Tom Myers on exercise & Movement:
“If you can do it slowly, you can do it quickly; but just because you can do it quickly doesn’t mean you can do it slowly.”
Tom Myers on exercise & Movement:
“If you can do it slowly, you can do it quickly; but just because you can do it quickly doesn’t mean you can do it slowly.”
Gloria comes into the Studio three times a week for reformer classes and a private session. We love her contagious spirit and curiosity of movement (and breathing!). She always puts her best foot forward, and inspires us to find ways to challenge her in movement.
Though I grew up very active (farm girl) I was never involved in sports (farm girl) and as an adult always felt too busy to exercise (full time work, children, volunteer work). And then in the last decade, there were four seniors who required untold hours of support. All I wanted to do when I had a moment was sit on the couch and watch TV or read. In my early 40’s I joined a woman’s gym. Who was I kidding. I rarely got there and when I did I felt completely discouraged. My peers there were 20 somethings and I had no idea what to do. In my late 40s I took up Kung Fu. I loved the fierceness and the discipline and I learned a lot but it was too much too late and unsustainable. I tried hiring a personal trainer to come to my home and design a weight training program for me to do myself. You know how that went.
But in January 2017 I sent a letter to my family anticipating the year and in that moment I decided I needed to do something. Spending so much time with seniors struggling with Parkinsons, Alzheimers and bad falls made me think hard about what I was doing to prepare myself for the years ahead. And I wanted to be able to get off the floor fast enough to keep a lively granddaughter safe!
My husband discovered Art of Fitness three years earlier when he needed help to prepare for climbing Kilimanjaro. He loved it. But I don’t’ respond well to people telling me what to do. By the end of 2016 he had finally stopped telling me to try classes. I decided to interview them. If they were pushy, or intimidating … if I did not feel comfortable … I would move on. My first encounter went very well.
I attend two classes and a private session every week. I find it interesting, challenging, and surprising. I know a lot about a lot of things but I did not realize how important the brain is when exercising. I did not know that I carried as much tension in my body as I do. (PJ asked me to take my tongue out of the roof of my mouth in my first session with her. I had no idea.) I did not know it was possible to breathe into my back. I am still learning how to breathe while holding an ab curl.
I love that my only goal is going to class and improving. (Well privately I do hope that the saggy underarm skin improves but I don’t focus on that.) I love that I just need to get to class and that if I do I will get stronger, my balance will improve and I will learn how to do things I could not do a year ago. Somehow these very capable, congenial instructors know exactly how to push me just hard enough to keep me getting stronger AND more confident. I continue to be amused by what I am doing and how enthused I am about it. Amazing.
Professionals who play the role of being your Guide Through Movement (Pilates, Yoga, Functional Fitness, etc …) use a third person perspective of observing your body from the outside WHILE using our words to construct a narrative that gives you the opportunity to perceive yourself from the inside.
In doing this, we focus your awareness, we create an opportunity for you to practice the skill of conscious attention.
Improvement of your overall body function. Avoid the stress your day to day activities (which include working out) creates in your body resulting in habitual movement patterns that do not serve you. Once a movement crosses into the habitual realm you are giving up voluntary control. Involuntary conditioning decreases your body function or potential function, it lays the ground work for chronic ailments, dysfunctions and leaves you with a rigid body.
Body mapping, intentional release work, creates a space for learning. This learning expands your range of action and your perception of available action, resulting in a greater range of movement, strength and ability. If the skill of conscious attention during movement (sensory-motor system) is practiced through out your life time you have opportunity to avoid the habituating effects of stress.
Two of the ‘guru’s’ of these methods are:
Thomas Hannah: Clinical Somatic Education
Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais: Feldenkrais Method
At KW Art of Fitness our base of this concept is drawn from Integrated Movement Therapies (IMT)®, from the Pilates educator Second Wind Pilates Plus, Danielle LeBlanc.
Oh you will.
You must also be willing to first address the practice of perceiving minimal sensation, minimal movement – thus creating new sensory feedback, new clarity of movement. The unknown becomes the known. Undiscovered opportunity of functional strength becomes discovered and you will have access to voluntarily eliciting effortless effort.
It all starts with breath, YUP … breathing again ….
and IMAGINATION ….
Our thinking directs our movements. Your imagination (mental pictures) will cause the deep muscles to come into action. This conscious access to your body is underneath the superficial layers of muscle. Therefore, you will not feel them work in the traditional sense. If, in fact, you get a work sensation then you are doing, not thinking (imagination), thus defeating the purpose.
