The gray clay coming out of the tube looked icky. After wetting it, rubbing it within my hands, and placing it on my face, the smell of it was a mixture of, well, dirt and clay, mixed with a small hint of perfume. I squinted my eyes, held my breath, and wondered…why was I purposefully choosing to place this clay mousse on my face? Why are the things that are good for us often not to our liking, and why do we refuse to do them for so long?
After rubbing the clay mixture over my face and washing it off, I applied lotion. The lotion felt light, smooth, and airy – and I realized I was truly sensing the contact between my refreshed skin, a clean feeling, against the light, almost watery feel of the lotion on top of it.
That sensation quickly erased from my mind the thought of icky clay and dirt smell.
A process that started with distaste ended with a smile on my face.
As I’m all about trying to look at typical daily actions and seeing how they can be applicable as life lessons, I took some time to ponder further.
The smell aside (which in itself was not that horrible), I pondered over how many things I refuse to do, simply for the pure reason that I can explain the excuse to myself by saying that I don’t particularly like that food group, or that the effort of completing the task is not worth it.
I can ponder that about the simple things: brushing my teeth (AND flossing) several times a day, incorporating more fruits and vegetables into my diet, adding movement (in whatever form – simple yoga to strenuous water workouts) to my daily to-do’s.
I can also ponder that same question about the harder things: having a difficult conversation with your doctor because the topic is too embarrassing; getting up the courage for a conversation with your spouse or partner because a particular issue is threatening to drive a wedge between the two of you; asking for help for yourself because you are just too stuck, too emotionally drained to help yourself out of whatever situation you are in at the moment.
We are creatures of habits (no matter how hard we may try to refute that…even being unpredictable is a habit). What we learn, what we incorporate early on in our lives, become habits that irrefutably stick with us longer than their benefit provides.
How then, do we overcome the concept, idea, or process of breaking an old habit of not doing something and starting one that leaves a bad “mental” taste in our mouth? (I talk more about this through several posts on identifying your why, which is necessary to motivate you and keep motivating you.)
Yes, I have to admit that doing nothing is easier. We have learned as humans being to do things as easily as possible, to not over-exert. The whole concept behind industrialization and technology is to allow humans to do less of things and do them more efficiently.
The irony of all of that is that living is work. Everything about personal development, about reconnecting with your best self, about being your best self on a regular, daily basis, is hard work.
It’s hard because there is no app or fast cure that will make us our best self overnight. Moreover, even if we were fortunate enough to find something that could magically do that, we would get bored rather quickly and need to do the process all over again, to find something better.
As much as we want to simplify our lives, there is a spirit, a best self within us, that won’t let us sit dormant.
That’s when the excuses for doing the right thing, no matter how painful or icky it might seem, begin to crack. (And we find ourselves plunging in and purchasing clay facial masks!)
In all seriousness, we each have our own internal clocks and push points and restlessness-meters. When all of these click just so, our choice becomes simple: the only way to move forward is to do that one choice that seemed so difficult a day ago.
As I recently heard on a television drama: “There is no such thing as random. Random is just an order that we don’t yet understand.” (“Les Témoins”)
By choosing to live life, really LIVE it, it means that we are also choosing to be engaged with every second of our days. It means that we are choosing to be reflective, to ask questions of ourselves first and others second, to take a step back and look at a situation from a different perspective, acknowledging mistakes and do something differently in the future.
All of that takes genuine engagement between you and your inner best self, and everyone and everything you come across.
It is a conscious decision to work hard, diligently, continuously on yourself. And that is perhaps the #1 “thing that is good for us but not to our liking.”
The beauty of it all, however, is that your best self, your mind, your body, are taking cues from your behavior, from your choice to commit and do something that you’d rather not do, and do it because in the end it will be beneficial to you and it will a) improve, b) expand, or c) change your life.
One step at a time, one effort at a time, one decision at a time.
If you and I can commit to being intentional in our lives and for our lives, we will “randomly” come upon the time when we choose to do that one thing that seemed good for us but felt like it took too much effort to do.
What “thing that is good for you but not to my liking” did you recently commit to, and what pushed to over to saying yes to that choice? Chime in in the comment section below to see how we are intentionally choosing to live our unique, wonderful lives.
Photo Source: https://stocksnap.io/
I love reflecting on purposeful, thought-provoking life experiences and turning them into life purposes. I am a writer dedicated to sharing life-lessons to empower women to attain their best life by turning experiences into passion-driven action.
When I'm not studying life, I'm intentionally living it. I enjoy art (admiring it and creating it), nature, and I'm a beginner sewer in the attempt to sew my own unique clothes.
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