Exercise – Move more.
The human back is it’s most vulnerable in the sitting position.
Still your body.
Still your mind.
Monkey mind. Mind chatter. Focus issues.
It hurts, be still. It hurts more, be still longer. It still hurts, see a doctor. I have pills. Now I can sit with less pain as long as I take the pills.
Control your emotions (which means exactly what? Suppress? Repress? See a therapist?). Manage your energy (not that I’m going to communicate to you how to do this. Again, therapist?). Why are your shoulder blades so tight? Why is your neck always stiff? The two commands in this sentence remind me of telling a child to ‘be careful’. What the hell does that mean anyway? Stifled. Muted. Shut down. Restless. Frustrated. Conflict.
The above reminds me of television in which delicious rich ice cream is advertised, followed by an ad for a weight loss program. I have to be able to eat ice cream and still be thin. Guilt. Shame. Isolation. Conflict.
I keep reading that we need to learn to be in stillness. First of all, clarity is needed here. In terms of movement, we are still far, far too often. Stillness of the mind is what is needed. In an interview included in the video Inner Wave, Gabrielle Roth suggested that in order to still the mind, we must move the body.
It’s not as if we’re not in a shortage of thinkers. We tend to think too much. Thinking about the meaning of life (does there really have to be a meaning?!) rather than living it. Thinking about my purpose, rather than allowing myself be drawn by what is important to me and what I’m good at. What will the neighbors think? Thinking about the “right time” until there is no more time at all. Thinking about what he meant by that or thinking about how she feels about this rather than asking them and living closer to truth than an imaginary world. I’m not even going to step into a debate about what is truly important to be thinking about as opposed to dangers of self-absorption.
It looks as though we have created “exercise” in order to counteract the results of “sit still”. And it’s fun too, right? For some of us, it is. For others, they hate it so much they take the consequences of being sedentary. Interestingly, as children we all play (with few exceptions) and we don’t often complain about it.
It’s when we stop playing that our bodies and minds become less flexible. I’m not talking about our adult redefinition of play – adult version of play, which, for the most part speeds up the deterioration of the human self. I’m talking about silly games, games that make us laugh so hard that we risk needing a change of clothes. Chases that take us nowhere but leave us deliciously exhausted for about 5 seconds. Imaginary beings that do exactly what we want them to in worlds that only exist in play. Getting lost in the story. Thoroughly engrossed in the search or the ‘perfect’ hiding place.
For no other reason than it’s fun.
When children play they fall down from time to time, skin knees and elbows and occasionally break bones usually as they’re learning. It’s not until adults step in and begin registering them for formal sports program that the path is altered. It’s not until adults step in and start treating them like little adults. Left to themselves, children will run and play until their bodies are tired. Then they stop, drink out of the garden hose or grab a snack from the cupboard and go back outside. If it’s been a particularly tough play day, they may sit down and watch some tv or play a video game. Then, back to play. It’s when we, the adults tell them to keep playing; they can rest when the game is over, or they can wait to have a drink until half time or go to the bathroom until whenever it’s convenient, that we teach them how to disconnect from their bodies. The process of disconnection starts younger and younger. Conflict.
Disconnection starts early, so that when they’re 20 they’re willing to pull all-nighters in school. So that in the 30s and 40s they are willing to forsake rest, healthy nutrition, mental and emotional wellness as well as their families for the job.
Even at this point, though, the body will still express the sense of dis-ease that registers as stress. I’m not happy. I hate my job. I can’t wait for the weekend and even though no two Mondays are ever the same, I dread them all as I drag myself back to work; the thing that sucks the joy out of my life and and strangles my soul. I’d much rather be doing something else, something more fun, but… Conflict.
Our bodies register the lack of ease, or flow in our lives. We would rather be doing something “fun”; something that feeds the soul rather than depletes it. So why don’t we?
Don’t even say ‘to pay the bills’. Careers aren’t built to pay the bills. Jobs that don’t interfere with a life in balance are what pay the bills, right? C’mon, be more creative.
What if we were all having fun? What if we all chose to make a living at what makes us happy most of the time (nothing’s perfect). What would happen?
Our medical visits might decline which means our medical bills might decline.
We might not have to live with the gut-wrenching guilt of hating what supposedly sustains us while having no time for family or self. Possibly our need for antacids might decrease. Our need for over the counter pain relievers might decrease.
We know the sensation of conflict. We know it so well that almost everyone I meet will either admit to being extremely uncomfortable with conflict or their behavior shows me that they can’t manage conflict at all.
Is it possible to live without conflict? As ‘good’ as that may sound, it may create imbalance, however, is it possible to live without so much deep, unresolvable conflict? Better? A little conflict creates growth – we’re not all perfect; our every word a choice of genius, a little calling out keeps us honest and our perspective a bit more clear.
What are we going to do about it?
How do we create balance?
What is it worth?