The Paradox of Life
"Man makes plans & God laughs."
The comical truth of this proverb has always brought a smirk to my face. It sums up what I call the paradox of life. We love to have a sense of order and control around our experiences. Yet, life pays no mind to our individual agendas. The paradox is that we’ll always be creatures of habit in a random world.
Life is movement. Life is change, instability and uncertainty; a continuous flux of fleeting moments. The events that take place in our lives are inherently neutral until shaped by our perception. We build our reality based on how we interpret events. Life is a stage for our stories to play out. Life provide the subject matter and we do our best to improv.
Humans seek efficiency and stasis. We want to view reality from a fixed vantage point. We crave routine, clean lines, and predictability in this ever-changing world. We cling to past events, fixate on future outcomes, and repeat patterns of behavior. We create stories and cast ourselves as recipients of tragedy or triumph. We are well-crafted for movement, but we resist being moved.
Life is constantly applying forces that will mobilize us, test us, or inspire us. We falter when we feel these forces and push back. Push is cancelled out by push back resulting in no net movement. Think of time where you had the chance to leap at a opportunity, but you passed. That’s push back, or resistance. Usually, the opportunity presents again (life is cool like that). When we choose to move with the push, we create a different outcome. Lowering our resistance, we generate momentum and drop into the flow of life.
"Adulting" is more than holding down a 9-5 and paying your bills. If that weren't difficult enough, it's also about building self-awareness and managing the paradox. The higher our awareness the more apt we are at making adjustments to stay in the flow. Indeed, adulting is difficult. I'll offer a few points that have kept me grounded along the way...
- “This is bigger than you.” Best.check-in.ever. Acknowledging that my story is unique but one of many that is woven into a much larger tapestry. Knowing we’re all out here doing our best with what we’ve got. I recognize that how I show up in life affects the world and I take that seriously. Love people and bring it to them with compassion.
- Own that shit. Own your responsibility for adapting to what life throws your way. Own your strengths and weaknesses. Define them with objectivity, wear them with pride, and love them hard. Own the choices you made to get you to where you are. Own that you’re not limited by your current situation. Empowerment comes through ownership and accountability.
- Fortune favors the bold. Boldly trust that the paradox exists to support you in becoming a better version of yourself. Boldly, hold faith in who you are, over what you’ve done. When we face the unknown with deep self-confidence, life makes way for us to excel. Upon this, create an unshakeable foundation and "dare mighty things".
Movement || The Paradox
Shit got weird, didn’t it? Yup. It usually does and that’s exactly why Movement || Life exists. It’s all for the sake of connecting practical movements to abstract ideas. To connect movement practice to core values and higher consciousness. To view movement as a tangible vehicle to create more depth in this human experience.
In our current frame, both movement and life are subject to compartmentalization. It is easier to micromanage movement as fitness or exercise. It is easier to micromanage life as a collection of the roles we play. Yet, in this, we often segregate the body from the mind and ignore our heart's input all together. This input is our intuition and we can develop it to be a powerful guiding force. To hone intuition is to strengthen the internal compass that serves us in navigating life and facing the uncertainty with confidence.
Movement has been my vehicle to build intuition. Fitness was always my outlet for self-expression and empowerment. Then I tumbled down the movement rabbit hole and began to experience the world in profound new ways. Now, the life lessons I learn are reflected in how I train. Sound bites and "truth bombs" on better living are all over social media. They are repeated and reposted until the deeper meaning is lost in the click of the “Like” button. But it's not enough to know these lessons, I want to live them.
- Stay present in the process. By exploring what my body can do in different environments, I stay aware of my strengths, weaknesses, and abilities. I am fully immersed in my work such that comparisons and judgement fade away. In my process is where I expand, the end goal is just a mile marker.
- Relaxing into flow. Tension provides stability. Relaxation enables change. Too much tension, we are slow to adapt. Too relaxed, we are unfocused. Am I not trying hard enough or trying too hard? When balanced properly I find a state of flow and perform optimally.
- Expansion occurs in recovery. Alternating periods of stress and recovery (work and rest) enable growth. Our culture places high value on taking action, but rarely recharges properly. In training and life, this leads to breakdown or stagnation. I have learned to take my rest as seriously as my work.
- Relationships are reciprocal. I used to ask a lot from my body and expect high performance. There was an imbalance in my relationship with my body. This is the same as that girlfriend I took for granted or that one I put up on a pedestal. Now I seek ways I can give in my relationships. Even something as simple as giving myself some compassion. Harmony, interpersonally and intrapersonally, comes through giving and receiving.
- Growth minded. In a fixed mindset, I’m entitled, self-centered, and impatient. Through my practice I'm building a growth mindset that will sprawl through my life. This is a mental place where my achievements are the result of my effort and my worth is not solely tied to success or failure.
This is so much more than fitness, circus tricks, or whatever else resides on the surface. Go deeper. Movement is a means to understand the craziness of life and practice the values that you choose to be about. The paradox is always going to be in place. We get to find our own means of managing the uncertainty to expand and thrive. There will be happiness, sadness, pain, fear, love, and laughter. It’s a package deal. If you choose to insulate, you numb yourself to all of it. If you choose to lean in, you have to know you’re going to fall flat at times.
That’s how it is.
Might as well go for it.