Spring is Here!
Spring is here! Despite several ski trips this year, I still feel like I’m coming out of a long period of inactivity. I’m starting to spend more time out in my yard and garden. I’ve been broadforking (a large two handled garden fork) and one day Tom and I planted 400 onions and shallots. I’m getting sore from things I wasn’t used to getting sore from last summer, but I have to remember it’s been several months now since I did any of this stuff.
It’s amazing the effect that the sensations in our body have on us.
We can be doing a thing with joy, breathing in the fresh and alive smells of spring and seeing the potential for the new flower bed…the potential that is almost palpable this time of year. Or we can feel disheartened with how much broadforking there is to do, how the brush will just grow back anyway, and why do we need this new flower bed? And I’ve been really meaning to go organize the drill bits and put some laundry in the washer…so I think I’ll go do something else and get back to this later…
It usually doesn’t strike us as a body driven sensation…this way of being demotivated about doing something that we’ve enjoyed doing in the past. Yet, your body will rule you. This is what we’re talking about when we’re talking about a body/mind. That everything about how my body feels – how my body is – is changing me as a person. I either derive joy from the activity I’m doing, or I feel burdened by it.
In some ways acute pain is better. It’s more obvious than this low grade grumble that can go undetected.. It’s obvious that something is wrong and that we need to treat it or heal. What’s hard is the rehabilitation phase, when the pain…if there ever was pain…is not there to motivate us anymore and we just have to keep showing up for something distastefully difficult, that it would be easier not to do.
The good news is that once we recognize these ho-hum, demotivated feelings as being something to do with how our body is feeling, we’ve gotten away from being in it and can now look at it from a larger perspective. We’ve gained awareness of the situation and with awareness we can begin to explore it and see what affects it.
You can ask yourself:
- How do I feel physically while I’m doing this?
- Is there joy here? How could I change what I’m doing to make it more fun or more joyful?
- Do I feel strong?
- Am I at ease? What could I do (or not do) to bring more ease to this activity?
- Am I afraid that I could do this wrong and hurt myself? How does that fear change how I’m using my body right now?
- How could this be more like dancing?
Spend time with each of these questions next time you’re doing a task. The exploration and the curiosity is the treatment. Try it with enjoyable tasks, and try it with tasks you find distasteful, hard to get around to or boring to see what’s different. The idea is to live a life in which activity is a source of joy.