While We’re in a Body…

21 Feb

I’ve never understood it when people say they don’t have to time to exercise. For me, the degree of business in my life is directly proportionate to how much I HAVE to exercise. The more hectic my schedule, the more I need to move my body in order to avoid complete insanity. Children go psycho without recess; are we not the same?

Now don’t get me wrong. I am not an exercise addict. I don’t have to work out every day, nor am I obsessed with things such as body weight and image. In fact, I find this culture’s fixation on physical aesthetics revolting in its ability to damage the psyche and general well being. No. When I talk about exercise, I’m really referring to the mind/body connection.  

Long before the mind/body connection was all the rage, my father used to tell me, “A healthy body makes a healthy mind.” He was right. I started long distance running with him when I was ten and found that after exercising, my mind functioned clearly. Better than that, negative emotions evaporated with the sweat.

I learned early on that exercise, besides being good for the body, is critical to emotional stability. It’s pretty basic. If we don’t release tension, we de-combust. Every time we experience stress, our muscles tense, we hold our breath and often suppress our emotions. Do you know what this does to us over time? It gums us up big time.  

In his classic book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” Stephen Covey talks about the importance of being “principle centered.” He suggests we organize ourselves not around time but around our priorities. He claims that if we do this, we’ll suffer less with time management because what matters to us will get done. For me, the body is a priority because if I tend to it, I’ll be in balance and focused. When people say, “I don’t have time to exercise,” I think – I don’t have time not to. It’s too important to my overall well being and success. 

 This morning I woke up after only six hours of sleep (not enough) and a long list of things to do today starting with a trip to the mechanic (I’ll save that for another post), wash, grocery shopping, email and calls galore to answer, etc, etc. You know the drill. By 8:00 am my mind was spinning. I was composing blog entries and to do lists in my head – the ideas swirling in my mind like bees without a landing zone. “Girlfriend, you need to get a grip,” I told myself. “You’re going mental.” I added going to yoga to my “to do” list. 

Thankfully, I like yoga; it’s important that we like whatever form of exercise we choose. Otherwise, how often will we engage in it? And what kind of experience will we have while doing it? Shitty. And that defeats the whole point of the mind/body connection because exercise should put us more in touch with our health/ joy vs. misery. Life is hard enough. 

I think of my body as the house which holds my soul. While in this body, I want to take as good of care of it as I can, sweeping out the cob webs and getting rid of the guests who have long overstayed their welcome. I also want to spend time in it instead of being checked out. 

If I’m not in my body, I’m not in my heart and most of the time when I’m in my mind, I’m clearly crazy. So, while I’m in a body, I want to take care of it and be in it! Let’s bless our bodies and not curse them; they are here to be of service to us and simply want our love.

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