I couldn’t help but admire the determination of this fascinating wee gastropod. Moving tentatively but steadily to see just how far she could reach on her travels. You will be relieved to know I have spared you the raft of photos I took of her, such was my fasciation.
In the animal kingdom, instinct in response to the natural world, is a strong determinant to help ensure basic needs are met in safeguarding survival. It is easy to forget that we too are animals. However in our ever digitalised, movement limited, urbanised world, we can find ourselves disconnected with that instinct. Without it we can lose the connection with what our basic needs are, to not only survive but to facilitate our ability to flourish and thrive.
To reconnect we need to recognise what our mind and bodies need before they tumble into a free fall tailspin. Of course you can roll the dice on this and take your chances on the free fall tailspin probability stakes. OR you might like to consider a more resourceful proactive damage limitation option. All you need is to be a little more like our wee snail, reaching tentatively but steadily, exploring your limitations by tuning into your body’s response as you challenge it, work it, move it. This can be invaluable in maintaining a greater awareness of potential health problems, as you navigate life’s journey. This enables you to act on the smaller issues before they evolve into more protracted life limiting conundrums.
To move through life more smoothly, we have to be aware of bodily warning signs and any actions we need to take, at any given point in time. Looking after your body, your psyche, your health, your soul, isn’t any end point in itself but
a lifestyle change, a mindset reset, a choice.
In terms of investing in yourself, just because you have worked on one area of your body, be careful not to fall into the trap of assuming this effort will have improved your whole body.
I have heard much frustration and disappointment where people have worked continuously and consistently for example, on strengthening legs and cardiovascular fitness only to be thwarted by back pain. On using their newly developed leg strength and fitness to move more freely, their unresolved back stiffness has been placed under greater strain resulting in pain. “But I’ve been working so hard on my body only to end up where I started. Why did I bother?”
Bother because the alternative is worse. Inevitable weakening and stiffening and the associated aches and pains, with the passage of time is bleak at best. See your health your body, your psyche, your health, your soul as one, not separate entities. If you have turned you attention to certain bodily parts to improve how they work and feel, that is highly commendable. For most of us we need to focus on specific troublesome areas for these parts to be in greater harmony with the rest of our body. However, don’t end it there. While working on your hotspots this shouldn’t be at the expense of the rest of your potential hotspots. Try to avoid the trap of thinking you have dedicated so many hours a week each month to improve particular areas of your body, therefore you should be
A WHOLE NEW IMPROVED YOU in all aspects of your health.
Not so my friends.
For your whole body to function more as you would like it to, your whole body needs your attention, to be tuned into, moved and challenged.
It’s not about the time you have spent but how you have used that time. To side step the “Hells Bells where do I start?” question, begin with one position or one activity. Familiarise yourself with what you find and keep repeating it until over time, you recognise patterns with the way in which your body feels or responds. Then move onto to another activity, position etc. Where you find weakness, repeat the movement to strengthen, where there is stiffness, repeat the movement to stretch, where there is poor control repeat the movement to develop greater control. Slow. Steady. Controlled.
Here are some examples:
When you sit: reach your arms above your head and behind your back. Straighten your legs, circle your ankles. Rotate your body left and right and bend it left and right.
When you stand: stretch your legs behind you, stand up onto your toes, wave your arms overhead, crouch down, stand on one leg and sway your limbs.
When you walk: walk on your toes, raise your knees up high, exaggerate your arm swing, clamber over obstacles or imagine doing that if no obstacles present themselves.
By moving like this you can not only use different parts of your body more often but equally assess what these parts of your body are telling you.
It’s only by intentionally moving your body that your body moves in the way it was intended.
Our modern lives while busy, are a far cry from the dynamic, rural, three dimensional, seasonally varied, movement dictated evolutionary journey, lived out by each member on our ancestral family tree. However, you can chose to rethink your thinking and rise above the digitalised, movement limited, instinct deprived urbanised world. Instead use the world around you to move your body in ways for which it was designed. Shift your mindset away from always taking the easier, movement limiting option. Check out the message these movements are telling you and respond by giving your body more of what it needs.
Make it as easy as possible to move your body in as varied a way as possible, more often, in everything you do.
Tune in. Connect. Move.