At our studio we intentionally drop in moments during your time with us to search out these body mapping opportunities. Sometimes we make it obvious, while other times we sneak it in ….
Learn more about how we specifically create these opportunities for you to explore this world of voluntary consciousness through body mapping.
Join us for the workshop: Stretch for Strength, Release for Range.
We are also running the same workshop for movement professionals, which will dive into cuing (using your words) to help elicit this idea in people whom you are guiding others.
Call your pursuit of fitness and function by whichever label suits; just remember your pursuit will be better served if you take the time to also potentiate your efforts exerted by learning voluntary control (fluid, responsive, supple, efficient movement) – Body Mapping …
“The achiever’s shadow is addiction to winning, fuelled by the never-ending desire for more. Underneath, s/he has an even stronger fear of losing.”
P. 121, The Soul of Leadership, Deepak Chopra.
Remember how Stephanie referred to cueing as story? And, remember how, in a previous blog I talked about the malaise of “MORE”? How does our story deliver as relational and not just more noise? And, what is the space you have available for the more? What if there is only so much available space for more and it is being taken up by spam – like an inbox intruder?
A great deal of what runs our lives is constantly running in the background – endless loops of old tapes that have gathered over the years of our growing up/socializing process. These ‘tapes’ include our perceptions, beliefs, fears, expectations, judgments and so much more. Without even realizing, unless we bring them into our conscious awareness, “They” are running the show. So…who or what is in the drivers’ seat of your vehicle – this thing you call your life.
What I mean by this is all those times we are running on autopilot. You know…when you arrive somewhere and don’t know how you got thereJ Granted, this can happen from time to time; but what if this is your norm? I say that if you aren’t taking a few calculated risks, and living on the edge (outside your comfort zone), you are taking up too much space. It is a choice; no judgments…but, there is the question of what do you want your life to be at the mercy of – automatic-itis or committed, conscious choices?
It is a little bit like fitness. If you don’t know what you are trying to accomplish and WHY, are you really getting fit? And what qualifies as a fit life? Perhaps what we really need to do is simply ask more questions and dare to live the questions for a fuller presence inside the choices we make. See Rainer Maria Rilke – Click Here.
Own your body, free your mind! Dare to ask the better questions.
It is our predetermined programming that imposes judgments and ‘should(s)’ (read: absence of true choice), rather than thoughtful reflections and authentic choice. From Man’s Search For Meaning, Viktor Frankl says:
This is where emotional agility resides. Things become increasingly complicated when we either forget we have a choice, or we don’t believe we have one – life on automatic pilot.
Why it’s important that our muscles can glide their fibres long and short, instead of “clenching”
Human movement is complex.
There are many working parts that come together to help us move – our joints, muscles, nerves and fascia just to name a few.
So, if someone tells you in a movement/Pilates class that you are trying to “isolate” a certain muscle or muscle group – you should be skeptical – or at least you should be, after reading this post.
As Stephanie said in her last blog post: “Generally speaking, if all your attention is on the “one” muscle you think is being isolated the tendency is to “clench and go”. This creates many future problems. “
It’s true, if we try to use one muscle to do a job that is meant for many muscles working in concert, problems can arise:
You mean I’m not supposed to clench my muscles to really feel them working?
In short – no. But, let’s take a deeper look into how muscles really work to understand this better…
First of all, muscles don’t act alone. It’s impossible to disregard our nervous system if we are talking about movement:
Our brain sends a message to our nerves, through our spinal cord and on to many more nerves that communicate in a sequence between our brain and each muscle in our body (see picture below). The final nerve in the chain then sends a chemical signal to the muscle itself to tell it to take action. The result, is that the many overlapping muscle fibres within the muscle either contract or relax, to stabilize or move our bones and joints.
Zoom in even further to the muscles fibres themselves and there are millions of tiny protein fibres called sarcomeres that change length as our muscles contract and relax.
As a muscle contracts – these fibres overlap more, shortening the overall length of the muscle. When a muscle relaxes after a contraction, or stretches, these fibres overlap less, expanding and lengthening the larger muscle.
So, when the brain sends a “contract” signal to a muscle, many nerves are sending many messages to many muscle fibres to make the entire muscle contract. Our nervous system is in charge of the whole shebang.
