On my way driving to Cannon Beach, Oregon in the bright sunshine this week, I was stopped by beauty; so stopped that I actually turned around less than 20 miles from that rare sunny day on the coast.
I had been basking as I drove, in the loveliness of Spring turning to Summer; the beauty of things growing.
But I gasped at the beauty of something broken.
It was a magnificent old maple with limbs splaying wide in all directions--except one.
At the heart of the tree was a jagged tear where an enormous branch had recently broken. The branch lay there heavy and still. The gash on the tree was open and raw...and breathtaking.
My first words were, "Oh my god! How beautiful!"
In this culture, where we're encouraged to love the new and the young, what I was struck with was this:
deep, abiding and lasting beauty takes time to form. It takes injury and then the change and even flourishing after injury to form. The winds blow us into beauty.
It is wabi-sabi. "Pared down to its barest essence, wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature, of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death. It's simple, slow, and uncluttered-and it reveres authenticity above all."
And wabi-sabi is in all of us.
I think of the deep, expressive, not-always-beautiful wrinkles on the cheeks of my father's mother that I longed to inherit, and that now are my own.
So what part of life shows in you that might take one's breath away? What have you grown around? What is your uniqueness? Your strength after injury? And how might you allow the ones around you to nurture your love of this part of yourself?
Alice laughed. "There's no use trying," she said: "one can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before dinner!" from Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
If it weren't for the fact that every single year for my entire life the sun moves north and tulips shoot up and birds start singing their spring songs, I would wonder if this year I'd entered Narnia during the White Queen's reign in Oregon.
But something outside of me reminded me that this is not the year of eternal winter: two days of warm sunshine in a row after this long, cold, dreary fall-winter!
I can't always count on my own sense of what's possible and what's not. No one can.
We're social beings, deeply rooted in the fabric of Mother Earth.
Two things are true:
Two other things are true:
A few years ago, I'd been in an accident and had not been able to sit comfortably for months because of nerve pain. I went to a business conference to learn about money. Sheevaun Moran was the last person I thought I'd want to have a conversation with (oh prejudice!) and yet in her workshop, which I reluctantly attended, she asked me in front of the crowd, “Why do you want to get rid of this pain?” After each answer she'd curtly say, “No, that's not it.” and ask again. When I blurted out my secret, “Because I want a big life!” She said “That's it. Go sit down.” She gave a couple more simple things for me to do during the conference, which, since I was feeling much better, I did. By the way, she also helped me change my relationship with money....and with energy.
So think about your life. What's going well? What, outside of your self has helped? You have a roof over your head. Someone said a kind word. Someone insisted you do something you didn't want to do and it paid off. Spring finally arrived!!
And what's nagging? What, if it were gone, would help open you to your big life?
Make yourself available, receptive, “completely receptive.” And listen, watch, let yourself be curious. Take a step and notice what results.
Is the result in the direction you want to go? Great! Go for it!
Is the result nebulous or negative? Continue to make yourself available to the interconnected web of life, and take another step.
WOW! Look at her go!
Remember how good it felt to watch Simone Biles (take a look) do her amazing gymnastic feats?
When we see someone else dancing, running or making that amazing catch, our muscles fire off tiny little mini movements as if we were doing the activity ourselves. This happens because we have mirror neurons. Studies have shown that watching a video of a pro is as effective as practicing to learn a new move in sports.
Knowing this is incredibly useful because it works just as well all by our lonesomes: in our mind when we can imagine doing something we don't know how to do. And here's where it gets exciting.....We can use what we see in our minds to change how we move.
In fact, we need to be able to imagine a new movement before we can duplicate it.
I had an amazing experience with my imagination and what those mirror neurons could tell me.
About 10 years ago I was having some weird discomfort in my left leg. Now, I had both of my hips replaced in the 1980's due to a childhood hip disorder (Yay! Out of pain and into life!).
So anyway, since I had this "feeling" in my leg, I was playing around with one of Irene Dowd's exercises from"Taking Root to Fly."
