Seven Words

Daily Movement Prompts, Friday, September 15, 2017

I was reading an article in which the person participating in a variety of workouts quotes her trainer who said, “I want to see if you can do XYZ…” And that was a turning point for her. Those seven words, “I want to see if I can…” changed her outlook on her movement and activities.

Someone was recently quizzing me about my various athletic interests and they were completely baffled about why I would ever want to do running long distances. And I said, “Because I want to personally see if I can do a ‘Big Thing’ that I set out to do.” There’s no particular reason for some of my interests. They are completely rooted in, “I wonder if I can.”

And it goes beyond wondering. Picking a challenge for myself and pursuing it for myself can give me a strong sense of personal accomplishment. It’s not for the Instagram hits or the blog posts, but just because I want to see if I can.

How are you moving today? How are you moving tomorrow? Is there something you’d like to see yourself do?

Stretch to Start

Daily Movement Prompts, Sunday, September 10, 2017 edition: Stretch to Start

So many movement types start with literal stretching. Runners stretch, dancers stretch, swimmers stretch… Nearly everyone has a warm up and stretch before starting their workout, movement, or activity. Have you ever considered figurative stretches as part of your starting routine?

What would be a “stretch” for you to accomplish or try? Would it be a stretch to start a specific yoga pose? weight lifting technique? hiking route? new dance move? repetitive muscle targets like pull-ups or squats or planks?

What movement do you have planned for today? What rest or recovery are you embracing? What would be the a stretch for you to start?

Be You

Daily Movement Prompts, Saturday September 9, 2017 edition: Be You

It’s Saturday. What does that mean for you? Are you scheduled for some activity that is old hat? Comfortable and relaxing? Are you headed out for a challenge? Something new or an effort for a new personal best? Are you taking a break, to ensure that your injuries have time to heal? Are you recognizing you need time off for recovery from an illness?

Did you wake up on Saturday excited for your movement and activities? Are you feel frustrated or daunted? Could you use some encouragement? Are you brimming with happiness and pride in your accomplishments? Are you feeling unsure or tentative? Are you looking for ideas and motivation? Are you bored? Are you overwhelmed? Are you bouncing and feeling shiny?

Guess what? No matter how your Saturday looks, YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY WORTHY of love and affection and friendship and encouragement. Just by being YOU.

GO BE YOU. We’ll be here cheering you on, and also being us. Feel free to share a bit and cheer and encourage a bit. It’s something we really like about you. 💛💚💙💜

When and Why

Daily Movement Prompts, Tuesday, September 2, 2017 edition: When and Why

It seems to me that choosing to pursue movement or activity or exercise comes down to two primary questions for me: When and Why? Will I pursue a movement right now? or slightly later? And why will I move? Is it something I want to enjoy in the moment? or am I planning for a goal?

I’ve been reading the auto-biography from Col. Chris Hadfield, Canadian astronaut who went on three trips to space, including once as the Commander of the International Space Station. From the time he was nine years old, he wanted to be an astronaut. But even though that did not seem likely, he went for pursuits “to make him ready, just in case.”

My movement choices are not to be an astronaut or an Olympic athlete. So why do I want to move? How do I want to move? When will I move? Will I get up and go for a walk or a run? Will I schedule a dance rehearsal? Will I take up a plank challenge? Will I do my knee exerices from physical therapy? Will I take a break and finally get enough sleep?

What are the motivating questions that steer your movement choices? Why do you want to move? When will you move? Will you move today? Or is today important for rest and recovery?


Daily Movement Prompts, Friday, September 1, 2017: Intersections

We rarely think too much about this, but the key difference between cloth and threads are the intersections between all the threads. You could take a pile of thread and leave it in a pile, but you only have lots of threads with no relationship to one another… except for the snarls and accidental knots that might happen. But cloth happens when every thread has an intentional path that intersects with a whole bunch of other threads with some repetition and patterning.

Any of my individual movements–walking around the office building on a break, lifting grocery bags from the car and putting them away, running after the toddler who is headed into traffic–these are the individual threads of my movements. And when I have specific goals in mind–improved stamina, increased flexibility, new skills in dance or yoga or rock-climbing or swimming–then I need to plan out repetitions and patterns to my movement.

What goals are you interested in patterning and repeating? What movement today will help you build that cloth, that goal? What individual threads can you gather together in your own movement activities?


Daily Movement Prompts, Monday, August 21, 2017 edition: Eclipses

Today, I watched a ton of footage of the eclipse on the internet and shared knowledge and information with my co-workers. There are times when my movement and activities feel similar: I might not be able to travel out to far away places, but I can share information with others.

