Joy is a physical cellular intelligence in our cells. I’ve discovered this every day. In movement, as my arm reaches overhead without me doing it, I feel fabulous. These spontaneous bursts of energy are how enthusiasm feels when we move without doing a rep of an exercise. This is inspired movement. The inspiration moves you. It’s how your arms would raise if you found out you just won the lottery. (Congenitally blind people will raise their arms overhead if they found out the news. The victory arm movement is universal. It is not learned. If you suddenly find out awesome news, your arms go up!) The victory sign of arms overhead is joy on a cellular level.
Neitche said, “Never trust a thought that did not occur whilst moving around in the great outdoors.” Bravo, buddy! My exact sentiments. We must move our bodies to feel joy. We must move our bodies to feel inspired. Please, please move your bum and hips in ways that feel amazing. Stop making bums of steel. Your buns need joy. When the bums-of-steel-athletes come to my yoga class, it’ ugly. Their downward dog looks like they’re
vomiting. Please make a healthy, joyful body and move with clever joy. Movement keeps joy alive.
When you move, your mind moves with you and excavates a lot of the nasty footnotes in there. Inspired thoughts, solutions, resolutions and compassionate feelings return. Try being frustrated in gridlock as
you drive home from a game of volleyball on the beach, still sweating and sand between your toes. It just doesn’t happen. Gridlock nasty people giving the finger, forgot to exercise. You can’t. You just can’t
rob your body of movement each day. It’s mean. If twenty-four hours goes by and you didn’t raise your arms over your head, or your version of a big stretch, over time, you could lose lung capacity. When you’re in your lovely old, old years, you may die because you couldn’t cough well. I don’t usually pull out the big bad guns to threaten that you could die from pneumonia because you couldn’t cough adequately when your seventy-four. It’s that, for some reason, we keep believing that the better our lifestyle gets the less wood we need to chop and the more gas fire places we can buy for our home. We are getting lazy on convenience.
Joy chops wood. Joy breathes deeply in yoga because it feels good. Joy takes you out for a walk, way early before work because joy knows you feel so good afterwards, even if you didn’t sleep. Joy knows that you always feel good after you move and that will replace the extra hour of sleep you surrendered to get up and go for your walk. And besides, you can feel self-righteous and that’s always fun.
Ugly exercisers are the non-joy people you see slogging through the hills and pushing themselves at the side of the road. And, I’m sorry about that, as I used to be one of them. Now, I have replaced hard- core results with the admirable way moving in spontaneous ways makes me feel. Sarah, my daughter, used to tease me about my
exercise time. I schedule ninety minutes a day to exercise. That doesn’t include parking or showering. It’s the time I spend on the booty moi. I know it’s a lot! Yet, ninety minutes a day for a physical vehicle that works for me twenty-four seven seems fair. We have struck a deal and I say it’s non-negotiable. Nothing can bargain me
out of my exercise. Even if the dishwasher breaks and the massive puddle is now towelled up and under control. I still go to the gym or beach if that’s where I was headed. The dishwasher will still be there when I get back. I may not even call the repair guy until after my exercise just in case I let his urgent appeal to come coerce me.
No, exercise, movement, dance, or whatever gets your booty swishing it so relevant. Be relevant. Make your body relevant and let joy move it.
Oh, yes, Sarah used to tease me because I would roll out my yoga mat, get the room nice, maybe play tunes or light a candle, get on the mat and start. She would be going upstairs as she saw me do this. Five minutes later she may go by the front door and see me putting on my running shoes and jacket. “I thought you were doing your yoga?” “Me too,” I’d say. “Apparently, we’re going running.” Let your body tell you how to move. Be super good friends with your body and this will allow for clear communication. Like all relationships, you must listen to each other. Eventually, you will have a built-in interest that constantly listens to your body. Learn how to move. Learn the ways to move effectively and with care so you don’t need to worry about going to far or bothering your knees. This can be done in cheap, free or inexpensive ways.
Just please, please move. Don’t miss. Okay? Five days a week, minimum. And finally, just to be a wise guy, I have never heard someone regret that they exercised. Can you imagine? You see Jim at the office and he looks pretty glum. You ask him, “What’s wrong?” He pauses and you wonder if you should have pretended you didn’t notice. He finally replies after a long, sigh, “I got up early today and went for a run. And…well, I did it yesterday too. With others. I snuck out, there’s a running group that leaves from the Running Room. I just, well, I couldn’t stop myself. And, I know I’m going again tomorrow.” Ridiculous right? Yet, we are so filled with reasons why we can’t exercise, that there’s no room in there for inspiration to get in.
There is only one reason we don’t exercise. Well, four actually.
1. We don’t know how to value our self enough.
2. It’s inconvenient
3. We’re afraid of injuring our self
4. or that we won’t keep it up. Like we didn’t last time.
Yet, all of these reasons are really the first: We don’t know how to value our self enough to exercise. We do the tasks we need to do in our day first. We are responsible and help our children with homework and miss time for our self. We are playing out the I’m NOT selfish script. Yet, it is mean to not take care of yourself. Eventually this will affect your child. We just can’t miss moving our bodies everyday and taking care of it with fun, abandoned, playful movement of some kind. Also, to be a dedicated joyful body, you need to be joyfully selfish. You need to put you and that bod of yours first. This means YOU before you make dinner, YOU before you get a last minute errand run and YOU when you are on an all-inclusive vacation in Cuba with the family and they’re waiting for you to come to the breakfast buffet. Yes, oh Yes! You turn to your soon to be bewildered family and say you’re going to do your exercises. You may only feel a like a selfish weirdo for about a year. Give it all the seasons. Selfish people are happy. Selfish bodies feel amazing. Joy is selfish. Not for long though, as all the bodies around you soon feel the joy contagion and you act like a pied piper accidently cajoling others into moving their buns.