Richfield, David (2014). “Medical gallery of David Richfield”. WikiJournal of Medicine 1 (2). DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.009. ISSN 2002-4436. – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2264027
If you would like to learn even more information about muscles and their fibres, go to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarcomere
SYNERGIST: The synergist in a movement is the muscle(s) that stabilises a joint around which movement is occurring, which in turn helps the agonist function effectively. Synergist muscles also help to create the movement.
AGONIST and ANTAGONIST muscles often occur in pairs: as the agonst contracts (and shortens), the opposing muscle or antagonist, relaxes (and lengthens). Example: during a bicep curl, the bicep is the agonist and shortens, and the triceps is the antagonist and lengthens.
However, in our day to day lives, our brain rarely sends a “contract glutes” message, instead the brain sends a “walk” or “sit” or “stand” message. When we produce movement in our joints with our muscles, there is never only ONE muscle working alone to produce that movement. Even when we are using muscles to stabilize a joint and producing virtually no movement – ie. the deep synergist muscles around the hip joint when standing on one leg, there is still not only one muscle working to create that stability and stillness. Our joints are 3-dimensional – there will always be muscles working 360 degrees around them, some shortening while the opposing muscles lengthen, or multiple muscles surrounding the joint contracting simultaneously to create stability. AND sometimes – most of the time – all three of these things are happening all at once.
Isolation is indeed a myth.
Now, you may be saying, “but my (insert rehab or movement professional) has given me exercises to isolate my glutes, core, rotator cuff… before”. While this may be true, there is a very specific purpose for exercises like this. When you have an injury or pain, the brain-muscle connection can weaken or become confused, and so a Physiotherapist may give you exercises to try to “wake up” that brain muscle connection again. However, this type of “isolation” exercise should only be done for a short period of time until the brain-muscle connection strengthens enough to get that muscle working properly again during larger functional movements, like the ones we do in Pilates and in life. Keep in mind, if you are moving your leg while doing “glut isolation exercises”, or moving your arm while doing “rotator cuff exercises”, then you are still using many different muscles working together to move.
So, what happens when you try to isolate certain muscles while doing Pilates?
Well, when you focus your attention on contracting one particular muscle, or you try to use only one muscle to perform a complex movement, it is easy to end up clenching that muscle instead of contracting it effectively. Clenching sends too many “contract” signals to the muscle, so that all of the overlapping fibres are held too tightly, or for too long, and the muscle doesn’t have its usual opportunity to relax so that the muscle fibres can move apart again. Over time if you are continuously trying to isolate or clench one particular muscle or muscle group, this can interfere with a muscle’s ability to relax in general, and tender trigger points or taut bands of muscle can develop, which can eventually lead to muscle pain and tension at rest.
When we allow all of the muscles around a joint to work together to produce leg, arm or spine movement, then each muscle gets a more balanced amount of “contract” signals. They work together to share the load, contracting together, or some contracting while others relax as our bones change position. When we allow muscles to work together – synergists, agonist and antagonists – each one doing their part of the work, then each muscle is able to glide short on contraction, and glide long on relaxation, instead of getting stuck in the shortened position during a “clench”.
So, unless you are in the very early stages of working with a Physiotherapist to rehab after an injury, don’t worry about trying to “isolate” your glutes, core, or any other muscle you might want to work on. When you perform skillful Pilates movements and listen to your instructor’s cues, the work will happen, you will still get the burn, and that post-Pilates soreness will be the “hurts so good” type, and not a confused, painful muscle still trying to relax after being clenched.
Strategies to avoid clenching:
If you find that you are still clenching after this, then speak with your Pilates/movement instructor to help you change how you are doing a certain movement; and if you have excess tension or pain developing in any of your muscles, find a trusted Physiotherapist for further consultation and treatment which would include manual muscle release, focused muscle relaxation techniques and reprogramming of the brain-muscle connection.
Written by Sarah Eby
Physiotherapist and Owner of Root Physiotherapy in Uptown Waterloo
Carolyn comes into the Studio four times a week, taking Reformer, Spin and Yoga classes, as well as private sessions with Pj. She is dedicated to movement and a truly integral piece of our community at KW Art of Fitness.
Tell us a bit about yourself
How long have you been coming to the Studio?
Good question! I started when the studio was at RIM park but can’t remember how many years. 10+ for sure. Time flies when you’re having fun!
