“The connection between the mind and body is a powerful one. Typically today, we tend to think of this connection as a soothing one, one to help us relax and maybe drift off, like calm the mind, calm the body. But, there’s a different type of connection that may make you equally relaxed – strengthening your body by building endurance and therefore, strengthening your mind.”
Welcome to the Life Lnxx podcast, where we share how the past influences the current day so you can choose a future based on a true identity because we are not blending in.
I’m your host, Consuelo Crosby, and also the creator of this content. If you want to chat more about what we talk about on this show please reach out to me on whatever platform you enjoy on social media. We’re available @lifelnxx or on our website at TheLnxx.com, that’s L N Double X. I’d love to engage with you more in these topics and hear more of what you have to say about them.
Take a Break to Feed the Mind
Let me just start off with a Wow! I missed you all! It was a joyous break to be in Barcelona and sink into the social life but I missed our chat sessions here. Still, I am a total extravert and life here is getting a tad too quiet for me. But, I am so grateful to your dedication and the bump in subscribers while I was off in España! Who knew that taking a break could be so great for business?
You might want to pass that on to your bosses.
I have to admit that I was so stressed out about being off air the last two weeks that I wanted to just get all prepared and all amped up and have it all ahead of schedule so you wouldn’t miss me and bam, bam, bam.. They say you should always have a stash of pre-recorded episodes to unleash while you are away but I just couldn’t get more out before we left. It was really making me feel inadequate for leaving without still being “here” (quote, unquote).
I told my daughter how freaked out I was and was really lamenting that I didn’t prepare adequately. And you know what she said? “Don’t worry, Mom. No one will notice that the episodes didn’t drop…” Wat wat wah…. I was crushed! Like wow, no one is going to notice as if no one is listening?
I did think about it the whole time we were gone and the more I spent time away, the more I realized it’s just such a small part of my really big life.
And, coming home and jumping on the analytics I was totally surprised by this bump in subscribers! What a blessing! You have taught me a huge lesson that I still haven’t learned after all these years and I am so grateful.
So, yes! Thank you for teaching me that taking time for myself, seeking space that brings me solace and living a soulful day is a priority. No matter how often we give ourselves a break, for some reason, we always forget to do it more often. Let’s make that our main goal that we are going to take these breaks and forget what it feels like to be at work. That’s going to be our goal for living life large.
And, you know, it was all intact when I returned. Nothing catastrophic happened. Instead, everything got so much better, especially my spirit. So, thank you!
Physical Strength Can Ease Your Mind
Admittedly, I feel more vulnerable than ever before and I was a little stymied, a little stuck, like why is this happening, what’s changed? Of all that you’ve heard here where I found myself in threatening situations in the past, really vulnerable situations, I never felt anxious about it or scared. But now, I can feel it creeping in.
Do you feel that vulnerability of being unsure in situations, whether they’re known to you or not? How do you get yourself ready for them so that you feel confident? Or, do you just try to muster through and get to the other side, more like a phew! “glad that’s over with” approach.
That’s what we’re talking about on this episode – how to develop confidence to overcome vulnerability and ease the mind. But, not in the way you may be thinking.
The connection between the mind and body is a powerful one. Typically today, we tend to think of this connection as a soothing one, one to help us relax and maybe drift off, like calm the mind, calm the body. But, there’s a different type of connection that may make you equally relaxed – strengthening your body by building endurance and therefore, strengthening your mind.
I heard you. The big exhale, the “don’t give me one more thing to do” exhale. So, give me a moment here because I am not sending you into the gym for the intense workout session. Nor is this about changing your body image or aligning with stereotypical body type.
We are talking about developing strength in your body as a way to build confidence. It can be a simple challenge, maybe one you have never done before or improving on something you can already do. This process will engage and focus your mind both on the task and on the end result. But the beauty of it is that there really is no end result. There is no goal, in a sense. There is no finish line and that’s the beauty of it. It’s every little increment of change that you’re able to build get you further ahead.
The benefit of the process is that your mind will gain confidence on each level of accomplishment, too, and then ultimately, be rewarded in two ways.
What are the rewards of a stronger body?
So, what are the rewards of a stronger body and why is it important?
This is a great question, especially now when we can acknowledge the irrelevance of stereotypes. This is less about producing body image and more about honing your determination with the added benefit of physical endurance.
The first benefit is realizing that you will always be able to do something that you hadn’t done before – THAT is an invaluable life lesson. The beauty of this process is not related to anything demanded by others. It’s not something you have to learn for work or promotion. It’s not about reducing stress to get back to the core sense of calm. Instead, it’s to advance your capacity to take on something new for your own benefit.
You are taking yourself on a journey that will challenge how you view yourself and help you realize that you have more depth and complexity than you realize. You have unknown capabilities that lie within you and a good way to draw them out is by testing your physical endurance.
