Monday, November 8, 2010

Fix Yourself First

Fix Yourself First

This past week we saw political fortunes rise and fall. Depending on who or what ideal you supported you felt either elation or despair and it came with razor sharp turns and roller coaster ups and downs.

But how does all this really affect YOU? The sun came up the next morning, the lights, cable and cell phone all fired up. Children went to school, grown ups went to work.

As the son of two holocaust survivors I guess I witnessed resilience and flexibility. Both of my parents endured hardships I could not even imagine, yet came out of the war as two single people, met in a Displaced Person’s Camp, married, came to the US with no money, no education, no language skills…and raised a typical successful suburban family.

I guess I’m talking about putting the Tea Party/Progressive rift into perspective. Most of you know my politics from previous posts, and this blog is not going to be about that.

What I decided to do regarding the elections either way they fell was to start a rigorous exercise plan that I completed two years ago, P90X. You may have seen Tony Horton on late night TV doing his manic pitch for the DVD’s. Yes they could be called hype; but for me the results were amazing. Honestly, I have to tell you that this stuff works. You can go to my YouTube channel, DrNateMeansFitness and check out my weekly video blog on my journey. I got into the Zen of the daily almost impossible workouts; until they became possible around the third week and by the end of 12 weeks, I had a 30 inch waist, 44 inch chest and a six-pack where flab lived earlier. What made this even more amazing was..I was 58 years old when I finished. I’m a trim 60 years old now on this second round hope to build bigger arms and chest and boost my conditioning.

So what does all this have to do with the gut wrenching, family splitting election we just went through? Why did I bring up my parents and upbringing and then jump to an infomercial based exercise system? The answer is (for me anyway) ….When everything around you feels broken; Fix Yourself First.

A healthy self image, good nutrition, close friends and a kick ass body will negate anything Fox News can throw at you.

Have a peaceful week.

Nate Klarfeld

Monday, November 1, 2010

Free Yourself from Guilt

Free yourself from guilt

1. Work out the cost

For this step you will need a pen and paper. Make a list of what guilt has cost you. What has it prevented you from doing that you otherwise would have done? In what ways does it hold you back? How has it affected those around you? Who or what would you be today if you hadn’t been paralyzed by guilt? Try to spell out the costs of your guilt in as much detail as possible.

2. Imagine

For this step, you will need to use your imagination. Try to do this somewhere quiet and calm, where you won’t be disturbed. Still yourself. Calm your thoughts. Concentrate on you breathing, and then take time to imagine how your life would be different if it were free from guilt. What would you look like if you ditched the guilt? How would you relate to those around you? How would you look? How would you walk and talk? Imagine yourself speaking to a close friend in this new ‘body’. What sort energy do you give off? Try to see this image in as much color and detail as possible. Enjoy the vision you have of a life free from guilt, and tell yourself that such a life is possible.

3. Decide

This step is the key step. You have established what the cost to you of guilt has been. You have seen how your life could be different without guilt. Now is the time to make the change. Make a decision that from now on you will live without feeling guilty. This can feel false at first, but the more you practice this, the more it becomes a natural part of who you are, and how you think and behave.

4. Ac

You need to get into the habit of acting and behaving in a way that demonstrates to you, and the world, that you have truly dropped the guilt. Stand tall. Believe in yourself. Look others kindly in the eye. Look yourself as kindly as well.

5. Keep going

It’s important to be kind to yourself if you find you are slipping back into old ways of thinking and behaving. If you find yourself feeling guilty again, remind yourself of your decision to think and behave differently. Keep on going in the knowledge that it is worth it. Look at the time you’ve had without guilt, and believe that you can have it again. You are not going towards perfection..just progress. With truth, integrity and perseverance your imagined guilt-free life will become real. Our brain does not know the difference between a really vivid thought and reality.

With practice it is possible to lead a life that is free from guilt. Enjoy the changes that ditching the guilt bring. And let the light of the new guilt-free you shine!

Have a peaceful week.

Nate Klarfeld