I’m trying to figure out at what point in Human History we made the decision to give ourselves such a freakin’ hard time. I can’t agree that it’s in our human nature to think that we’re not enough or not worthy of good stuff. I mean, did the cave people sit around and beat themselves up about how awfully they performed the woolly mammoth chase that day? I don’t think so. They were probably like, shit, let’s try that again tomorrow ... I’m hungry is all. Sure, they had less brains and abstract thought. But, shouldn’t abstract thought have glided us even closer to simply enjoying life and believing that we - and our environment - deserved to be treated with total commitment to pleasure, joy, and wellbeing?
I’m confident that there are some history buffs out there who could probably pinpoint the moment in civilization that we decided we were total dirtbags who needed some sort of roughing up in order to experience joy in life. Let’s blame Victorian corsets or Napoleon or the Fall of the Roman Empire, yeah? No. Kidding. Oh, I’m also avoiding the obvious target that could edge into religion, because - well, it’s not relevant at all in this post, so let’s all skip it and focus on the fact that no matter our belief system, it’s actually completely unnecessary to think for a second that we aren’t Worthy. No matter what you believe about the human condition, that much is essentially true.
But yet, we all walk around with this constant language of “what if” and “if, then” when really the truth is “now, I am.” I personally was raised with this very sticky sort of idea that you don’t get anywhere in life without having first been dragged behind a truck, with your nose on the gravel as it flies down a very bumpy road. And, then - only then - will you earn some sort of place amongst security, health, credibility, position, etc. “It builds character” was the meme of my childhood, as if there was some sort of wild fear that believing otherwise would result in a spoiled, greedy existence.
Yeah, that’s part of it. We’re so afraid to be confident and whole because we’ve been told our whole lives that we need to be humble and non-threatening. We’ve been warned so viciously against being spoiled or entitled - both of which are truly ugly traits that are justifiably wanting to be avoided. BUT - BUT - BUT. Maybe it’s not so effective to go the way we’ve gone. Maybe demanding that we defer to the status quo and all those social graces aren’t the vehicle to Good People. Maybe all that does is result in a humanity for which the number one ruling order is “You need to be fixed,” which at the end of the day yields insecure people who are constantly comparing, constantly wanting, easily manipulated by corporations and advertising, and generally not happy or satisfied. Which in my book definitely equals People Very Far Away from Their Best Selves.
I can see this in the work we do here at Momma Strong. I know 100% with all my being that if I had wanted to create a gazillion dollar fitness company overnight for moms, I coulda. It would have been easy. I would have poked into our open wounds of “not enough” and “deference to needing to be fixed” and “chasing the golden carrot that we sabotage ever getting because we can’t be too big or powerful.” I would have done a lot of before and after pictures of bellies suddenly behaving like they belong to socially valuable women. I would have pimped myself out in fancy workout gear and lots of happy, white-washed Instagram pics. I would have used words like “30-Day Fix” or “Get Your Body Back.” And with my mojo and my body and my method, the whole thing would have resulted in a rather large following and dollah dollah bills.
Alas, I can’t and won’t and blech and no way no how.
We think humanity wants all this because that’s where the money goes. That’s what gets viral attention. Everyone I speak to at events knows about P90X and the Bikini Body girl and the 21-Day Fix. EVERYONE. So, that must be what people want deep down, yeah? Yet, it’s all crap, never works, and if it does, it’s not sustainable. Why? Because believe it or not - and three cheers for this - IT’S NOT ACTUALLY WHAT WE WANT.
All we want is to be seen, to feel joy/love, to experience adventure, and to not feel stuck. Period. Yet, we don’t want to go that deep with our wellness programs or self-help because we are so desperately afraid of Worth. So, we stick to things that work the surface stuff in our bodies and the surface stuff in our life. We place value on six-pack abs and value on wrinkle-free skin and on general “glow.” We decide something is good if it speaks mostly to that external, yet flimsy aspect. This feels safe to us, doesn't it? And so we flock to it like the good stewards of the status quo that we are because - and I’ll add another human want here - we also need, on a primal level, to belong.
So, it’s a huge bummer to me that 99.9% of the health programs and strength programs out there stick to the surface stuff and aren’t willing to stick their necks out for the integrity of true wellness. We’re missing out on the actual guts of what needs strengthening. This goes for the microcosm of our bodies, of the intensely deep and easily attained abdominal muscles to the macrocosm of our engagement in the world. Did you know that your body is literally waiting for you to merely breathe properly so that the incredibly efficient connection of the transverse abdominis (deepest ab muscle) and the pyramidalis (your pelvic floor) can start to support you and actually “fix” your broken belly? This is the same for the guts of you and the guts of the world around you.
In Momma Strong, instead of posting normal before/afters of how the programs here change our bodies, we post images and quotes that represent the before/after of what deep down strength needs to bring to our life. And when the focus stays on that in our group, humanity shows up and puts me on my knees with it’s Grace and Depth and Potential. There is a huge need for us to make this sort of thing go viral. There’s a huge need for us to shift the fear of Worth and it’s fake assumption of entitlement/spoiledness/threat into how Worth will heal the whole world through whole people who feel from their depths that they are able, capable, and simply enough.
Stear clear of the things that feel safe when it comes to your betterment. Go towards the stuff that feels a little presumptuous and a lot powerful. Go towards the stuff that reminds you that you are more than a surface level object and that you are a human who deserves to give and receive joy in its fullest, most integrated form.
And I still blame Victorian corsets and Napoleon.