A new week, a new start and -if you are waking up in the UK- a white, crisp snowy world awaits you that makes any child under 42 bounce off the ceiling with excitement. Mychildren got dressed in record speed with one thing only on their mind: to embrace the Monday snow. If I ever saw a demonstration of living in the present then it was right there in front of me, as they were so keen on getting ready for a snow ball fight that I had to do up jackets and put on hats. “There is no way I can do that mum with my gloves on!” My boring, adult explanation that you put your gloves on last was lost in the noisy excitement of getting outside… I was still in Monday morning organisation mode when all the boys in my household were scooping the snow of the car and sneaking up on each other for the next snow attack. My 6 month old baby boy was obviously too young to join in, but looked as if any moment he would get up out of his bouncy chair and make a snowball of his own.
Still I was tidying up and ready to get to work, in actual fact totally missing the point. My brain was on automatic pilot. By the time the kids were gone, my lovely Australian child minder walked into the door with the words “this is just the best day ever!” She had never seen snow before and looked so excited; she told me she had been out in it already, making a tiny snowman with another girl she looks after. As she was telling me about her early snow start I again witnessed a living in the present example. Her eyes were lit up as she told me she had just facebooked the moment to her friends in Australia.
Wouldn’t it be a different prospect if we could welcome each new day with such energy? Carpe Diem, seize the day. I’m suffering some sleep deprivation these days and can’t see clearly until after a cup of coffee, but I know that I can certainly improve on starting the day without bagage of the previous night or day. You may not feel over the moon about diving into the Monday morning, but to what extend is that a habit? To what extend are we always preoccupied with the past or racing ahead to what needs to be done. It’s not a bad consideration for a January Monday morning to live in the present and almost certainly seize that day.
When I was out shopping last week, I bought scales. I’ve never owned scales and only ever witnessed the psychological games they play with people’s minds, yet I went ahead with the purchase anyway. In the same week I cleared out the sweet and snack cupboard and made plans to get back into exercise in a serious way, despite some serious sleep deprivation because of my 6 month old baby. Was I just doing the typical January thing, because that’s what I normally do at this time of year? Then why did it feel odd and a little out of date. Was I following an old pattern or just doing what I thought was right? Then it struck me that the reason why it might have felt odd was because I hadn’t really given my body a say in the matter. If you truly listen to your body’s wisdom then you be surprised about what you might hear.
With time your body changes and therefore the way you look after your body ought to really change with it. I sometimes think back to the days where I trained many clients, trained myself and taught a number of exercise classes. I had the energy to spend for 10 people, was able to survive very happily on a few hours sleep if I needed to and I would put myself through many regimes of some sort. But that was before huge life changes such as having children and also many years ago.
If I truly listen to the wisdom of my body then exercise and healthy eating is no less important than before, but somehow my body seems to say “go easy with me”. Instead of going at it hard and making a workout or eating strategy a punishment, my body seems to say “let’s work together”. It is no longer just about being able to fit into certain clothes, it is about investing into my health and taking great care. For that reason other aspects of keeping fit have become more important such as yoga, stretching in general and meditation. I take great care to not become a victim of stress and to turn my back to negative influences. Instead of lean meals, I take great pleasure in making wholesome, healthy and nourishing meals for my family. Listening to my body’s wisdom also implies having a conscious mind and having a good balance between the two.
If you were to take a couple of minutes and took time to listen to the wisdom of your body, what would you end up doing differently? What would you change immediately and what would you change over time? It is a cliché to say that you only have one body and most do not appreciate it fully until things go wrong, but sadly that does hold a lot of truth in it. Use the power of the mind to go inside and connect to the parts of your body mentally that may need some care, almost as a kind of “checking in” exercise. It is all too easy to be based in our worrying brains day in day out, yet you can tap into your body’s wisdom if you want to and do what is good for you.