For nearly two months I stopped “exercising”. At the same time, I was expending huge amounts of energy outward; physically, as well as emotionally.
Between the stressors of the holidays, unforeseen needs of my children, a studio relocation coupled with an increase in professional opportunities, and a mindless mishap in the kitchen leaving me with 6 stitches in my thumb (even those of us who practice and teach mindfulness have our moments… ouch), I experienced an emotional and physical fatigue that seemed to overtake my body and my life.
Of course some people would call these “excuses” for my sedentary lifestyle. These same folks might call me lazy and unhealthy. Admittedly the judgment voice in my own head echoed similar criticisms.
My truth was that my desire, energy and motivation for movement / exercise was replaced with the need for a physical and emotional recovery.
What became clear is that I needed to give myself and my body the freedom to rest and live more quietly. This insight mirrored what my clients were sharing; they appreciate and value the freedom to listen and respond to what their bodies need, even if that means sitting or lying quietly. I was being challenged to integrate this practice into my own life and I am offering you the challenge to do the same: to really learn to listen and honor your body’s messages…all of them. Learn to notice desire for whatever emerges and begin to act on those; be it rest, stretching, sitting, lying, walking, running, dancing… Let’s keep each other posted on our progress.
Robin Okun, LMSW, is a coach, therapist, speaker and Founder of Mindful Movement, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Learn more about Robin at http://www.robinokun.com