How to Use Exercise as a Transformation Tool
This post is primarily for Shane, my son-in-law, who is a personal trainer. He uses a lot of interesting exercise programs like intu-flow and kettlebells that can keep you fit and playing for a long time. Since Shane and I have had numerous conversations about how sport and fitness training can be combined with spiritual change work, I decided to share a simple procedure that may be helpful.
When I do spiritual change work with myself, I first go inside and ask myself what is the worst issue I am facing. Some people start out by trying to find out what they want to develop first, but I find that the negative energy is much more instructive than what my mind might conjure up. Some of the things that we want without starting out with our issues are just not good for us. I trust my negative emotions.
What is nice about intu-flow is that it takes you through a series of exercises that work all of the joints in your body. When you do the intu-flow program, you can make a mental note while doing it about which movements have the most pain associated with them. It could be your hips, neck, or knees, for instance. This is step #1.
Step #2 is to go back to the movement hold the negative stress for a short period and feel what negative emotion is most associated with it. Here are some choices. Fear, anxiety, sadness, anger, frustration, disappointment, guilt, shame, hurt, envy, jealousy, hatred.
Step #3 is to ask yourself what issue the negative emotion is connected to in your self. For instance, if you feel sadness, then you may have an issue in your life about loss. If could be loss of a parent, a child, a country, a job, an ability, or opportunities. If you feel fear, it will hold you from going very far with the exercise routines as well as some aspect of your life.
Step #4 is identify the energy that you would like to replace the issue with. If you have sadness or are depressed, then you probably are looking for enthusiasm and a positive future.
One of the things I like about Intu-flow is that Scott tells you to not push the pain too much. Why this is important is that when you deal with an issue, you can do a lot more damage by going too fast into it to try to solve it. I like to think that the issues in my life are like novels that keep revealing new things with each chapter; so when you do the issues work, try to find a little more information with each new exercise session. What you should find happening is that joints begin to loosen more with each new revelation. This happens because when the negative emotion no longer needs to be there, it just goes away. It doesn’t happen all at once because the spiritual teachings are too complex to be known all at once. The exercise brings them out.
You don’t have to be doing a program in a fitness center to work the transformation. If you play tennis, squash, volleyball, soccer or you run, bike, swim, or hike, there will be parts of the experience that stimulate the negative emotions. You can do the same procedure as above with any sport. Step #1 is to identify the worst part of my game and what is the feeling I get. Every time I play I can improve that part by loosening some of the negative energy and then it will allow for new patterns to being emerging.
You can think of transformation work as a gentle process. At anytime that the emotions become too strong inside of you, you can just back off like you do in intu-flow. And at some point you may just realize that you would like go for professional help and that would be excellent.