Discovering the Momentum of Creative Movement (aka exercise)

An excerpt, one short story, a day from “Simple Abundance – A Daybook Of Comfort and Joy” by Sarah Ban Breathnach

April 15:

“The body is shaped, disciplined, honored, and in time, trusted.
– Martha Graham

The world as I know it is divided into two types of women- those who exercise and those who don’t. Those who do exercise seem to have more energy, less stress, fewer weight problems, and generally a more positive and optimistic outlook on life. Women who are fit will tell you that regular exercise is the single most important thing they have ever done to improve their life.

Women who do not exercise don’t believe them and have every excuse in the world for why they can’t and won’t find out for themselves: *they don’t have the time. *they’re too out of shape. *they’re coming down with the flu *it’s too hot or too cold *they’re too tired. *they’re ……maybe next week.

I know all about the women who don’t exercise regularly because until recently I’ve been one of them, even after being schooled by my doctor and shamed by my family. We are kindred spirits of the writer Robert Maynard Hutchins who once remarked that “whenever I feel like exercise, I lie down until the feeling passes.”

This not good. This is not self-nurturing. This is not healthy. We know this intellectually. Since we are all brilliant women, there must be a way in which we can slowly convince our brains to take better care of our bodies. But this won’t happen by imposing a strict regime on the stubborn, conscious mind that always manages to outsmart us. It hasn’t worked in the past, so why should it now?

We will change by seduction. Don’t refer to the activity as exercise or fitness any longer. If you must call it something, call it creative movment. Forget about gyms, jogging, weights and aerobic classes led by women with no bones. Think about creative movement as a life-enhancing, enjoyable pastime, because it is. Just pause for a moment and imagine all the ways you could move creatively that might bring you pleasure: dancing, swimming, fencing, horseback riding, racquetball, tennis, golf, riding a bike. What about a mind-body-spirit for of movement such as yoga or the graceful, ancient Chinese marital are Tai Chi. Now think about taking a walk in the beautiful sunlight today. Walking is the best form of creative movement there is, and it doesn’t cost a cent. Waling clears your head, fills your lungs with fresh air, lets off steam, builds up strength, and centers your spirit. Start moving, a step at a time, step after step. The positive momentum will take it from there.

Trust me, seduction works. Once upon a time I was kicking and screaming all the way to fitness. Now I am doing deep breathing and stretching with gentle yoga movements and engaging in walking meditations. I feel better and I’m ready to move on. Diana Roesch assures us, “With enlightenment and self-awareness, we can reguide and align our whole selves: our bodies, by finding new ways of moving and celebrating them and by adding good food in amounts they tell us they need; our souls, our senses of ourselves as good and worthwhile, by connecting them to the earth and to each other.”

~beautiful……….couldn’t have said it better <3


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