Do You Feel Like She Looks?

 

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Last week I wrote about learning to err on the side of moving our bodies vs. becoming one with the couch, no matter how delicious the excuse, er, reason.

I had wanted to use the image above, but technology and I weren’t getting along too well. So this week, my message is evolving from the image to the words rather than the other way around.

It’s not that I think we should all look like this slender woman trailing wisps of silk (I’d be tagged out in a hot second!), but that I wish for us all to feel inside like she looks outside. Fluid. Graceful. Open. Light.

Outer movement — yoga, dance, walking — certainly encourages that sense in our bodies. And inner movement — meditation, mantra repetition, breathing in specific ways, working with discouraging thoughts — supports us in being energetically fluid, graceful, open and light.

Let’s be real — life in a body on this planet can feel pretty darn dense. Bad news floods in daily, both from the larger world and your own intimate circles. One minute you’re fine, the next you’re stubbing your toe and hopping around on one foot mouthing expletives. Oh yes, there may be lots of space in matter, but it still packs a wallop!

What positive practice can you pull off the shelf where its been resting for a while?

Do you remember a time when you were so connected with your core of peace and wonder that you couldn’t even curse the dresser for being in the path of your big toe? What might it take to get back to that?

What can you do right now to get back in alignment with flow and ease? It can be as seemingly simple of getting up to drink a big glass of water or eat a piece of fruit, bringing its sweet, alive energy into your body. {Hint: this newsletter was powered in part by a juicy pink grapefruit.}

Sometimes it really is simpler than we think {Another hint: it’s often the thinking part that’s the problem!} And starting with simple is ALWAYS a good idea, especially when you are out of ideas.

When In Doubt, Move!

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At long last, spring! People everywhere are rejoicing…and, for many I’ve been talking with, realizing how incredibly inert they’ve been for much of the winter. Those laws of physics work all too well; yes, a body at rest tends to stay at rest.

I for one can be way too easy on myself. “I have a headache…guess I’ll rest on the couch.” Or “it’s only 4 degrees out, I am just staying here under my blanky sipping my tea.” Oh, I am the Queen of Realistic Reasons and Excellent Excuses!
 
But even that gets old after a while. I got tired of feeling so tired despite nights of deep, plentiful sleep. The temperatures were suddenly hanging tight in the 40’s, and I had to get out of the house.
 
So I laced up my sneakers and walked on the local rail trail, amazed my legs still knew what to do. And the next day, even though it had dipped back down into the upper 20’s, I did it again. 
 
Just that little bit had me feeling happier, less stiff, and more engaged with the world. It helped me remember that knowing, teaching and espousing the importance of movement to wellbeing is one thing, but acting on it is quite another. {I come from a long line of couch surfers — actually, La-Z-Boy lovers — so taking care of myself by resting still resides deep in my DNA.}
 
As of last weekend, my new mantra is “If I don’t feel great, I’d better get up and move.” Anything will do — dancing around the living room, jumping up and down just to get my energy up, marching around the house singing and acting silly. It doesn’t have to be formal, like yoga or qigong, and it doesn’t have to be for long; it just needs to happen, so that a body in motion has a chance of staying in motion. 
  • What are your best strategies for overcoming inertia in your life? 
  • What small, fun thing can you do right now to get your energy flowing? 
  • What little shift do you know will get you into a more vibrant state? 
Me? I think I’ll put on Pharrell’s Happy and dance my way into dinner prep…

Time, Got No Time, Nothing But Time

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One of the biggest laments I hear from most people is that “there just isn’t enough time!” Life seems to spin ever faster, and some of us don’t stop until our body makes us stop because we get the flu, break a bone, sprain an ankle…OUCH.

Time is a funny thing, though. It exists as a container for experience, and feels like it’s going faster or slower based on our perception. The actual seconds and minutes tick by at the same intervals, regardless of what we are doing.
There’s plenty of talk from spiritual teachers about being in the now, but still it can feel elusive. We don’t get or miss the pointers on how to achieve that awareness. And yet, it is really all we have and all we will ever have…even if the now is being used to plan for something in the future or recall something beautiful from the past to get you through that stretch of flu.
How do you stay in the now when it’s rushing by so fast?
It usually has to do with bringing awareness into the body:
  • Feel your breath or any sensations; notice where your feet are planted (or not).
  • Close your eyes for a moment so you can bring your vision from the heat of color/form/chaos! to cool blackness.
  • Let the swirl of thoughts rest by training your awareness on a single word or mantra: Love. Simply This. Oneness. Yes.
Here’s the irony — no matter how good you think you are at multi-tasking, you’re wrong. Doing one thing at a time, with mindful focus, actually contributes to getting more done. And, if not more, than getting what you can done with more sanity and trust that it is, indeed, enough.