I close my eyes when I work out. The harder it gets, the more likely I am to close my eyes and go within. Maybe lots of people do this...but I had this whole revolutionary thought process the other day because of the simple act of closing my eyes when lifting weights.
I have always searched for strength outside myself. People, things, relationships. I do this because I believe that there is a higher source, a greater power than me, out there somewhere. Inside myself I feel weak, inadequate, faulty.
I have spent the whole of my life searching for things outside myself to make me feel safer and better. And I have concluded, repeatedly, it is within where strength and safety come from, and yet, yet I still think that I can buy it, shop it, date it, fuck it, eat it...and I will be redeemed. Rescued safely to the shores of someone other than me...
But yesterday I was working out and I was lifting heavy weights. And it was hard. And I closed my eyes and went within. Pulling from that inner strength I know is there, because I intuitively go there when I need it. I closed my eyes and shut out all outside forces and focused myself on my inner force. And I got through the workout.
But this idea that I went within and received what I needed stayed with me a long time. It was a refrain that I kept returning to all day long.
My mind would return to this...
“I needed strength and I just knew to go within. I closed my eyes, shutting out everything and everyone else, and found the brawn I needed to complete the work out. I went within and found myself.”
Maybe this is a “Duh, no shit!” kinda thing for you. It was an "Ah Ha" moment for me. As someone who has believed and relied upon this idea that strength comes from outside me, to intuitively know to go within, my body leading my mind, was really pretty revolutionary for me.
It was a moment where something shifted in me. My body knows where the strength is...has it always known this and I have just refused to listen? Why? And how can I now tap into this sweeping shift in my life?
Strength is within. It might also be found without. But it is within me and I can use it when I need it. No one else required. Just me and my inner wisdom and guidance. I know this is where divinity resides, within the body and soul of everyone, but I don’t think I ever really believed it for myself. That my body is some sort of temple that I can retreat to and receive the things I need and seek from others: strength, safety, love, understanding, patience, humor. I do not have to chase my tail and all of yours trying to get it from you, it resides within me all the while.
So perhaps it seems trivial to you that I would have this epiphany while sitting in a sweat filled gym, surrounded by others who were pumping iron. But perhaps that is the perfect metaphor...
Surrounded by strong and strength, the only place I could really experience it, was deep within my own mind and body.
Who did know?
Well, I guess now I do.