Stop Holding Your Breath

Meditations in Motion

I was running along a country road this morning, yes, really running! Actually, it was more of a run/walk, but progress is being made. My hip injury is healing. I am not running far, nor am I running fast, but last month at this time, I was not running at all.

I have no illusions about my upcoming marathon. It’s going to be slow and it’s going to be painful. My plan is to run as far as I can, then switch to a brisk walk and hope that I can stay one step ahead of the time limit so that I am not swept from the course. I am actually practicing walking swiftly. Yes, I have even researched how to do it.

Apparently, to walk faster, you should stand tall, lean forward from the waist, and push off with your toes. Your stride should be long behind you, but not in front of the plane of your body, to avoid overstriding. Who knew there were fast-walking techniques? As a matter of fact, fast-walking techniques sound a lot like fast-running techniques.

As I was running, I noticed some wildflowers growing beside a farmer’s soybean field. I went back later to take a picture. It is somewhat disorienting to miss the tipping point of the seasons. My hubby and I were away for nine days, and during that time, autumn arrived in southeastern Pennsylvania. The critical moment came and went.

Meditations in Motion

Before we left, there were beautiful sky blue chicory flowers everywhere on the road banks along with Queen Anne’s lace, fleabane, goldenrod, and milkweed. Butterflies flitted from flower to flower, sipping the last sweet nectar of late summer. Upon our return, I could only find one lonely patch of chicory. It was in a sunny spot beside a south-facing field, determinedly hanging on in the face of cooler, longer nights.

The flowers looked a little bit raggedy, worn around the edges, which matched my mood at the time. Then I took a good, hard look at myself. I am tired of waiting to resume living my life until the injury I am dealing with heals. As I preached to my boys on many occasions, “I am responsible for my own happiness.

Here is the thing that is so often difficult to figure out: you must continually strive to live the life that is right for you. If you do not live your own authentic life, your heart will not beat in sync with the rhythm of your existence. You feel anxious, displaced, stifled.

Meditations in Motion

But life is not static. Situations change, people fall into or out of love, loved ones die or move away, jobs that were once challenging become stale, we read books that alter our perspectives, we get injured and can’t do the activities we once loved. The life that is right for us must evolve with our ever-changing situation.

Unfortunately, there are no angels pointing us in the right direction, there are no road signs telling us where to go. As adults, we have to figure it out for ourselves. Oh, there are some things we can do to help assess how to get our lives back in harmony. We can meditate, we can pray, we can do some serious soul-searching and take an honest inventory of our wants, needs, and emotions.

Ultimately, the decision is up to each one of us. Being mature means taking responsibility, hitching up your pants, and making it happen. Live your best life. Everything you need is already found inside of you. Challenges are God-given opportunities to discover your inner strength and to accept who you are in a more realistic, loving way. We must all learn how to determine when our lives have veered from the genuine, authentic, and true.

Meditations in Motion

How do you know when you are living the life that is right for you? There is no one right way, but I believe that there are some hints. If you find it effortless to be kind and supportive of those around you, you are apparently on the right path. Finding it relatively easy to make decisions means that your values are probably in line with what is going on in your life.

Discernment is good, but being judgemental is not. If you find yourself constantly judging others, it may be because you are unhappy with yourself, rather than with those around you. Tearing others down does not build you up. (I am ashamed to admit – this is a big one for me.)

If I feel as though I can speak freely, calmly and without being confrontational about most topics, I am living the life that is right for me. If I find myself looking for a battle or feeling self-righteous, I know there are adjustments I need to make. Being selfless enough to allow God’s light to shine through me is an indicator of living my best life.

Meditations in Motion

Finally, if I can make time for all of the things that are important to me, whether it is going for a run, playing with my grandchildren, having lunch with a dear friend, practicing my Spanish lessons (Sí, estoy aprendiendo Español – I think I just said I am learning Spanish), spending time with my hubby, or the finding the quietude needed for meditation or prayer, rather than diddling my minutes away on social media, housekeeping (OK, I do need to do some housekeeping), or talking on the phone, I am living an authentic life.

This quote from Sarah Bessey sums it up better than my words can. “Rest in your God-breathed worth. Stop holding your breath, hiding your gifts, ducking your head, dulling your roar, distracting your soul, stilling your hands, quieting your voice, and satiating your hunger with the lesser things of this world.

Are you living the life that is right for you?

I am joining Running on Happy, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs  for the Coaches’ Corner linkup, Nicole and Annmarie for Wild Workout Wednesday, Holley Gerth for Coffee for Your Heart, Sharing a Journey for Wellness Wednesday, Debbie at Dare 2 Hear, Random-osity for Little Things Thursdays, It’s a Small Town Life for Thankful Thursday, Crystal Storms for Heart Encouragement, and Worth Beyond Rubies for her link up.

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50 comments

  1. It isn’t an easy thing to do. It should be, but we’re human & we’re fallible. I actually ponder this often & am not sure that I am.

