When I was a kid I heard a wise person share some good advice, a prescription really, for people who are having a rough go of it mentally and emotionally. They said, “Where the body goes the mind will follow.”
This morning I woke up at 4:30am. I always wake up early now thanks to my sporadic 365 efforts of 2018. As I laid there, questions about the future swirled in my mind, and I struggled to envision the person I want to become, my “future self.” I kept trying, but I just couldn’t imagine a future state of being that seemed compelling and “right” to me. I couldn’t decide because I could not see it clearly. It had to take in to account everything that I am already committed to, my family, my career, everything . . .
I felt frustration, because I know that crafting a clear and compelling vision of the future is crucial to my success with the 365 commitment. I mean, the future state you envision must justify the discomfort of self-discipline. It will motivate you to accept the pain of growth, the hassle of ingraining a new and good habit, and perhaps even the acute pain (sometimes) of existence itself. A vision of a future (and future self) worth suffering for is indispensable as far as I am concerned. So, there I lay in low level self-inflicted anguish when the phrase “Where the body goes the mind will follow” came to mind! Ah ha! I had found my escape hatch back to peace of mind.
I simply decided to put my mind on hold and move forward with my body. I got up, laced on my running shoes, found a warm stocking cap (my wife’s) because it’s cold outside and went for a run. Then I did my pull-ups on the bar I built in my back yard. Then I cleaned my body and even a section of my room. By focusing on doing good things on the physical plane of reality, for my body and my living space, I began to feel better mentally and emotionally. “Where the body goes the mind will follow” proved to be true once again. I then settled down to make my daily list of what was most important for me to focus on. I felt at ease.
I guess the body and mind really are one. Because I took action physically my mind was soothed and followed my body on the journey to my better future self. I may not see it clearly yet, but I know I am closer than I was at 4:30 this morning.
So, when you are struggling mentally, take a physical action in the right direction. Do the dishes, clean your room, go for a run, clean yourself up, whatever physical task it is for you, do it and it will help.
Ben Wagner (8)