Recently, I had an idea to run a half marathon. I must admit, I scoffed at first. I am not a natural runner. In fact, quite the opposite. I don’t even enjoy running, but there was a nagging urge in me to start. It sat with me for months before I said to myself, “just do it”! (Pardon the obvious pun!)
So, I just did it. I grabbed my iPod, went to my favourite local spot and off I went, doing what I can only refer to as shuffling my feet, to begin with. It was an intense struggle – I hadn’t run for a long while. I was committed, and every time I was without my kids, or in between a yoga class, I grabbed my iPod, my trainers and I hit the pavement. I set an initial goal of four kilometers each run, with my aim being to reach eight kilometers every time and build from here. Admittedly, I struggled to make the commitment at first. Every little excuse came into play. As an independent mother running a business I had all the excuses! One day I was fed up with the excuses and decided ‘today was the day I would run eight kilometres, no matter what!’ Here is where the Sacred Shuffle came into play. I put the headphones on and hit shuffle. It was Divine Timing. Whenever I reached a tough part of the run, like a hill that I was scared to face, or I felt like I was becoming breathless, an uplifting song would come on and it would get me through! It was exactly what I needed to hear at the time. Whenever this happened, I would take a screen shot, and now when I need motivation to get my sneakers on and run, I look at that screen shot. My point is that when you listen to your instinct and you set an intention, the universe conspires to support you, guide you and to help reach your goals. You just need to be in action to make it happen. It’s the same with meditation. At first, it is really uncomfortable, but once you persevere, it becomes easier with each session. With running, it sometimes feels like an ache to get up a hill, I tell myself, “One more breath, one more step.” I stay with the presence of that one step and one breath and I just look a few paces in front of me, which is enough to keep going. I stay present to the music, air, moment and it supports me. I call this divine synchronicity. Don’t you just love it when the universe and your natural instincts collide and bring about something wonderful? I’m an avid believer in listening to my gut instinct at all times, as it can truly lead us to enjoyment, fulfillment and inner peace. While we’ve been trained to listen to our gut instinct to avoid danger or drama, we can also listen to it when it is leading us to a greater good – even if it doesn’t make rational sense. It’s something I’ve been bringing more attention to and I love the improvements it is making in my life – on every level, from physical health, mental clarity and emotional strength. After a few months of running, I have become so clear about my journey and I am getting closer to that eight kilometres goal with every session. I was inspired to do something that I really don’t like to do, but my instinct told me to do so, and I trusted it. I followed a little spark inside me – a sign that showed me small wins with each running session, which in turn gave me such a wonderful feeling of achievement and satisfaction. This has resonated through every aspect of my life – my life as a Mum, a yogi, and meditation teacher and even with my relationships with friends and family. We can’t grow without being uncomfortable, and it takes commitment, consistence and trust that you will grow. My trust was with my instinct and with the knowledge that the universe would support and guide me. Of course, I had the beautiful lyrics and melodies playing on my iPod shuffle to lift me with each breath and step, no matter how difficult it was. It is a divine metaphor for life I think, something I like to call, The Sacred Shuffle.