For most of my life, I was doing it all wrong. I
I was interested in getting fit, but I didn’t get it right until much later in my life. I would go running and lift weights at the gym, but I never felt that I achieved my goals.
It wasn’t until my early 40s that I started to figure it out. My fitness had no purpose. It had no reason to exist. It was a cultural phenomenon that was rooted into my brain for good reason, but it had no anchor in my body. It wasn’t until I got it in the deepest level of my body that I understood fitness—not the commercial representation, but the true energetic importance of not only engaging in fitness, but doing it the “right” way.
After that realization, the results I got were potent and profound.
Here are my seven steps to a fitness awakening that helped me engage more deeply and be more empowered in all areas of life.
- Food is medicine.
This might seem counterintuitive when pondering fitness in the sense that it might feel like we should fire up the engines and blast into warp speed.
But not true when it comes to food and nutrition.
Food is the oh-so-delightful vehicle upon which we deliver life giving or life sapping molecules to our meaty little bodies. Between starving myself during the week because I was too absorbed in work to cooking, and eating extravagant Gourmet French meals on the weekends, I never used to pay attention to how much the food I ate affected me
My eating habits were a mess. I was unconscious to how this was affecting me both in the subtle energetic realms as well as the meaty physical realms. Sure, people tell you eating right makes all the difference in the world, but the message was steeped in either the glitter of marketing distortion or the newest food fad cult. So I sought out some expert advice from a friend who lived in both the gym world as well as the world inhabited by shamans and true magicians. I intuited there was more and I was willing, and that was all it took.
We take medicine with intent and for specific purpose, and we should apply the same intentional approach to food—the right food at the right time in the right dose can either heal or harm. Your body will tell you what kind of medicine it needs. Slow down and let your body speak. Sometimes it may want a vegetarian meal, sometimes it might want a steak.
True nutritional intelligence is learning to listen and respond to your body’s deepest needs.
2. Don’t neglect your power center.
Think about a tree. If the trunk is weak the tree will not be able to sustain the vital movement of life energy. This can be applied to us as well. If our core is weak the fitness routine is already compromised. The secret I learned was to start with the core. A strong core will allow not only physical energy to move with increasing ease, but life energy as well (ahem… sex, money, abundance, manifestation).
I began by focusing on abdominal crunches, push-ups, and squats to begin developing a solid core, and now everything else has developed accordingly. Your core is a power center. Inactivity results in sluggish energy at best. If nothing else, focus on your core to generate a bit more fire in your belly and in your life.
3. Cardio clarity.
Consistent cardio has made all the difference in the world to me. I don’t run marathons, I just move and get my heart going at least three times a week for 40-60 minutes. We have all heard of that “Zen moment” we can achieve through physical exercise—it is true. Cardio gets the heart pumping and the blood moving.
The blood carries nutrients (see point 1), hydration, white blood cells, and oxygen among other things to feed the far-reaching areas of the body. It ignites the endocrine system and the pulmonary system. Cardio sets the physical form, inside and out, into motion and that, my friends, is a beautiful thing. Cardio brings clarity to the mind and the energy field. It is common sense that in order to get away from something that is suboptimal you have to move. And that is true on a mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, and energetic plane. Anyone who has done cardio can relate to this. If we could live our lives with cardio clarity, we will live it better.
4. P-push it real good.
Each of us are different, but I discovered that balancing all the above movements with yoga exponentially increased my overall fitness level. The concept of yoga has unfortunately been lost in a lot of commercial gyms. Yoga poses were intended to open and fire certain energetic pathways, calm a perseverating mind, destroy energetic and emotional blocks, and bring balance back to the physical and energetic body. A good yoga practice can facilitate a fruitful conversation with your body in which you are told how well points 1, 2 and 3 are coming along.
5. Elemental meditation.
My personal fitness revolution benefitted by learning meditation practices, the stillness and focus of the mind. I don’t overdo it, I’m not a Yogi on a cushion on a mountain meditating hours every day. I simply spend quiet time each day, shutting out the distractions and focusing on the essentials. I was also pleasantly surprised how adhering to the points discussed above helped me achieve a meditative state. Having a properly fed body, a strong core, a calm mind and energy field, and ease in my muscles and joints made deep meditation possible.
6. In and out.
While doing all the above, I discovered that how I breathed deeply mattered. So I began to coordinate my breath to my exercise. I then took the next step and applied deeper breathing to all of my movements through the day, developing a practice so my breath capacity and strength was expanded. A focus on breath keeps me in the moment and able to listen to my body’s needs.
7. The awakened state of fitness.
Bring all of these energies together in a balanced way between movement, consciousness, intention, and stillness.
After discovering this collective view on what personal fitness meant to me, I realized I wasn’t just ‘fit,’ I wasn’t just “in shape.” My body was stronger, I looked and felt better, but three other things became evident to me:
A sense of autonomy.
More importantly, self-determination and creation arrived. If the world is a dream, I discovered I was the dreamer.
A sense of vision.
An expanded opening to the possibilities of what my life could look like.
A sense of power.
I discovered power to make my intentions in the dream come true.
Proper fitness is about so much more than just “getting in shape.” For me, it became the foundation of all the gifts I offer in the world.
Author: Jason F. Smith
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Wiki Commons