Mindful Movement; Not Exercise

There is so much power in the words that we speak, and if we use vocabulary that we don't like or don't feel aligned with, when it comes to our actions or our own personal truths, you will constantly be in a state of incongruency in your life.

One word I don't like is exercise, and it makes me feel a certain kinda way. It makes me feel like I have to do something that I don't want to do, so when I was trying to be a good doobie and exercise a few times each week, I always dreaded it and never felt great afterwards, like I heard it was supposed to make you feel.

Once I gave up booze back in 2017, I decided to give this working out thing a try, AGAIN, but with much more thought. I decided I would do the things I liked to do, and none of the stuff I didn't...and I didn't like using the word exercise because, well, I just didn't like the word. So I decided to set a goal to go the gym and move around. I just wanted to accomplish the goal of daily movement, however that felt best to me for that day. Exercise felt so limiting, whereas movement felt so much more free and flowing and unrestricted.

I began setting very small goals of going to the gym, getting out of my car and going through the double doors, in hopes of moving some weights around, for an unspecified amount of time. The goal was not a timed workout or specific exercises, but rather, to get through the double doors and just MOVE.

Once that became an achievable goal, I began getting a bit more specific with my movement goals:

-move 3-4 times a week

-move arms and abs

-move legs and hips

-move for an hour

Once I nailed that, it was onto a beautiful practice I like to call mindful movement, which I'm sure I did not make up on my own, but at the time, I had never heard of it and it was the most aligned term I had ever used when it came to the gym and exercise.

In place of a scheduled, structured workout, I would have in my mind what body part(s) I would focus on, and I would go into the gym and freely go to whatever my body wanted, whether it was dumbbells, barbells, pulleys, TRX, and I would settle my mind on the exact muscle(s) I was moving and working on during my workouts, literally going inside the muscles and intentionally moving each weight, each pulley, to maximize my movement.

It became a meditative state for me at the gym, as I began concentrating on every rep, bringing my mind inside the muscle with each intentional movement. I should mention that my movement at the gym is with lifting weights, and I am a very low impact kinda gal. I'm NOT into fast heart rates, HIIT workouts, and if its indoor cardio, I'd rather vomit.

I found what worked for ME. I found what felt right for ME. And while most weightlifters might have a rigorous workout planned and are watching their form in the mirror, I opted to blast my music in my earphones, let all my thoughts flood into my awareness and give them the time and space they needed to express, while letting my body tell ME what it wanted to do in terms of a workout, while mindfully going inside each muscle I worked, feeling it move and stretch and shred and grow.

Let's take a moment to recap:

-use words that feel congruent and in alignment with your wants, needs and desired outcomes

-movement feels so much better to me than using the word exercise, and has helped me to keep a solid schedule at the gym for over three years now

-using mindfulness in working out has really helped me stay in tune with my body while maximizing my efforts for building a strong physique.

I have a feeling this will resonate with a lot of you, and if it does, I'd love to hear your thoughts! I say this all the time, but every body is different, and we have to do what feels good to US and makes US happy, even if it goes against the "norm". Listen to your inner compass, in every facet of your life, and watch how remarkable a life you'll begin to lead, even when it comes to exercising!

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