Since I wanted to experience walking without that not-good feeling, I lay on my back, quieted my mind and did her visualization of seeing someone else doing exactly what I wanted to do.
The next step was to put my body image into or next to theirs and start to feel my muscles firing just a little.
Normally this would continue to develop over time till I was standing and moving the way I wanted.
Instead, what happened was that the only way my image of my body could move in the easy gait I was looking for was when two husky men held me up so my leg didn't take any weight. "How strange!" I thought.
And here's the important part: I trusted what my mind had given me, and so I made an appointment with my hip doctor.
The Xray showed that the replacement in my femur had come loose. There was no stability to be had.
So my surgeon (who wasn't a husky man, but a tiny woman--and nursing at that) opened me up, easily slipped the old prosthesis out, and gave me a solid new replacement.
The next time I did the Dowd visioning exercise, I was able to use it to improve my gait with the new hip! Of course, I also got PT and Aston-Patterning to continue my rehab....and then this:
"Your healing is remarkable!" said my surgeon on my first post-op visit.
And your healing can be remarkable too!
It's never too late to change old movement patterns into something better, easier, more comfortable and even stronger.
If it's time for you to take some action, make a phone assessment appointment
and let's talk.
Or come to one of my monthly Easy Healthy Movement classes. and find out what all the fuss is about.
Because I want your body.....to feel fine!
"Better the devil you know than the devil you don't know." Anon
Really?? Well, you know the frame of mind that came up with that saying!
On the other hand, who, in their heart of hearts, wants to feel less than great? If you knew you had a choice or choices? If you were allowed to find your own pace, and make it your own, I expect most people would be delighted to know they weren't wedded to that old companion: pain, dis-comfort, dis-ease.
Imagine: What would your world be like if you knew you wouldn't have to figure it out on your own....if you could actually move easier with some help, and the time and some fun?
Real change does take decision, commitment, practice and some amount of discomfort.
But what if it doesn't have to be a slog?
I'm all for fun. I've been on the long road to health and vitality and I've gathered a few (quite a few) tools for the journey. One of them is lending my courage when you can't find your own.
So if it's time for you to get to know the devil you don't know, let's connect.
I want your body.....to feel fine!
Did you know?
Most people don't realize that if our guts can't move well (and it's stunning how much they move around and we just can't feel it), then any part of the body: neck, back, feet, etc., won't like it.
Our skeleton gets reeled in like a fish on a line when our innards are inhibited (Shy? maybe, but more likely bound by adhesions). If you've had surgery or been knocked around or even had infections in your gut, it will heal with adhesions (small, medium and big scars); and they can get confused and go everywhere.
What to do?
...and another thing.....Most people are unaware how much our thoughts are affected by what's happening in our guts. After all there are 10x more kinds of microbes that inhabit us than our own cells. Fortunately most of them are friendly and make our brains happy.
What to do?
Get a copy of my free booklet here and try just one thing related to your gut. Let me know what happens.....
When we are dealing with chronic pain, it's a slippery slope to those ancient feelings that we didn't get a chance to deal with....Despair can set in.
Once we were very young. Things happened that were out of our control. We couldn't know things would get better. Often our well meaning adults weren't able to be there when we needed to be comforted and assured.
But we can remind ourselves things are different now.
Here are 5 surprisingly easy ways out:
1. Breathe. Inhale deeply to a count of 6
Pause at the top for 3 (hover, don't hold)
Exhale completely 6, Pause 3
Repeat this 10 times. You are controlling your breath, slowing it down, exercising under-used lung space and giving your body a chance to be fed and dump the junk.
Add a person: Do this together and the first one to laugh gets to enjoy it even more.
2. Smile. First thing in the morning. For no reason. It doesn't matter if you feel like smiling, the muscles in your face are connected to your emotions, and this will lift you up.
Add a person: Smile a genuine smile (not a grimace) someone you know...or don't know and see what happens....
