How to Set Your Mind to Improve Your Fitness Levels - Part III - Subservient Thought
To create the mental and physical well-being we would all like to enjoy throughout our lives, we firstly have to face the negative conditioning we all face from birth.
Put simply, our minds and our bodies are not our own, until that is — we lay claim to them through the development of an authentic identity, and thus create the opportunity to manifest whatever it is we want.
It sounds rather silly to say we don’t own ourselves, but when we are subservient to addictions, process dominated thought, and negative social conformity, we are only ever going to be passengers — or worse still victims — in a vehicle that was originally given to us so we can develop our potential, but has be directed away from this path since day one.
So to look at subservience, let’s start with weight loss and fitness. If you take a wander down to McDonald’s, and find a few over weight individuals munching through a Big Mac, fries and a nice sugary shake, would you say they are in control of their body or is it the other way round — are they addicts and Ronald McDonald is their pusher?
Sugar is more addictive than cocaine, and controls the behaviour of millions of people legally, but this is just one aspect of how our bodies and the corresponding thoughts serve the need of an unconscious host, controlled from deep in the subconscious by a conditioned mind.
The mind loves habit, and these days it’s not all that good at deciding what is of benefit and what isn’t, because society tends to corrupt our thinking from the day we are born; by layers upon layers of mis-information and dis-information, that generally are there to make a corporation money out of more customers, regardless of their welfare as an individual’s.
This may sound a little deep or even conspiracy led thought, but if you want free thought and a body to match that is not governed by its adopted addictive needs, then you have to ask yourself and society some rather serious and deep questions — and then step back and see who is kidding who, and more importantly, are you kidding yourself without ever knowing you are.
One area I’m touching on here is heuristic thought patterns. These are patterns of thought that make it easier for you to navigate life, but are also ways to influence your thinking without you knowing. For example, an anchored heuristic pattern:
Let’s say I have a large glass jar of sweets and ask you to guess a number more or less than a thousand in the jar. You may say 950, you may say 1100, but either way your guess is likely to be close to the suggestion of 1000, even if in fact there were only 200 sweets. In effect I’ve paced your thinking towards a certain conclusion. This is called an anchored heuristic pattern, and you will find this sort of suggestion in Marketing and politics.. in fact everywhere someone wants you to believe in a certain train of thought that will always benefit them — but often not you.
Free thought is not something 99% of people enjoy, for their decisions are made for them — at work, in the supermarket, on the TV, everywhere. We all think we have free thought, but when you get right down to it, we are born into a society that conditions our minds from day one, to conform and desire certain things in order to be normal. Unfortunately, we live in a world where normality is incredably corrupt, and we are fed a host of lies and disinformation that ends up with many people unhappy in their lives, their bodies and their minds.
So unless we spend a little time decoding reality, we will always be subservient to the wishes of those who would look at us as consumer, a voter, or a member of the congregation, but not a unique individual with limitless potential.
Ballet is a discipline, and like all physical professions it takes a mindset that seeks a high level of focus to achieve, aesthetically as well as artistically. This is why as a fitness program it is not as some think — just a dance class to pass an hour or two, and one that rarely achieves results. On the contrary, given the right teacher the results are very dramatic, as the level of body awareness, aesthetic understanding and detail focus, creates great long lasting results.
As someone who suffered a bad back for many years — without any solution from doctors, osteopaths, or physiotherapists, I was amazed to find my ills solved within a matter of days by my pro-ballet dancer partner Asta. It was my naivety that was at fault and my ignorance of just how specialised this discipline is. But with a little insight, it doesn’t take too much thinking to realise that a pro-ballet dancer has to spend eight hours a day training in a very competitive environment to dance effectively for the best part of an hour or two on stage. Thus the awareness of what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to achieving mentally and physically, is possibly at its peak within this field.
Personally, I work in the area of mental management with athletes and CEOs around the world, helping them develop an authentic core identity on which to build success. It all starts with mindset, and mindset is what makes a good ballet dancer a great performer. It’s that symbiotic awareness, combined with a connection with the audience.
This is also what makes us better human beings. It’s our ability to be mentally connected with our internal physical and mental world, and the outer world of our social interactions. The better we feel mentality and physically — and the better we understand the world we live in, the more we will be able to respect who we really are and value the gift of the vehicle of our mind and body, without corrupting the greatest gift we will ever receive — our limitless potential.
You are what you eat and you are what you think. So if you want to be all you can be, forget what society tells you is the perfect form, just value yourself and make the choices that honour and love your mind and body as they are — for they are perfect; it’s just the way we are twisted by those who see us as generators of wealth rather than limitless potential, that ends up with us not doing the right things to maintain our mental health and physical vitality.
It’s not our fault we don’t know what we don’t know, but it becomes our responsibility to change our direction and the way we live, when a little insight comes knocking on the door. My back is the better for it, and my physic at the age of 56 is considerably better for looking at fitness from a pro ballet dancers perspective rather than the conventional fitness and dieting mainstream. Flexibility, posture, technique, strength, stamina, and mindset are the pillars of advanced fitness and well being, and the more we learn the more we gain.