THE BLOG

How to Get in the Best Shape of Your Life

02/13/2015 04:17 pm ET | Updated Apr 15, 2015

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photo credit Susanne Menge

Life is simple. We make it complicated.

We go running past our own answers attempting to escape the truths we know inside. Sometimes we run stoically, one foot in front of the other, up and down the trail (been there), sometimes we eat to run from our current experience (done that), and sometimes we entertain, distract, and deny to avoid endlessly an examination of what is going on inside and around us(yes, that too). All this work so we don't have to experience what is actually happening in THIS moment!

We add complexity to our challenges by running from them. Then we seek out another more complex version of the "expert advice" we have already tried but failed. Of course it failed. We gave someone else the "power" to hand us our answers. We can get ideas and suggestions from the outside but ultimately it requires a deep dive into who we are at our core to find lasting fitness, health, happiness and FUN!

Here's my suggestion.

I know, what the heck, another expert advisor-type?

No, absolutely not.

I am not an expert. I am a fellow traveler on this journey called human existence. I am someone whose bottom line had always been "happiness" and until I found that elusive condition I could never be satisfied. I had to know if it was possible to even be happy in this wild, calloused world, simple but true. And, surprisingly, when I found the key to happiness (i.e. being present in this moment, not sidetracked in the circus of my mind) I found the key to everything I had ever wanted in life: deep fulfillment, unconditional love, crazy joy, and ridiculous fun.

So I propose you take a journey to the best shape of your life. This is not a journey through the mountains of torture, pushing yourself to exercise, meditate or work harder every day, nor is it through the valleys of deprivation and struggle. This journey invites you to find your own way, first, by discovering the essence of who you are and then by exploring the world around you as if for the first time. Only then can you find what feels "right" to you. If you need a visual example of this journey, watch toddlers. They are moving to explore, eating to fulfill physical hunger, screaming when necessary, playing constantly, and curious about everything.

Try for a moment throwing everything you "know" out the window (ah, why not, chuck it off the side of the planet) and open yourself to infinite possibility. You can hold on to your old ways if you want them, just be sure to want them rather than blindly forcing yourself to deal with them. Explore the uncommon idea that getting in the best shape of your life might be achieved by being kind, loving and generous to YOU.

Here's the drill:

  1. Relax.
  2. Play like a child.
  3. Forgive relentlessly.
  4. Keep your priorities straight.
  5. Love yourself silly.
  6. Repeat, adjust, laugh, repeat, adjust.

In the next five weeks, I will go more fully into each of these with entertaining stories (I hope) and fun sample exercises. For now, it's enough to begin imagining life without the push, without the struggle, without the fear. Imagine all the facets of the best shape of your life and pay attention, start to become aware of what is currently working for you and what is not.

Imagine the possibility of YOU being at peace with you, being happy and loving yourself like there is nothing more important in the world!

Try it! I double dog dare you!!