Secondly, developing physical endurance engages your mind to do the same. You can’t persevere without your mind supporting your determination and really, vice versa. The stronger you can endure a physical challenge, the less likely your mind will tell you to quit. See that? As you reach another level, even an incremental level of endurance, then you have trained your mind to realize it has the capacity to move you further on your journey without hesitation.
As you gain physical strength, your mind becomes stronger, more confident to support what you want to do. When you feel that you can rely on someone or something without a doubt, you begin to worry less about doing life alone. You know what I mean? Just having a person you can call in the middle of the night helps you hold that under your pillow. Like, Okay, I’m going to wait. I can get through this. I don’t need to call them but I know they’re there.
Well, when you can rely on your body to persevere, without a doubt, then you become more confident that you can do things on your own. The mind is at ease because it can cross that fear off its list and rely on yourself.
How To Develop Mental Endurance?
So, it’s the actual process that is creating a stronger mind. This is really important. The process towards physical endurance relies entirely on your mind, your way of thinking and your confidence. You have to set your mind to it, literally, at least to start.
Okay, I’m the ultimate procrastinator and this is my hardest step, just starting because I’m already at the outcome. I’m worried about how the outcome is and whether it’s going to be good enough or whether anybody will like it. No. Because this has no outcome for others, only for yourself, it’s easier to start. And with no expectation, no end goal, except to try and set a standard for yourself.
As your mind gets stronger, so does your physical capacity. And as your physical capacity gets stronger, so does your mind. It’s this beautiful infinity of one supporting the other. Your mind begins to realize that it hasn’t found its limits yet. Anything is possible at this point and the mind begins to ease. It begins to relax. It’s not worrying so much. The second guessing isn’t on the front line anymore. It’s not the first thing you worry about.
I realized that in the past, whether it was being the only woman on a construction site, or raising my daughters by myself, or caring for my dad, who was a pretty hefty guy, I relied on my physical strength to get me through situations. Even if I wasn’t necessarily using my strength, I was subconsciously relying on it in case something went sideways. My mind was at ease because it knew that my physical abilities would engage first, giving me time to figure things out mentally.
Now, sometimes, like climbing the glaciers, I look back and go, “What were you thinking?!” But, it didn’t matter. By the time my brain figured it out,it was already done. I had already accomplished it and the mind was like, “Oh, okay. Didn’t know we could do that. Thanks”.
The beauty of the journey is that it is done in incremental steps. And this is where you can give yourself a lot of grace and a lot of comfort and a lot of support. You aren’t starting off able to endure much if you haven’t developed the skill and that’s ok. So you begin in little steps, paso a paso, step by step, because each step moves you to a greater capacity. And that feels great.
And, since there really isn’t any end goal, no limitation, no finish line, each step is success. Each step is success. Each step is the mountaintop. But then you get there and you see another one. “ I want to go climb that mountain top.” Or, you might say, “Hey, I like the view from here and this is good for me”. But, you’ve done it, regardless of where you are going, get to a point further along in your life that you can make that choice, that you are in charge of your destiny.
Train Your Mind to Train Your Body
Here’s a really simple example that came to light for me when I was dancing ballet. That’s a whole other episode involving a Russian teacher, a riding switch and flat feet but I am going to touch on it here. Yeah, you heard me right. Riding switch. I was five. It was brutal. Whole other episode.
So this is just a routine lifting your leg to be parallel with the ground. So, back straight, lift your leg up, parallel to the ground. Yep, simple. Kind of. Ok, now hold it. No really, hold it parallel to the ground. Oh, yeah – that’s muscle burn, ladies. You want to put your leg down, don’t you. But, you’re teaching your mind to persevere. So your mind is saying, “C’mon leg, we’ve got this! You can do 5 seconds! C’mon, that’s less than a sip of cafecito.”
Wow, not so easy, right? But, you can see how your mind and body work together to make it happen. And, you can work to increase your endurance any moment, any given day, over and over. It’s so simple. Then, as you get more confident and stronger, you can raise your leg higher and hold it there and start the process all over again.
Now you may think this is really simple and not going to get you anywhere, but I tell you, the first step can lead you to some amazing accomplishments. It takes faith in yourself and losing the fear. If losing the fear can be done by accomplishing something small that’s going to grow into something big, well, that’s a life lesson; a life trait that you can keep coming baci to and having the world open to you.
Healing Your Mind Can Take You to New Heights, Literally
Like, Sylvia Vasquez Lavado. Oh my goodness. I listened to her on the #WeAllGrow Amigas live IG session just now. She calls herself a badass chica, a Peruana, a Latina, a fighter for the LGBTQ rights and a survivor of sexual violence. Sylvia became the first Peruvian woman to summit Mount Everest six years ago in May. 2016. And, became the first openly gay woman to complete the Seven Summits, meaning that she has climbed the highest peak on every continent in the world.
Gosh, she’s such a badass.
She just wrote this book, ‘Shadow of the Mountain’, where she speaks to healing the trauma that occurs earlier in your life; that you cannot grow old with that pain. You have to learn to heal it because too often that pain will be masked by behaviors that aren’t you. You’re losing your true identity. You’re losing a true narrative by trying to mask that pain.
