Saturday, October 02, 2010
Back a few blogs I talked about Mastery Living, the "cure" for Stalled Living. In Mastery Living there are three elements, one of which is Time to Restore. That's so important to us hard-charging, black-white thinking, type-A personalities.
So what does it mean to restore?
1 to give back (something taken away, lost, etc.); make restitution of
2 to bring back to a former or normal condition, as by repairing, rebuilding, altering, etc. (to restore a building, painting)
3 to put (a person) back in a place, position, rank, etc. (to restore a king to his throne)
4 to bring back to health, strength, etc.
5 to bring back into being, use, etc; reestablish (to restore order...)
The other two elements of Mastery Living, exercise and meaningful activities are ways that we expend our energy. Time to restore is a vital piece: we need to get that energy back!
How many of us, in our unfit times, saw "rest" as sitting on the couch and munching while watching TV? If you've come a long way on your journey, do you still see that as restorative?
But it IS important to give our bodies the time to recover from exercise: to rebuild muscles. And it IS important to give our minds the restoration of good sleep. So, I've taken on the Better Sleep challenge for October. I'm starting to journal about my sleep... so far on paper, but don't be surprised to find it showing up in the blog, too. After all, I'm going to run out of alphabet pretty soon!
I'm trying to think of what I do to restore, and I am having trouble! So, it is an area for me to work on, or at least become more conscious of. Thoughts that come to mind are NOTICING the beauty around me, whether that's Orion marching across the sky when I'm putting my trash to the curb, or the sunrise / sunset, the trees changing color. Breathing, and being conscious of that. Reading / watching inspiring stories.
Spark friends... what do YOU do to restore your soul?
Friday, October 01, 2010
How could it be anything other than "quest"?
quest (noun) - 1 a seeking; hunt; pursuit 2 a journey in search of adventure, as those undertaken by knights-errant in medieval times
quest (verb transitive) - to search for, seek
What is a journey without a destination? What is a search, without an object of desire? What is a mission, without an objective?
I feel that life itself is a form of quest: we start out as infants, fully "programmed" (if you'll pardon a programmer's analogy) to figure out and adapt to the world in which we find ourselves. Thus begins the struggle for survival. But survival is not enough for human beings to thrive. We need those goals. We need something to quest for. Once our basic needs are met, there are whole realms of development to be sought and achieved.
I've known my Q word would be quest ever since I wrote the P entry for play. How do two such words tie together? I take myself back to childhood and how often my "play" involved fantasy. My siblings and I would act out stories in our play: rescue the princess (Ivanhoe, Knights of the Round Table), save the village (pick your favorite Western, or modernize this to Star Wars!), survive on the island (Swiss Family Robinson)... whatever. There were heroes and heroines who were brave and took action.
Back in "real life", we truly are our own heroes, as we quest, life-long, for health and fitness. And as we do, we can pursue whatever larger goals mean something to each of us.
I leave you with a link to lyrics: the song that's been playing in my head ever since Wednesday. It's from the Musical, "Man of La Mancha" - The Impossible Dream. The key bits: "I know if I'll only be true to this glorious quest, that my heart will lie peaceful and calm when I'm laid to my rest. And the world will be better for this."
What are you questing for today?
Thursday, September 30, 2010
It means skipping a letter, in this case, to do the progress photos. Not really "skipping" as the alphabet will be back with the next letter tomorrow! I updated the profile picture and just for fun, did a post-workout, all sweat-covered shot for the front page... see the grin? The endorphins show, I swear!
And the silly Spark page forced me to put my goal weight lower again (that's NOT my real goal, people, I'm under my real goal)... or it wouldn't let me save the changes to my Spark page... gotta put that in as a suggestion to "fix" that!
And because I can't see my back in a mirror, I did a back shot, just to see how things are coming along. Those who've been following along all year have heard this pitch before, but I took several times through this process before I bought in, myself... progress photos are a great reality check. If you don't think you're making progress, and you see that in fact, you are getting results in that month of ten minutes a day, it's a great encouragement. If you are becoming complacent, it can be a wake up call. And if you are maintaining, it can be confirming.
Those of us who don't see ourselves when we look in the mirror, but see something else, can sometimes see what's happening better in a photograph.
To lifelong health and fitness, my friends.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Remember as a kid running, jumping, stretching, tossing a ball, walking on top of a wall, riding a bike or a skateboard or swinging or see-sawing, or spinning on a merry-go-round? How often as "adults" do we do things just for fun... as play?
That's one of the reasons I set "goals" for 2010 like I did... go back to the beginning of the year and see what some of them were... I wanted to go ice skating (which I did)... I wanted to get on a horse again and go on a trail ride (haven't yet, and the schedule of other activity may defer this one... but it was a good goal), and I want to run in a 5K (for which I am already registered). I haven't stated this one, but I intend to dance at my niece's wedding (and I don't dance)... and not care what kind of figure I cut on the floor.
A few years back, when I belonged to a gym, I was asked to review it and give reasons why. What I said was I felt as though I was a big kid and had rented myself a playground... it had a swimming pool. And these incredible things called elliptical trainers. And an indoor track to walk or jog around even when the weather was bad.
Think about it: what's the difference between "exercise" and "play"? Attitude! That's it!
So here's to having a great day that includes "recess" from being an adult. Let's play some today!
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
You know I love quirky words and words with multiple meanings. "Observe" is another with more than one sense to it. I chose the verb form of this concept today.
1 to adhere to, follow, keep or abide by (a law, custom, duty, rule, etc.)
2 to celebrate or keep (a holiday, etc.) according to custom
3 a) to notice or perceive (something) b) to pay special attention to
4 to arrive at as a conclusion after study
5 to say or mention casually; remark
6 to examine and study scientifically
Mainly when I picked the word, I was thinking about observing (3b, above) my emotions, and how this journey has involved getting outside of the cycle of reacting to, to a level of paying attention to them.
But I also thought about observing healthy habits, as in following the rules. I ended up writing all six down here, because reading them in the dictionary reminded me of a few definitions I'd forgotten in my initial musings!
Weight and body size tend to be huge touch points for many of us. Some of us are very smart people, who have neglected our bodies while developing our minds (ever notice that a lot of heavy people have really keen minds... ever surprised by this?)
One observation that hit me like a ton of bricks in my 30's was that what I thought my values were and how I acted in day to day life were indeed in conflict. Working my way through all of that to a point where I believe that my life and my values are in harmony (or at least moving in the same direction) has taken over 20 years. In the process, the weight, the fitness level, and how I observe things in myself and around me... have changed significantly. I really count this life journey a lot farther back than joining Spark.
Why bring this values thing up? Because it is an integral part of succeeding: I needed to know what I REALLY value, not just what I thought I SHOULD value. And I needed to make my life and my mind and my emotions harmonize. This is truly hard work. Working on the physical behaviors: nutrition and exercise and medical and dental care - helps it along. Taking care of one's body helps one realize that the whole person has value.
Just because you have a good mind, doesn't mean you should neglect the body that houses it! So use that mind: observe yourself. Are you living in harmony with your true values? Are your goals in alignment with them?
When they all are, life gets a whole lot easier. And each and every human being deserves a life in harmony.
May you have a day of observant peace!
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