Exercise and Fitness For The Spirit

by Philip Holder Ph.D.
Grandmaster, North American Wing Chun Association

Life Itself Is Spiritual and Emotional Exercise

People weight lift to strengthen and shape their muscles. This is because applying resistance to muscles and by putting them under stress they grow stronger. Pushing your body past your comfort zone builds stronger more well defined muscles. When we encounter emotional, spiritual and intellectual resistance in our lives, the same strengthening process takes place. The more challenging of our life events will push us out of our comfort zone. That’s not a bad thing. If we accept the challenge, we can grow stronger emotionally, spiritually and intellectually. When difficult times come along, you have a choice. You can say “Why Me”, or you can utilize those challenges to become stronger. It takes courage and a willingness to exceed the boundaries of comfort.

Our Experiences

I have often said that there are no bad experiences. There are pleasant and unpleasant experiences but no bad experiences, (if we learn from them)! It all comes down to your personal life philosophy and your attitude. Our experiences, pleasant or unpleasant, are gifts. If you look at the unpleasant experiences as an emotional, spiritual and intellectual gym membership, those challenges can take on an entirely different meaning. Face it… You’re going to encounter unpleasant experiences in your life. There’s no way around that. You’re going to have to deal with them whether you like it or not. I suggest to you that your life will be happier and the outcome of those challenging situations will be more to your liking, if you accept the gym membership and grow stronger from those challenges.


Remember the old saying… There ain’t any sweet without the sour. Darkness gives us a greater appreciation for light. Cold gives us a greater appreciation for warmth, and so it is with all things in life. The uncomfortable helps us to more greatly appreciate things both simple and grand things that we already have. The uncomfortable and challenging provides contrast, which allows the wonderful things in our lives to stand out… if we look in that direction. An attitude of Gratitude is essential for happiness and for love. Remember… If you look for the negatives’ in life, you’ll find them. Likewise, if you look for the positives in your life, you’ll find them. It’s your choice. You get to pick! What’s your choice?

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