So, where you think these little leg lifts, that they’re nothing. Start there. Challenge your mind to go further in your physical endurance, in your physical strength. Challenge your body and your body will respond. Your body will meet your mind and the two can collaborate together to take you to amazing places in your life that you would have never thought you could do. Like Sylvia Vasquez Lavado
Take a look at our website, at TheLnxx.com, that’s L-N-Double X. We wrote a big article about Sylvia and her escapades, her amazing badass chica traits. And, also for Ana Flores. A big shout out for the CEO and Founder of #WeAllGrow Amigas. A real special moment that I really appreciate having witnesses. And I tell you, they say Peruvians are spiritual. I’m going to go with that. We own that, for sure!
Developing a Mind Over Matter Mentality
So, like I was saying earlier about ballet, strength and movement have been a part of my life since I was tiny. I had no expectations to be a professional dancer. It really built my body strength more than the sports and running. Even football players take ballet for their physical endurance, which really makes your head snap, right? We always think of ballet as flouncy and light and frivolous. Oh, no! There’s some major muscle work going on.
Looking back at it now, it definitely set my journey for realizing that I could overcome a lot of unknowns just by using the same process. The process helps you develop a mind over matter way of thinking. When you think you can’t do something but then challenge yourself with a very on point task and succeed, then you realize that, Yes! You can do anything. The beauty of physical strength is that it breaks open new doors and opportunities that would have been off your table… the “I literally can’t do this” table.
It’s this mindset of relying on your strong body that overcomes the feeling of vulnerability. That’s where we started out, feeling vulnerable. Whether it’s feeling weak or feeling pain, that feeling of vulnerability can really send us down a rabbit hole. So, that stronger body is helping us balance that feeling out. You can rely on your physical endurance to get you through those moments of feeling vulnerable. As you lose vulnerability, as you gain confidence, gain security, you’re creating mental strength to endure more and that will keep moving you forward on your journey.
Mental Strength Leads to Joy
Too often we view mental strength as necessary to overcome struggle or breaking barriers. It becomes our armor to protect us from threatening situations. But that’s a severity that we know we shouldn’t instill every single day. That was in one of our past episodes, Episode 15, where we talk about having compassion for yourself by not keeping yourself in that situation where you feel like you’re battling through every single day.
And right now, we are definitely feeling a lot of threat from the world, from our own country. We may want to stay within that armor to feel safe. That mental strength coats us to feel safe and that’s a beautiful moment to acknowledge.
But when you are ready, you can begin using mental strength to open new worlds again. Worlds that may bring joy and opportunity. It’s less about endurance to survive and more about the strength to move beyond and thrive. Open yourself and move forward into these new adventures towards a life that you may not have framed for yourself, when you were feeling more vulnerable; when you were giving yourself limitations.
As you break through those limitations, just through movement, just through strengthening of body and mind, it’s like walking through a portal. It’s like Narnia, the back of the wardrobe. You never saw it because you didn’t have the capacity to put yourself there.
If mental strength can encourage you to walk around the block, then walk a half mile, then 5 miles…then you have the physical endurance to do something you never thought possible. And that’s not a one-off. Instead, you will have that ability for life. Even if you stop practicing and your strength lessens, you can snap back into strength when you begin again.
These two, the body and mind, become so strong together that moving into unknowns becomes an adventure rather than a threat. Feeling your body move in strength and endurance, literally releases brain chemicals that raise your mood and happiness levels. Pretty soon you are snowballing towards a life that you hadn’t considered before because of the limitations you were living within.
Show Us Your Strength!
So, let’s get started, ladies. Go out and start something new. Be kind to yourself and start small. Feel proud for starting at all and gracious to yourself for whatever you can do now. Then, little by little, try to do a little more. It may not happen right away but again, paso a paso, step by step, you will move forward. You will be capable of doing something that you never thought of or didn’t think you could. But we say yes here, Yes, you can. SÍ, te puedes!
So, tag us on Instagram or Twitter @LifeLnxx. L-I-F-E L-N-X-X. Take a look on our website at TheLnxx.com for each episode’s transcripts and the articles linked to what you’ve heard here today.
Remember to tag Life Lnxx of your favorite cafecito moments. I hope you loved the ones that popped up on our IG Stories. I had a great opportunity to visit our local, women owned business here in San Francisco when I got back. It’s called Flour and Branch. You can check out the amazingly delicious delicacies they create, the fab coffee and gorgeous home goods available on our Instagram profile.
Really appreciate you sharing this podcast with your friends and leaving a review for us on Apple Podcasts. And give us some of your own ideas of what you’d love to hear by reaching out on our website or social media platforms @LifeLnxx.
Step into your truth, ladies. Ciao!
[…] at Denali took three tries and yet she didn’t quit. This endurance exemplifies the focus of Episode 36: the strength of the mind to put the body into motion, to prove it can renew value and self-love. […]