3. Have a good cry. If you feel bad, consider crying, roaring, moaning, shivering, yawning, laughing till you're out of breath. This doesn't have to take long, and it clears up your mind for better things to think about.
Add a person: ...that will be delighted that you're clearing out the old gunk. Set a time limit (use a timer) and honor it so your subconscious knows it will end. Sometimes we need to drop down and let our feet touch the bottom of the pool before we shoot up.
4. Get physical: If you're not moving, walk, run, swim, play hopscotch, get outside.
Add a person: Go on a moving date. Make a moving date. Even reaching for the phone to make a call counts.
If you are over-doing it, lie down flat on the floor for 5 minutes. Your body will rest and your mind will have a new perspective.
Add a person: This can be fun! Look at clouds, pretend to look at clouds; what do you see?
5. Learn something. Pick up a book, knitting needles, a screwdriver (the kind that works on wood).
Add a person: Ask a friend how they do something you're curious about, and try it. Even 15 minutes of stretching your brain (while it can be uncomfortable at the time) will refresh you.
See? You've already gotten to look at things from a little different angle. Download my free booklet "16 Tips for Increasing Your Mojo" for more ideas. Or call me @ 503-709-9983 and let's talk about you.
"I'm bad about exercise....I can't get motivated..." Do these sound familiar?
We are made to move, and the less we move, the quicker we move into feeling bad in lots of ways: physically, mentally and emotionally.
Life's consequences can sneak up on us as we age.
Suddenly you discover you can't do something you've always done......mine was kneeling. Through all the years I taught children, I sat on my knees. I just didn't think about it. And then, a bunch of years after I'd quit teaching, I couldn't. I'd always had a tweak or two in my knees. But I didn't realize what was happening with them. I went to PT and got exercises to strengthen the muscles around my knees. It helped.
But what really helped was learning about the route that the weight of my step was taking as it flowed down my legs and rebounded back up. My route was definitely leading to a crash landing!
There's a saying in Aston-Patterning: "The body has a sensitive dependence on initial conditions."
One example of this is that if your foot, with its many joints, can touch the ground in a new and better way, then everything above it will respond in a bigger, and better way.
To take this in the direction of can't-get-motivated, if you experience a way that allows you to move with less pain, and you know how to re-create that experience, then the good feeling in your body will influence the hunger in your mind-set to continue.
That's why getting individual attention to address the many ways your history is affecting your movement is so useful. This includes hands-on bodywork to change tissues that are stuck in the old pattern, and movement re-education with review to help you remember how good it feels to move in the new way.
Today's blog is from Natalie Ledwell of Mind Movies, a life-change method using state of the art tools.
"What in the world is the difference between an INTENTION and a GOAL?"
The answer is quite simple (and crucial to your success when it comes to achieving both).
Let me explain:
Before you ever set any goals - be it in your finances, business, career, relationships or fitness - you always want to start by setting a clear intention FIRST.
You see, your intention is really the big overarching "why" behind any goals you set for yourself.
It's like a long-term vision that you have for your future… an energetic statement that describes what success looks and feels like in that particular area of your life.
Once you've done that, your next step is to then create clear goals - specific, concrete, measurable milestones that are aligned with your intention.
When you set goals without first setting a clear intention, here's what can happen:
- You might set goals that are kind of all over the place, and experience a lack of meaning or direction
- You may get discouraged or perhaps even give up when the going gets tough, because you don't feel super connected to the future you're trying to create
- Or you may achieve some results, but not the ones that make you feel truly happy and fulfilled
But, when you're guided by a clear intention, and you then set goals that are aligned with that intention, all of the forces of the Universe can align to make even the most impossible, possible.
HERE'S AN EXAMPLE:
Let’s say that the area of your life that you want to impact is your health… your body… your level of physical fitness.
Perhaps you want to lose weight and enjoy a more toned, fit body.
An example of a powerful intention for this area of your life could be:
I live my life in radiant health, filled with all of the boundless energy and vitality I need to enjoy my life and time with my loved ones to the fullest.
