Fresh Start

I have written diary notes for most of my life. I find it really helpful to self-analyse, if I am analysing myself I am generally leaving the analysis of others alone.

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When I read the introduction back to myself, I sound like a psychologist, or a therapist but I’m not a qualified social-scientist. I’ve had plenty of experience in working with peers, people of all ages and more. But I never chose to become qualified to help, I was more in favour of processing and observing than actively making a qualified difference to others lives.

How odd, when I have often been complimented on my ability to connect, listen and support others. In recent years, my ability to connect, listen and relate to others, it has shifted, because as a Writer in mainly solitude, juggling family life, and deliberating whether I have the self-confidence to send my portfolio to a Literary Agent, it has become an all-consuming life. I don't believe I could handle any rejection. Some may say I'm living a lonely, and an empty life. I beg to differ, it is very full, sometimes too full in a life that observes behind the scenes, practising and productive, listening and recording, discovering voices. Without the self-confidence to present the words to the world, why do I bother?

Last week I posted about walking the walk instead of talking the talk and there was a reason for it. I spoke about setting your own pace, and this was important. I was sharing words, because I had set my own pace too high. I was trying to make great leaps forward in my own life, but in truth, neither my mind nor body were ready and up for the tasks ahead.

I’m always laughing at my past self, if you’ve read a few of my posts here on life labs, I believe laughter is good for my mind, body and soul. I’ve always enjoyed laughing at myself and comedians but, when it comes to professionalism and education I don’t have a great recall for laughter, it was generally all work and no fun. Maybe, I am headed off track with this chatter?  I am here to chat about my own recent stupidity. I feel I can call myself silly, because I have been self-learning now for over three years and I still have the capability to make some very silly mistakes.

As part of my own strategy for taking control of my own life, and taking snippets from the coaching worksheets, the ones where we review our inner-critic and coach, I noticed that the voice of my own critic was so loud when I actively chose to listen and at first, I wondered why? Then I realised. I had become so mind-consumed in busyness, I’d been neglecting it.

I am going to call my inner critic 'my body' from now on, because I feel my inner critic is the body, an extra-ordinary mechanism and that should be taking care of itself. The mind, it's the coach.

In recent months I have begun to notice my body doesn’t quite look after itself. It is a result of what my mind chooses to believe, and the actions of my mindset.  Sadly, neither the critic or the coach was communicating with each other.  

I’d once mentioned on here (now deleted) back in spring that I would like to think my inner coach and critic could have a meeting more than once in a while and learn to work together. After this comment, an opportunity arose to join a Leisure Centre for the summer. It was quite an offer, a whole three months for the price of two and full membership; I could access the pool, the classes, the gym (did I say I am not a fan of the gym per se) and more. I arranged a meeting with my inner critic and coach via fifteen minutes of journalling and concluded: What have I got to lose? I will put myself forward over the summer and try every single class, to remind me – what suits me?!

(Did I say, I despise the word ‘Gym!’)

I had to ask myself, do I need to join a Leisure Centre? Why not just do it all at home, it’s easy enough, surely.

I am always one for quality and value for money and I worked out that in attending a minimum of three classes a week, if I had been paying at full price, it would have cost just short of £15.00 a week and really when counting copper, who wants to spend that much on exercise per week? Anyway, I tallied a visual of 3 sessions a week over 3 months and that would approximately have cost me near £200. I know you don’t know me, so let my critic and coach be clear, that figure was not something I wanted to think about or buy into. The summer pass was £60 and suddenly appeared to me as an absolute bargain. So, I joined, and I decided to get my children a summer swim pass, because they are old enough to swim alone, and I thought, if I am going to get my mind and body working together, I shall also align the family.

I appreciate this opportunity is not available to everyone especially for the families with under 8s unless you have amazing sitters. I’ve had to wait twelve years for this opportunity because leisure centres rarely have child care facilities and I am not a fan of ‘Gyms’, because ‘Gym membership’ could often feel like entrapment in my past - pay up, and even if your motivation shifts, we have a contractual agreement for 12 months.

I know I could have exercised at home, but I needed a little socialisation, and accepting this opportunity for three months, at a deal, it was dare I say it – perfect timing. I have realised I like Zumba, and Step Aerobics and I am very un-coordinated having ignored the body over the recent years because I thought it could look after itself. In truth, I’d forgotten to take care of myself. Aqua Aerobics is a lot of fun and I dabbled in a bit of Kettle Exercise, and wow, the fitness instructor is a lively lady. I watch on as she smiles and lifts, while I grimace and heave. I am only lifting 4kg but it’s tough.

I also know it’s tougher because I’d allowed my body to give up listening to itself and trusting that muscles could look after themselves, was an error on my part. 

As this blog is turning into a bit of a Novella, I will head off, and keep practising what I'm preaching. A situation shared, can be a situation halved. 

Take care of you.

Image: Pexels - Photo

Julie Spencer

Ambassador and Learning Support Assistant, Psychologies Magazine

Proud Ambassador for Psychologies Magazine. The magazine encapsulates many of my core values: being kind, have compassion, look after your health and wellbeing, be professional and be supportive of others. A little self belief can go a long way. I have studied as a mature student. I went into a writing frenzy and spent 3 years writing in solitude. I was a stay at home mum, too. What I learned: being alone for long periods of time is bad for your health and wellbeing. Thanks to a little nudge from Psychologies Magazine I am reconnecting and rebuilding my C.V. I'm a creative. I have lots of ideas and I need to constantly realign my focus onto one project at a time. Until recently I had a real fear for public speaking, but after reading a book that suggested I acknowledge my fears and challenge them anyway; with the support of the Psychologies community and more I'm working through my fears one blog at a time.