    I’m really glad that you’re also walk training. While running & walking seem so similar, they actually use different muscles. I’m sure you won’t get swept. My last half was the first time I actually saw a SAG wagon — not behind me, but it was a sort of loopy out & back so at one point I saw the runner in last place.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are exactly right – it is not an easy thing to do. I realized that not too long ago.

      I am going out to do some walk training this morning. There was 1 other race where I had to worry about getting swept. It was a 50k, and my hubby was injured. After mile 20, we were mostly walking on a very difficult course and came close to the time limit. We beat it by about 10 minutes. Not a pleasant experience!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We seem to be living in a pretty judgemental time these days. It is hard to rise above that.

    I have always thought that fast walking was harder than running. Maybe because I don’t do it enough (when I do walk I like to just stroll). I’ll always remember seeing a speed walker at the start line of the LA Marathon years ago. I was running with a girlfriend, and we asked him his goal time. He said 3:30, which I couldn’t even imagine walking 8 minute miles for 26.2! We saw him a few months later at another race, so of course, we asked. Sure enough, he’d reached his goal!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! That is amazing. At the Jacksonville, FL marathon, a race walker actually won my age group (or maybe came in 2nd or 3rd). I have been practicing walking fast, but I can’t come close to that pace!

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  3. I know someone who ran walked half and walked the second 13 miles.

    You’ll be fine.

    I ran a 5k recently so slowly that I took it all in. The first time ever.

    I loved it.

    But unfortunately I am too competitive to do that in a race.

    I do it in all my solo training runs. ESP if I am in a new place.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You are 100% right that each individual is responsible for his or her own happiness. I think if you are happy, you are living the life that is right for you. I don’t think there is one life path that each person is meant to be on; there are many paths one person can take that are right. It just comes down to whether or not you are smiling and laughing and enjoying more than you are frowning, crying and stressed. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I absolutely agree, Nicole. There is no one right path. Every person must determine his/her own path (usually by trial and error!). If you are generally happy, you are living the life that is right for you. Thanks for your comment!

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  5. Such a deep and insightful question! I feel that I’m very happy with the life that I’m currently living – I remember a few years ago when I’d be so stressed, hurt by other people’s behaviors, or just generally miserable lol – and I can honestly say that lately, I have a lot to be grateful for and not much to complain about!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m going to write some of this in my journal tonight. I’m constantly thinking….and praying that I am living the life I need to live, making adjustments along the way. But one of my problems is that I am very hard on myself and keep feeling like I’m falling short. I worry too much! Thanks for this post! Hugs, Diane

    Liked by 1 person

    • For some reason, I think women are often so hard on themselves. We expect perfection from ourself and give compassion to others. If you are thinking about it and making appropriate adjustments, you are doing great! Thank you, Diane.

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  7. Glad to read you’re walking and moving – when I injured my rib, it took the running wind right out of me, and I’m just starting to get back into running. I’ve found that I didn’t miss it as much as I thought, the slower pace, stopping to notice the flowers and the long walks with my husband was the perfect medicine for my moods. Happy healing to you, and I wish you well during the marathon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s really tough to begin running again after time off. I do enjoy walking too. the slower pace allows me to notice more of my surroundings. Thanks for the good wishes!

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  8. Nice to hear of the walk training. I was a runner several years ago. Knee pain has moved me into walking. It doesn’t have the fitness/calorie burn I like, but does help with fitness. Thanks for linking up today.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hello Laurie,

    I’m going to admit, I actually tried the fast-walking technique that you mentioned. I’ve never run a marathon, it’s one of those dreams that I have.

    Being happy is hard work, same as relationships, love, and happiness. I wonder if all good things are hard work if we want to sustain them.

    All the best in your training!

    Best,
    Sigrid

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Sigrid! It DOES seem like anything good requires hard work, doesn’t it?

      I hope you realize your dream of doing a marathon someday! It just takes some hard work.:)

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  10. Reading your post was timely for me – I just heard a speaker on Wednesday night that had a similar message as your quote from Sarah Bessey, and honestly, I am still trying to absorb it. Your post helped – thank you. Good luck with your marathon! Joining you from WATW.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This resonates deeply with me . . . there is so much of life that requires the ability, and mostly the willingness, to constantly adapt. And yet we get attached to the way we think things should be, or the way we prefer them to be. With close loved ones confronting life-changing and confounding neurological disorders, I need to detach from my “script” pretty much every day. And by the way, I’ve tried that fast-walking technique when my hip was giving me fits; not sure I ever mastered it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is difficult to learn to go “off script”. We become entrenched in certain roles. It is comforting to know what to expect from our friends and family. The problems arise, as you discovered, when the script no longer works for us. I certainly haven’t mastered fast walking either. It’s a work in progress.

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    • It is a hibiscus. I kept it out on my porch all summer and just brought it inside yesterday. So glad you stopped by. Heading over to check out your blog right now.

      Like

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