“Focus on where you want to go, not on what you fear.” Tony Robbins
I’m now officially half-way through this month’s walking to work (W2W) challenge and as the mornings are getting lighter, so is my mood. Spring is just around the corner! While I’m still in my scarf and gloves to keep warm, I’ve spotted blooming Spring bulbs reaching up through the grass, reminding me that brighter days are coming. This inspires hope, particularly having learnt so much about myself during my W2W experiment over such a short space of time.
Meeting a physiotherapist this week confirmed my expectations that by walking to work, I’d feel physically fitter for the rest of the day. Apparently, piriformis syndrome (an issue affecting my lower back and sciatic nerve) is often more acute in people who spend a long time sitting in desk jobs like me, interspersed with periods of intensive exercise. In my body’s best interests, it’s therefore sensible to add moderate daily exercise (like walking) to my weekday routine.
In addition to establishing this physically healthy habit, I’ve also developed a daily mental ritual which is making a huge difference to how I feel inside. I’ve designed my own Tony Robbins-inspired Hour of Power (HoP) ritual, where I’m essentially “priming” myself to be in a positive emotional state for the day.
“When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.” Tony Robbins
One of the key ways I’m priming myself on my morning walk is by learning to visualise. Visualisation is essentially the ability to “see” events play out in your imagination before they happen. Being rather self-conscious and perfectionistic, I’ve previously felt so uncomfortable even trying to imagine what lies ahead for me, that I’ve been frozen in place by depression and anxiety. Yet this past fortnight, I’ve been surprised by how easily I’ve adopted this skill. Visualising my way into an optimistic state, my mind wanders freely, generating new ideas. On my W2W commute, I feel at my most creative and imaginative; I’m truly amazed at how much my mind has revealed to me about myself.
In this way, the W2W challenge is helping me get a clearer idea of what I want from life. I’m starting to have actual dreams about what I want in my future! Having regular, relaxed thinking time to myself of a morning, I’m creating increasingly detailed mental pictures of the person I want to become and the life I want to live. It’s been an exciting and eye-opening experience!
Some of the dreams I’ve found myself exploring on my W2W this week include:
- contemplating the potential benefits of parenthood;
- exploring a viable career path as a writer;
- generating ideas for future business ventures.
Through these my mental and physical morning rituals, I’m generating ideas as to how I might get what I want from life and achieve my dreams. Moving my body outdoors seems to give me the mental freedom to brainstorm. Perhaps this is because my mind reaches further for solutions under a vast expanse of sky? In any case, I’ve been arriving at my office with actionable plans I’m driven to fulfill. This past week, for example, dedicating more time to writing and persisting through perfectionistic “writers’ block” has paid off. My creativity is on fire! I feel mentally awake and energized to achieve my aims.
Since starting my W2W habit, I’m even building better relationships with other people. Actively choosing my mood to be one of gratitude, joy and positivity at the start of the day is helping me create more meaningful, genuine connections. Priming myself like this has led to my starting conversations with colleagues and shop assistants, which I’d previously have avoided. I’m greeting strangers I pass in the street and even talking to the ducks in the park!
“There is a powerful driving force inside every human being that, once unleashed, can make any vision, dream, or desire a reality.” Tony Robbins
Taking on this challenge, I expected to feel physically stronger and possibly a little happier from all the extra exercise. What I didn’t anticipate was developing a ritual which would lead to my having these mental breakthroughs. I’m primed to make progress towards a future for myself that I genuinely desire. I’m no longer simply standing still, letting life happen to me; I can honestly say I’m directing my own life. As I stride into Spring, I’m excited to see what else I might learn over the coming weeks!