All I Really Need to Know I Learned From Movement, #1

Good morning Travellers,

It’s been storming here all night and the ground is soaked as are my shoes I left outside with the dog harnesses. Obviously, no 5am walk was had. It amazes me how smelly those things can get from everyday use, so I’ve been leaving them out to dry in the sun each day.

Speaking of stinky, yesterday as we were walking thru the neighborhood, every other block or so smelled like skunk. (I meant to tell you this yesterday, but I forgot..) I think skunks are the cutest little creatures and it seemed this one had rather boozily been spraying it’s scent. I sometimes wonder with a creature like that, do they ever just spray it for fun, like was he just running down the street letting his stink flag fly? That sort of created an amusing scene in my mind that I giggled at while we were walking…

SO I have a new idea or rather an old idea that I’m thinking is worth a little deeper dive…

Did you ever see the poster that circulated into popularity years ago that read: “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”? I think Hallmark made it, because when I was younger Hallmark did that kind of thing. Like circa the time of E.T. being released in the movie theaters. I was really tiny when it started but I remember it persevered for many years. A glance thru the internet and I see there were books as well meditating on this same idea, which is a very valid idea that I’ve often thought should be applied to a life in motion. All the things you learn from moving your body in any setting, by ourself or with other people. I’ve decided to run that idea up the flag pole on Wednesdays for awhile, because there are a lot of things you learn from a relationship with movement that make your life better.

Let’s start with perfection. I’ve learned in my life with movement that perfection isn’t real. PERFECTION ISN’T REAL, DID YOU HEAR ME?  That’s a pretty damn freeing thing for a human soul. Letting go of what you think things need to be and embracing how things really are…Perfection is an ideal whose time has come in my mind to stop being presented to anyone as “THE GOAL”. Perfection is not an actual goal because why, because it’s a fucking moving target. You’re going to chase it forever. Because there isn’t an actual general consensus on what perfection is despite anything the media or physical fitness/healthy lifestyle industry would have you believe. It seems to me there are two trains of thought here, the way things actually are and/or the way things “should” be. Perfection is a should, and why do we continue to want to should all over ourselves???

I’m not big on mirrors being used for alignment cuing. Or in yoga studios. If you are helping someone who has NEVER moved, sometimes a little visual assistance isn’t a bad thing, but for me, it’s a mostly no mirror world. I think you need to really work on feeling your body move inside. Engagement is an inside job that I’m not sure is as easily seen as it is felt. Every person’s alignment is slightly different inside so subtle variations are to be expected. And embraced. I feel too much mirror creates too much “should.”  And looking in a mirror for most people is not happiness on a stick, you will pick yourself apart because you aren’t perfect. I think perfection lives in mirrors waiting to poop all over your parade. No one is in fact perfect despite any filter, photoshopping or other editing devices.

The thing about a good work out, at least for me, is finding humor when your balance fails you or you can’t lift as much one day as you do the next. Maybe your coordination isn’t as awesome one day. Maybe you can’t flow thru push-ups as easily one day. A funny thing happened somewhere along the way, I embraced it versus being so upset that it wasn’t perfect. I tend to giggle when I fall or can’t do something one day. Working hard, being fully invested in what you’re doing is what really gets the job done, not doing it perfectly to look perfect.

Then there’s all the sweatiness and funny looks on your face when you move. I don’t wear fancy work out clothes so I don’t arrive to look a certain way while I’m moving.  I see clothing as scaffolding anyways, the thing you’re really building is underneath. And no matter how that looks, your body, perfect is not a measure of attractiveness. All our muscles grow differently and you really can’t “Make” your body look a certain way working out. I mean yes, there is hypertrophy, which is muscle growth, but the way your body is going to do that is all it’s own design. Embracing your uniqueness is better than perfect.

All movement is a practice not just yoga. In case you haven’t realized this yet, life is a practice. And I know “they”say, practice makes perfect, but how about practice just makes you stronger. Doing your very best is more than enough. And everyday, that’s gonna look a bit different. Giving everything for what it’s worth on it’s own has more value than being perfect and embracing that will change your life. There is so much contentment to be found without chasing perfection. Not saying it’s easy, it’s not easy,  life isn’t easy but unlike perfection, these things are the bullseye worth hitting.



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