There was a time, not all that long ago, when moving my body with any level of ease was a chore.
Strained effort, discomfort, and frustration were my daily companions as I navigated chronic flare-ups of pain that rotated between my hips, legs, lower back, shoulders, and neck.
My grandmother had suffered similar issues, as does my mother, so I had begun to resign myself to a future stymied with more of the same, chalking it up to the inevitability of my genetics with a shrug and a “Whatcha gonna do?”
Well, PLENTY, it turns out. There was plenty to do, I just needed a good, solid dose of perspective.
I realized that while I routinely use the power of intention to shape various aspects of my life, I’d been ignoring this same strategy when it came to my physicality.
I’d been letting someone else’s outcome rule my belief about MY outcome, which is kind of crazytalk when you think about it. After all, genetics may be the hand I’m dealt, but how I play it is entirely up to me.
And so, I decided to #reclaim my body’s story.
My original motivation was my love of gardening. I wanted to #reclaim this happy place, when my hands are in the dirt.
Caring for our beloved gardens the way I like requires, among other things, squatting, pulling, pushing, bending, balancing, carrying, and lunging, for hours at a time, over and over again. In my weakened state, the physical demands were becoming more and more out of reach.
This is why I chose to start by #reclaiming my functional movement.
Up to that point, there’d been a lot of lamenting “Oh, I can’t do THAT move,” when an instructor would announce, well, just about anything during a class workout. I had such a solid story in my head about what my body was and was not capable of that I wouldn’t even TRY sometimes.
But through this lens of #reclaimed functionality, it shifted.
I started paying very close attention to how a workout move might translate to a garden task, which naturally created a stronger investment for me to always fit my workout into my schedule - after all, the gardens were waiting.
I started trying “at least one,” no matter what.
I modified relentlessly.
I reckoned something was better than nothing, and every little bit counted.
I flipped obstacles into opportunities.
I cut myself lots of slack.
I kept showing up.
That was a couple of years ago, and I’m happy to report our backyard gardens are thriving. :)
Because it turns out that by deciding to #reclaim my body’s story, I would also #reclaim joy...
...connection with nature...
...and the freedom to move my body when, where, and however I pleased, which is not something I will ever take for granted again.
What about you? What kind of joy does your self-care allow YOU to reclaim? I'm interested in knowing if you're interested in sharing! xo