Can you feel the energy that this intention carries? It's positive, uplifting, empowering and inspiring and it describes the future you want to step into!
Once you have this clear intention, you'd then create goals that will help you make it a reality.
For example: To reach a specific target weight by a certain date- To run your first Fun Run by a certain date- To complete a 30-day juice cleanse by a certain date
(Notice how each goal has "by a certain date" attached to it? Make sure your goals are specific and measurable, so you know exactly what you are shooting for and how close you are to achieving it!)
Once you have 1) a clear intention and 2) specific measurable goals laid out, your next steps are to:
3) Visualize yourself achieving your goals on a daily basis (even a few minutes each day is very effective!), and finally to...
4) Start taking daily actions, no matter how big or small, towards making your goals happen!
Combine all 4 of these powerful steps and you'll be surprised how quickly you'll be able to create positive, lasting change in any area of life that you choose :)
Here's to living a life you love,
What are some of your goals this year?
Post them here on my Mojo Recovery Facebook page and share them with the Mojo Recovery community.
Can you see your body moving to support these goals?
Do you need a little help getting out of pain and into "Your Country"?
"That's the thing about pain. It demands to be felt." Anon
Pain can be a good thing. Especially if you listen early.
Can you imagine what it would have been like if you had learned to listen to your body's messages (discomfort, pain, "urg") when they were just whispering, and then took the action your body wanted?
Some people might think that they wouldn't get anything done, wouldn't get strong, etc. But it's not true. Pain can be weakness leaving, as they say in the Marines. Paying attention to the kind of pain and taking appropriate action can be liberating.
In fact, whenever we are grow anything: muscle or brain, there is pain. It's why we feel achy after a good workout and crabby learning how to use that new software. It literally hurts to grow. This is good pain.
Muscles grow stronger by itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny tears in the fascia to make room for more tissue, then they heal. That's why it's important to rest after a hard workout, and why interval training is so effective.
The same thing happens to our brain when we literally lift a dendrite off of it's favorite receptor site where it's all snuggled in and ask it to grow and move to a budding, rather off-putting receptor site.
So whatever you're growing, remember to give yourself time to recover. Have some fun. Take a nap. Go for a walk.
Do some sitting arcing. This YouTube tutorial is for recovering from an insult....but "sitting arcing" is a tool for all kinds of recovery.
Would you like to talk about what's possible for you?
I was just watching this video of Kumari Suraj, "the Queen of Waacking Nuevo"
It's dynamic, a combination of strength and wild hand and arm movements. Very cool!
Compare that with swing dance, lots of core strength, the middle doesn't move much. Lots of control to make those quick turns and flips.
Then look at 60's go-go dancing, even the Watusi, etc. We were letting go of things in the 60's and 70's and our bodies expressed that letting go of old restrictions, and unfortunately, core strength.
This takes me to an Aston-Kinetics concept about using a Path of Action.
There are 3 basic ways that we express through this.
The Path of Ease--that would be characterized by the go-go dance.
The Path of Effort--think Frankenstein's stiff-legged walk.
Then there is the Optimal Path of Action. This combines ease and effort in a balanced, communicative way. Watch any professional athlete or dancer and you'll see variations of this beautiful partnership.
Each path has it's uses:
If you have a chronically tight area, discover the path of ease.
If you have a chronically low functioning area, discover the path of effort.
Then learn balance by combining them into an optimal path of action.
Walking well is a great example of the balance of ease and effort. The leg that you are weight-bearing on. the standing leg, is working, it's efforting. It's holding your whole body weight. The leg that's swinging through gets to take the path of ease.
Now how are you doing?
If you're feeling pain, stiffness or less energy, you can bet there's an imbalance somewhere in some Path of Action.
Before you dance upright, you learn to walk....If you're curious about walking more easily check out this video from Judith Aston.
If you think you might be ready to take the next step contact me and let's talk. about how I can help you.
Do you want a kick-start to feel better fast? Click here to get my free booklet.
I'm Valerie Lyon, the Mojo Recovery Therapist.