The 5th episode of Doing It just hit the cyberwaves. In this podcast, which you can subscribe and listen to for FREE on iTunes, Fannie Cohen and I explore the definition of attention. We speak to a seasoned psychoanalyst named Dr. Bernstein, a humanities professor named Dr. Rebecca Painter, a cliaraudient and clairvoyant named Paul Selig, and Aikido master, author, and executive coach Wendy Palmer. One thing we really walked away with from doing this show is the notion that energy follows our attention, and our perspective on life is heavily influenced by how we focus our attention. I believe we have a lot more say in how and what we focus on than we sometimes lets ourselves believe. It’s a discipline… and a good and invaluable one at that.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the choice we have to be more attentive of and believing in our own self-worth and potential. I’ve also been thinking about the choice we have to cultivate a greater sense of harmony between breath, body, and mind. It’s by taking small and tangible steps that we can begin to create a shift. So, with that in mind, I have an invitation for you this week:
I invite you to embrace whatever your regular fitness routine is (be it yoga, walking, tennis, swimming, you name it) as a beautiful opportunity to come home and be present with your body, breath, and mind. Can you really allow it to be meditation in motion? Can you allow it to be an opportunity to be present in the moment and appreciative of the body you have to move? Can you let the motivation behind why you exercise be wholeheartedly about how it makes you feel, as opposed to how it might make you look?
Of course, healthy amounts of physical activity can help us become more fit, flexible, and trim. However, can you view these as positive side effects this week as opposed to the intention behind why you exercise? Can you think about how sustainable fitness (meaning when you don’t push yourself too hard…even on the yoga mat!) boosts your mental and energetic well-being first and foremost? If you already do this, can you further honor the outlet you have?
The reason I’m asking this is because, sadly, fitness (even the postural yoga practice) is sometimes something else in this culture: a fight with our physical body in order to make it better, skinnier, or different for the sake of forces often outside of ourselves. Exercise all too easily becomes less about making us feel good and far more about aesthetic attainment. It can become more about controlling than nurturing.
If you relate with this, even in the slightest, I invite you to shift your mind-set today. By the way, I actually believe that when we really embrace who we are in the present moment, we also look our best. Our whole being is affected when we are kinder and a better friend to our selves. Let’s celebrate who we are and take better care of our bodies because they’re the incredible vessels that carry us through life. Nothing has helped me more than gratitude and loving discipline. Accepting my physical body and its limits.