When I think about where we all are right now in this time of tremendous economic strife and strain, my mind goes to the wisdom of my old friend, William James, the 19th and 20th Century psychologist and philosopher. William James was a big proponent of respecting and nourishing the body-mind connection, and evidence of this shows up in a good bit of his philosophical writings. I have often found myself smiling when I go back into my own archives and read what he wrote all the way back in the late 1800’s—nothing has changed really about human psychology and our pre-dispositions … our tendency to allow ourselves to get pulled off-center and become consumed by the concerns of life. And in so doing , we forget to take care of ourselves, we neglect ourselves. Tell me, do you neglect your pet? Forget to feed him, walk him? Do you neglect your child? No.
Never more than now have we needed to be reminded of how vital it is to take care of ourselves, to eat well, sleep well, and MOVE our bodies! Being resilient requires nourishment—of the body, mind and the spirit. When you care for yourself, and more specifically, when you engage in an activity that stimulates the magical chain of chemical events in your body—the release of endorphins and serotonin, you create remarkable possibilities for good health, reduced stress and peace of mind, which then translates into greater overall strength and stamina, an empowered sense of the self, better interactions with others (even less stress) and likely better lovin’, more productivity, more opportunity! And these days, we need our wits about us! We need our wits to create new ideas if the old ones aren’t working any more.
This is a challenging time for sure— but we have a choice—we can look at it through dark lenses, or through the lens of change and opportunity. This can be a time of cleansing, clearing and renewal. Any period of adversity challenges us to rise to the occasion, to make it count. And if we succeed in adapting to it and moving with it and in essence “riding it out” in style, we evolve as a result. We are better for it.
Read a bit from my old friend, James …
“Most people live, whether physically, intellectually or morally, in a very restricted circle of their potential being. They make use of a very small portion of their possible consciousness, and of their soul’s resources in general, much like a man who, out of his whole bodily organism, should get into a habit of using and moving only his little finger. Great emergencies and crises show us how much greater our vital resources are than we had supposed. ”
And he goes on to espouse the virtues of staying strong …
“Keep the faculty of effort alive in you by a little gratuitous exercise every day. That is, be systematically ascetic or heroic in little unnecessary points, do every day or two something for no other reason than that you would rather not do it, so that when the hour of dire need draws nigh, it may find you not unnerved and untrained to stand the test.”
On Friday the 28th, @9am, post-turkey, I taught the kick-off class for the opening of Lululemon’s Philadelphia Flagship Store. I decided that in light of the L-Tryptophan stupor everyone would likely be in, the best idea would be to teach Waking Energy, my latest invention– a magical combination of ancient age-defying exercise secrets made new that teach you how to harness the energy of the universe and channel it into your body to literally wake up the energy inside you. There is, and has been for a while now, such a passionate interest in Pilates and Yoga and while I can take only peripheral credit for contributing to the love of yoga in this country (one best-selling video: Method Precision Yoga) and many group classes and workshops, I humbly take responsibility for helping to start the wave of happiness around Pilates in the late 90’s … and the fact that the public is well-educated in the alternative healing arts now has only helped my cause— helped me to introduce to the masses, this next exciting installment that has come as a result of my own body-mind evolution– another pioneering product of my own experience and passion. WAKING ENERGY!
I can’t say enough about Waking Energy and the proof is in the pudding— to watch that group of people who drifted slowly and sluggishly into Lululemon on Friday morning, not knowing what to expect, go from half asleep to awake and alive, humming and smiling –really beaming, was quite a sight to behold.I started with the standing self-massage “energy dance” where you literally massage every part of your body and open your energy pathways– and the smiles and laughter started in the crowd. At first, a kind of shy reticence, checking it all out, and then before 5 minutes were up, going with the flow, shaking, bouncing, tapping, rubbing, dancing, feeling, breathing, waking up! Coming alive … And after an hour of it, people were transformed and converted. One by one after class, they approached me to say things like, “I really like Pilates and Yoga, but NOTHING has ever made me feel like this!” and “I can’t remember the last time I felt so in touch with myself and what I was feeling, or how much I needed to really pay attention to the different parts of my body and what the results could be!”– “I only sort of feel like this after a massage I get from someone else, but no massage has ever left me feeling this calm and energized at the same time.”It was great. So gratifying to watch the transformation, to see the color and joy returning to the faces– the surprise, the delight, the amazement, the satisfaction. When you engage in something as rejuvenating and as stimulating and harmonizing as Waking Energy, you literally recharge your batteries– Waking Energy is based on the principles of ancient Eastern philosophies, Chinese medicine among them and the thinking and science behind the philosophy, is that if you stimulate and harmonize your energy pathways, you do the same to the organ systems that are connected to them and you balance and pacify the emotional resonances that are held in each organ of the body–thereby reducing stress that comes from excessive thought or worry and nourishing your primary energetic center– your kidneys. You restore and then build your “chi,” — your life force and thus, you have greater reserves– an enhanced ability to cope with whatever comes your way, and who doesn’t need that today?! Look radiant. Feel powerful, Be super-fit. Live longer. That’s the subtitle that’s on the cover of my new Hot Body Cool Mind Series … and man, it is the truth. Do Waking Energy everyday and it will become your defense strategy– it will keep you strong and healthy and mentally balanced and focused during this very challenging time when it’s too easy to get sucked into the vortex of anxiety and frustration. Drop what you’re doing– take a few minutes for yourself and try Waking Energy. The results will surprise, amaze and delight you, I promise. When your body and mind are strong, you make better decisions and attract greater possibilities– the Law of Attraction is enhanced when you take the time out to enhance your LIFE FORCE— we are all energy beings, like everything else in the world and in the universe, and like attracts like– so get out there and start drawing into your orbit, your field what will enhance and enrich your life– start by “plugging in” plugging into the immense power of the earth and the sky and your own body. Take the time to smell the flowers, to stand among the trees. Change your body-mind, change your life, change your world.