, you take it; when it is time for dinner, you’re done for the day – no matter what today’s workplace emergency might be.
You could be a fitness instructor, an engineer, a teacher or a lawyer. No matter what you do as a profession, you must first choose yourself if you want to live a healthy and happy life.
It’s not about what you do.
It’s about tuning in to to who you are and being kind enough to yourself to listen and respond accordingly.
We can all find stress in our current situations, because we are wired to operate that way. Society and your own past conditioning will always apply pressure no matter the job you are in. What needs to come first is an understanding of who you are and what you need to be happy. And then having the confidence and self respect to unwaveringly give that to yourself, no matter what.
If it means no overtime, don’t do it.
If it means sleeping 8 hours a day, cut out activities taking you away from that.
If it means finding another job so you don’t stress so much, do it.
If it means changing your eating habits, then quit whining and get to work.
If it means doing more of the things you love, then stop doing shit you hate.
Life is too short.
Put yourself first.
Otherwise, what’s the god damn point?