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Friday, November 9, 2012

Believe I Am - Beyond Running

One of my favorite things about the Believe I Am journal is that it encourages me to look closely at my WHOLE self - to see the sum of all of my parts and to seek balance amongst my body, my mind and my soul.  It calls me to set goals in areas of my life beyond running (if I want), and to look closely at what is in my heart.  It gives me a platform to work on anything at all, really.


At first when I saw the "Goals" page I was just very focused on what that meant for my running.  It is a running journal, after all.  I want to be faster, stronger, tougher.  But when I looked more closely at it, I found myself getting emotional and this made perfect sense to me - my running is connected to all aspects of my life, and my reasons for doing it go way beyond just a time on the clock or even staying physically in good shape.

Running opens me up to myself, it shows me who I really am.  And I will admit, I don't always feel awesome about myself and the job I am doing in life.  There are so many things that I want to improve on to be a better me.  This is not to say that I am not nice to myself or just so critical of or down on myself all the time -  I believe it's important to be open to change and to want to change, but to do so in a way that is full of self love, self acceptance and forgiveness.

hello, self
I am a work in progress, and I honestly believe that I always will be - I hope I always will be.  I hope I feel this way for all of my life.  I don't want to ever get stiff or stagnant or cold or stuck - in a physical sense, in an emotional sense, or in a spiritual sense.  Youth for me is about so much more than age.  It is a state of mind, a peaceful heart, an OPEN heart.  A joyful heart.  I want to be forever learning and growing and changing, yet to have my roots firmly planted and to know who I am.  To always be real with myself.

This journal opened my eyes to some things ... I am not facing my real self - my whole self - as much as I want to be.  I am not pouring myself as passionately into all the things I care about, as I am into some of the things I care about.  Maybe it's because life can be so overwhelming.  With three little kids and a husband, a busy household to manage, my own solitary pursuits and passions and those of the ones I love - there is just a lot going on.  Whatever the reason, I have a lot of stuff to work on that really matters to me.  I talk a big game about dreams and going after them in so many areas of my life - career and running, especially - so why not take that same attitude towards other areas of my life that are equally - and if not more - important to me!?!

If I want to live my life to the very fullest I have got to look closely at what matters to me, to recognize where I need to change and to do my best each and every day - one day at a time - to make choices that will lead me in the direction of my dreams.  With passion and intention and with self awareness.

And this doesn't just mean running dreams.

like my pants are on fire
One day at a time, one step at a time, I am trying to focus on the things that are most important to me: trying to be a better mother, a more loving and present wife, a good friend and sister.  Balancing my own individual and personal needs and desires (which include running and taking care of myself) with those of the ones I love.

I love my Believe I Am journal because it is so much more than just a training log.  It is a workbook of sorts, a place where I can spill my thoughts and come face to face with what matters most to me, figure out WHY it is important to me and chart a course towards achieving and maybe even surpassing my dreams.  In ALL areas of my life.  With running, with my family, with my career and my passions, with my mental and emotional and physical health.

The goal setting page of this journal is where a lot of this began to happen for me.  We are given three "flowers" to set and work through our goals on.  The center of the flower is the goal, the petals are the steps you need to take to achieve them and the leaves are the reasons for your goals.

I set three goals for myself:

Believe I Am: A STRONG RUNNER
Believe I Am: A GOOD WIFE & MOTHER
Believe I Am: WORTH IT
This simple exercise opened me up to much of what is in my heart.  It is helping me to be so much more self aware, to see so clearly what is important to me and why.  It is very honestly helping me to set a path towards being the best version of myself and to believing in myself.

There is no end to this journey, and that is part of what makes life so beautiful.  Opportunities exist all around us to seek more joy and love and passion in our lives.  It is my hope that I will live a long, long time and that I will forever be grateful for where I am, yet forever growing.

Do you set goals for yourself outside of running and chart your course towards achieving them?  Have you ever used a Believe I Am journal before? 

10 comments:

So beautifully written!! Your 3 goals sound just like my three goals in life as well. I often feel that I sacrifice one to achieve another - that if I spend extra time running, I'm giving up quality time with my kids...it's hard to juggle all these aspects sometimes. Yet, you make it look easy. You seem SO happy with yourself, with who you are...you do SO many little things for your children that must mean the world to them (fairy dust on the windowsill? Amazing)...And you still find the time to run 90 miles a week. I want to meet you one day for a cup of coffee and have you share all of your secrets with me. I constantly feel like I'm a pendulum swinging between everything I want to achieve / get done.
Hope you guys have a beautiful weekend! xoxo

Love this! I am trying to figure out how to balance marathons with only one baby- no clue how you do 80-90 mile weeks! Love reading your blog and following your training. Loved the MCM recap!!

This is beautiful! I have been wanting to get a running journal as it seems so impersonal to record my runs only on my laptop. There isn't enough space (the way I have the excel spreadsheet set up) to write much more than distance, time and shoes worn. Not exciting stuff, that's for sure! It doesn't get me motivated or give me a place to look back and remember how I FELT on a specific run -- did I feel as if my feet didn't even touch the ground? Or did I feel as if I was plodding along like an elephant?! Thanks for the inspiration!!

This is such a beautiful post Jess and really resonates with me in so many ways. I often feel like I talk a good game but when it actually comes down to it, I'm not really good about honoring all parts of my life and living as presently and as passionately as I could and doing the things that make me happy overall. I completely agree with Michele - you seem in a really good place in many ways and really just happy. I love seeing your pictures and you just radiate happiness. I love the idea of this journal. Maybe I need to look into it too!!

I too feel like I am being pulled in many directions. When I start to feel unhappy in one area of my life I try to re-balance, it's not easy to achieve a big dream and not have other areas of your life be sacrificed. I do feel my husband and children are the most important thing in my life, but it doesn't mean I should forfeit a dream that have, so I might work hard for one race and then ease up the next year and so on and so forth, This has worked for me personally. You're such an amazing writer, you have a beautiful way of letting your most intimate feeling out in a way that we can all relate. xoxo

What a wonderful post. One of the other bloggers wrote about the Believe I Am journal and after reading so many wonderful things it's going on my Christmas list.

I like that you wrote one day at a time on your flower. Sometimes we try to fit too much in one day and we sacrifice what is really important to try and do more.

Funny how I found someone new to follow just when I needed this type of message :)

Looking forward to "getting to know" you - both running and person wise!

I love the way those goals are set up on flowers, with each petal containing a piece of the picture... I need to have this same inner dialogue. I know that how I spend my time says a lot about what I value most, and I want to make sure my family and relationships are getting just as much attention as my career and running goals, too. Lovely post.

I definitely do! (just found you fyi) and I do a lot of introspection. I think when you get older (I'll be 30 this year) that's just something we do. Set goals. I use running to pave the way towards a higher self esteem and then fill in the gaps in case one day I can't run and I'm left with out one again ;)

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