I hate wearing socks. Can’t stand them. Even as an adult in the dead of winter, I will go sockless. I went to visit my sister this past weekend, and as usual, I fell asleep on the couch while we are watching a movie. As I was in-and-out of sleep, my sister, with all her motherly instincts, placed several other blankets on top of me to keep me warm in the cold downstairs. Shortly after she went upstairs, I felt the urge to rip off my socks. Not the blankets, just the socks. I don’t know how people sleep in socks. They make my feet hot and uncomfortable, sometimes itchy. Socks, to me, are anything but pleasant. When my eczema flares up, a suggested is to moisturize and wear socks to bed. I will do and try absolutely anything to alleviate my flare ups…but I won’t do that. (Cue Meatloaf’s “I’d do anything for love”).
Let’s start at the beginning
My mom loves telling everyone that they could never keep me in shoes since day 1. They’d buckle me into my carseat and before they even got in their seats, you could hear the “thump thump” of my shoes landing on the floor. Even as a toddler my feet wanted ti breathe.
As kids my parents had a rule in our house: if the month had the letter “r” in it, we had to wear shoes outside. No “r” meant we could play barefoot outside. I never followed that rule. If March was warm, I was out there barefoot. Being barefoot allowed me to feel. Feel the hot, sizzling blacktop driveway at my neighbors house, causing tingling sensations in my toes. Feel the painful stabs of rough rocks of the cracked cul-de-sac curbs. Feel the refreshing splash of rain puddles. Feel the calm from the smooth grass under my heels. Being barefoot, not wearing socks allowed me to feel free. Free from confinement. Free from suffocation. Socks suffocated my feet. They couldn’t feel if they were covered. But I was torn. Socks are supposed to protect and keep safe. They are supposed to be good. So why would I rather live without them? Like my socks are to my feet, sometimes the things in our lives that are supposed to be safe, protective, and good can actually suffocate our growth. Without realizing it, my fitness and health journey started to become just that: a suffocation. I became too focused on the numbers or progress, too obsessed with hitting certain goals. If I let one thing slide, I allowed guilt and shame to take over to get myself back on track. Instead of freeing me from my previous mindset and lifestyle, I was creating a whole new different cage, one that was keeping me captive. Letting one thing suffocate us will also create tension in other areas of our lives only exacerbating the effects of the suffocation. That won’t help us thrive.
So I started to incorporate 4 intentions into my life daily so I can continue to feel the freedom of living a healthy, abundant life especially when I am caught in those moments I don’tsee growth.
4 ways to keep yourself from suffocating.
1. Give yourself permission
I am the worst at giving myself permission. Anyone else find it difficult? It seems like we seek out permission and approval from others because that is easier. Easier to accept. Easier to avoid. Easier to flake out on. Giving oursleves permission opens the door to what we deem as failing. But not giving ourselves permission will only stifle our growth and opportunities. For years I struggled It’s ok to give yourself permission to quit in order to discover something new.
2. Express Gratitude
Expressing gratitude doesn’t mean you have to plaster your “thanks” across social media or sing praises down the sidewalk. Expressing gratitude can be written down just for you. Expressing gratitude can be seen through your actions and responses to others. Expressing gratitude could be looking yourself in the mirror and telling yourself “thank you for carrying me through another day”.
3. Seek out challenge
I started to get comfortable in my routine. I’d only eat certain foods, do certain workouts. When I felt stagnant in my journey, I stopped challenging myself. I stopped finding ways to challenge my body physically and emotionally. Seek out a new challenge every single day.
4. Don’t be stuck in your hindsight.
Being stuck in your hindsight means constantly looking back, focusing on what was, causing your mind to wander to “if only” or “what if”. I don’t know about you, but if I look backwards for too long, my neck starts to ache then turn into a fiery, throbbing pain. You wouldn’t put yourself through that physically, so why would you put yourself through it emotionally?