A question weighing on my mind recently: How, with all the information, tips and tools available today, do we know how best to connect with and serve our most authentic selves? There are a ton of methods, hacks and plans, but how to know which one works for us? I’ve personally found breathwork (specifically the Wim Hof Method) to be the most profound and effective way to (re)connect with myself, but no matter how much I casually-yet-with-pointed-finger mention the benefits to friends who I think would enjoy them, some just refuse to take me up on the offer of coaching them through a session. Knowing that resistance is futile, I politely give a public shrug, and let it go.
You can’t make a dog sound like an ambulance
I remember years ago intensely waxing lyrical about how much i liked the latest album by a certain artist, and how much it meant to me. I then became frustrated, almost disappointed, when a friend just smiled and promised to check it out sometime, and then didn’t, the chimp.
I’m not a teenager anymore and well understand that – as he later put it – if I had simply and more subtly left the album at his place (yes! back when things were physical and we had to borrow stuff from each other), he probably would have given it a listen in his own time and made his own decision about it, and either felt it or not.
So what’s my point with these scenarios? No matter how well-intentioned your idea or suggestion, no matter how much it works for you, or perhaps even millions of others, a lot of people prefer to march to the beat of their own drum, and very much to their own time. It could well be that months or years later they might pick up the same idea, go with it and it works for them too, but back then it just wasn’t the right time. How true that has been for me. If you’re open to the idea of the universe having some sort of a will or a way, if you allow yourself to look at things through this kind of lens, you can more quickly apply this concept, methinks.
Bla bla is the latest thing
To current trends, then (deadlifting with minimal training! Mixing butter into coffee! YUM). A great piece of advice from a friend and fellow coach was exactly that: “A good coach gives good advice”. This applies outside the coaching arena, of course. It may mean straying away from recommending the one thing you specialise in, if you recognise that it might not help that person. Not everyone on this planet is right for the Bulletproof Diet or a similar fat-adapted plan. Not everyone should look to crossfit as a route back into health and fitness. Drum roll please: there is no one-fit solution for all!
So how best to know what is good for you?
(Another drum roll) Listen to your own body! Listen consciously. No matter what anyone else says sometimes. Pay attention and then take notes after eating certain foods that make you feel shitty, try life without them and see what that does, regardless of what the current belief or trend says.
Same with doing certain sports or fitness programs: try before you buy (all the gear with no idea). Find a sport that both you and your body enjoy, and you’re enthusiastic about getting out of bed/leaving work for. Then find someone else to do it with, it’s way more fun, and more likely to happen. Also trust your intuition when you can feel disagreement with someone or something building. Even if it means leaving that situation ‘empty-handed’, you are being true to yourself and your core values, which is essential.
Of all the things I’ve tried, if I’m not listening to how my body reacts to them and making that the number one factor before going any further, I’ll never be sure if it’s good for me or not. Having an autoimmune disease has made me hypersensitive in this way, don’t wait until you have one to tune in to yourself and know what’s right for you.