- “Though he be ever so tired by repeated failure, let him begin his operations again and again; for fortune greatly favors the man who perseveres in his undertakings.”- Hinduism, Laws of Manu
- “And let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.” - Christianity, Galatians 6.9
- “Perseverance prevails even against Heaven.” - Judaism, Talmud, Sanhedrin 105a
- “You have crossed the great ocean; why do you halt so near the shore? Make haste to get on the other side, Gautama; be careful all the while!” - Janisim, Uttaradhyayana Sutra 10.34
It is astounding that these completely different religions, some 5,000 years old, say the same thing: PERSEVERE! LIFE IS WORTH LIVING! I wanted to point out perseverance because taking this journey with the Grand Experiment can be daunting at times. Which is why I would officially like to welcome you to the Spiritual Gym (it’s an analogy, shhh don’t tell anyone I’m trying to be clever).
This is exactly like a gym we traditionally know, however, this one is for personal-growth. Just like a traditional gym, you can’t expect to work out for a week and have buns of steel. This workout is a beautiful lifelong process. It takes hard-work and dedication. You will have good days and you will have bad days. Sometimes you forget to stretch and pull a muscle. Other days you hit a plateau and just can’t seem to advance. However, those are the rare days and we need to stop focusing on them. We should focus on the days we were empowered! Those were the days we bench pressed the world, we ran our fastest mile, or we touched our toes for the first time (I still can’t). Those are the days to celebrate and yell to the heavens, “I AM POWER and I WILL NOT QUIT!!!”
So, how much does it cost to belong to this Spiritual Gym? Oh it’s free and your membership is good for life. It’s your birthright. Muahaha, no getting out of this one. You can choose not to go, but you will always belong. You may think, “what’s the point, all I do is continually make the same mistakes and screw up?!” Well guess what? It doesn’t matter. All that matters is you keep getting up when you get knocked down. You didn’t give up on walking when you first learned how. You did it, not because you HAD to, but because somewhere in your soul you knew that walking was the next step in your evolution. THIS IS THE NEXT STEP IN YOUR EVOLUTION. And also remember, you didn’t worry about societal judgment or comparison when you were learning to walk, “what will baby Arnold think of me if I try and fall again? Do I look stupid because I can’t walk? I wonder if I should have listened to baby Gunther and invested in Google? I knew I shouldn’t have had that extra bottle of milk.” This seems absurd, right? And yet we all do it in our lives. When it comes to personal-growth, wow, we are incredibly hard on ourselves. It’s quite silly. That’s enough!
On this journey, there will be days when no matter how many Zombie Apocalypses you say or SMUGs you give, you just have to take a day off. It doesn’t mean you fail, it just means it’s your rest day. Choose to make it your rest day and enjoy it! The Spiritual Gym is for life! Trust me, it took me a long time to understand this and there are still days I struggle with it. I used to drink a lot harder than I do now and what would follow after a drunken night would be a buffet of food that no human should ever consume. As a result, I would not only feel physically sick from my binge, but I would layer that with guilt, anger and self-deprecation. It was lovely. At the time, I didn’t know I had a lifetime membership to the Spiritual Gym! I thought it was a trial pass and if I screwed up or “regressed,” I couldn’t ever get back in. I loved to beat myself up when I had a bad day or felt a little funky and couldn’t make myself feel better. But guess what? Slowly but surely I kept going back to the gym and my old habits gradually fell away to a point where I can’t imagine the old Bryce anymore.
Also, YOU DO NOT REGRESS! It may feel like all the work you did is lost when you err, but it’s not. It’s there. That work may be covered by a few martinis and cheesesteaks you ate at 4am (my favorite) but the work was done and remains forever. You have made an energetic imprint and there is no turning back. That’s fact. Once you get back to the Spiritual Gym, you never start over, you just begin where you left off. It may take some time to recall the work you did but it’s there and will be for life. Persevere.
THE QUICK AND DIRTY TASK: “Never, never, never, give up”
The What, How, and Why: Realize this is Universal law. There is no negotiation. You must be easy with yourself. You just do. This material may be very new to some of you and you will experience growing pains. However, if you keep at it, one day, ever so subtly, you will wake up and realize your life has shifted to a limitless potential.
Welcome to the Spiritual Gym. Feel free to work out for the rest of your life and please remember to wipe off the equipment after you’ve finished using it.