"Movement is the song of the body"

 Vanda Scarvelli

 

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4 REASONS WHY YOU MAY BE STRUGGLING WITH EXERCISE MOTIVATION

Exercise mojo. 

It can be a slippery feeling to hold onto, can't it?

During the moments we are in full possession of it, we’re often flying high. In fact, it can seem quite ludicrous in those moments to imagine we would ever NOT be exercising. 

 I feel so good!

 I’ve taken control of my health and my life!

I’m strong and capable of anything!

 Riding the highs of exercise motivation in a culture that abhors soft bodies and props up the “hustle” can feel a lot like sitting atop a false throne. You’ve usurped the enemy (that lazy body of yours) and will now rule your commonwealth forever more.  Just like in every other empire in history however, rulers eventually fall.  A plucky new up and comer sets their sights on the kingdom or those who have been ruled grow tired of the oppression and decide it’s time to push back. 

 

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WHY AM I WRITING ABOUT EXERCISE AT A TIME LIKE THIS?

I’ve thought many times as I’ve been writing this book, “What’s the point?” 

I mean why am I talking about finding a new way to exercise when the world is literally on fire. It’s a really good question. And the answer I’ve come up with so far is this; 

Reverence for Mother Earth is mirrored in the reverence we show for ourselves. The stark separation of mind and body/soul that we see and feel within the toxic spaces of wellness and fitness culture (and of course in other arenas as well) is the same separation that allows us to remain untethered from our living, breathing oceans and forests and all the beautiful creatures we share this planet with.

When we as a culture are void of ritual and experience only a fraction of the sacredness and presence found through being in motion, we inevitably find ourselves seeking external motivation for ways to simply check “workout” off of our to do list. And then we move on just as unconsciously to the next item. 

I believe God is in exercise, just not in the way most of us practice it right now.

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WHAT MUST BURN?

 As great swaths of modern human distraction behaviors and routines are erased (at least temporarily), our collective nervous systems sound their alarms, cycling us through a gamut of uncomfortable sensations. Like pin balls in a kind of apocalyptic arcade game, we seem at the mercy of something outside of our control, a player of unknown skill flinging us abruptly from fear to despair, to uncertainty to hope and then back down the shoot toward fear once again. 

 What are our soothers during this time? Many of us are staring down the barrel of our own survival, both physically and economically, some of us for the first time- particularly in wealthy western countries. How do we locate moments of somatic peace in our bodies amidst all of this low-grade terror? And how do we regulate our nervous systems so we can, fingers crossed, skew toward mental and physical wellbeing on the other side of this pandemic?

 My first answer is; Any way we can.

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INTUITIVE EXERCISE: FIRST STEPS

It’s strange that we live in a culture where trusting the vessel we live in is more difficult than trusting the advice of a stranger on the internet.

Such is the effect of a few hundred years of patriarchy and capitalism where the unrelenting vigor of the messages telling women their bodies are unacceptable has all but severed the connection to our own instincts and intuition. This is especially true with regard to food and movement where media and marketing for the industry is a mine field of shame and disparagement designed to lead us further away from ourselves and our power.

All is not lost, however. Blessedly, the river of knowing and wisdom remains full and flowing within all of us and reclaiming that wisdom is as simple as being willing to crouch at the edge of the embankment, cup the water in our hands and take a drink.

I remember very clearly the time period when I first started playing with the idea of exercising intuitively. Although I didn’t exactly know that was what I was doing at the time, I had come to a significant turning point in my relationship with food, exercise and my body.

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