I approached Fit for Joy with some skepticism. Yes, I think it’s important to stay physically fit but I’m not a gym bunny and I get plenty of exercise helping my wife with her garden center. But I could use a bit more joy in my life so I thought I would at least skim a few pages of the sample.
Six hours later I had finished reading Fit for Joy and found myself sitting there deep in thought about the cause of my present discontent. Two of the several messages in Fit for Joy spoke to me in particular.
The past is only a story we tell ourselves
Like many (most?) people, I could tell negative stories about my past all day. All the slings and arrows I suffered growing up; all the damage I did to others as an adult. How liberating to realize that rather than live in the dark shadows those stories cast I can use them to illuminate my present path and avoid further harm to myself and others. We can put those stories to good use.
To believe we are unchangeable is what gives continuity to our suffering
This is a difficult truth to accept. Evolution has wired us to resist change and change is hard work no matter what your motivation. People around us either want to change us in ways that suit them or not change at all. Change can also be illusory. Just as Teles used ‘fitness’ to avoid her truth, we can use ‘change’ as a cover for not changing at all. Change jobs, change cities, change lovers, all the while repeating the same patterns. I have been a master at that game.
Sometimes you fall into conversation with a complete stranger who says something that totally shifts your perception. Books can do that too. Fit for Joy chronicles Tele’s journey from a hard-scrabble childhood in a backwater town in Brazil to a penthouse in Manhattan to depression and despair and her eventual renewal. She speaks with a raw honesty that is rare in this genre. Fit for Joy shifted my perception of what it means to be ‘fit’, not just physically but mentally and spiritually. If that sounds like something you are looking for, don’t miss Fit for Joy.