I’ve always struggled with commitment to exercise. I’m that person who’s had fitness club memberships and never went. What I noticed about the studio right away was how comfortable it felt to be in smaller, more personal classes with really knowledgeable (and fun!) instructors, who build programs which take into account everyone’s goals and challenges. I come to the studio 4 times a week and am sad when I have to miss a day. All the people I’ve met through classes are what makes the studio extra great!
When working with clients, it is disturbing but a delicious moment when repeatedly coming up against fixed notions of who the client believes they are – as if they are an object like a table or something. This is especially so when the belief is not even serving the individual well in their everyday experience of themselves – their experience of life with this set of beliefs.
The good news is that we are NOT objects; we are verbs. So…this is why I ask a client the question: ‘if you didn’t know who you were (as in a fixed set of beliefs; a fixed storyline)/a single narrative), who would you be?’
The difficulty in this koan (above) is that we are attached to our fixed notions when indeed we have a freedom – and the responsibility that goes with that – to CHOOSE. So…why are we so resistant to choosing? I don’t really have the answers though I do have some ideas about the resistance. But if we choose to approach this conundrum as a koan, could we be off the hook for an answer?
Koan, Japanese Kōan, in Zen Buddhism of Japan, a succinct paradoxical statement or question used as a meditation discipline. “Among other things, Zen is the task of re-learning how to live your daily life with a quirky, sometimes poetic spontaneity. “ (a quote is from Zachary Turpin, doctoral candidate in literature, 2016).
So the real task might be the need or the opportunity, given the right support, to relearn who or what we believe to be true i.e. ‘carved in stone’ right…We even do this with our notions about fitness, relationships, roles as partners, parents, pastors (???) even. Lol. Why would we resist the freedom to simply choose a new definition of our self?
Minimalism is beginning to gain some popularity as a lifestyle. What if we were to marry these two ideas: Minimalism and the fact of being verbs?
Could it be as simple as what Mary Oliver shares in a stanza of her poem:
When Death Comes
“When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.”
Couldn’t we assert that if we are not willing to live LIVE, like a child ‘verbs’ through his/her moments, thriving… that we are simply getting by, settling for and lamenting, or possibly even lauding, comparing, judging, fearing, or gloating based on someone else’s thinking (a fixed set of beliefs).
Mary Oliver closes out her poem saying:
“I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.” What about you? Verb and vitality or ‘same old, same old’ and lacking zest that celebrates the gift of the life you have been given?
What would you have to relearn in order to freely choose?
Isolation is exactly that, a myth.
"The whole body participates in every movement" Irmgard Bartenieff
I made the statement in my last Mind Your Words blog that every energetic expression of movement has to sort through outside force, internal deviations or habits and the complexity of the action.
Part of the complexity of the action is when the brain/body sorts through which muscle(s) will pull(agonist). Which muscle(s) will simultaneously lengthen (antagonist). AND the Movement Instructors favorite place to play; which muscles will act to stabilize the joint around which the movement is happening (synergist).
The complexity the brain/body sorts through also includes what order these actions occur in during movement.
Your brain and body systems know this already. Spend time practicing bringing your ATTENTION to the entire body participation. As opposed to, bringing your attention to the one muscle that happens to be just ONE of the MANY muscle participants.
Every action imposed on the body has three components.
An antagonist muscle, the agonist and the synergist.
For example, during a biceps curl, the triceps is the antagonist muscle. This muscle lengthens as the biceps contracts (agonist).
The synergists stabilize a joint around which movement is occurring and helps to create movement. The nervous system is the conductor of this awesome orchestra.
As a Movement Instructor, we first look for a persons ability to bring their attention to the SYNERGISTS. We then will ask you to challenge the synergists. This challenge occurs via a larger range of motion, more force/tension, or by increasing time within the exercise (endurance of the synergists efforts).
The above request from your instructor results in you feeling the burn or work sensations in a specific area —- for example the ‘glutes.’
Generally speaking, if all your attention is on the “one” muscle you think is being isolated the tendency is to “clench and go”. This creates many future problems.
Sarah Eby, of Roots Physiotherapy, will in a later blog help us understand the importance of muscles that SLIDE their fibers long and short instead of CLENCHING and how our nervous system is an essential piece of the puzzle!
Ever wonder why your Pilates/Movement Instructor sometimes **sighs** or rolls their eyes when you ask in the middle of the action(s) what muscle am I using?
So, NO, you will never spend time at our studio “working your glutes.” You WILL spend time challenging yourself through movements that DO incorporate the ‘glutes’ and all the layers beneath. These challenges will allow the brain/body to orchestrate their action at the correct moment in time. We will help you discover the MAGIC of movement; how to get out of your own way.
