How Body Awareness Helped Me Reach My Highest Potential

By Joe Hawley

 

How can we expect to reach our highest potential in life if we don’t know what it’s like to feel good in our bodies? 

After playing in the NFL for 8 seasons, my body took an absolute beating, leaving me with chronic pain and inflammation throughout my entire body. Every day I wake up, I feel the aches and pains caused by a long physical career playing on the offensive line. It wasn’t until I decided to show up each day with consistency and focus, taking proper care of my body, when I started noticing a difference. 

This was a long journey, one that I’m still on. Trying to figure out how to fuel my body with proper nutrition, give it the right kind of balance between rest and movement; when do I lift, when do I do yoga, how much sleep do I need, how often do I get massaged. 

 

 

We need to create space and listen to our bodies

I’m grateful that my body sends me these signals and communicates in this way. It’s quite amazing how intelligent the body actually is. 

But, in order for us to truly understand what it’s trying to communicate to us, we need to find the space to listen. 

Sadly, most people don’t know what it feels like to feel good in their bodies. Years of poor nutrition and a sedentary lifestyle can leave us not knowing what feeling good feels like, which also can lead to higher cases of anxiety, depression and/or stress. 

It’s hard work though, showing up and wanting to take better care of ourselves. We are habitual creatures who need to break deep neurological patterns. For me, this process is so much easier with the support of a community. The accountability that it provides can be invaluable on our journey to transforming our lives, not just physically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually as well. 

 

 

The solution is in our daily habits

Consistent and daily efforts are the key to long-term change. Here are some things I try to practice daily: (the keyword here is TRY)

  • Meditate (anywhere from 5 min - 45 min)
  • Yoga flow (10 min - 60 min) 
  • 10-15 min walk 2-4x a day
  • Journal (or some kind of writing) 
  • Try to get up and move at least once an hour (air squats, pushups, etc.) 
  • Get to bed between 9-10pm each night
  • Turn my phone off around 7pm, turn it on after my morning practice. 
  • Don’t eat breakfast first thing, and don’t eat late at night. 
  • My workouts usually consist of a 20-30 min kettlebell routine. (30lbs) 
  • A rule I live by: Consistency over intensity.  

 

“Change might not be fast and it isn't always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped.”  ~ Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business 

 

With love and gratitude, 

Joseph Hawley 

🤎

Check out this Easy Beginner Yoga Flow to get started.

   


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