With so much focus on the global vaccination campaign to proactively assist immune systems with one type of antibody production, let’s take a moment to widen the lens of perspective on our body, mind, environment, and resilience.
The human body…Did you know that your body is not even human, on balance?! Modern science finds the body to be less than 50% human by cellular makeup, with the majority of the cells in our bodies being a microbiome of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. And, genetically? The human genome of 20,000 genes is outnumbered an estimated 100 to 1 or possibly even 1000 to 1 by all of the genes in that microbiome. We truly are walking miracles!
How about the mind? Conscious thought and awareness have been believed to make humanity unique. However, in a mindfulness or meditation practice, one of the first distinctions often made is that we are not our thoughts.
With our thoughts and bodies making up just a fraction of the whole being and so much going on unseen and autonomously to keep us living and thriving, what else can we actually control and where can we put attention to bolster resistance and resilience to life? I say look no further than manufactured crucibles. Life’s journey will surely hand each of us at least a few major challenges and lots of smaller ones (which may seem big at the time). As the Greek poet Archilochus said, “we don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.”
What is a manufactured crucible? It’s a process of doing something hard, uncomfortable, scary, new, etc in a controlled environment as a means of training your mindset and attitude for the real crucibles in life. It’s practice for the real thing. It’s your chance to inoculate yourself with the power of adaptability. It can even be done in service to something far great than yourself.
As your call to action for Monday Mastery Action, I’ll offer a few training ideas. First, let me cover a few common questions I hear as people begin to negotiate with themselves.
What if I can’t do X? That’s kind of the point. Pick something that seems impossible until it’s not. Give yourself enough time, find someone who’s done it before you to help you create a plan, and then execute your plan. Have fun. Stay excited.
What if I don’t like that kind of event? Great! All the more reason to do it. Or, pick something else but make it a stretch goal. Sign up. Show up. Keep going.
Where does it end? Am I going to do one challenge and then constantly look for the next one? Yes, probably. Hopefully so and with no end!
Does it have to be physical? Not at all! In fact, those who find some comfort in getting uncomfortable in physical ways may be even more challenged to mix it up into a less familiar domain.
As for crucible training ideas:
Sign up for a race or event – half marathon, marathon, triathlon, obstacle course race, endurance event, team relay, or team endurance event like the Unbreakable 48.
If you can’t run, walk. Do a ruck or a long walk and consider making it for a cause such as Carry the Load or the Courage Foundation.
Volunteer at a food bank. Spend time in nature, in silence, in observation, and tuning into all of your senses or sign up for a silence retreat. Take a meditation class or sit for an extended breath and concentration practice or meditation.
Learn a new language. Read a book on a new subject. Reach out a connect or reconnect a relationship with someone. Start a journaling practice. Try a fast or a cleanse…or a fast/cleanse from electronics.
New, different, or uncomfortable things come in all shapes and sizes. All teach your mind and body pliability for unexpected changes in life. Your challenge, your action is to simply find something and start. Get after it!
Today you got to crush another Monday! What does the rest of your week have in store for you!