Attitude Adjustment

Editor’s Note: Following is a page from my spiritual notebook.

Over recent months, I assigned myself daily workouts to combat depression that had settled over me in a gray mist.

I pushed the heavy glass door into the Fitness Center. Cool air greeted me as I pulled out my blue and white member-ship card. A young woman who looked like a TV toothpaste ad checked me in and said, “Have a good work out.”  

I nodded politely but thought, Bah! Through a wall of glass to my left, I saw men and women of all sizes, shapes and ages churning stationary cycles and trotting on treadmills. What’s so good about sweating?

I caught myself being negative and turned my thoughts.  People mob this place. Something good is happening here. 

Making a happy face, I strode across smooth tiles toward the locker room.  However, soon I was grumbling. This is no fun. Trekking over here takes a chunk of my time, too.  

Yikes! There I go again! This time instead pushing for a positive thought, I focused on emptying my mind.   

Before sliding my purse into a cubby, I set my lock code. Two women nearby talked quietly, and a third silently pulled off her damp tank top. Everyone’s OK. It’s me and my attitude. I know what’s wrong:  I resent needing workouts.

A year earlier, hip pain sent me to several weeks of rehabilitation therapy in this same building. That malady had responded to exercise in about a month. Remembering, I shook my head.  Not this depression “rehab”. It’s dragging on and on.

  Leaving the locker area, I walked toward the weight machines.  I passed tall windows looking into the rehab part of the facility and waved to the solid hunk who helped me last year.  Jerry was always positive and helpful. He had time for my questions and encouraged me. Everyone in this place smiles and smiles… Don’t their faces get tired? I shook my head at that thought.  Oh no! I’m being angry again. 

I moved on, passing men in sweat-ringed t-shirts and women sporting silky gym shorts. They look satisfied. At least I am spending time with happy folks.

Finally I reached the lumbar-strengthening machine. I set my weights to fifty-four pounds, and adjusted my seat and leg settings. I sat down, tightened my knee pads, then leaned for-ward and released the weights. Seated, I rocked to stretch my lower back.  One … two… three…

Before I finished my set, the counting and controlled lifting emptied my mind.  Wow! No more sharp thoughts. Exercise does improve my outlook!

As cycling and lifting be-came a habit, my mind rested.  Now, I’ll add something good. I tried saying a well-memorized prayer while using the various weight machines.  However when I began, “Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace…” I lost count of my pushes and pulls.  Maybe that’s part of a solution: don’t think anything at all. 

However my attitude changed, I am grateful for release from the negativity and my spiritual “gray” place.

Surely, it is a respite from the winter’s Dark Night of My Soul.

Frances Fritzie

Frances, Editor adds, “Perhaps this peace is the little green park in my life —  the one I ‘ saw’ last month.”

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