The Unity of Body, Spirit, and This Moment
"Those who would preserve the spirit must also look after the body to which it is attached." -Albert Einstein
We are creative souls. We heed (or ignore) our callings to create in this world, to paint or design graphics or weave textiles or structure businesses or dance.
All too often we consider the body a mere tool in this process.
In pursuit of a bigger paycheck or the perfect ending to our novel, we work more, write more, think more...all the while stuffing our faces with "food" that provides temporary comfort but not nourishment.
We fall in bed exhausted, often sleeping only 6 hours a night, waking to an alarm that alerts us we have to start moving NOW. And move we do - straight to the coffee pot. And then the bathroom. And then our office chair.
I often share here of my encaustic work or reflections of a creative and spiritual nature. Time after time, I'll also share a bit about that which provides the fuel for this work - that which keeps my body well so that I might do that creative work.
I've shared about completing two half marathons (2010 (video link) & 2012) and a triathlon. Yes, I'm proud to have done so. But just like selling one painting or receiving one award, one event does not define a lifestyle. It does me no good to chat about that 12th mile or the the struggle to reach the shore. If I am to be well, it is what happens in the quieter, everyday moments that matters the most.
And quiet I have been. But not inactive. For the past several weeks, I have made it a private goal to do at least 30 minutes of activity each day. Most days that means running. Other days, it is yoga or weights. One day, it was jumping on several trampolines. (Probably the biggest cardio workout of them all!) But almost every day, I've woken up and done something.
Some days I don't feel like it. Some days, it takes every ounce of strength I have to pull on those running shoes. Some days, I spend more time walking then I do running.
But without fail, I ALWAYS feel better after having moved my body and mind through their points of discomfort.
Those mundane moments matter just as much - if not more - than the half marathon or triathlon. That Tuesday that I got out of bed and ran, even though I'd stayed up far too late the night before. The Saturday where I held Warrior II pose a few seconds longer than I intended to and let myself sink into the pose. Just this morning when I increased the incline on the treadmill and ran it for 3 minutes instead of 2, even though I was sweating so profusely I could barely see the time.
I don't share these moments often with anyone. They are for me. Because when I start sharing them, I start seeing them as something "different" (i.e. something distinguishable from my everyday routine). When the movement is "different", I see it as an event - an event to be topped or beaten or for which I want to receive accolades. But these moments when I stumble out of bed and into my body?
These moments are a lifestyle.
I want to make them as much of who I am as the body that performs the movements and the mind that chatters all the way through it. These mundane moments, those moments of struggle and discomfort and achievement and exhaustion - they ARE who I am.
And the more I realize that those moments are who I am, the more I am inseparable from them.
The more I learn that when I have sweat in my eyes and cramps in my legs and have 30 seconds left to go...that I can make it because it is who I am.
I am inseparable from those moments. Because of that, I can also make it when fear is telling me that my words aren't good enough, clear enough, convincing enough to be shared with the world.
I am inseparable from this very moment, this very body, these very thoughts.
This body is not a tool in the process of living. It IS my life.
What I feed my body I feed my spirit. How I allow my body to move is how I allow my creative energies to flow. I choose not to under nourish nor confine any part of this moment.
Yes, yes - I choose to preserve the spirit. The creative spirit that is me and you and every invisible part of being. Because of that, I MOVE in the body that expresses that spirit.
And because of that, I am free.
Move with me, won't you?