by Marguerite Baca
Science of Mind
Have you noticed how the simple act of taking a walk clears your mind? Research shows that we each have an estimated 60,000 thoughts every day. This statistic may not be so striking, but what is amazing is the fact that ninety-five percent of the thoughts we have today are the very same thoughts we had yesterday. By creating the same repetitious thinking patterns, we are giving rise to the same repetitious physical expressions in the body.
Here we are, waking to a new day every day, yet harboring the same old thoughts! All of our emotional responses happen within our inner environment, our being. If we are not moving or thinking in new ways there is a buildup of old patterns. Just as movement aids in the metabolic processing of the foods we eat, it can also aid in psychic circulation, helping us stay current with ourselves. When we are moving consciously in some form of exercise much of our attention is turned to the physical sensations we are experiencing, which helps interrupt our mental ruts. We were not meant to be slaves to our body and mind; they are our tools. Through movement we have the opportunity to make the most of these tools by releasing bottled-up tensions while simultaneously renewing our minds.
We must keep our interest in life so active that there will be an element of wonder and surprise in simple everyday things. Life is activity and when we stop being active we turn away from the newness of life. —Ernest Holmes
From fragmentation to integration
Every year these annual cycles repeat themselves: in January the gyms are packed with big crowds and New Year’s resolutions. By February, resolve begins to dissolve into couch potatodom, and only a dedicated few continue with the exercise habit. Now, here it is summer. Are you ready for fun in the sun or do you wilt at the thought of bikini season? Is your flesh dragging its proverbial feet? With the way we fragment ourselves into sections called body, mind, and spirit, is it any wonder that we sink into inertia? As the saying goes: “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” We intellectually know that the appearance of separate parts is an illusion. A deeper realization of our wholeness is key in making the transition from inertia to inspiration. Perhaps if we could discover a way to more deeply integrate these “sections” of ourselves, we would more unilaterally and enthusiastically do what we need to do—move.
Transforming exercise into play
As we know, thought creates. In fact, each thought creates a molecule. The hard-line resolution formulated in December may have created dread rather than joy. The cells of our bodies are filled with intelligence, so of course they would naturally revolt at the thought of doing something they’ve been informed is dreadful. Let’s begin right where we are—on the couch—and with our prayer invoke Spirit to move through us as celebration rather than resolution. After all, we are here, alive and breathing. Movement is naturally a joy to us as children, so much so that we call it play. Recalling what you enjoyed most as a child will give you insight into your innate preferences. This simple change in perspective to celebrate your ability to move will relay a new message of joy to your cells.
You can reinforce the message by imagining the benefits of movement: the increased lung capacity to bring in more oxygen to cleanse the bloodstream; better circulation; firm, toned muscles; radiant complexion; sparkling eyes; and a graceful gait. The prayer needn’t stop there. Once you attune to Spirit moving through you, your activity of choice can become a moving prayer, deepening your affirmation of wholeness with each breath.
Do what you love, the endorphins will follow
The primary factor in choosing an activity should be that you enjoy it. This pleasure principle will trigger your inner mood elevators, such as endorphins, that are already present in your chemistry. The increased feelings of well being will give you a joyful association to your activity and will more likely encourage a regular habit. While not all types of exercise are appropriate for everyone, every one can benefit from some type of movement. By honoring your individuality and your body type you’re more likely to develop consistency. If you prefer flowing, dance-like movement, chances are that kickboxing is not for you. Being inside an air-conditioned gym may be distasteful to you if you are a nature lover. If you need help with motivation, you may need an inspiring teacher. Good music can also be helpful in the transition from inertia to inspiration. Modesty could also be a factor, in which case developing a program at home with equipment and/or exercise videos would better suit you. Whatever your pleasure, you are the final authority on yourself, so trust yourself and do what is most satisfying for your total being.
Beyond appearances to true well-being
How many dog owners have you known who cannot say the word “walk” around their dog unless they are seriously ready to take out the walking leash? Wouldn’t it be great to have that same Pavlovian response, that every time you heard the word “exercise” you would begin wagging your tail and jumping up and down, and eagerly dart out the door? For dogs the mere idea of fresh air, new sights, new smells, or the possibility of chasing a ball apparently has wonderful associations to the word “walk.” Perhaps we too will respond to the word “exercise” with a gleeful wag of our tails by ignoring the message of the television commercials, which pressure us to strive for a hard-body appearance. Let us go beyond appearances and instead focus on a feeling of well-being. With this in mind we are more likely to put end to the fits and starts of an exercise program and develop a healthy way of life.
You are a breathing masterpiece
We are wowed so easily by a static rendition of the human form on canvas—more so than the very form we express through. Are we not walking, talking, breathing masterpieces sculpted by the Master Artist? Perhaps if we allowed ourselves to feel as much reverence for our own form we would begin to explore our ability to move with a feeling of awe. Do you have dreams and goals to fulfill? Do you have children and family to care for? Do you have a job? Do you have responsibilities, places to go, people to see? All of the above require energy. These are all reasons to invoke Spirit to move through you before and during your exercise. Invoke Spirit to guide, nurture, inspire, strengthen, and heal you. Interrupt your mental ruts through movement and you will find Spirit expressing through you more freely in all your activities.
Article © 2016 Marguerite Baca – All Rights Reserved