The self exists both inside and outside the physical body, just as an image exists inside and outside the mirror.

– Ashtavakra Gita

How often do you get caught up with the physical? With what stares at you from the other side of the mirror? Instead of connecting with our inner self, we all too often place our emphasis on the outer self, and health and fitness is the prime offender for creating this misguided focus.

We live in a world where so much weight is placed on outward appearances and a number on a scale, and not enough placed on inner wellbeing and spirutuality, or more aptly named, our humanity. This is not to say that wanting to look a certain way lacks any kind of humanity or cannot put us in a better state of wellbeing, but we have to tread carefully. Putting too much emphasis on the exterior can often lead to behaviors that can be more detrimental than good for our wellbeing. If you ask me, our inner wellbeing is the pathway to better outer wellbeing. Basically, if you start on the inside, it has a way of eminating outwards.

This may seem easier said than done, especially if you feel you have a lot of work to do on the outside. But let me posit this. Perhaps you are more disappointed in your inner self than your outer self. And that disappointment with inner self has actually lead to the issues you have with outer self.

If you’re having an a-ha or light bulb moment right now, you are not alone! Many of us who have started down paths towards greater health and fitness oftentimes got that start out of a desire to fulfill an emptiness on the inside. To feel more human and well, we decided to channel that energy into a physical practice, and this type of channeling of energy can actually be quite life altering. I know, because I have been there a number of times and can feel another journey on the cusp. What is so great about inner work, spurned by outer work, is that it allows you to focus on you and only you. And it allows you to get in touch with sides of yourself that you have likely been supressing. All it takes to tap into this energy is to be comfortable enough with yourself right now and give yourself the space to grow, from the inside out.

How might this look? Maybe it starts with a morning meditation or movement; something that makes you feel more alive. Maybe it starts as a practice in gratitude; being thankful for what you have, instead of focusing on what you don’t. Or maybe it starts as a practice in forgiveness; forgiving yourself for what has happened in the past and leaving it there, moving forward one day at a time.

Whatever your chosen method, the best thing you can do for yourself is to chose YOU and chose you today. Learn to love what is on the inside so you can love what is on the outside. And if you desire a physical change to the outside, look to the turmoil on the inside and channel it out. You will never be the same.

Inner Strength over Outer Stength,

L