July 21. Have you ever felt like time was moving so fast that you wondered if you even participated in your life?
The days are passing by full of all the things, mostly good just full and then suddenly its Wednesday when you still had a foot in Sunday? That’s where I am. I am literally shocked that it is Wednesday. I was just playing golf with my parents and hanging with the kids on Sunday.
So if that’s any indication about how my life is going, make whatever inferences you want. The past couple days have been challenging to get the workouts in and done.
Yesterday I was super stretched with time between events and found myself feeling a bit stressed about it. I did a 45 minute Tabata workout in my basement, reshowered and got dressed to go out for a meeting and found myself with time to spare.
I got home later than I expected, the kids were wound up so I gave them some time to talk, finally crawled in bed with my headphones and meditation after ten pm.
Then wham. I realized I didn’t read my ten pages (this is one of the rules of #75hardchallenge). I dragged myself out got my book and sat on the floor of my walking closet to read. Whew! I do not want to start back on day 1.
This morning was humbling. I was planning to jog for 45 minutes and took my new buddy Samson. I got out there and just after I started I could tell I wasn’t feeling great. I barely went for seventeen minutes and was struggling with my breathing and felt beat. So we power walked.
My thoughts went right to “what is going on? You are going backwards. Why can’t you jog for longer?”. Admittedly I entertained them for a bit because I was frustrated. I have been working a lot harder, eating super clean and can feel so much of a difference. My body is still sore because, well two workouts a day will day that.
I started praying (this is a go to strategy for me in life, if it isn’t your jam that’s totally fine). Not about the running or frustration, just about my family. For my husband who has a really big meeting this morning, for my kids to continue to stay healthy and happy this summer, for my dog. Just whatever stream of consciousness came to mind.
And guess what happened? I think you probably already know but I’ll tell you.
My mindset shifted. Immediately I was fixated on gratitude and on my source of power and direction outside myself. I was walking swiftly still physically feeling spent but my mind was clearer. The thought that maybe I feel this way because I have only been at this challenge for eight days. And what I am asking my body to do is really hard. Interesting concept.
Right then, I extended grace to my own self. I was able to self-sooth through the frustration and discomfort.
This is a blessing of emotional sobriety. Not everyone in recovery has the tools they need to do this kind of work on the fly. When you learn how to change your negative thinking patterns, to shift your mind in the moment, the possibilities for your life are endless.
Because no matter what situation you face whether it’s a tough day at the gym or you just got fired from your job, you know you have the power to take care of you. You can still do the hard things AND also be gentle with yourself. You can push through your anxiety in moments where you feel frozen and do the thing anyway. And when you do your brain remembers. The neuropathways get carved out and lined with new ways of thinking that with repeated practice become your new thoughts.
Oh and by the way, if you want to learn and improve this for yourself, check out the Understanding Negative Thinking Challenge in the Guides section of the Confident Sober Women Facebook group. It’s free and is a wonderful tool for building confidence beyond recovery.