Develop Your Spirituality Get Fitter Personal Growth By Mary Jaksch A guest post by Katie Tallo of Momentum Gathering I’ve been working out lately – getting stronger, more lean, flexible and energized, but not in the way you’d think. I’m not talking about swinging kettle bells or running 5K every morning. Nope, I’m talking about something else – something I’ve learned from swinging kettle bells and running 5K every morning. I’ve learned that a strong core is more than just abdominal and back strength – it goes much deeper than that. Core strength comes from your soul. That’s right. Your soul can be shaped, toned and strengthened, just like your gluteus maximus, with a few simple daily soul squats. I call it soul training. I’ve been experimenting with my soul lately – lifting it in new ways, feeding, shaping, bending and infusing it with loving energy. And I’ve noticed a change. I feel more soul-centered, more guided, more protected, more myself. Regular soul training gives your spirit the strength to resist soul crushers. What are soul crushers? Likely, we all know them – those seemingly trivial thoughts that sidle casually up to our souls and whisper, “You’re not good enough.” – or those disarmingly small habits that lead our souls by the hand towards ill health, anger, self loathing or feelings of failure. I’ve danced with them all – looking for easy fixes to my diet, magic bullets for toning my body and the perfect advice on how to live my life which I follow and inevitably end up on someone else’s path. Each whisper, each habit, each opinion I follow, I feel less connected to my soul. Your soul is you. It is where all your vivid imaginings, great ideas and most heartfelt dreams are not only born, but nurtured and live. If your soul is damaged, defensive, neglected, slack or angry, those imaginings can be lost and those dreams can go unfulfilled. But, if you are willing to give your lovely soul a workout, your spirit will begin to ignite those dreams and encourage those great ideas with joyful vigour. You will strengthen the very core of your being and that is the place from which everything is possible. Let’s pretend I’m your personal soul trainer for a minute. I’ve been practicing these moves every day for a while now, so I know them and I’m pretty sure they’re working for me so they might work for you. I’ve felt a powerful force starting to transform my body, my health, my home, my sense of purpose, my human connections, and the trajectory of my entire journey. So if you’re willing, here goes. I suggest you repeat each of these exercises daily for optimal soul training. They are simple, totally doable for anyone, and over time can restore, recharge and rewire your unique and sensational soulscape. Lift Find ten minutes every day to sit in silence, lift all your excuses and envision the one significant change you’d like to see happen in your life. Elevate your thinking beyond the ordinary – to a vision that is vivid and robust. See the change in your mind’s eye, breathe and know that the change is already yours. Picture yourself there, feel it, enjoy it for ten minutes, then let it go. Feed Nourish your soul with a small bite of inspiration every day. It might be a poem, an affirmation, a painting, a quote or a photograph. Choose a specific time each day when you are going to take a moment to seek out and savour one beautiful, soul stirring morsel. Lighten Let go of one daily habit that no longer serves your soul. Maybe it’s a coffee and donut, a TV show or an addiction. Focus only on the awesome reasons for letting go of this habit. Write them down and keep them with you as a daily reminder. Replace the habit with something soul quenching like walking, reading or a daily green tea or fruit smoothie. It’s only one habit – one your soul no longer wants or needs. Ease your journey by lightening your load. Bend To bring profound change, to reconnect to our souls, we only need make a very small shift in our lives – a little twist to our routines. Decide to change one routine in your daily life in order to feel what change creates. Embrace how newness feels. Pick a routine that bores you, that’s become mindless and soulless. Shift it ever so slightly. I’ve been waking up at 5:30am. That is how I’ve chosen to shift – to bend my daily routine. The world looks different, sounds different and I have more time to work on my soul training. Love Give yourself a daily hug and I mean this quite literally. A big old hug or a quick “I love you” in the mirror is all it takes. Don’t worry about looking foolish – you’re the only one looking so embrace that inner goofy you. It is important and often rare that we simply and kindly acknowledge ourselves. You deserve love, you are loving, and your very existence is lovely and amazing. Rest Allow your soul to chill out. Searching and seeking out constant stimulation from a million wonderful and inspiration sources can be a soul sucker. Release yourself from the need to win, keep up, expand, learn, strive, and create all the time. Sometimes you need to simply be and have faith in life’s unfolding. Rest nurtures your soul and readies you for much deeper soul training. What I have found from my own soul training is this. I feel like I’m awakening. I’m seeing and feeling things differently. I’m laughing more. I’m lighter. I’m spending a lot more time doing things that matter to me. Early this morning (my new routine) I was marveling at the beauty of the lemon I was holding before I squeezed it into my morning lemon water (another new routine). My soul felt connected, grounded, and surprisingly aware. Practice is all it takes. Daily lifting, feeding, lightening, bending, loving, and resting will warm your heart, invigorate your mind and body, and tone your inner core. I hope you give it a try. Your soul will thank you. Katie Tallo is a mother, wife, writer, director, P90xer, almost-vegan, soul trainer and motivator who seeks to inspire people to gather their own wildly unique sense of momentum. She blogs at Momentum Gathering and has developed The 7-Week Life Cleanse: A Guide to Infusing Your Life with Momentum. Katie is a member of The A-List Blogging Club and Senior Editor of The Daily Brainstorm. If you enjoyed this article, please click below to have free updates delivered to your inbox.