ease & enjoyment

How to Exercise Smarter & Not Harder

There is a way of exercising that I KNOW will improve the way your body feels & functions. It doesn’t involve a bunch of repetitions, heavy weights, or intense cardio — you don’t have to break a sweat at all, if you don’t want to.

What it does require is a lot of presence, curiosity, & patience. I often refer to this way of moving as Mindful Movement or Intuitive Movement because it’s all about the relationship between body+mind.

The ‘old way’ of exercising says that more is more — more weight, more reps, more speed, more intensity = healthier body & less pain. But it doesn’t always work like that. Yes, movement is medicine; but some of the most active people I’ve met have terrible chronic pain.

It’s because our bodies are complex, alive & intelligent. And if we want our bodies to feel more vital & healthy, we need to tap into this innate intelligence. We don’t do that through rote repetition. We don’t do that when we’re moving so fast or pushing ourselves so hard that we’re completely checked out, just counting reps & waiting for it to be over with. We do it by:

  • sloooowwing down,

  • paying attention to what we feel,

  • getting curious about our sensations, and

  • mixing up / refining our movements

I’m a big believer in using mindful movement to cultivate greater mastery over our bodies! I teach this to my clients to help them overcome pain & discomfort and improve their overall energy. If this is something you’re interested in exploring, click here to see what it might look like to work together.

Stress x Money

In the world humans have created, money is intrinsically linked to our sense of safety. Everything we’ve learned about how to survive & thrive involves money. So, when we think we don’t have enough money, our body reacts as though our life is at stake.

The past few months, I’ve run into some circumstances that have spread me thin financially, and I’ve been going into full-blown survival mode. For me, that’s been manifesting as a giant brain tornado — thinking TOO MUCH about “what do I doooo?!”, trying to control everything, complaining, feeling exhausted, beating myself up for not ‘getting enough done’, bingeing on screens, and feeling out-of-touch with my old friends Ease & Enjoyment.

Here’s what’s been helping me:

  • Coming up with a plan that I feel okay with (including a worst-case-scenario contingency), and then choosing to trust that plan every time I start freaking out.

  • Acknowledging my ‘wins’, even (especially!) the little things, every damn day.

  • Recognizing my humanness — I’m a person, not a money-making machine, and I have needs & limits!

  • Making time to reconnect with & care for myself physically & emotionally by meditating, moving my body, & spending time in nature

Titration x Productivity

We all know that moment: life is starting to get challenging and we’re feeling stretched, but our schedule is full and we have a lot on our plate.

In these moments, we have a choice: We can push ahead & test our limits. Or we can slow down and titrate (i.e. continuously measure & adjust the balance of) our stress levels to stay within our zone of tolerance.

Sometimes it’s good to push our limits and know what we’re capable of. And, when our giant pile of to-do’s is looming over us, it’s easy to think that the fastest/easiest thing to do is to ‘get it over with’ and rest later. But if we push ourselves to the point of burnout, it can take a lot of time & self-care to get back to health.

On the other hand, if we’re monitoring how we feel, taking breaks, and adjusting the amount of stress we put ourselves through, we allow ourselves to rest & recover as we go along. It can seem counterintuitive, but managing our stress levels in this way can help us to be more productive in the long run. We may work more slowly than we’re capable of, but we do better work with a healthy, well-rested body+mind. And we get to skip the days- or weeks-long burnout recovery period!

Appreciation x Manifestation

Take a moment to appreciate something you’ve worked for.

When we want something, get it, and then forge ahead to the next thing without pausing to enjoy, I feel like we send mixed signals to the Universe. Like, are you sure you really wanted this in your life? Or did you really want the ‘wanting’ and the ‘doing’?

Desire is a beautiful expression of our unique essence. But it can be uncomfortable when there isn’t enjoyment on the other side.

Fortunately, we can always enjoy what we’ve already received. And when we lean in to the good feels that come with getting what we want, we impress upon ourselves & the Universe that fulfilling our desires is worthwhile & yields positive results

How to Love Your Body (In A World That Tells Us Not To)

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Society has a weird vendetta against our bodies.

There’s the Medical Message, which we hear from a lot of doctors & media, telling us that we’re sick & broken, and that we need to be “fixed”. And with it comes Diet Culture — this idea that we need to be skinny and mold to a particular health ideal (and if we don’t, we obviously don’t care about ourselves).

Even more widespread are these Social Rules we have that prevent us from expressing ourselves fully — the messages that we need to be perceived as calm, cool, & collected (and definitely never be weird, awkward, or ‘too much’).

All of these cultural messages encourage us to dislike our bodies, or to be embarrassed or ashamed of them. So, if we want to dismantle the body shame we’ve absorbed from our culture, we have to learn how to have a better relationship with our bodies — to learn to enjoy & love our bodies! You can do this by:

  • Finding ways to enjoy all of your senses; expanding your capacity for pleasure

  • Moving your body; allowing it to express its entire range of possibilities

  • Making a daily practice of feeling & releasing your emotions; process them in-the-moment whenever possible

  • Allowing yourself to be curious & playful & silly; take time alone or with loved ones to be free from social expectations

  • Learning what you like & dislike, and honoring yourself with thoughtful boundaries