Banish the Baggage

With a new year just around the corner it’s the resolution making season. Many of us decide our biggest priority will be improving our physical health. We want to get toned up, lose weight, and become stronger and more flexible. We know that if our bodies feel better, our approach to our lives will become more positive. Being positive is one of the most important predictors of life span; it helps create greater resistance to the common cold; it helps us cope with hardship and stress in a less harmful, more productive way; and it enables us to enjoy our adventures and personal interactions more fully.


Unfortunately, many of us have a lot of negative baggage about our bodies that weighs us down. We carry all our past grievances as we make these new healthy resolutions.


My legs are too stubby.

I’ll look stupid because I don’t know the dance routine.

I can’t run very far.

Everyone else will be looking at me.

I look awful in those exercise clothes.


Pick one of the above and focus on it too long and we become defeated before we even begin. This is called enmeshing with the past. When we enmesh with negativity from our past, we don’t allow ourselves to move forward into the future. We lose out both physically and emotionally if we let this happen.


How can we stop enmeshing but still engage in activities that may hold baggage? We let go of the stories and the words. Getting physically fit isn’t about talking to ourselves; it’s about being in our bodies and feeling what’s happening inside of them on a non verbal level.


How deeply are we breathing? Do our legs feel like we can go that extra ¼ mile on the track? Where are our shoulders in relation to our ears? Can we feel our blood flowing through our veins and arteries? What feels different as we continue moving? We begin to listen to the changes that are occurring in our bodies and suddenly we are fully engaged with our physical selves.


It’s the attention on how our bodies feel right now that is going to carry us forward, not the mind’s thoughts and words of past negativity. Banish the baggage – it has no relevance in the present moment. Our bodies have an innate wisdom – tap into it by listening to how it feels.


How did we learn to crawl or walk when we were babies? We practiced. We toppled over and got up again.  We got right back at the task at hand. Without verbalizing, we paid attention to the movements that helped us achieve our goals. We did them repeatedly as we refined the process.  When we were tired, we rested. No stories – no words. Simply being engaged in the body ensured our success.


No stories. No words. No baggage. Simply engaged.



Copyright © 2011, Sheila Peters. All rights reserved.