I know many of you are probably laughing at this title. Zen? Me? I’m not exactly a calm individual. Some might call me tightly wound. A ticking time bomb (kidding – really) or just quick to anger. I tend to get easily frustrated with things out of my control. But the older I get the more I realize there are things I can control: my reactions or how I respond to and handle situations. (I can’t believe how wise I’m getting, it’s astonishing.)
I’ve spent the past several years fixing the outside of me with my fitness journey. But as anyone who’s undergone a dramatic transformation can attest to, the change doesn’t just affect your body, it affects everything about you. Your mind, your attitudes, your confidence and your demeanor. For me chiseling my body was just the beginning (and frankly, I’ve got plenty of room to go). It made me want more. More from myself and more from others. It raised my expectations. Not only of what I can do, but of what’s possible.
How that manifested in me wasn’t (isn’t) always positive. The more you expect, the more disappointed you are when you don’t get it. I was already an intelligent woman with a very quick mind. Add to that some newfound confidence and it often turned to arrogance. Some warranted, most not. When your brain fires on all synapses and other people’s doesn’t, it can be frustrating. Very frustrating. But that’s on me, not them. And while I may want everyone to be like me (how awesome would that be? LOL) it’s obviously not realistic.
This frustration was evident everywhere. The workplace. The box. The car. (That may never change, because well, people can’t drive.) And I know there are people who think you can’t change. I wholeheartedly disagree. CrossFit is my escape and my happy place. But even that can get under my skin. (Curse you pull-ups!) But with some newfound patience, I’m finally mastering double-unders. Like legit doing them 5, 8, 10, 15 or more at a time. Not 1 or 2. I even almost did a handstand on my own today. I’m cursing less when I fail at lifts or movements (I’m still human, after all). And you know what? The progress is coming because I’m worrying less. Sure I care. Sure I want to excel, but it will come. And getting upset won’t help that.
Another frustration for me is dating. A very big frustration. But again, the more I let it under my skin, I’m sure the more guys noticed. And no one wants to be with someone who’s clearly not having fun. So I’ve been practicing being “breezy.” It’s become a total joke with my friends because, of course, I’m not breezy. But I’m letting things roll off my back that might have bothered me. Like not knowing when or where a date is happening until a few hours prior. I like a plan. But I had to realize that knowing we were going out is the plan and the rest will come. Or not hearing from someone the next day, or perhaps hearing from them but not getting asked out…immediately. I want everything yesterday. Or maybe last month even. But by going with the flow, I’m getting what I want eventually (a second date, planned dates). And that’s ok.
So while these little fixes have been helping me, I wanted a way to sort of calm my overall self. I’ve tried meditating in the past, but it always seemed so daunting and time consuming (ironic, I know). I’ve downloaded apps, but I didn’t really connect with them. Recently, I was telling a friend I wanted to try meditating and she shared that she does it and it’s just about breathing. She said even a few minutes a day, where I breathe and maybe think about an intention (like in yoga) is enough. Bite-sized meditating? This I can do. So every morning, before I get out of bed, I spend 2-3 minutes (literally) breathing (in through the nose, out through the mouth) and thinking about what I might want to focus on for the day. It might be patience, or calm, or love, or prosperity, anything that I want. And then at night I write down a few things I’ve learned from the day. Just bullets. Again, bite-sized journaling. Because with small tasks, it’s easier to commit to them long term and it makes it harder to say I don’t have time.
I’ve been doing this for about a week now and honestly, I do feel like I’m more patient. And I’ve told my friends to hold me accountable because I don’t always mean to be snarky or snippy and I want them to point it out, especially if it wasn’t my intention (although often it is – oops). There’s no shame in asking for help…ever. And there’s certainly no shame in wanting to be a better person. Frankly, it’s something we all should want. But if you don’t, I’ll try not to bite your head off for it. Baby steps.