Well, hello there everyone! Long time no chat right?!?! I could sit here and tell you that “oh it was the Christmas season and the New Year season that kept me from all of you”; or “we had family come into town and thus we traveled which kept me again from all of you”; or “then the getting back into the routine of school and work kept me from all of you”; but, that would…well…be…well just a bunch of excuses. My apologies for not being as consistent this past month or so. One thing I promised here from the very beginning was I would keep it honest and authentic–so here goes nothing.
Lately, my mind has been giving me a whole mess of grief. The mind is a powerful muscle of the body–yes I said muscle–that requires just as much consistent training as any other muscle in the body. Stay with me here as I attempt to explain. Your thoughts are generated from your mind and therefore if you begin your day with negative thoughts the outcome of that day may not be as productive or beneficial to your overall goal. However, beginning the day with positive thoughts result, typically, in positive actions. Additionally, you may find the day started out alright and then took a left turn to negative town somewhere and you’re desperately trying to get out–like a person attempting to climb out of quicksand. Consistency is key in anything you want to achieve no matter what–physical goal, spiritual goal, academic goal, or emotional goal-you’ve got to remain consistent. I’m here to tell you that this is where I am currently struggling. The consistency of my mental strength.
My profession (group fitness instructor and sports nutritionist) is one in which I get the see the physical transformations and thus emotional transformations of people as they work diligently towards a goal and I love it. To be able to help in any capacity and be a part of someone else’s journey is a joy for me. I get inspired by those I work with (both clients and colleagues) as I get to bear witness to their greatness at work and them ticking the boxes on goals set and achieved. And then BAM almost immediately (more so lately) I begin questioning my own work ethic, intensity, hustle, etc. Am I doing enough to reach the goals I’ve set? What are my goals? Should I compete again? Am I losing “street cred”; because Erin, let’s get real you’ve not competed in a really looooonnnnnnnggggg time. How will/can folks take you seriously if you’ve not competed in such a long time? You’re not doing enough. You need to read more educational books. You need to be more knowledgeable in your field. Are you doing enough for the child? I should set up xyz for the child so she can have a better (fill in the blank). Am I being the best wife I can be? Are the husband’s needs being met? Am I being a good partner? etc. The internal dialog begins slowly and then becomes this overwhelming machine gun fire of questions in which I always seem to come up short. It is exhausting. I’ve previously mentioned that I struggled with loving–shooting even just liking–my body (and still do at times) resulting in not taking the best care of myself and treating my body negatively. I’m really good at comparing myself to others who excel in their craft–really good. I’m talking gold medalist worthy here. (Announcer style voice) “Winner of the Gold Medal in the Comparison Event…(drumroll)…Erin.” This. This is where I struggle.
This leads me to this next bit–how can I/we strengthen the mind? It’s a muscle like no other and therefore needs constant training and conditioning to be strong and not crumble under pressure. To be so positively strong, when a negative thought tries to creep in the mind simply can’t be bothered for it knows that there is no truth in that negative thought whatsoever. There is a Megan Trainor song entitled, “I Love Me”–sounds conceited at first, until you hear the lyrics: “I love me, hey; I love me, hey; I don’t know about you, but baby I love me….” Fast forward to the end of the first verse: “…But I can see clear when looking at the mirror, Saying God made me just right…I love me.” To have the ability each day and night to honestly claim that–I love me. Flaws and all-I love me. Here is the bottom line, we all have our own inner dialog and our own struggles; but, if at the end of the day we cannot be proud and love ourselves for the powerful, intelligent, beautiful, kind, caring, thoughtful courageous (the list is endless ya’ll) men and women God made us to be….then what is it all for?
So, for the entire month of February I am challenging you–self included. Every single day of February I challenge you to demonstrate how you’re loving yourself. Whether that be taking time out to read, workout, cook a healthy meal, play with your kids, date night (PG please–haha), taking care of animals, mani/pedi party, whatever this challenge means to you, share it. Post it to your social media outlet. Let us be part of encouraging each other to strengthen our mind’s internal dialog. For if our mind is strong, our bodies shall follow. We will call this the “I Love ME” Challenge (#iloveme). OH and ya’ll, there is a prize too. My fabulous friend, Alyssa Krause of The Faithful Merchant has graciously agreed to help me do A GIVEAWAY !!!!!!! You’ll get to win either one of The Faithful Merchant’s amazing pendant necklaces or tank/tshirt with slogans “She believed she could so she did” or “Stay humble, Hustle Hard”–you get to choose the item and the slogan! Alyssa and her husband, Jon, have an online shop and Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/thefaithfulmerchant/) so go check out what they already have up there if you just can’t wait for the end of the month. Well, now that I’ve told you the prize, how do you enter? Very easy:
1) Follow me on Instagram (if you’re already following along….Thank YOU) & share the blog
2) Tag someone in the comments
3) Like The Faithful Merchant on FB
Super simple ya’ll! So for those who are accepting the challenge….here we go! We are going to strengthen that mind muscle something fierce! “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”-Romans 12:2
Until next time….