Reflection #3: Physical Health

Despite my love for junk food, I have always had an interest in leading a healthy life. Mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Over the past few weeks I have really been trying to get in touch with what that means to me. I decided (despite my anxiety) I would like to begin sharing those thoughts and experiences with you. I will begin with a summary of my physical life experience.

As early as I can remember I loved being active: running around the farm with my brothers and our imaginary games, participating in intramurals throughout elementary and middle school, after school basketball, curling, soccer and volleyball teams. I think I was even in jazz for a year or two. Apart from that, I was outside every chance I got.

After graduation came a year of university, three years in the workforce, two years of college. Never being exposed to “working out” in a gym, a few months into college I had a startling revelation. I had barely done any physical activity in the last four years! This honestly shocked me, how does this happen after a childhood so immersed in physical activity?

It made me feel sad and stupid. How could I let such an important part of my life disappear? Why didn’t I fight harder to make time for it? I suppose my priorities changed – as they do with many teenagers. This felt like a lame excuse to me.

Good news was, I could exercise whenever I wanted. I had to laugh at myself though. Twenty-two years old and I had never been to a gym with treadmills, weight benches and whatever all of those other crazy contraptions were. I had experienced all of my physical activities outside.

During my second semester of college I decided that I would take a yoga class once per week, in addition to my full time studies. I had always wanted to try it, a classmate accompanied me and.. It was great. I loved the quietness and focus it took. It was incredibly difficult, my legs and arms trembled and spasmed as I attempted to hold the poses. My face went red as I glanced around the room, worried someone would notice my inexperience and call me out. They never did.

That’s the beauty of yoga, you start where you’re at and progress as your body adapts. There is no right or wrong, just the persistence to not give up. Also, the added bonus of everyone focusing on themselves – not you! My competitive nature helped me catch on quickly and after a few classes my body welcomed the challenge. I think it missed exercise too. My favourite part of yoga was how awake and energetic my mind felt after each class. The 8 week program was soon over and I immersed myself in my studies, quickly forgetting about exercise.

Near the end of my third semester a couple friends invited me to come to the gym with them, a place foreign to me with mystical machines strategically placed in a huge room. It took a little getting used to, but it was a lot of fun with my friends and I felt great after every workout!

Unfortunately, school ended and I again found myself not exercising. I realized my physical activity was tied to interactions with friends. I bought a 3 month gym membership (hoping the financial burden would motivate me to use it daily). I did a pretty good job of sticking to my routine, and felt great after every workout! However, when my membership expired I couldn’t justify renewing it to spend a small fortune on exercises I could probably just do at home.

Long story short, I truly miss exercise when I abstain from it, and I ALWAYS feel great after a workout. So why the difficulty staying committed? Why is finding motivation such a struggle for me? Why do I let the day-to-day take over, instead of setting aside time for such a significant gift to my well-being? My INFJ self-improvement voice be thinking, “I will speak daggers to her”.

Expect some goals (and progress!) from me in the near future, the “voice” demands it.

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Do you lack motivation? Have you had a similar struggle? How is your physical health? Feel free to share your stories and make some goals with me! If you need help with that, check out my recent post: INFJ: Self-Improvement.

Be beautiful, be you. Shine on, friends. ♥

Reflection #1: INFJ

Throughout my adolescence I always felt different. I never felt like I belonged. I was walking through my life uninterested in the social climb, the fashion, the parties. Sure I wanted to belong. I didn’t want to be the loner who got ridiculed for her appearance and wardrobe. I just wasn’t interested in the same things as my peers.

There were clues – not that I knew at the time what they meant. I remembered hearing the predictable “teachers pet”, “nerd”, “emo”. Of course I internalized the bullying, but I didn’t agree with what they said. I didn’t even belong to the labels they put me in. Maybe I was a “freak”. I mean, who doesn’t even fit their labels as a kid?

It hurt, I didn’t want to be an outsider – but what could I do? That’s what I was.. but why did I feel it so much? Why did all the harsh words they threw at me hit me so hard and drown me in emotions? That was what I didn’t get. Looking back I wondered.. despite all that, why didn’t I just play the part? Why didn’t I just do what I had to do to fit in?

The truth is.. despite how much it hurt, it wasn’t who I was – and I always stayed true to who I was, even if I wasn’t sure what that meant.

Years later, I found myself at the end of my Child and Youth Care Diploma. Our teacher asked us to take a test, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), which is based on the typological theory by Carl Jung. My result: INFJ. So what? Some answers put me into a group of letters, big deal. I didn’t give it another thought.

Sometime later, I retook the test (having forgotten my results). There it was again, INFJ. Okay, so what does this mean? I started googling it. Sifting through pages and pages of explanations – and the more I read, the more excited I became. This is who I was! INFJ! How could something so simple describe me so perfect? In such detail? With so many accurate examples? How could it be possible that I belonged somewhere after all? Somewhere that I fit perfectly. Somewhere I could be me, and know what that meant. I exhaled in wonder, this is what I was meant to discover.
Confusion

Now I know who I am. Have you ever felt this way? Do you know your MBTI type? Click here to find out: 16 personalities or Human Metrics. When you get your results post them here and let me know what you think!

With love, friends – shine on. ♥

 

Rise and Shine

Have you ever had the experience where you stumble upon something that changes your outlook on life? This anonymous quote found me at the perfect time and really inspired me, it reads:

“If you only take one piece of advice this should be it. You will always be too much of something for some people, and for others you will not be enough. But please, never shrink yourself for someone else. Never tame your voice. You are a force of nature. Like hurricanes, some will be fascinated by you. Some will spend their whole lives chasing you. Some will lock their doors and hide. What I’m trying to say is that even though storms are beautiful, there will always be those that will run from them, and although you think you can’t live without the ones who do, in time you will come to see that you were created to be extraordinary, and the value of a incredible painting is not decreased by those who cannot see it’s worth.” – Anonymous

Finally. I realized that I am who I am for a reason, a purpose. I was not born into this world to shrink away and crawl through life, unnoticed. The words my mother said to me at the dawn of a new day suddenly had so much meaning, “Rise and Shine”. If I am to inspire people and serve this world I must celebrate myself, with all my strengths and flaws. I accept that there will be exciting adventures and difficult trials to endure, that I will make mistakes and fall.

Ultimately, I trust the universe will take me where I need to go to fulfill my purpose – and I hope you will too.

With love, friends. Shine on and share your stories. ♥