I AM… and I become or maintain exactly what follows. Words are powerful.

Diana Bailey Essential Motion Pilates

By Guest Writer Diana Bailey

The words that come after I AM are powerful messages that you give yourself.  Those words can determine your attitude, your ideas about self worth, your opportunities and, over time, bring either great joy and success or much sorrow and pain.

You are cordially invited to spend a day with a random inquiry into this singular habit. Just noticing how often you say the words I AM…..then what you say the moment after that. This simple “meditation”, done anytime and anywhere for the moments it takes to see, hear, and acknowledge the verbal reinforcement we give ourselves, reveals some interesting results.

I actually got so curious about this, I kept a pocket notebook with me for a day. I wrote down every single thing I said to myself that started with I AM.

At first it was a bit clumsy to do it. But it turned out that within a couple of hours, I caught my mind frantically attempting (over and over) to avoid this whole idea by telling me NO with thoughts such as:

• You’ll remember. So, no need to write that one down. Keep walking.
• Stop it! You don’t need to know this stuff. It’s all fine. Why are you doing this?
• This is ridiculous, no one “meditates” like this.
• You look stupid standing in a grocery line writing in a notebook.
• You have to pay attention to the road. NO, No, NOOO don’t pull over and write that one down, you’re wasting so much time doing that!
Obviously things got pretty creative in the control department! The turnaround came the moment my mind said to me “I AM NOT HAPPY about this”, and some place inside responded with “I know, that’s why we’re doing it.”

The internal resistance to a simple, perfectly harmless exercise told me I was really on to something that could produce some powerful results.

It has. It does. Thank you for that.

Perspective on fitness.

Diana Bailey Essential Motion Pilates

What does fitness mean?

Challenge your perspective on fitness.

First and foremost, the frame for fitness that can work wonders over time is relative rather than comparative. The reality is,  each of us has a unique body shaped by our own genetics and life experience. Comparing fitness to some nebulous “average” or to another person’s performance did not serve to improve my fitness, so I quit using that as a basis. My marker for fitness is: Can I do what I want to do when I want to for the amount of time I would like to without injury? If not, my fitness needs attention. It’s really that simple. The bonus for adopting this idea was twofold:

• Self esteem got a consistent boost because I quit comparing myself to others
• The ability to discover and learn about personal fitness expanded because creativity flourished when the pointless distraction of comparison to others vanished.
What I have also discovered is that fitness is dependent on an activity to express itself. I can be incredibly fit for one thing and not for another. So the balancing partner for fitness is the activity and how my body and life experience relate to that alone. It is NOT how someone else’s body with different genetics and life experiences performs or enjoys that activity. Fitness for me is both personal and relative.

I will never do something long enough to get fitness out of it if I don’t enjoy doing it, and I will not do something that does not feel good to do because I work out to feel good. That’s personal priorities. I invite you to examine what motivates you to seek fitness. If it stems from your  personal desires absent the need to please or impress anyone but yourself, you will get great results and have fun setting the goals that get you there.