Zoning In

It’s amazing how wonderful it can feel to stop from zoning out and start embracing the moment. Know why we dislike working out.

I went for a run today, and I decided to do something a little different. I turned my iPod off. Normally I truck along, jamming to the beats, or listening to my favorite audiobooks, trying to zone out so that my workout would go by more quickly.

This time was different. This time I wanted to zone in. When I go for a run, I jog along a quaint path that used to be a railroad corridor long ago, but is now paved over. This trail stretches over 25 miles and offers some pretty fantastic scenery. As I switched my iPod off and continued on my trek, I realized how wonderful it actually is to be present. It was as if someone had just taken a blindfold off, and un-muted the Bose speakers. The first thing I noticed was the most vivid hues of red, yellow, and orange leaves enveloping me in a canopy of trees, dancing in the wind. I inhaled deeply, taking in the crisp, clean air and the sweet smell of Fall. I smiled as the chipmunks scurried across my path, cheeks full of goodies, busily building their nests for the winter. I listened to the sound of the birds chirping, their little voices combining into a musical tune. How often do we spend our workout time trying to focus on other things because we have conditioned ourselves to dread exercise? How often do we coast through life, distracting ourselves by thinking about our worries, what we are going to make for dinner, or a conversation we had last night with our spouse? It’s amazing how wonderful it can feel to stop from zoning out and start embracing the moment. Why do we dislike working out? Because it is hard. Why is it hard? Because we continue to tell ourselves that it is hard. What if we decided that instead of focusing on working out being “hard”, we focus on how grateful we are that our bodies are strong and flexible? Or that we are able to walk and run. That working out helps us to feel energized and alive and allows us to achieve our wellness goals. Recently I have made it a priority in my own life to start tuning in. When I consciously choose to do this, everyday life starts to take on a whole different meaning. Today I felt connected. I saw the beauty that was all around me. I felt my freedom as an individual. I felt strong and appreciative of my healthy body, and proud of my ability to run as far as I do. I felt joy to be able to experience such a beautiful day. I felt that warm and fuzzy feeling deep down inside when you just know you are on the right path. So instead of going throughout your day today talking about, thinking about, and focusing on negative things, try instead to purposefully point out that which you are appreciative of or grateful for. Try smiling at a stranger and or mentally thanking your coworker/cubicle-invader for their company. Find ways to tune in, be present, and find joy in every moment. Today is all you have. The past is gone and the future is not here yet. Enjoy life, now.
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