It is all too easy to believe that getting older means falling apart. Your vision becomes less clear, your joints crack, pop, and ache more easily, and your hair turns white.
Is this really the natural progression of things? Or have we simply accepted it for what it is, and determined that it cannot be fought?
This is more than just aging when it comes to knowing your body. In general, your body can be as strong, flexible, and malleable as you believe it to be…or not.
I know this first-hand. I have broken many bones, strained and injured multiple muscles, and I can frequently beat most people in a coolest/nastiest scar competition.
On top of this, I have been between 20 and 80 pounds overweight more-or-less my whole life. However, I still take frequent walks, prefer stairs to elevators for five-floors or fewer, and participate in medieval fencing from 1–3 times per week.
Finally, I recently turned 47. A year ago the optometrist prescribed glasses for distance vision (primarily for driving) and recommended readers for certain small and off-color fonts.
I am heavyset, damaged, middle-aged and still really active. Sure, I know I have a few limitations, but not so many as I could have if I didn’t believe that I am more capable than that.
I am not as limited as I could be
Much of this is based on choice. Despite some pretty wicked damage to my body I do not let ANY of it stop me.
(My damage includes the messed-up leg and titanium clavicle from getting hit by a car crossing the street; cracking my knee downhill skiing at age 13; breaking my pinky finger and thumb on my right hand; tearing the meniscus of my left knee; dislocating both knees multiple times, and; carpel-tunnel syndrome in both wrists.)
Impressive list, right? Any one of the above injuries could have caused me to walk with a limp, stop fencing, baby my body and work on not getting hurt again. Timeline wise, the first of these injuries was around age 9. But no, that is not how I have approached this, nor continue to approach it.
I refuse to allow a few limitations to get in the way of my enjoyment of this life. Sure, that means I have pain from time to time and will make really loud and slightly freaky popping and cracking noises on occasion. Yet I push, keep on fighting, and work on getting the most out of my body and out of my life.
Yes, I will not deny that I have had incredible doctors and therapists who worked on and with me. But more than that, my willpower is iron. I do not accept that I cannot overcome any physical limitations within reason.
That amounts to recognizing I have never been capable of mid-air flips, handstands, and various other gymnastic moves. But I can still run despite a fused tibia-fibula and eighty pounds of extra weight, swordfight, hike, swim, rock-climb, and many other strenuous physical activities.
It can be tiring, and it can make me feel really sore and stiff…but it is totally worth it.
You are a product of conscious reality creation
The body is just as impacted by mindfulness and conscious reality creation as the mind and spirit are. I know this from my own firsthand experience with this.
There are many other people who have done the same. People who were told they wouldn’t walk again running marathons. Women told they could never have children giving birth. People who have gone deaf composing music.
What’s more, like resources, possibilities are endless. If one thing fails another can take its place. My right arm does not work exactly the same way as my left. After the severe nerve-damage, I subconsciously figured out muscle compensations to make up for what wasn’t working. Twenty years later, each of my arms still functions differently, but it’s really subtle.
Do you know somebody who talks about always getting sick? Constantly feeling run-down? Stressed-out? Frequently fighting injury and illness as such? That is the product of conscious reality creation. Believe in and discuss limitation and you get what you ask for.
I am not denying that some people can and will be injured or ill to a point of being unable to push past limitations. Yet there are numerous “miracle” stories out there, and I believe they are not at all the act of God or some other omnipotent deity. They are the human spirit. They are willpower. Recognition of self-imposed limitations thus being overcome.
You get to choose
Life is all about choice. If you believe in certain limitations, whether they are physical, mental, or emotional, that’s your call. You can choose that.
I do not believe in those limitations. To me, the mind, body, and spirit can be infinitely altered, changed, influenced, and evolved with thought, feeling, and intentional action. Mindfulness opens you to the world of endless potential and possibility. But it takes work and effort.
Too many people misunderstand conscious reality creation, the Law of Attraction, mindfulness practice, and similar concepts. They become convinced that it takes only the slightest effort to achieve…and then when it doesn’t work they call it bullshit.
The truth is, nothing in life worth having is ever easy. This isn’t a punishment or a slight, it’s all about the journey. You glean so much information along the way, that every day can be special and incredible. But there needs to be effort.
Mindfulness involves recognizing what you are thinking and what and how you are feeling. When you do that, you can influence and control thoughts and feelings. This does, however, apply ONLY to you. With that influence and control, you can take intentional actions that will create your life, whether mind, body, or spirit.
Being responsible for your thoughts and feelings starts out being a challenge. But over time it gets easier and more effortless. But that doesn’t lessen the need to act.
You are only as limited as you believe yourself to be.
An important consideration
A final note about limitations. I am in no way advocating for doing something that might cause you to get injured. Additionally, I am not telling you to disregard doctors and medical advice. Self-care takes many forms, and sometimes you shouldn’t push your limitations, but instead take a break for healing.
Mindfulness helps you better commune with your body, as well as your thoughts and feelings. This opens you up to be capable of seeing the line between a real and a self-imposed limitation. When you can do that, you can more clearly ask yourself — do I really know what my body can and cannot do?
You are worthy and deserving of using your mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you matter, as do real versus self-imposed limitations of your mind, body, and spirit.