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)
Great idea. Just put the physical first and the rest will follow. I have also struggled with this exact visioning thing. It is HARD. However, what has helped me is this concept. I do not need an EXACT vision of the top of the mountain before I start climbing. I just need a vision of the mountain itself. I want to make sure that I climbing the correct mountain. With self visioning the same concept applies. I do not need to know exactly. My future vision has to do with me being a teacher. Does that mean going back to college teaching again, teaching elementary school in retirement, or perhaps it means this 365 commitment and future workshops! Who knows!? I just know that I am good at and passionate about teaching others. So that is part of my “mountain.”