We will teach you how to use the power of ATTENTION to get what you need from an exercise INSTEAD of encouraging the myth of isolation to carry on in your mind.
Did you notice that we’re ONLY talking about muscles?
When speaking of exercising our complex living network, we also need to consider and respect many other participators.
Bones, joints, ligaments
Spinal cord fluid
Sensory proprioceptors, etc.
This above list is why our studio instructors collaborate with Physiotherapists so often.
In lieu of going on, let me pause and instead ask:
Are you seeing how ISOLATION becomes a MYTH?
SYNERGIST: a body organ, medicine, etc., that cooperates with another or others to produce or enhance an effect
ISOLATION: an instance of isolating something, especially a compound or microorganism
ATTENTION: the mental faculty of considering or taking notice of someone or something
CLENCH: (of a muscular part of the body) tighten or contract sharply, especially with strong emotion
Joint health, An article by Sarah Eby, Physiotherapist.
As a Physiotherapist, this is a question I get frequently. It’s a common story: joints start to get stiff and achy as we get older, joints don’t recover as fast from injuries as they used to, or we start to develop joint pain during sports or our basic day to day activities.
Can you relate? If so, I am here to shed some light and instil some hope.
You can promote healthy joints throughout your body in two primary ways:
Through movement and strength.
Our joints, all of our joints, are meant to move. They are built so that movement brings fresh blood flow and lubrication to the cartilage and joint surfaces to keep them smooth and healthy. The muscles and ligaments around our joints stay strong and malleable by stretching and contracting as our joints move through their full range of motion.
Joints are built to move, withstand load and compression, and adapt to the stresses that we apply to them throughout our daily movements.
What if my joints start to get stiff and achy? Shouldn’t I rest them so they don’t become more painful?
If you have had an acute injury or trauma, or are experiencing sharp pain with specific movements, then there may be a need for rest and recovery.
However, if there has been no trauma, it is likely that your joints just need to move more. It’s the old adage “move it or lose it” – our bodies adapt to the stresses that are placed upon them, so if you spend your days sitting at a desk or hunched over looking at your phone, your body with start to adapt to the limited range of motion or movement that you are regularly exposing it to and start to stiffen up. The cure is simple – move more. Figure out which movements feel the most stiff, limited or difficult, and slowly start to do more of that particular movement.
For example, one of the most common complaints I hear is about stiff hips. If this is the case for you, you could start each day by pulling your knees into your chest and then rotating your hips in a circular motion each morning before you even get out of bed. You’ll be surprised at how fast your hips start to feel less stiff and achy throughout the day.
The reason this works is that when you move your hips this way each morning, you are sending a message to the body that you require your hips to have a full knees to chest bend, and full rotation, and the joints will start to adapt. The cartilage will get compression and lubrication on all of its surfaces and stay healthy and supple for any movement you throw at it.
When joints get stiff or start to be painful our instincts are to stop moving them, which is often the opposite of what we need. Movement is medicine for our joints.
It’s hard on my joints to do a deep squat, run a marathon or lift heavy weights, right?
I have heard this time and again – and here is my answer: there are no “bad” movements or activities, just poor preparation.
Many of my patients have reported someone telling them they should stop doing x, y or z activity (often that they love doing) because it is harmful or because it is causing them pain.
Again, if you’ve had a trauma, surgery or illness that is affecting your joints then heed these warnings, but if you are clear of all these things, then let me give you some examples to demonstrate my point.
Yes, if you have never run a day in your life and you suddenly decide to start training for a marathon, without any knowledge about proper footwear, how to safely progress your distance or cross training (ie. separate strength training of the muscles that you use for running), then you are setting yourself up for injury. But, if you do your research, join a running group, strength train and invest in good footwear, then you will properly prepare your body and your joints for the stresses that running places upon them (and could crush that marathon goal of yours)! Running in and of itself is not harmful, but jumping into long distance running without the proper preparation could be hard on your joints.
In the same way as running – taking up yoga and suddenly doing repetitive deep squats, when you haven’t done more than squat down to a chair in years, could cause pain and inflammation in your knee joints.
And suddenly deciding to become a power lifter and dead lifting 100-200 lbs without first practicing how to do a proper deadlift without any weight, and then slowly increasing your weight incrementally, will put undue stress and strain through your lumbar spine, hips and shoulders.
