When we think of willPower, we often think of action…and action when it’s tough. In the fitness arena, we can find plenty of opportunities to test our willPower in this fashion, such as in our last set of plies (despite legs burning…) or holding plank (despite full body trembles). In the real world, too, situations abound. Resisting the Girl Scout cookies in the cupboard can test our willPower as much as staying calmly centered after someone or something ruffles our feathers. The classic willPower question, “What if I had to…could I?” challenges us to think more strategically about our daily decisions and actions as stepping stones toward a goal, an ever-evolving, and in an overall effort to strengthen our willPower.
This week’s word falls on the other side of the willPower equation…the oft-overlooked and undervalued, but ultimately game-changing aspect. It’s the element of passivity, letting go, and embracing the Law of Detachment.
In detachment lies the wisdom of uncertainty . . . in the wisdom of uncertainty lies the freedom from our past, from the known, which is the prison of past conditioning. And in our willingness to step into the unknown, the field of all possibilities, we surrender ourselves to the creative mind that orchestrates the dance of the universe. ~Chopra Center
Through TRUST, we elevate our willPower beyond our personal capabilities to elicit the synchronistic elements that elevate us. Just as the birthing mother works to relax into her contractions, the expectant athlete detaches from the outcome before a game or competition…to achieve the highest result with the minimal amount of effort. This does not mean “no effort” (and is often a far cry from it), but it does mean aligned… effective… fruitful effort.
When we TRUST, we don’t waste our energy on anxiety, fear, distracting thoughts or detracting techniques. Our acts of willPower become inherently easier and more inspired. TRUST elicits our greatness, conviction, and belief in all we’re capable of doing, being, or becoming.
This week’s Seven Steps are meant to be taken sequentially. Through our memories, we see the connection to our present self. Through self-awareness, we rebuild TRUST within ourselves and in the way we see the world:
1. Think of your earliest sources of TRUST…mom, dad, older sibling, grandparent, first grade teacher, swim instructor…how did these people assist you toward overcoming fear and strengthening your willPower?
2. Now, think of the reverse…where someone trusted you in a way that was “life-changing” for him or her… and perhaps, ultimately, for you, too.
3. In your life now… Who do you TRUST and why? Think about the qualities of trustworthiness in another.
4. How about yourself? Did you include “you” in #3? If not, why not? Think about how, where, and why you don’t you TRUST yourself completely.
5. Do you TRUST the process? In the realm of fitness, this is a biggie. When you don’t TRUST the process toward a desired outcome, you become easily anxious, agitated, and prone to throwing in the towel. If you lack trust in the process, hire advisors (fitness, financial, educational, health, etc.) with a proven track record and a fit to the qualities you enumerated in #3. The reduction in anxiety alone is one of the key benefits of having “trusted advisors” and trusting the process itself.
6. Staying safe. Think about a time recently when you had to TRUST someone to keep you safe. A stranger during a time of need, a doctor in receiving a diagnosis, a pilot to get you safely from Point A to Point B…or your willPower instructor in keeping your workout safe & effective!
Psst…as a willPower instructor, think of yourself in this way — keeping others safe under your watch.
7. TRUST issues. In your life today, where do you have so-called “trust issues” and where did these originate?
This week is the ideal week to heal our TRUST issues and expand our innate sense of TRUST. We can use our Exercise of the Week, Pelican, to feel more grounded. Our experience of TRUST is balanced in our Root Chakra (along with feelings of safety and security, survival, and feeling grounded). To get a little more from this exercise, close your eyes in pelican and visualize red, the color associated with the Root Chakra.