Training Thoughts: Week 4 (Jan 29-Feb 4) — 22.25 Miles
Hello, everyone! I hope your February has gotten off to a great start. I’ve been very introspective during my workouts this week, so this week’s Training Thoughts are very reflective. I hope you enjoy and maybe read something that resonates with you!
Creating moments of joy
When is the last time you felt joy? What was the setting? What were you doing? Over the past few months, I’ve found small ways to bring moments of joy into my life. I’ve also focused on the present and not getting attached to these moments, focusing instead on cultivating a life that fosters them, since ultimately they are temporary and are only one facet of life.
I’ve felt joy in many small ways recently: talking with my parents daily, phone calls with friends back on the West Coast, planning activities with friends in DC, blue sunny skies after overcast days, candlelit bubble baths while listening to some of my favorite classical music pieces, breathing in crisp air on the walk to the grocery, the smell of fresh sheets. For all of these moments, there have also been sad and difficult ones, too. But pushing through the tough moments are the ones that make the presence of joyous ones all the brighter and more appreciated. Based on our thoughts, perceptions, attitude, and vibrations, we find what we seek to find in the world, so I’ve decided to seek and create joy!
Self-absorbed vs. Self-aware
We all need to take care of ourselves and do what’s best for us, but there’s a line between being self-absorbed and self-aware. These qualities are sometimes tied up with our personalities. I’ve definitely been self-absorbed, acting out of selfish and often times frustrated motives, but I’ve found that when I make these choices, I end up mentally and emotionally drained because I was externalizing inner conflicts on to others. I don’t feel like myself and I don’t like myself for making those choices, but I recognize this, accept full responsibility for my actions, and engage with self-healing to find the balance in taking care of myself while remaining in-tune and connected to my environment.
When we are self-absorbed, we put up a wall around our insecurities, hiding them behind other measurements of perceived “success” because we do not want to show our flaws or be emotionally vulnerable. When we are self-absorbed, we put our best foot forward in the hopes of being liked and coming across as nice and charming, instead of focusing on creating genuine, lasting connections. When difficult, external things happen outside our control that are not aligned with our opinions or narratives, self-absorbed actions are defensive and devalue others because of their differences in perspective. When we are self-absorbed, there is a lack of empathy or compassion (or it is only conditional or transactional) and there is little willingness to compromise with others. When we are self-absorbed, we listen to others talk with the intent of responding, proving people wrong, or winning a conversation instead of understanding and acknowledging what they’re saying.
When we are self-aware, we find comfort in the discomfort of our insecurities and take action in our self-growth. We seek help when needed and recognize that it is not a weakness to fully feel raw emotions in the present and fully process them or share them with others instead of bottling them up inside ourselves, knowing that it is a part of the healthy, worthwhile process of emotional and mental growth. When we are self-aware, we seek new friendships and relationships because we want to truly share our experiences, learn about others, and create a community, instead of focusing on how others perceive us. When we are self-aware, we admit to our mistakes, take responsibility for our actions, and apologize with no expectation of being forgiven. When difficult, external things happen outside of our control that are not aligned with our opinions or narratives, self-aware actions understand and accept that all things in life make us who we are. We accept others’ differences in opinions, narratives, and perspectives, recognizing that they color and enrich a broader understanding of things outside our own experience.
(briefly) on love
(Love is obviously a huge, important, wonderful topic, so I’m aiming to capture a tidbit of my thoughts on it, hence the “briefly”). Since Valentine’s Day (AKA a commodified, capitalist exploit that can also impose ridiculous expectations) is around the corner, I’ve been thinking a lot about love. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about love as an action and as a guide, to emanate it back into the world to nurture our lives and surroundings, but without expectation or intent to gain.
I recently finished reading All About Love by bell hooks, which was truly healing (and I highly recommend it!). She discusses love as an action, and further builds upon that idea in different areas of society, challenging modern perceptions and expectations. There are different types of love, and this book has led me to practice, recognize, and actively appreciate and express gratitude to all of its forms in my own life.
For example, who do you say “I love you” to? Your family? Your significant other? Your close friends? I caught up with a friend from via FaceTime last Friday and had a great conversation with her. When we were saying goodbye, we parted with exchanges of “I love you.” The phrase “I love you” is socialized for romantic relationships, and while I of course agree with that, I do not believe it should not be exclusive to that! The delivery and deeper meaning of saying “I love you” will depending on context and we say we love things and people (other than our romantic partners) all the time. The way I see it, as long as saying “I love you” is genuine, joyous, and aligned with compassionate actions, keep emanating it this way!
How are you celebrating love this month?