Grandmama Zen: selecting an extrinsic physical activity
Grandmama Zen is a series dedicated to raising the vibration of a lonesome Grandmother. The series began with a personal download. Don't pain, fear, loss inspire many of our hubs?
Today's hub focuses on physical activity, as in, "Participate in a physical activity that is out of character. Smile at a stranger. Take a glider ride, Hug a tree."
Everything I suggested in my original list suits me; I smile at strangers; used to fly gliders, and have a great relationship with the Ponderosa pine in my yard.
I don't want to change the random order of the list I put together in my second Grandmama Zen hub, but I am struggling to find an uncharacteristic physical activity for the day.
I hope you won't be put off by my foraging. Those of you wishing to try this may experience a similar challenge. Perhaps I will dig up options for all of us.
You can do it!
Why participate in an unfamiliar physical activity?
Every day, every day, every day some of us wake, do our morning exercises, play basketball, take the dogs for a walk. Every afternoon some of us meet friends at the golf course for a round. Every evening many of us jog around the block as the sun sets.
While it is wonderful to nurture a habit of exercise, daily routines often become stagnant.
Trying something new requires extra energy and courage. Strengthening our inner courage raises our consciousness.
When we participate in an unfamiliar sport or physical activity, we practice being brave, which gives us confidence to face other fears. Fear has a way of stifling joy; it contains us within a lower vibration.
Choosing an activity that holds fresh challenge can be rewarding. It allows us to loosen and even unlock chains of habit that keep us from fulfilling our potential as unique, compassionate beings.
Activities like parachuting, snowshoeing and taking a glider ride are seasonal activities that require a great deal of planning. This particular challenge needn't be something as grand as riding a horse into the Grand Canyon.
To find an unusual challenge, one need only go as far as the local recreation center. There, I found three intriguing activities I had never tried. But there were problems with scheduling and cost:
- Aqua Zumba occurred on Monday and Friday mornings at our local recreation center. This schedule did not work for me.
- The Turkey Day 5K Fun Run/Walk wasn't until, well, Turkey Day. I wanted to participate in something unfamiliar today.
- Batting Cage reservations were open, but rental fees were high.
To expand my list of possibilities, I asked friends on Facebook for suggestions. Two offered thoughtful lists:
- JS: Climb a mountain, hike in Castlewood Canyon, go for a jog, bike ride, or chop wood like a lumberjack!
- SJZ: What is in character for you? Bowling, indoor rock climbing, country line/swing/ballroom/pole dancing, some sort of martial arts or a 3 legged race?
I have enjoyed all of these over time with the exception of pole dancing. But online research revealed our local club was poorly rated for its broken poles. I passed.
Goggling random catch phrases, I keyed into a very strange offer for locals, "WALK A FLAT 14'ER", the site encouraged. This would be a very uncharacteristic activity for me, I thought: I do not particularly like fake stuff.
Flat 14ers in and around Parker
Mt. Bierstadt- Start at sign, walk around school block and return nine times
Torreys Peak- Start at sign at Pioneer, go east on trail to turnaround sign and return four times
Mt. Massive - Start at sign at Iron Horse on northeast corner of sports field, walk trail to turnaround sign at Cimarron and return six times
I would choose to hike a fake trail because such behavior was out of character? There were many physical behaviors that were out of character I preferred to avoid.
Agapi Stassinopoulos says there are 5 questions one must ask, that lead us to our calling. I wasn't sure whether my choice of physical activity would be considered a calling, but I asked myself these questions anyway:
- What am I here to learn? (how to raise my vibration)
- What am I here to teach? (how to help others do the same)
- What am I here to overcome? (turns out I am here to overcome judgment)
- What am I here to complete? (today's task of physical fitness)
- What am I here to express? (the benefits of this exercise)
Question 3 was the one that caught me by surprise. You see, despite the fact that this Flat Fourteener program is pretentious at best, I missed the point of its existence. It was designed to encourage local school children to get off the couch and walk. It was purely educational.
As I read further, I discovered that elementary school teachers who participate have access to a supportive curriculum integrating the Flat 14er experience into spelling, history, math, and geography lessons. It was a great idea.
This was the second time in two days that I had misemployed judgment. Judgment lay within the realm of the sixth chakra. When I failed to give someone or something my full attention and assumed I understood what they were saying or distorted their intentions, I was sitting in judgement, much as a god. I had no right to judge without clarification. Yet I did it far too often. I needed to work on this!
Back to the five questions:
- What was I here to learn? (to let go of misemployed judgment)
- What was I here to teach? (methods to raise personal vibrations)
- What was I here to overcome? (meaningless exercise)
- What was I here to complete? (an unusual physical activity)
- What was I here to express? (flexibility)
I began to search for a physical activity that would activate the sixth chakra and allow me to let go of judgment.
Narrowing my search, it was easy to find an appropriate physical activity.
Totally me, yet not me
I did not dance by myself
Closing my curtains to
Letting my arms flail
in my shoulders
I never danced by myself
I did sign up for the Turkey Run. And I plan to take an Aqua Zumba class. I think it would be awesome to hit balls at a batting cage, especially if I have a coach. I might even walk a Flat 14er when I can arrange for a drop off and pick up.
The exercise of searching for uncharacteristic physical activities has opened me to all sorts of community events and opportunities of which I was unaware. I am excited to explore this new world I have discovered only miles away.
Sure, I didn't go far out of my comfort zone to experience dance. But the 28 minutes I dedicated to non-stop moving and shaking warmed my body and released pent up energies that kept me angry and depressed.
During my Kundalini training, I learned that shaking the body without holding back would cure all that ailed me. Perhaps this was true. Certainly, I liked myself better after I gave in to the wildness of dance. People who like themselves don't judge others- have you noticed?
"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face." Eleanor Roosevelt
Motivation for the journey
“As a rule, the mind, residing in a body that has become weakened by pampering, is also weak, and where there is no strength of mind there can be no strength of soul.” Mahatma Gandhi
The body/mind/spirit movement reminds me that sitting in a chair in the basement writing hub after hub is an unhealthy activity. I must consciously attend to the needs of body and spirit. Connecting them as I did today in dance would be a wise daily activity for me.
With practice, I may be able to last beyond 28 minutes of excessive movement without collapsing on the couch, gasping for breath.
Good luck to you as you begin your uncharacteristic physical fitness adventure!
To some of you, my doing dance at home was a cop out. You expected some huge gesture: physical fitness largess. You were disappointed in my humble choice. I am not. By completing this exercise, I went beyond a one shot adrenaline rush. I expanded my daily practice. I did not know this would happen. I finally understand what it means to take a first, small step. Nothing could change until I began to move.
Today I repeated 28 minutes of shaking, crazy dance and raised it by another 4 minutes. Today, my pelvis and abdomen pulsed with a near debilitating ache. It felt as if someone had punched the air out of their outer edges. I actually moaned as I danced! I felt motivated to keep moving, breathing energy and release into these tight muscles. I wonder what joys tomorrow will bring?
Do you often try activities that are unfamiliar or even distasteful?
© 2013 Barbara