Years ago I participated in a weekend workshop that was to begin my graduate program in Holistic Health at John F. Kennedy University. Naturally, we were required to write a paper. Since my paper suggested bringing your whole self to the world at large, I concluded it with some version of, “Maybe the Hokey Pokey really is what it’s all about?”
I thought this was a clever and original thought on my part until I began noticing this same sentiment expressed on t-shirts, coffee mugs, and bumper stickers. I had to concede I wasn’t the only one who had considered the possibility of the Hokey Pokey replacing the Holy Grail.
Tonight I was listening to a book called “Die Empty“ on Audibleas I was walking on my treadmill. After owning the treadmill for approximately eight years, I finally figured out how to use audio input.
I was three miles into the walk and three chapters into the book before my Fitbit signaled I had reached my requisite number of steps for the day. At this point I decided I might want to metabolize what I’d just heard before attempting to digest the entire book in one evening.
I used to need my Latin workout cds to get me to walk that fast for that long. I’d reserve the audiobooks for my drive to the main campus or over to our family farm. But I’ve found that if I let ideas literally move through me, I experience them in a very different way.
Like feeling my way to goals that are authentic and true for me, recognizing how my body processes information as well as my brain gives me access to all kinds of options. In my workshop junkie days I had the great fortune to go to Esalen Institute and learn about a mind-body technique called Rubenfield Synergy Method.
One of the things that stuck with me from that experience and several sessions with an incredible practitioner in Santa Fe was the body doesn’t lie. The mind can be a trickster and block out many a trauma, but the body registers them all. To stay healthy, it really helps to check in with it, honor it, listen to it like the lifelong friend it is instead of shame it for the little episode with the mint chocolate chips.
After decades of self-scrutiny, it comes down to this. The key to happiness for me is to write and exercise every day. In other words, I must put my whole self in and shake it all about. Doing this whole-heartedly allows me to experience an entire spectrum of emotions, relationships, and paradoxes. Doing this publically really ups the ante.
What about you? What two or three fundamental things make you happy, and a wee bit terrified? And if you are happy and you know it, do you clap your hands? (Spoiler alert: This is a topic for an upcoming blog post.)
Share if you dare.