Updated: Nov 24
For ten years, I was part of a Circle of seven women who were committed to
Self-discovery. Once a month we gathered at one of our homes to pursue our personal growth. We shared our dreams, examined our habits, and worked to move beyond the limitations of our conditioning. With hearts full of hope we trusted that we could create lives we wanted to live. We began to disconnect from the lies and misconceptions – large or small – that come with life. Lies about self-worth, what is possible for our lives, and misperceptions about mistakes and failures began to melt the more we embraced ourselves.
At one of our Circle gatherings, as an exercise, we each envisioned ourselves on the cover of Time Magazine. It was a great exercise. It helped us to see our futures in greater detail and dream bigger. Looking into the future this way gave us guidelines. We could compare our vision to see where we were and make new choices where necessary. Being on the cover of Time was not actually the point. This kind of sharing filled us with hope and kept us in a healthy active relationship with both our material and spiritual goals. This kept us moving forward.
Gathering – coming together as a group - was just one strategy we used in building more fulfilling lives for ourselves. Independent of our circle we were each engaged in other “inner fitness” efforts. One of our members did some life regression work that helped her uncover buried trauma, a couple of us found skilled therapists to work with.
I became a workshop junkie, attending workshops of all kinds. I also became a fan and believer in journaling. Using the stream of consciousness technique, I began to write everything down. I have been journaling now for over 35 years. Stream of consciousness journaling is where you turn your pen over to your subconscious mind and just write whatever comes up for you. The goal is to let your subconscious talk, uninhibited. This kind of journaling doesn’t require that you go back and read what was written. You can if you like. But the point is to let the unconscious part of yourself have a voice. This proved to be a great practice for developing more congruent behavior. My thoughts about myself, my beliefs, and my actions became more refined and harmonious. I learned to see the “lies” – misperceptions and misinterpretations about myself and life that I had unconsciously adopted.
On Instagram, I post a random reading from my 35 years of journaling. It is humbling to see how every desire and issue that I journaled about back then, today is a healthy strong part of my life.
A few of us, over the years, enrolled in a two-year Spiritual Psychology program and/or obtained a Practitioner’s License from the Agape International Center for Truth. I became a life coach and continue to this day to develop my coaching skills. The point I am making is that when it comes to taking charge of your life, there are numerous options available to you; just like there are numerous ways that you can work on your physical fitness. Find what works for you. Try a path that interests you. If you don’t like it, or the benefits aren’t what you hoped for, change paths. We do this when it comes to our physical fitness routines. For instance, I love hiking. I hate going to the gym. I am currently taking a break from eating meat. Exercise this same kind of flexibility when it comes to your inner fitness. Find paths to your inner fitness that are a great fit for you and create the life of your dreams.
Tina Lifford plays Aunt Vi on the critically acclaimed television show, Queen Sugar. The Little Book of Big Lies: A Journey Into Inner Fitness is her first book; released by Harper Collins, November 2019, and is full of the kind of internal “actions” that will transform your thinking and your life. You can also join her at a workout in her Inner Fitness Studio to practice strengthening your wellbeing and making it actionable in your day to day life.