I’m training my body, and I’m beginning to notice a difference. I’m running a bit more. I managed a run on two consecutive days this week and felt OK. I’m not running fast, or for long – maybe 20 minutes or so. I’m taking breaks in that time to drink, rest, or walk. But three weeks ago I hadn’t run for 1 minute, so that is progress. What I am also aware of is a change in outlook. I find myself thinking ‘I could go for a run now’ (I dont always act on that thought) but the fact that running even enters my head is a huge mental shift.
I’m also training my mind. I’m on a Mindfulness course where our practice for the week is to still the busyness of the mind by concentrating on breathing. It sounds so simple. As a clergy person one might think I ought to be able to do this, this is like praying. But it is much more challenging than I imagined. Why is it that when I stop ‘doing’ in order to ‘be’ my mind seems to go into overdrive? I find I’m thinking about people or situations or experiences that I hadn’t given any conscious thought to for ages! Far from quietening the mind, being physically still seems to be the licence for accelerated thinking! But I am not going to be harsh or self critical. Mindfulness encourages us to be kind to ourselves, compassionate. When an unwanted thought comes into my mind I say, thanks, but no thanks, and return my focus to my breath. Mental training, like physical training, takes time and practise. If I keep doing it, it will come more easily, and I will begin to notice the benefits. I hope.