Our joints will adapt to the load and movements they are given – but the process is not instantaneous. Problems arise, injuries occur or “harm” can be done to our joints when we try to do things that we have not properly prepared for.
Muscular strength is another big component of joint health. The deep muscles around our joints ie. the core muscles in our spine, the rotator cuff in the shoulder, and the glutes in the hip, are there to increase joint stability, maintain good alignment and promote functional joint movement. These deep muscles also protect the joints (the bones and cartilage) from compressive or shearing forces that could cause injury. You want to keep them strong!
Our larger muscle groups, such as our biceps/triceps and quadriceps/hamstrings, are meant to create large joint movements in our body – bending the elbow and bending the knee joints respectively, while our deep muscles fine tune these movements and protect the joints as they move. Both types of muscles are important for joint health, working in unison to create joint mobility and stability.
This is why Pilates is such a fantastic form of exercise.
It takes you through movements that involve your entire body, moving your joints through healthy ranges of motion, and works your core and the deep stability muscles surrounding your joints.
It is one of the best things you can do to keep your joints healthy for years to come.
Joint health is complex, and joint pain is not always clear cut. If you think you may have an injury or pain that needs attention or diagnosing, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 519-757-7668 for a complimentary 10-minute consultation.
Written by Sarah Eby, Physiotherapist and KW Art of Fitness Client
More about Sarah
Sarah is a Physiotherapist, Yoga Instructor, movement enthusiast and is in love with all of the classes she has been taking at KW Art of Fitness since moving back to Waterloo a few months ago. After years of studying and working in Toronto, treating a wide variety of patients in busy downtown clinics, Sarah decided it was time for a change – time to move “back home” and time to set up her own practice, Root Physiotherapy, in Uptown Waterloo.
Her vision was to create a physiotherapy practice where people receive quality, one-on-one care from a skilled Physiotherapist who has their best interests at heart; and to get to the root cause of your issues, so you can move well and be well for years to come.
When Sarah isn’t working, you can find her taking a Pilates or yoga class, hiking somewhere, cooking at home or spending time with her family and friends.
Learn more about Root Physiotherapy, click here.
It has been said the “What we do matters. Who we are matters much more.”
And, that one word – more – is our key to todays look in on where is your life hanging out – in excellence or overwhelm?
Lets start with a few questions like:
If you answered yes to any one of these questions then settle in, take a deep breath or three and ponder the following with us, if you will.
One of the disabling elements against our sense of a fit life – emotional or physical – is a mindset that measures success by demanding “more”. In all our training and conditioning – physical fitness included – the mistake that repeats itself, and drives us relentlessly, is how we isolate and fragment as though the different parts of a self don’t work together. This includes all of the aspects that we imagine constitute a self, or a life, or a job well done. And, to worsen this sorry state of affairs, we measure our success based on outer appearances or what we think others will value. When we keep the various parts of our ‘self’, and aspects of our life, isolated each from the other we are guaranteed to eventually experience exhaustion, loneliness, angst, and eventually dissatisfaction and/or disillusionment, even despair.
This stems from a paradigm of doing rather than being, among other aspects of our socializing experience. That is to say we derive our sense of worth from an exterior orientation rather than an interior sense of stability and wellbeing.
An outer orientation sets up like this: when I get this…I will be happy; when I accomplish that…I will be a success; when I have ‘this much’ in my bank account…I will be good enough; when I…well, you get the idea. We “do this in order to get that”. This approach is like an addiction; it leaves us coming up with/as ‘not enough’ and needing the ubiquitous “more”.
“More” is killing us: stress, judgments, anger, frustration, depression, and exhaustion; dis-eases of the body-mind-soul. Where is “more” showing up in your life? What would it take to set up an attitude of “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Bleep” (see Events at WellnessVie.com). In this book Mark Hanson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them – this, he says, is the real source of empowerment. I like to think of this in terms of the malcontent content and the capacity for living with our vulnerabilities.
Isn’t it a time for a quiet revolution? Would you be willing to ask yourself some different questions and not be in a hurry to find the answers or reach the goal at the expense of a well-lived journey? Dare to “Live the questions”- questions that address life from a perspective of ‘is this life-giving’?
As a Psychotherapist and Guide to all things Great, I know that our greatest gift is our willingness to bring curiosity to our life’s experiences – as children do! They live life as an adventure, and thereby thrive; why not us? Why not now? And, if not now, when?