May 312007

You know that exercise is an essential ingredient for healthy living. It will help you get your body into better working order, and support your ongoing health. It dissipates the effects of stress, and unlocks your energy reserves. And so on. The media has you well versed in the benefits, you’ve chosen your exercise, bought the clothes and gear; the problem is actually getting started.

It’s like sitting in your car behind the exit barrier of a car park, desperate to drive away, but the barrier is stuck so you can’t move.

Trying to force the barrier up doesn’t work; it will resist you as strongly as you push. The trick is to get to a place where the barrier lifts smoothly of its own accord.

What’s making your exercise barrier stick, and how can you get it to rise?

Get help to lift the barrier

Getting someone else involved may be all that’s needed to get started with your exercise.

1.  Get some expert advice

If you have an injury or haven’t exercised for a while, you may need expert advice on suitable exercise, and how to make a gradual start.

2.  Sign up for a class

Signing up for a class helps you commit to weekly exercise at least once a week. You’ll also get expert instruction on your chosen exercise, and be motivated by the teacher and other participants.

3.  Buddy up

On Thursday lunchtimes I walk with a friend and we have a friendly competition not to ‘give in’; consequently we’ve been out in torrential rain when neither of us would have walked on our own. With boots and waterproofs it’s actually quite fun in the rain!

And have you noticed all those joggers out in pairs?

Remove the barrier yourself

Another approach is to go inside yourself, and remove your internal barrier to getting started. You can do this by releasing the negative feelings (the Sedona approach), or nurturing yourself with the quality you’re missing (the Sufi approach). They’re like two sides of a coin, try the one you feel most drawn to.

1.  Let go of the shoulds and doubts

Think about starting to exercise, and notice the first feeling that arises in your heart. For example: I feel resistance, I’m forcing myself, I feel frustrated.

Then answer each of the following questions with a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, allowing the response to come from your heart rather than your mind.

  • Could I welcome this feeling?
  • Could I let it go?
  • Would I let it go?
  • When?

Repeat the questions until the feeling is gone.

2.  Nurture your heart

When I resist doing something that I really want to do, my heart is lacking some quality which would allow me to move forward. So a simple way to life the barrier is to drink in the missing quality you need.

  • Put your hand over your heart area, and drop your awareness into your heart.
  • Say ‘aaah’ to yourself – this sound opens your heart connection to the universe.
  • Ask the universe for the quality your heart needs to get started with exercising.
  • Trust that the first word, sound, image, colour or whatever comes up is right for you.
  • Ask the universe to help you drink the quality into your heart, until it’s overflowing.
  • Check how you feel about exercising.
  • If necessary drink in another quality.

Select one of the above suggestions, or another idea they trigger, and use it to lift the barrier, so exercise seems the most natural thing to do. Once you get started, and the benefits of exercise become apparent, it’s much easier to keep going!

The Delicious Nugget: Getting help, letting go of negative feelings and nurturing your heart are three effective ways to lift the exercise barrier.

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