Moving with Gratitude
Custom Author and Energy Magazine Issue Fields
“Corporate America keeps me in business.” That is what my physical therapist said to me in my mid-twenties. What did she mean? Well, as one of those people who sat completely still for extremely long hours in a chair, my body knew what she meant. It was screaming at me loud and clear by way of tension headaches, stiff shoulders and lower back pain. Ironically, a shift in life’s direction by becoming a full-time mom is what began easing the pain. I was standing and moving my bones and muscles more. During that time, movement became an integral part of my world as I delved into holistic mind-body-spirit living and teaching.
So much of our day is spent thinking. We think about relationships, work, future plans, money - the list goes on and on. It seems we live mostly in our heads and our bodies are just along for the ride. The emotions that mingle with these thoughts can sometimes bring about worry, anger and stress. If those emotions linger, they begin to manifest in the body. That stress can appear anywhere in the body, like tight shoulders, headaches, stomach pains, bowel and bladder irregularities and a whole host of other challenges. However, if we are careful, we can feed our minds and bodies positive messages too, which can be equivalent to eating nutritious food. A healthy thought creates healthy energy for the body; and as energy workers know, where our thoughts go, energy follows.
Many of us attempt to gain and restore energy by incorporating some sort of exercise during our busy week. What kind of thoughts do we have when we are exercising? In addition to all the thoughts of work, plans and family, we can be found listening to music, watching TV or talking with a friend during workouts. If we’re paying attention to all these distractions during our exercise (and where thought goes, energy follows), where is our energy going? Sure, our bodies are moving, but how much energy are we really gaining and restoring? What if we put our focus inside the body during this time?
Focusing directly on body parts during exercise is a way to bring the mind away from the ever-present thoughts, allowing the body to relieve stress and reenergize. Envisioning a relaxed activation of the muscles and smooth movement of the joints can make a more comfortable exercise that releases tension. Using intentional gratitude for our body that continues to work for us every day can quickly become one form of meditation. I know that allowing my individual body parts to radiate with universal light while sending thankful messages puts a smile on my face, a spring in my step and even breathing is less labored during my cardio exercise. I walk away from each workout with a sense of peace and gratitude that sets a positive tone for the day.
So here is a challenge for your next exercise endeavor. Whether it Is walking, jogging, light weight-lifting or dancing, give your full and undivided attention to your body. Say a thank you to those limbs that move for you. Focus on your blood movement and be grateful for its flow to every part of the body. Send love to your liver, spleen, stomach, kidneys and all of those organs that work hard day and night to keep you going. There are so many parts of the body to focus on, that workout will be over in a flash.
Our human body is our transport in this lifetime. Let’s add in a daily appreciation for this amazing vessel. It’s a time to thank and enjoy the body we were born with, flaws and all!
Republished from Energy Magazine Issue: September/October