Rip off the mask, tear down the walls. Show the world your beautiful self!

Getting More than Expected

A couple of months ago I started an almost daily regimen of shoulder exercises in response to severe pain, first in my right shoulder, then in my left. A series of stretches I’d found on the net were extremely helpful in limbering up the muscles and allowing them to release, especially when performed right after I got up. When combined with light weight work for shoulders and arms, the improvement has been nothing short of amazing.

One of those exercises is performed on the floor, a place I tended to avoid because age and weight made it difficult to get back up without employing a small crane to heave my bulk to an upright position. In fact, it required a series of shoves and rolls, first to get from my back to a sitting position, then to my knees and finally, to my feet. In the process, I pushed off the floor, the dresser and the bed before arriving at the desired place, often undoing the good I’d done for my shoulders by getting down there in the first place.

Lately, I’ve noticed that getting from my butt to my knees and my knees to my feet has required little to no pushing with my arms and, in fact, I’m almost to the point where I can get there without even using my arms for balance. My body is already appreciating the stretching which has evolved to include time with the Miracle Ball under my neck and some back stretches before I get up, but to be able to get up and down from the floor with more ease (though not exactly easy yet) is a bonus I never thought I’d see again.

The lesson I’ve learned is ridiculously simple. Whatever movement we practice on a regular basis, be it squats or simply getting up from the sofa or toilet using only our legs instead of pushing off with our arms, will, over time, make it easier to do those things, and perhaps a few more we hadn’t realized we’d made difficult for ourselves by either compensating or avoiding. Now if I can just convince my lazy self to get up at least a couple of mornings a week and get back to the gym. I know I felt much better when I did, yet, somehow, I just can’t seem to get myself back into the routine.

One Good Routine Leads to Another

I know I’ve covered this ground before, but different things seem to trigger reminders. It takes a month or so to get a good habit to stick, though that doesn’t mean that it won’t still fall by the wayside if we don’t continually condition ourselves to continue. What I’ve also learned is that setting one good habit often leads to another, and not necessarily one that’s related. For example, I got into the habit of stretching when I get up most days and now, I’m getting a lot better about spending a solid part of my day writing. It may only be a couple of hours spent editing my book, an hour or so working on my website and 30 or 40 minutes on a blog post. Or it may be an hour of research and an hour or so of writing. Regardless of how much time is spent and on which project, the key is that I am spending those hours writing and, in fact, closing in on that 8 or so hour work day I’ve been trying to retrieve after nearly two years of piddling around for long periods of time before buckling down and actually getting things done.

In life, I think everything is a leap of faith of some kind. Taking a first step towards anything that isn’t part of our normal routine is a leap of faith. It doesn’t have to be something big. In fact, the small things train us for the big things. Adding a little thing to your daily or weekly routine every so often can and will broaden your view of what is possible. Those little successes will inspire you to reach higher and farther. And as I’ve demonstrated, one leap can bring benefits you hadn’t even considered.

Where will you leap today?

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for painless nights of sleep I’m once again enjoying.
2. I am grateful for side benefits to new habits.
3. I am grateful for the small successes because they inspire me to attempt the larger ones.
4. I am grateful for the rain we’re finally seeing. It may not seem like much, but it’s more than we’ve had in awhile and the plants are getting happy.
5. I am grateful for abundance: new habits, blessings, simple pleasures, friendship, inspiration, motivation, words, music, love, harmony, peace, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

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