This week I want to share an excerpt from my book Spiritual Reality: Transforming the Ordinary into the Extraordinary.
Exercise can be a challenge- it usually means you are determined enough to put your body first. This means putting your health out there to be able to do your to-do list.
Here it is.
How do you incorporate spirit into exercise? When you exercise, you support your body and hence your soul. When you are healthy, you help those around you to be healthy. They may not exercise as you do, but they have a positive example in their lives: you. You will be healthier because of it and so give off a different kind of energy as well.
Exercising can also be a form of meditation. It is time for you. It is a time to let thoughts flow from spirit, to just be. The routine becomes a form of meditation. Instead of mulling over a problem that you think you have, it is good to simply let go and see the thoughts floating away. Start to observe what is around you, whether it is a wall or a tree. Have that be your focus for a while. Ask spirit to help you in whatever you need support for. You will soon see other thoughts coming to you that help with concerns in your life. It may also be the awareness of the beauty around you.
Practically, my philosophy on exercise is “Anything is better than nothing.” There are several sayings I go by:
The older you get, the more maintenance. Rather like a car!
If you do not use it, you lose it! Sometimes I only exercise for ten to fifteen minutes per day. However, this gives my body the idea that I am interested in my relationship with it, and it knows it has to keep going.
If you are having a hard time motivating yourself to exercise, you can exercise for a cause greater than yourself. It could be a broad cause (for the good of all) or a narrow cause (for my neighbor’s children, who need to see a good role model for exercising and taking care of one’s health). It can be something that calls to you and that you want to support. Each exercise you do will give energy to your declared cause. It is like a physical donation of sorts. The energy is transmitted to your declared cause through the connection of all that is. You also have the benefit of more incentive to work out. I have found that it also makes the physical activity easier, with less likelihood of being focused on simply getting the next exercise done. It becomes a form of focused meditation.
The main thing with exercise is to do something that you enjoy.
- If you are a social person, take a class.
- If you do not have time for a fixed schedule to exercise, watch a video, or go running or walking.
- I am also a big fan of short exercise breaks, a stretch here and there, and a few squats to get the circulation going.
- In an office, you can do one stretching exercise during your break.
- For traveling, exercise bands are light.
- Another favorite is to simply dance to your own mental music for a few minutes. This takes a lot of energy as well as releasing stress.
- Yoga is excellent for stretching. Kundalini yoga is a favorite of mine because it has more movement and so is easier than longer standing poses.
- Social sports outside are great—hiking, golfing, bicycling, swimming, and boating.
- Arrange a walk schedule with friends, supporting both of you.
Always listen to your body. Know that it does not have to be a chore of an hour out of your day. Just get your body moving!