What is a Reasonable Goal?
Jan 13, 2024
I recently met a new friend who was embarking on a 6-week challenge to become stronger and feel better in her body. I asked her what her goal was, and she told me her goal was to “not hurt.” But then she told me that she didn’t think that was a very reasonable goal based on her understanding of how to set goals. From my understanding, she wanted not to hurt when she moved, but she didn’t think there was anything she could do to achieve that in 6 weeks.
We had just met, so naturally, I asked her if she was okay with trying an experiment. I had her try to touch her toes. She could not actually touch her toes, and her hips hurt when she bent forward and raised up. Then I had her sit in a chair, close her mouth, put her tongue on the roof of her mouth, and breathe. That’s what she did. After about ten breaths or so, I had her stand back up and reach for her toes again. She was just shy of touching them and said, “My hips hurt a lot less that time. Why?”
She just learned something from her body. She learned that in an instant, she could move better, and the pain could go away.
I’m not going to lie; this got me excited, so I asked her if she was okay getting down on the floor. She said as long as I helped her get back up, she would do it. So, I taught her how to rock back and forth on her hands and knees. Then, I had her stand back up and touch her toes. She actually got up from the floor relatively easily, stood tall, leaned forward, and touched her toes. AND her hip didn’t hurt.
She said, “I was hoping to be able to touch my toes by the end of 6 weeks. I didn’t expect to do it now?!” AND did I mention she said her hip didn’t hurt?
At the speed of my new friend’s nervous system, she learned that it was possible not to hurt when she moved. She learned it was possible to gain freedom and the ability to move, which she thought would take weeks, if not longer, with dogged determination and effort, in only a few minutes. Basically, she learned about the power of restoration nestled away in her own design, the power that was just waiting for her to tap into it.
My new friend left that night with excitement, hope, and a little bit of joy. It was so wonderful to see the shackles of her conditioned thought patterns drop away while the thoughts of hope and newness started to fill her face. She couldn’t hide her smile.
She discovered a powerful secret: She is designed to move well and feel good. And that new knowledge, knowledge she gained through experience, is life-changing. She is going to practice keeping her tongue on the roof of her mouth, she is going to practice nasal breathing, and she is going to practice rocking from now on. Why? Because she knows it can restore her and return her to the body and livelihood that she wants to have.
I love seeing people discover the power and wonder they already have inside of them. I love seeing hope rise up like the sun. I love seeing joy spring up like a fountain in a dry desert. I love seeing it because it is a constant reminder and affirmation that we are indeed awesomely and wonderfully made. It’s easy to forget this, by the way. It’s easy to get lost in the midst of our own troubles and limitations - it’s easy for our narrative to get hijacked by pain and fear. But to see that melt away in an instant, to see that pain and fear are not our life sentence and they do not have to be our story, well, that’s just powerful.
We can heal because we were made to heal. We can feel good because we were made to feel good. We can grow and change for the better because we were made to. The proof of all of this is in our movement design; we were designed to move so we could heal, grow, think, and become better with each day. When we move in this design, we just get better, inside and out.
To end where this started. My friend wanted not to hurt, to feel better, and to move better than she did when she started. I think that is a pretty reasonable goal; she is designed for that. But the truth is, what she wanted was already there, waiting to be realized. And that’s the way it is for most of us, and we have what we want within us, waiting for us. We just don’t know it because we get distracted looking for everything else everywhere else. Most often, we have the solutions to our problems, OR we are the solution to our problems. Either way, we were not designed for limitation, pain, and fear. We were meant to move into strength, health, and freedom each and every day.