Occasional Reflections & Musings...
The first morning of 2020 started the same way many of my mornings for the past five years have started: in the gym. When I turned 40 I began to lift weights three or four times a week. It has been good for my body, my stress level, my emotions, and an unexpected opportunity to practice mindfulness. From the beginning, given my budgetary constraints, Planet Fitness was my only choice. There is much to mock about Planet Fitness (search YouTube if you have any doubts), but $10 a month can’t be beat.
The first morning of 2020 brought heavier than usual expectations. It wasn’t just a new year. It was also a new decade. Memes have already declared it the Year of Hindsight. The implication is clear: this is the year we apply the wisdom we acquired in the past decade. When it comes to new year’s or new decade resolutions, you’ll find me in a state of perpetual eye-roll. Such benchmarks are arbitrary and useless. Every day is the start of a new year or new decade. Every day is an opportunity to adopt a new intention, declare a new way of being, begin a journey of transformation.
The first morning of 2020 found me doing weighted step-ups beneath one of the gym’s trademark invocations: No Critics. After a half decade of blending into my routine, the sign had become invisible. Yet today it spoke to me like never before. Today the eye-rolls were stilled. Today I admitted that in recent years I had been listening to, and believing the excuses created by the biggest critic in my life: my own inner critic. Its excuses held me back from being brave in the pulpit; held me back from writing the book I already declared to the world I would write; held me back from having difficult conversations; held me back from moving forward. And all these excuses were rooted in fear: fear of failure; fear of success; fear of conflict; fear of rejection; fear of loss; fear of disappointing others; fear of disappointing myself. I was genuinely surprised to realize that, as much as I have grown over the last two decades, fear still made its voice known in my life.
The first morning of 2020 found me taking on a new resolve: No More: no more listening to my inner critic; no more playing small; no more holding back. Today I choose to believe wholly in my true self and all that my Divine potential holds.
Well played Planet Fitness.