Last week, I returned from an amazing XPT Experience in Kauai, Hawaii. It was my first time in Hawaii and wow, what a place. Kauai is so beautiful and getting into nature re-energizes my mind, body, and soul. Surrounding myself with like-minded individuals in that environment is an experience I hope everyone gets to have, no matter what your passions are in life. If you would like to read what an XPT experience is like, you can check out this post on my first experience last May. Laird Hamilton, Gabby Reece, and all of the XPT crew are some of the most genuine people I have ever met and do an outstanding job with this retreat. There are some new faces at XPT and I was highly impressed with their new director of performance PJ Nestler. The other participants were from all over the world and all of them had a passion for self-improvement, growth, and learning. In addition to all of the information I learned at XPT, I built relationships that I believe will be long-lasting and fruitful. XPT draws an inspiring group.
As I reflect on my experience, one of the main points I took home with me is that fitness and wellness are not about punishing yourself in the gym or through some fad diet. It is a lifestyle and starts with loving yourself and with that love comes a drive to get better. It helps you become a better person for your relationships, your community, and the world. I believe we need a more holistic approach to our lifestyles. Trying to compartmentalize everything leads to undue stress, at least it did for me. Everything is connected. For example, how we respond to our loved ones during times of stress, how much energy we bring to our work, and how we give back to our communities are all connected to your relationship with yourself.
“As you love yourself, life loves you back. I don’t think it has a choice either. I can’t explain how it works, but I know it to be true.” Kamal Ravikant, Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It
I went through times when I didn’t like myself at all. We know our darkest thoughts and what I saw scared me. People that know me could likely see that I didn’t like who I was in the way I treated others and myself. It took me a lot of inner-work to get through those times and learn to love myself. I have always enjoyed exercise but as my relationship with myself changed, I started to enjoy working out in a different way. It wasn’t just about competition or vanity. It was about respect and seeing how far I could push myself. I also began to eat better and learn what foods my body needed. Our bodies are amazing machines and we need the right nutrition to function at our highest capacity. This starts with eating real whole foods and staying away from all the processed crap of western diets. Additionally, we can’t be “on” all the time and need to learn to take time to relax and play. We need to give our body and minds a break to be able to take on life’s challenges. For me, this starts with a breath practice and mindfulness to calm my mind. I also use yoga, ice baths, saunas or getting out in nature. These practices have taught me that I don’t have to be so reactionary. I can choose my response to situations and work through negative thoughts I might have about others and myself before reacting.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Viktor Frankl
If you are tired of just surviving in this world, it is up to you to take the steps toward thriving. It begins with a mental practice, a physical practice and quality relationships. While the above practices work for me they may not work for everyone. However, I believe it is a good place to start. My goal with these blog posts is to pass on helpful information in hopes that you might start experimenting to see what works for you to live your healthiest and most fulfilled life in the long term. When we have an active body, the mind will be sharper and more focused. Make sure the relationships in your life are positive. Stay away from toxic people who are trying to bring everyone else down to their level. When we figure out our “why” we thrive in this world and are a better person for our family and friends along with a greater contributor to society.
“Research your own experience; absorb what is useful, reject what is useless and add what is essentially your own.” Bruce Lee
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Originally published at www.thelonggame.co