Michelle Johnson is an Team BeautyFit® Athlete, IFBB Bikini Pro, ISSA Specialist in Performance Nutrition, and Fitness Trainer who is recognized as a national level fitness authority, figure model, speaker and writer.
Her innovative workout programs have been implemented into some of the nation's leading health and fitness organizations. Her articles have been published by many leading industry magazines. She is an industry speaker on topics including weight management, wellness and group fitness.
All of her online services are available worldwide and some are managed in person.
Be Beautifully Stress-Free: Know Your Own Balance
It is a funny thing in life; you do everything you can to achieve as much as possible and then you realize you have arrived. Suddenly, all the doing becomes more of the essence of just being. All yogic & ayurvedic wisdom talks about emptying, ridding your mind of distractions and just being the breath. How do you do that without feeling dead or having to face some of the imbalances.
It’s interesting how, regardless of my anxiety about what will happen if I sit still for too long that I know from my own life, that everything works out just fine when you trust and have faith. When you are filled with this inner knowing you feel blissful and far from dead, bored or empty. Even when at times you just feel like you have to stay busy or you will lose your relevance in life; you must learn how to balance these cessations and fluctuations. If anything the more you push the more you push your targets away and you wind up irrelevant. The very thing you are trying to not achieve and the more imbalanced you feel. This is when you realize you have way too much going on and you get angry and upset with everyone around you, when you created the whole hot mess.
Greed, overdoing, overachieving all lead me to feeling sick, isolated, fatigued and bitter. I wound up pleasing no one, not even myself. I think I have been an OVERACHIEVER & a PERFECTIONIST most of my life. Time moves quickly and while you are constantly chasing things that have no relevance to the deeper meaning in life, you come up empty again and again. The reason is you are not living authentically, you are living to keep up with others expectations of your or stuck in the realm of winning the competition. Our competitive nature causes us to keep up or be better than the others.
We live with the schemas that create our neurosis of staying busy all time or trying to compete with others when really that pressure can make us stressed and sick. We never seem to obtain enough to keep us satisfied. In fact, we create our own suffering when it comes to constant striving.
Staying busy can be an effort to fill voids or to not confront things in our life. It also can become a symptom like ADHD because we are living in a time when we are constantly in need of stimulation from the cell phone, the TV and computer. Sometimes we are using them all at once. Kids now a days multitask with the phone, TV on while doing homework. Pretty concerning. You can only help, but wonder if they are processing and digesting the information.
The Competition and the power struggles of everyday life have many stressed. Rather than having designated time to work hard, we create situation where we work hard all the time, even in the gym. Recovery, deep breathers, downtime are all important parts of productivity and managing stress levels. The load will only overwhelm us if we don't stop the madness and just slow down and schedule complete and total downtime.
There is something to say about, "stopping to smell the roses!” It makes you appreciate everything more and helps you keep perspective, which can get lost in the shuffle and daily grind. When you live in gratitude you lighten up and remember you are not really as bad off as you may feel at given moments. There is a grace that is carrying you through the good and the bad. When you surrender to it you recognize all will be well. Many of the battles we have are over stories we create in our own heads and many are not true as they say during yoga meditation time. Many are assumptions or misunderstandings. We have to be strategic about picking and choosing our battles wisely. We all lose some of the competitions in our lives, but with wisdom you know that's okay. What is better is that you preserved your energy or you learned a valuable lesson from it.
Be thankful for who you are today. Be thankful for everyone who was compassionate, kind, understanding, supportive even when you have been at your lowest. Your enemies can become your greatest teachers. Give thanks to them as well. When you no longer sweat the perception others have of you and instead you check in with how you feel about yourself, you learn a lot less really matters. You are the one who has to be satisfied with your decisions and perceptions of yourself. It would seem your kids, the husband and neighbors should also matter, but they really don't. Because when you are good with yourself and you know your intentions all the rest naturally falls into place. I hope that this makes sense?
What I want you to get from this is something very profound, but simple that I have learned about my inner voice that I call the compass and that is that it has been dead on even when I doubted myself. When I am not listening and I am panicking that means I am not trusting myself and what I know to be true. I am letting fear lead the way. It is our fears and getting to the heart of them that relieve us of stressful thinking and perceptions that breed stress.
What I have known you know in your heart is what you have to start trusting. We are not as naive as we think we are. Trust no one, not even yourself until you spend more time LISTENING within and less time reacting. Learn to cultivate and deep breathing and meditation practice for 5-30 mins a day. This is your time to dump thoughts that are negative, drain your energy and keep you from having a peaceful existence. That voice within will guide you to the very place you need to be on a nicely paved, much less bumpy road that will lead you to your inner home. So the next time you are stressed, stop and take a breath and ask yourself, what do I know to be true in this situation? Figure out what the underlying feeling is really about and what you are fearful of? Once you recognize it you will realize that your worrying is not going to change anything. So what if that does happen? Really does it matter? Will you be okay, can you get through it? Of course you will! Look realistically at how far you have already come. Negative thinking clouds your view and the habit of doing it when the world and your life really are filled with love, adventure and a lot you can count on! Be Stress Free and don't tolerate or enable negative thought patterns in yourself or others.