Have you ever had something you couldn’t let go of? Or were terrified of what it would mean to not _____? Even when it wasn’t joyful, life-giving, or loving? Maybe even limiting, unhealthy, or hurtful? I have been a runner my whole adult life. As in from 1998-2020, I likely averaged 50 miles a week. I was SO committed to, in love with, and focused on the practice, the very thought of not being able to run someday sent me into an inner panic. Yet, last year an exercise/ritual that brought me so much joy and health became a chore. Day-after-day, I wouldn’t want to run, but felt I had to because I am a “runner”. And it gets even juicier.
It’s not like running was my only physical activity, I’ve been teaching and doing yoga for years, do some strength training, and took up spin last year when Lisa got a Peleton (an aMAzing indoor bike with world-class instructors). YET, I was a “runner”, that was my primary cardio, and it would be forever. At least that was the story in my head. Then came winter and the inspiration of my friend Rachel.
My body would be especially NOT happy to run on cold and/or wet days. So, I started listening to it and doing Peleton on those days instead of running. With the caveat, “I’m still a RUNNER, so that’s my preference”. You know how we have those voices of wisdom in our heads? My sister-friend Rachel, has more than once said she’s going to try out being or not being ______. So, one day I told Lisa, “I’m channeling my inner-Rachel and playing with not being a runner for now.”
The last time I ran was nearly two months ago—and I feel like life “leveled-up” in me. Know what I mean? The famous French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist Jacques Lucan wrote: “The madman is not only a beggar who thinks he is a king, but also a king who thinks he is a king.” (I had to read that twice and ponder it for a second.)
Part of what I hear from Lucan is: When we identify with our titles, relationships, roles, jobs, and names we miss the point. None of them are the essence or definition of who we are. We’re meant to “play” roles, not be roles. This realization is freeing in the most incredible way. At least I know it has been for me, and pray it is for you!
Hugs & Love,
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