Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lesson #18: Working with the Physical, Part 2: "I Didn't Know Jack"

For the last two weeks we've talked about the importance of striking a balance between the mental, emotional, spiritual and physical parts of our lives, because life can get a little crazy when we're neglecting one or more parts of who we are. I shared that I had always struggled with the physical (bodily) aspects of life, and that in asking the universe for help in this area something amazing had occurred. The following story is what happened for me, and I believe illustrates the power that spirit has to help us in out lives.

Ten days ago, I attended a Toastmasters conference where one of the speakers presented a tribute to Jack Lalanne, who died earlier this year, at the age of 96. The man spoke of Jack's undying commitment to health, fitness, and being of service to others. I thought back to the Jack Lalanne Show my mother used to exercise along with in the late sixties and early sevenites. Aside from that memory all I knew about Jack was that he did crazy things on his birthdays (for instance, at age 75, he personally towed 75 rowboats carrying 75 passengers a mile and a half through the frigid San Francisco Bay while handcuffed and shackled).

The speaker described Jack's life: how he started out as an extremely sickly child, a sugar addict, someone who struggled with behavioral and mood problems, severe acne, etc., etc., and how Jack had turned his life around at age 15 when he discovered nutrition and exercise. I found myself relating to and admiring Jack so profoundly that I whispered a little prayer to the universe, "God, I wish I had just a little piece of that Jack Lalanne spirit in me."

The next thing I knew, it was as if Jack himself was holding my hand, and I heard the words, "I'll help you." Now, I don't know if the spirit of Jack Lalanne came to me or if the universe sent a really competent back up, all I know is that suddenly I felt extremely supported in healing my issues with the physical part of my life.

I have to admit that I ran home and learned everything I could about Jack Lalanne (ask my family--they can now tell you anything you'd ever want to know about him). For the first few days following the conference I received very clear and specific information about what I needed to do to get my act together: "Get off sugar---It's like crack cocaine to your system. Buy the best vitamins you can find. Avoid wheat and dairy. Do a cleanse/detox. Increase the length of your walk by a third. Go back to pilates. Forget about previous limits---you can achieve any physical goal you want to (and I'm going to help you)."

Wow, thanks!!! So, I followed the advice to the letter (not because I'm known for my obedience or self-discipline, but because of the emotional support that I felt), and I must say I'm already feeling like a new person. What was the best part of this experience? Even though I'm elated to be enjoying a happy relationship with my body, the best part was the instant and total support I was given when I finally surrendered the issue to the universe.

Stubborn, persistent problems cannot be solved by doing the same things we've always done. If our tricks and strategies didn't work before, they're not going to work now. Instead, try surrendering the issue to God, the universe, or your Higher Self. Surrendering doesn't mean giving up, it simply means taking the issue out of the hands of your ego, and placing it in the infinately more capable hands of spirit.