Over Christmas my family did a little book exchange instead of the usual assortment of gifts from a list exchange and my parents gifted me this book “The Rhythm of Life-How to live every day with passion and purpose”. Now, as many of you know, I graduated from my masters program in May 2015, got my Registered Dietitian Certification in September, and have since been trying to find a supplemental job as a dietitian to go with Corefit. I have had extremely bad luck finding something suitable. In addition to my job search woes, I have been struggling through a breakup for about four months. I wont get in to that too much, but there are not many things in life I can compare to the emotional struggle and crippling nature of a breakup with your best friend. While feeling pretty lost professionally, financially, and emotionally, this book came onto my lap over Christmas and has had some extremely powerful points, ideas, and inspirations that continue to help me get my mind right. I would like to share some with you.
- Life is a Choice
Matthew Kelly starts this book off addressing the fact that everything you do in your life is your choice. You choose to act a certain way, work where you work, live where you live, hang out with people you hang out with, etc. There are some cases where people argue that they had no choice, and he makes pretty good arguments as to really truly looking into the situation and seeing if that is actually true… but the takeaway for me wasn’t attempting to prove him wrong. It was grasping the idea that yes, I am in control of my own actions and my own life. If something isn’t going the way I want it to, what am I going to DO to remedy the situation? Now, there is also a fine line as to feeling empowered by the amount of CHOICES you can make to change your life, and believing you can control absolutely everything, including your emotions. Basically, getting too obsessed with control can be damaging as well. I just loved being reminded that there are a lot more things I have a choice of in life that I CAN control as opposed to having a pity party for myself every other day when life felt impossible.
- What do you want from life?
When was the last time you asked yourself this? Then think, when was the last time you TRULY answered this? Perhaps some of you think “happiness”, or “success”, or “a wife and kids”. These are all valid answers, but incredibly generic. How do YOU break down each one? What does happiness actually look like for you? What is success? A good job? What is that job? What is it ABOUT that job that makes it good/fulfilling? Kelly ends a chapter telling you to put down the book and write down what you want from life. So, naturally, I turned the page and just kept reading because, you know, I’d get to it later. I didn’t, and he brought it up again. So I started to write out what I wanted from life and it was awesome. I mean, super awesome. Lots of editing to be done as I continue through the book (and life), but I don’t think I had ever written out and broken down really truly what I want from life until then and it was incredibly powerful. Now, your turn.
- The Best-Version-of-Yourself
This is now a phrase I use almost every day when I talk to people about my life. Kelly talks about four main areas of life and how each one has the potential to aid you in living your best life by being the-best-version-of-yourself. These areas include: your physical needs, emotional needs, spiritual needs, intellectual needs. It is very important to understand each of them for your own self so that when you are faced with forks in the road throughout your day, you are able to make the choice that is in line with the best-version-of-yourself. Maybe you are really tired after work and do not want to go to the gym. While you are driving in your car, what will determine if you go to the gym or not? Will going to the gym help you become stronger and improve your physical and emotional health? Is that in line with being the-best-version-of-yourself? Maybe you are running off of three hours of sleep and had a long, stressful day at work, and your body is sore from the past couple days’ workouts. Is it in your best interest to still go to the gym? Perhaps what you need is a walk outside to get some movement in, clear your mind and be out with nature (potentially fulfilling some spiritual needs at the same time). You are faced with these types of choices all day, every day. Are you stimulating your mind regularly through books, podcasts, TED talks, or conversation? Do you surround yourself with people who have priorities that are in line with yours? Who help you live your own potential and who you help live theirs? Get to know your needs. Get to know who you want to be and understand what that looks like for you. Then make the choices you CAN make when faced with them every day. Ask yourself, “is this helping me be the-best-version-of-myself”?
So these are just a few takeaways I have had from this book thus far. Believe me, there are loads more reflections and ideas I could elaborate on, but I think this is good for now. As I continue to look for additional work, I have now shifted my mindset into “embracing the journey”, rather than getting so caught up in where I am at and where I “should” be at professionally. I understand a little more about what is in my control and what I may need to radically accept otherwise. Its important to embrace emotions as well, rather than fight them off, and I have definitely had my fair share of emotions the past few months. I work every day to be more mindful about them-feel and move on (Headspace helps this with and if you don’t know Headspace yet, GET ON IT). Corefit really does feed my mind, body, and soul. The people, the workouts, the community, and the staff all help me in my journey of becoming the best me. This I know to be true, and is not something I am wanting to give up at this time in my life. So I urge you to take a look at what you want in life, what your needs are (in EACH category), and who you think the-best-version-of-yourself is, then work to act accordingly at each fork in the road.
Therese Martinez, RD, MS, ACSM-CPT