Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Get off the hamster wheel already

Most people in our society are in a constant state of tension, wanting to move forward in some way. Even our rounded forward posture and common structural imbalances reflect this constant forward motion in the way we move through the world.

What we aren't so good at is sitting still. But when we sit still we actually can hear ourselves, our thoughts, our hopes, our fears and our true selves. The wisdom that we miss out on in this constant hamster wheel phenomenon not to mention the way this constant go go go mentality affects us physically, emotionally and spiritually cannot be underestimated.

What many people in the fitness industry do only exacerbate this issue further by getting people to continue with this thinking when it comes to their health. Goal setting can be a wonderful tool for helping people transform their lives but when this goal setting is merely focused on making people 'better' in some way it is an extension of the hamster wheel we live in. In my honest opinion, those fitness industry folks who are obsessed with more and more training, lifting more all the time, running further all the time and continually improving their 'fitness' are missing the big picture. They all need to chill a bit.

The issue with most people's health is that we don't stop. We don't sit still. We are focused on continual improvement or feeling guilty for not improving. The affect of stress hormones, the chemicals necessary to keep us in the constant running to only get nowhere state, create sleep deprivation, early wear and tear on all our tissues and and inability to learn. Our brain chemistry can become severely altered blocking the ability to change unhealthy thought patterns which translate into unhealthy behaviours.

The self help industry including the fitness industry are guilty of the idea that people need to focus on making themselves better. More is not always better. In fact, we need a lot less of work, a lot less of reaching for more money, a lot less stuff and a lot less of constant busyness.

We need to shed a lot of shitty ideas about what it means to be in the world, what life should be like and find a way to get back to our true selves. The selves that find joy in the simplest things. The selves that have open hearts and open minds.

Maybe many people in the fitness industry are just too young to get the necessity of slowing down for true personal evolution to happen. It's just too bad that so many regular people caught on the hamster wheel seek help from fitness professionals who can't see that they themselves are on their own wheel, one just as out of balance and going nowhere as everyone else's. And sometimes fitness pros will actually preach that their wheel is the one to be on.

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