A PERSONAL EXAMPLE


Recently as I have been writing and rewriting drafts of this book, my lack of aerobic exercise started to enter my awareness frequently. My thoughts were: "But that is the way I am as I write this book. That is not a problem for me now." In retrospect, this was obviously Stage I-Denial, but it felt reasonable and made sense to me because I have had to drop so much else from my life to concentrate on writing. Then one day recently I witnessed a teenager beside me at a bus-stop explode instantaneously from quiet stillness to a full running mode. This explosion was the start of a successful chase of another bus suddenly spotted several blocks away. Being a witness to that scene triggered my awareness that it wasn't exercise I was missing, just aerobic exercise. My thoughts were: "That's interesting, but I can't do anything about that. That is the way I am." This was Stage II - Blame/ Helplessness, claiming that my problem was not solvable by me. Allowing a little "maybe it is solvable" into consciousness propelled me to Stage IV. I did not need to wait in Stage III, because I could immediately attempt a new Stage IV choice. The new choice I made was to choose to examine why I could exercise (2-3 miles a day walking) but was unable to get aerobic exercise. The images and thoughts that came to mind were about my infancy and the pain I learned then to associate with large bodily movements (i.e., movements of large muscle groups enough to cause sweating/ overheating).


Anger is ALWAYS beased upon unfulfilled expectations; fully let go of the expecting, and your anger will be no more.

During my infancy, from three to six months of age, I was often placed during summer days in a very hot room, too hot for an infant. My parents zealously followed a predetermined schedule. Therefore, I stopped my crying responses because they were ineffective, and I stopped my large bodily movements because they just brought me more discomfort in the excessive heat.


I now faced a new adult choice, either to feel the infant feelings that were still locked up in my trauma knots gained that long ago summer or to explore another method of healing. Because I had often explored similar issues before, the predominant feelings of infant rage and infant grief took only a few minutes to emerge and to dissipate. I then could aerobically exercise for the first time in several weeks. Stage IVb - Evaluation: so far so good. Stage V - Resolving will only be real and lasting when all my infant-aerobics-fear is gone for good. I know, as I write these words, that so far I have not felt the urge to grieve the lost years of being stuck in that way. Once that grief arises, I am confident that I shall feel my way through it rapidly, but until then I am in Stage III - Waiting.


Also, I may have more difficulties with this issue ahead of me that may require more new choices, more new-to-me feelings and more changes in my thinking. (How prophetic! Now several months after writing the above, more difficulties have emerged concerning getting aerobic exercise permanently into my life. More new Stage IV choices are clearly ahead for me.)

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"Impossible" successes come most often to those who pretend the same thing regularly for short periods of time and let it go between pretend sessions.

More Excerpts This Chapter
   STAGES OF HEALING
   MAKING CHANGES IN SMALL STEPS (Stage IVa above)
   "IMPOSSIBLE" SUCCESSES
   PROCRASTINATION
   A PERSONAL EXAMPLE
   CHANGING OTHERS EFFECTIVELY
   A LOUSY WAY OF MAKING CHANGES = SELF CRITICISM


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