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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Running or How Little Habits Can Help Create a Life in Flow

Do you already zone out when you hear the word RUNNING, because you don´t think you have the stamina or willpower for it or it is boring? Or are you one of these people who have done marathons already and running is a staple in your life? Well, in any case I believe you might enjoy this text:

I had a somewhat blue weekend, where instead of enjoying my time out I was mostly unaware and somewhat restless and watched online TV shows and ate unhealthy “comfort” food. Worst of it, I was getting down on myself about how I could give in to it, truly wanting to life a conscious, happy and healthy life. Finally, on Monday morning, I gave myself a shove out the door and went on an hour long run on the beach! Immediately the blahs were gone and my thoughts started to get in some kind of order; the things I am grateful for and things I like started to stick out again. I knew I was myself again! How wonderful. The moment I started running I was in my own power again, was the creator of my own life, saw all my hopes and dreams and the many blessings in my life, a 180 degree shift in perception.

So I started thinking about how I got started running. I was pretty much a coach potatoe as a child and a little chubby at times. In my teenage years I tried running in order to lose weight, but did not get very far. I was terribly bored and DID NOT HAVE THE STAMINA, or so I thought! Finally, in my college years a friend convinced me to go running with him. I was rulctant but came along. I was stunned! Out of nowhere, we were running 20 minutes straight!! Okay, it was probably more jogging, hence really slow. But it impressed me that I could do it right away. And ever since I LOVE it! It is so empowering!! I am certain, that anyone who is reasonably healthy (not necessarily fit!) can do it, if I could! There can´t be many people out there who are less fit than I was then. At my first attempt that failed I was 1) starting out way too fast and could not keep it up and 2) listening to music, because everyone was doing it. It turned out that I started to appreciate the meditative aspect of running on top of physical exercise, so the music would distract me. The amazing part here is that if you find out what works for you, wonderful things are starting to happen.

Now I have been running pretty much regularily for about 15 years. I had ups and downs, did 2 half marathons and realized that my knees would not want to go for more. I also learned how to strenghten and stretch certain muscles of my legs in order to protect my joints. But most of all, I have discovered a part of myself that I did not know existed before. Today, when I finished my run strong, I thought about how good it feels to be aware of my physical strength. It also gives me mental strength. Running tought me that I can make it, that even if it gets hot and tiring in the middle, it is no reasong to stop, just one step more at a time and it gets easier again. And it feels so great to finish! Running has formed my character, like nothing throughout college.

Today it is not only keeping my weight down and my body strong, it is an important tool for me in dealing with stress. I use running also, whenever I need to ponder a small or large question. Usually an answer comes up that I had not had before. It often surprises me and comes from a very creative place inside myself. It also helps me to focus, because I need to remember the idea until I get home to a pen and paper. And today, I was in that famous state of flow. Complete ease and contentment. The time stands still and yet everything is moving. I could even see all the Endorphins, the Happyness Hormones, running all through my brain, creating the state of being that we are all after: BLISS!

When my life feels stuck, I go for a run and set it (my life) in motion again. It is such an invaluable tool, such a part of my life. What is your life safer in tough times? I hope you have one, we all need it and so deserve it!

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