My wife and I participate in an hour long fitness class three days a week. It is a healthy and fun way to be together while holding each other accountable to a rigorous routine of stretching, balancing, and core exercises. At first, it felt a little unnatural. I have always been one to head for the free weights and dumbbells. As I have grown older, being more muscular has taken a backseat to being fit and flexible. I have made some progress because of this new exercise routine and I sense that it will be valuable for us in the long term.
During one of our classes, I was struck by something that the instructor said to us. She said, “Throughout the class, focus on the specific exercise that you are performing and slow down. Don’t use the momentum of the exercise to pull you through; stay in control and let your body take you to the very end.” She went on to say that many athletes use the momentum of various exercises to help them avoid the pain associated with certain elements of their workout. In her experience, the pain of exerting control helps one to realize numerous benefits that come from taxing muscles with fatigue and confusion. Having heard her advice, I remember thinking that I needed to consider the parallels that her recommendation holds for me outside of a workout.
Establishing and maintaining balance and focus in my life and my family’s is my calling in life. To accomplish this, it is important for me to establish healthy boundaries. I must create a healthy distance between me and what I casually refer to as “the matrix.” This is the simplest way for me to describe the complicated web of the influences of our culture, the curb-side appeal of the Joneses, pressures at work, FOMO’s (Fears of Missing Out,) and what I view to be “off-of-the-chain” materialism. There are many other influences that tempt me to engage in activities that have no lasting value.
I know that I cannot control all of the events of my life. However, what is in my control is the general direction of my life. I choose what is fundamental and then must make allowances for the incidental; trusting that on a deeper level, my life is on course. For many individuals, life is speeding by like a merry-go-round in hyper-drive. It is spinning faster and faster… going nowhere! Due to the perceived force that is created by the momentum of our commitments, jumping off seems dangerous. I can immediately trigger lasting change with simple recognition and assessment; I have to first admit to myself that I want more in life.
Personally, Balance and Focus is how I acquire a measure of density in my soul. When faced with the daily churn, creating a new reality can feel unattainable, but it is not. I am finding that momentum is often times influencing my poor decision making. If I am not careful, there will not be enough space between me and the matrix; this invariably leads me to getting caught up in the things which I later regret.
I can better resist succumbing to momentum only when the weight of my life’s purpose allows me to remain grounded in things beyond “the matrix.”
Thomas “TD” Dierker
Live like you’re dying….cause you are!