Keeping that Commitment to Yourself is a Part of the Pilates Method!
The Short Version
We are used to over committing. It’s difficult to say “no” – we want to do all these things, we want to please others and also do good things for ourselves.
We take on more and more things to the point where we feel overwhelmed. And because it doesn’t all fit in, we have to start rescheduling things.
Despite that we are so connected, and so “over-extended”, our daily commitment to ourselves is a part of the Pilates Method. Making time for your self is part of the practice.
“The prime essence of the Pilates System is mental discipline”
— Joe Pilates (1957)
Imagine (or remember) the difficulties in rescheduling things before the telephone was a ubiquitous object in every home… you had to physically see someone to reschedule or write a letter!
But rescheduling actually makes us feel guilt. And added to that is the procrastination before the actual rescheduling. It takes up physic energy and drains us.
But you can’t reschedule the causes of bad posture. These are just two: time and gravity. Pilates benefits the Mind, Body and Spirit. And honouring commitment to self is how Pilates develops the Spirit. The process of creating that 15-30 minutes for daily practice is practising the Pilates Method – it’s not just the exercises.
Why do people say we will do things and then not do them?
Here are two scenarios:
Here’s an imaginary scenario. Imagine your car got stolen and the insurance company said they’d call back before the end of the day, but they failed to. They put it off until the next day, and then again, the call gets put off for another day and yet another… You’d get pretty fed up pretty quickly.
We like to please people
We over commit and we like to please others, so we say yes. We tell people what we think they want to hear. But as we do that, we don’t think about how much time something will take and we don’t leave enough slack in our days to allow for the inevitable emergency.
It’s me too, sadly:
… and what happens to me when I do!
I have taken to thinking about what things I reschedule… running or cycling. I have a friend, Richard, a cycling friend whom I never actually go cycling with – because I keep rescheduling. I call it: “putting-it-off-itis”.
It’s so easy to cancel our weekly bike rides: I don’t even need to call and tell him personally. I used to think that sending a text was good enough. If I want to, I can attach an emoticon at the end of the text to feign some regret or similar emotion and then I can convince myself that I’ve done the right thing.
What happens after I cancel? Guilt.
I convince myself that I’ve done the right thing: I’ve told him I can’t go and I tell myself that there is nothing more to it – I’ve dealt with the matter. But I haven’t. If I stop and notice my feelings, there’s regret and a small degree of guilt. Small, but it is there.
What happens before I cancel? Exhausting indecision.
That’s the “afterwards” – but what about the “beforehand”? There is the to-ing and fro-ing and the dithering in indecision. Before I actually reach for the ‘phone, I’m going backwards and forwards, and all that internal debating takes time and energy. It’s debilitating and exhausting.
And I’m left with the feeling of regret and guilt. I’ve let myself down. I WANT to go cycling, but I can’t. I’m not in control of my life. I begin to lose confidence in myself.
Loss of trust.
These are consequences for our internal lives. But there are also consequences for the external lives. Colleagues who are habitually late, don’t finish assignments, or they are shoddily done, miss meetings or lean on other team members are, at best, an imposition at worst, they are a liability…
Keeping commitments is a sign of being grown up.
“But everyone does it these days…”
I feel that these habits are nearly ubiquitous in our modern lives. There is an expectation that we can always reschedule. But we can’t. Bad posture is caused by two things: time & gravity. Neither of these things can be rescheduled. They can be ignored. The dirt can be swept under the carpet – but it’s still there. You can reschedule an appointment but time and gravity are both still doing their work. Civilisation causes ill health and Pilates is the remedy, but You Have to Do It – it can’t be rescheduled!
Two Very Simple Rules
I love simple and easy to follow rules
You do Your Workout at home everyday.
This is where you get real value for money! Start with 10 minutes and slowly work up to 15, then 20 as you get more confident and remember The Order of Exercises better. There aren’t very many – just 34 – 36 exercises. Start at the beginning with the first exercise and each day add one more to your workout until you have a good solid 10-15 minute workout. Try #pilates4life2021 on our social media channels, or the Pilates resource Pages for that series and much more!
If you need to reschedule, bring lessons forward,
not further away. That’s not “putting-it-off-itis”, you are rescheduling, but you’ll find that you save all that dithering beforehand and you’ll find that your conscience is totally clear as you not only honour your commitment to yourself, but are doing it in a timely fashion.
Honouring Your Commitment to Your IS part of Pilates Practice!
Joe Pilates said that his method benefits the Mind, Body and Spirit.
Honouring your commitment to yourself is how a proper practice of Pilates grows your spirit. It’s that simple and straight-forward.
“But are there other priorities: I can’t find time for Pilates”
Looking after your health can’t be rescheduled forever. You can’r reschedule time & gravity.
If you are over-extended, you may need to work on a transition period to loosen things up.