And now, a guest post from Michigan based, OS Instructor, Sarah Young….
“To Infinity and Beyond!” -Buzz Lightyear
Have you ever wished you had a time machine? A WABAC Machine (Mister Peabody had it going on!) so you could jump in, press a button, and be transported back in time to a place where you felt potential all around you and you didn’t feel confined by limits. Or maybe you’d use your time machine to project yourself into a future place where you could feel more limitless. Yes, a time machine could come in handy to blow past the perceived constraints of one’s current space-time continuum and launch into the realm of infinite clearance. A dimension of unlimited possibilities and promise.
Well here’s a little surprise for you. You do have your very own WABAC Machine at your fingertips. How do I know this? Because in 1979 a very amazing study called the Counterclockwise study was conducted. In this study, eight men in their 80s lived at a retro-fitted retreat as if it was twenty years earlier. The control group consisted of eight other men, also in their 80s, who were asked to simply reminisce about their life in 1959. And as the researcher who led this study, Ellen Langer, often quips, “this was when 80 was 80 and not the new 60”.
When Langer, set out on this study she wasn’t quite sure what would happen. When she dropped the men off at the retro-fitted retreat most of the men were stooped over and their gait was more of a shuffle than a walk. A couple of the men were using canes. She was a bit dubious if the men were self-sufficient enough to take their own luggage in. But they were told their bags were their responsibility even if they had to bring their belongings in one item at a time.
For one week the eight men lived at the retro retreat. No mirrors or modern-day clothing were allowed. Any photos of the men were from pre-1959. They watched movies, listened to music, and read copies of Sports Illustrated from the era. They talked about athletes like Johnny Unitas, Al Kaline, Sam Snead, and Wilt Chamberlain. They also discussed ‘current’ events like NASA’s launch of the Pioneer 4 Spacecraft. And their conversations weren’t “back in the day” conversations, their conversations were as if the events were happening in the now. The men in the study lived as though it was 1959, unlike the control group that simply reminisced about 1959.
After one week the test subjects were evaluated and the differences between the living as if group versus the group that reminisced was nothing short of remarkable. The men who lived as if it was twenty years earlier, as if it was 1959 all over again, experienced improvements in hearing, vision, memory, and strength. And when evaluated by people who knew nothing of the study these same men were evaluated as looking significantly younger than comparison years. And one more thing, when Langer went to pick them up at the end of the study, the men were playing touch football on the lawn. Their space-time continuum had shifted. They had a new trajectory that pointed towards an infinite clearance of possibilities.
“It is not primarily our physical selves that limit us but rather our mindset about our physical limits.” ― Ellen Langer
What caused the positive shifts in these men? How could they look younger and have improvements in their strength, vision, hearing, and memory after just a week? The exact mechanism of change wasn’t identified, but to quote Langer, “Men who changed their perspective changed their bodies.” It was their mindset that shifted. The design of the study required the men to live mindfully rather than mindlessly.
When the men entered the retreat they existed within the societal constraints of what being aged 80 is supposed to be; weak, frail, and incapable. They mindlessly accepted those labels. Then they lived for a week in the now of 1959. A time marked by more potential and promise. And they had to live mindfully in order to stay in that now. In doing this they were able to step out of the lies that had trapped them and into the truth of their able-ness, their strength, and their resilience. And the truth set them free. It set them back on the path to their own infinite clearance. The power of mindset is greater than any silly ole time machine (sorry Mr. Peabody).
“The more we realize that most of our views of ourselves, of others, and of presumed limits regarding our talents, our health, and our happiness were mindlessly accepted by us at an earlier time in our lives, the more we open up to the realization that these too can change. And all we need do to begin the process is to be mindful.” -Ellen Langer
Your mindset sets your trajectory. So what is your mindset upon? Is it set upon the limits you’ve accepted as your ‘truth’ or is it set upon embracing your fullest potential here and now? Is your mind set on living mindlessly or mindfully?
Because if you want access to infinite clearance… if you want to follow Buzz to infinity and beyond… a mindset of mindfulness is your ticket for admission. And to live mindfully doesn’t have to be all “woo-woo” and mystical unless you want it to be.
Langer defines being mindful as, “the act of simply noticing things”. Because when you notice things you’re able to encounter the world right here and now. You’re able to take in the moment with wonder and awe. The world becomes more alive. You become more alive. You’re present in the moment and the moment is where all potential and possibility lives.
“To be mindful is to be in the present, noticing all the wonders that we didn’t realize were right in front of us.” -Ellen Langer
So how does all this mindfulness stuff relate to Original Strength? Because OS is all about noticing wonder and awe. OS is rooted in the belief that each one of us is “wonderfully and awesomely made”. The mission of OS is to teach people how to move better so they can live better. And the end result of people moving better and living better is that they’re more able to express the wonder and awe-some that lies within them.
Ellen Langer has stated that “Wherever you put the mind, the body will follow.” The men in the Counterclockwise study experienced shifts in their minds that created shifts in their bodies. She has also stated that the mind and body are one. So it only makes sense that a shift in the body can create a shift in the mind. After all, the two are one.
And that’s where OS really comes in. Pressing RESET with OS offers a person the chance to take their body back to a time before “presumed limits were mindlessly accepted”. Pressing RESET opens up a portal in the space-time continuum where the promise of being able to move past accepted limits exists. Infinite shift becomes possible.
“There is always a step small enough from where we are to get us to where we want to be. If we take that small step, there’s always another we can take, and eventually, a goal thought to be too far to reach becomes achievable.” -Ellen Langer
OS Resets are simply expressions of how we’re all designed to move. And the richness of our design makes for an abundance of ways to Press RESET. This means there’s an entry portal for everyone to start Pressing RESET. Every. Single. Person. It doesn’t matter if you’re a competitive athlete, have a dream of being an athlete, are in your 80’s with a lot of miles on you, or you’re a youngin’. It doesn’t matter if you have a physical limitation or an injury or not. OS meets all bodies, all people, right where they’re at so they can begin moving past limits they thought were ‘truth’. So they can begin making a positive shift happen.
You are crazy wonderful and uniquely beautiful in your design. So why not begin reclaiming the fullest promise of you? All that’s required is to take one small, mindful step at a time. And everyone at OS is on board to help. We’re here and we see you’re awesome. Just let us know how we can be of service.
Infinite clearance awaits. Are you ready to step into infinity and beyond?
Artwork/signage/photos courtesy of Scott Froschauer http://scottfroschauer.com.
For more on Ellen Langer, “the mother of mindfulness” http://ellenlanger.com.
Sarah is an Instructor with Original Strength. She has been working with people’s bodies for a really long time. Her goal is to simply help others move better + live better. The same goals she has for herself.
In her moving better to live better quest she’s studied quite a few systems and even got certified in some. She also has a degree or two. She just can’t help herself, she keeps on learning.