The other day I went to the gym to work out for the third time since becoming a member, which is something I haven't gotten myself to do in like seventeen years. I played tennis competitively for almost all of my adolescence, but never felt like I was a natural at getting myself to move. If I played a long first point in a match at a tournament, I would say to myself, oh my gosh I have to do this for two more hours?? But I've been trying to change that lately, and to somehow look forward to exercising. It's the first time in my adult life when I've actually felt open to that idea and I hope it continues. Like one of my good friends said, "working out makes me feel strong and powerful".
As I started the treadmill, I suddenly felt a pang of anxiety - like I was facing all of life's stresses in that one moment with nothing else to distract me. Somehow, without thinking, I had another thought that came into my mind and its sounded something like, "Don't worry. There's a greater purpose in all of this." And while it didn't get rid of every big worry in my mind, I felt an underlying calm beneath it all to help me out. Saying it a few times to myself even gave me more energy to run (and umm, walk fast) and I felt grateful for it.
Whether your religious, spiritual, or just feel some form of connected-ness in the world, do you ever find yourself using a mantra? Do you ever repeat something to yourself when you feel anxious or when things get tough?
Photo-credit to my husband on a family trip to botanical gardens