How to practice forgiveness to get what we want.
“If we want to creating a loving, healthy and fulfilling life, then we have to begin with our minds.” This is a quote from my favorite Spiritual Teacher Iyanla Vanzant. After reading her book, Forgiveness: 21 Days to Forgive Everyone and Everything, I started to finally understand why my coach Jay Williams at J-Netics Fitness Academy kept telling me to change my mindset. He would always say, “Get your mind right! Come on now.” This phrase isn’t just about preparing your mind to lift heavy weight. It’s also about digging deeper. I had to start learning how to forgive inorder to understand who I am and to also get what I want.
What I loved most about Iyanla’s book was that it’s interactive. Every chapter in this book has you doing all kinds of activities to teach you how to forgive. All books should be like this! You actually practice forgiveness each day. Each forgiveness chapter begins with a story, but then requires you to take action towards forgiving the subject of the chapter.
So what does forgiveness have to do with our fitness journey? Well, actually it has everything to do with our fitness journey. Just call it The Forgiveness Diet. You might be asking yourself, “Just what is a Forgiveness Diet?”
People are investing in all sorts of diets and fitness gimmicks. We are struggling through the diet process in an effort to re-define who we are only to discover that no matter how much we do or do not eat, certain things do not change. Most of us eat in certain ways as a matter of habit. How we were raised to eat and how we think about food we learned while growing up. Habits are hard to break and the diet industry is well aware of that fact. So now we must take responsibility for breaking our own bad habits.
The Forgiveness Diet is about releasing the toxic energy…- what we carry and what we attract. “The practice of forgiveness addresses how we think and feel about ourselves and others and, how those thoughts manifest within our life force or energy. It eliminates what we have put into our minds about who we are; who others are and, the subsequent issues or upsets that grow from the thoughts and the emotions attached to the thoughts,” says Iyanla.
In other words, practicing Forgiveness is a process that eliminates toxins and wounds of the past from the mind and the heart. It is about stretching into a new way of thinking, being and living. When we practice forgiveness, it’s about building mental strength and emotional endurance.
So here are 3 tips on how to practice forgiveness
Tell the truth about who you are, what you feel, what you want, what you’re up to. Write it all down. Share it with anybody else that’ll listen. According to Iyanla, your truth may be what you’re thinking, feeling, your fears, what your upset is. Start with the upset. The upset is your initial reaction to whatever the thing is. “I’m pissed off at myself for getting so fat. I’m afraid that I’ll never lose this weight.”
After writing your truth list, forgive everything on it. i.e “I forgive myself for being angry and getting so fat. I forgive myself for being afraid and believing I’ll never lose weight.”
We have to get honest about we think people did to us. Write it all down. Share it with anybody else that’ll listen. Start with the upset. Then end with forgiving. i.e “I’m upset that my mother never really taught me how to eat healthy. I forgive my mother for not teaching me better eating habits.”
Understand your responsibility.
This activity is about acknowledging the role you play in where you are with your health. We are not victims but participants in life. Write down why and how you’re responsible for gaining weight, not being able to lose weight, for not being healthy. i.e “I’m responsible for gaining 50lbs because I love food. Food makes me feel good about myself until it’s gone. Then I need more food. I crave food all day.”
Focus on the present. Now that you’ve reflected on the past, realize that the past is over. Let it go! It isn’t happening anymore, except in your mind. And that causes problems — unhappiness and stress. Instead, bring your focus back to the present moment. Find the joy in life now, as it happens, and stop reliving the past.
Start with this statement. “The struggle is over. I choose not to struggle with my weight, my health anymore.”
Answer the following question: What are you doing now to no longer struggle?