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“Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be.” Clementine Paddleford (Artwork by Cindy DeLuz)

“Remember, your core also includes your back,” said Linda, our Pilates instructor, when I asked why I was unable to balance on the fitness ball while lying face up.

She often reminds us to focus on our core, but somehow I missed that she was talking about more than just our abdominal muscles. All the while, I blamed age for my weaknesses like slouching and sagging.

The truth is, I scrimped on exercises to strengthen and straighten my back, or skipped them all together because they were difficult.

Until now, I didn’t see the value in exerting the energy.

The same goes for emotional backbone. Sometimes, just like exercise, it’s hard to be strong. Sometimes I choose easy over challenging and distractions over discipline, however, things are a changin’.

I want backbone, courage, grit, gumption, resolve, whatever you want to call it. I want my life strengthened and straightened. 

To help, here is my list of backbone building exercises.

  • Make time daily for your passions the same as you do your commitments.
  • Exercise physically and mentally every day.
  • Choose fun, caring and creative relationships.
  • Encourage others and believe in yourself.
  • Ask for help and offer it.
  • Ask questions and hear the answers.
  • Let others take responsibility for their lives.
  • Trust and follow what you intuitively know you’re supposed to do.
  • Do something, anything besides fret, overanalyze, explain and make excuses.
  • Confront undesirable behavior when you’ll be resentful if you don’t.

What’s on your list of backbone builders?

WRite wHere I’m supposed to be – God, give me stamina to not give up, give in, or give way to bad habits, and to give improvements time to become lifelong practices.

On the side: The first backbone builder is from Jeff Goins’ recent email about finding time to do it all, however, there isn’t a link to the article. If one comes available, I will post it. In the meantime, if you’d like to read it (and it’s well worth the time), send me your email address and I’ll be happy to forward it.

Artwork used by permission from Cindy DeLuz @ An Artsy Chick Dares to Dream.

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