Do you have days when you feel like your movement goals are eclipsed by life or circumstances or injury? Fortunately, this too will pass. In the meantime, I like to imagine that these crescent-shaped bits of light are like disco-ball light sparkles, inviting me to dance.

Whether you personally witnessed the sun blocked by the moon, saw photos of it, or watched crescent-shaped sparkles on the ground, I hope that you found some simple joy today in the experience. And whether today is a day to get up and move your boday, or maybe just a day to enjoy tales about movement and cheer for others, I hope you find some joy today in movement and in rest.


Daily Movement Prompts, Thursday, August 17, 2017 edition: Interruptions

Things pop up in our lives that interrupt our plans for consistency. Births, deaths, marriages, divorces, sickness, injury, trips to the hospital or doctor or therapist. News cycles that can spike anxiety or depression or action and organization. Work emergencies. Family emergencies. Weather disasters. Financial strain.

And you know what? That’s okay. We are interrupted all the time. And that’s okay. You’re not being judged whether you can stay even-keeled through all the ups and downs in life.

You might use movement to add consistency where there has been none. You might embrace the down-time between activities for rest and recovery. You might find new community to share emotional support when things are rough. You might find a calling that takes you in a new direction.

If you’re feeling a little out of sorts, frustrated, frightened, angry, bewildered, or lost — please reach out to someone you trust. If you want to share in this community, please do. If you need an extra hug (even virtually), please know you are invited. This hug is for you.

And if you need to jump up and down, jump away my friends. Shake your hands over your head. Scream into the long night. Lie flat on the floor and feel the weight. Stretch long and curl up tight. Move and shake and dance and rest again. It’s okay. I know I’m in need of a good sweat and a good nap, all at the same time.

Simple vs. Easy

Daily Movement Prompts, Tuesday, August 8, 2017 edition: Simple vs. Easy

Some things in life are Simple but they are not necessarily Easy. “Do this habit” might seem a straightforward and simple instruction. But it’s not always easy to build a new habit. From learning to put the mail away when you walk in the door (if paperwork is your struggle) or building a habit to wash or rinse the dishes (if cleaning dishes is your struggle) or remembering where your keys are (if misplacing them is your struggle)… Simple is not always Easy.

If you’re feeling discouraged about a habit that’s not sticking yet, could it be because you thought that if it’s simple it would also be easy? Remember to be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself if you haven’t accomplished everything you wanted to.

Instead, let’s pick one Easy thing and then maybe get back to that Simple (but kind of Difficult) habit afterwards. Later, you can look at one Simple habit are you trying to build, but it’s possibly proving to be harder than you thought.

What is one Easy thing you could do today for movement? Let’s bag a success. Let’s see if we can do one EASY thing and check it off as done. (Who knows? You might find one easy thing so simple, that you might build your habits on these easy tasks.)

One More Stitch

Daily Movement Prompts, Monday, August 7, 2017: One More Stitch

I love the phrase “the fabric of our lives.” Because I work with textiles, this resonates with me. Even if you have never worked on anything crafty or textiles-centric, we all come into contact with fabric every day.

Imagine for a moment how fabric is constructed: Threads or fiber are interlocked in a variety of ways to make a solid layer than can then be manipulated to fit loose or tight, unyielding or stretchy, warm or cool, to fill a purpose or even just to be decorative.

Our lives are like that: There are threads that weave through our days. Some parts of our lives are more functional, some are more decorative. Some parts of life are loose fitting, some are tailored, some are tight and constrictive.

How you move in your daily life helps build the fabric of your life. It might be only one stitch today, it might be only one thread. You might cut threads loose that have started to bind and scratch. You might bring new threads in that are bright and encouraging.

What threads are running through the fabric of your life lately? What threads should be cut? What threads would you like to add?

How will you move today?

At Least I Can

Daily Movement Prompts, Sunday, August 6, 2017 edition: At Least I Can

Recently, I have heard people saying they are stuck and they don’t know what to do next. Sometimes it’s because they have fallen out of habits. When we break the streak of having done good things, sometimes it’s hard to jump back in and start over. Other times, maybe we’re coming back from an injury or a long time without moving. It seems so overwhelming, where do I start?

But “Today” does not judge us because we’re not where we were “Yesterday.” In fact, Today is only right now. Today never knows about Yesterday. I know that we can see past, present, and future in our imaginations. But Present-Me can only be Present-Me.

This is why one of my rules in dance class is, “This Body, This Day.” So rather than get frustrated with what I cannot do, I like to play a game I call, “At least I can.” At least I can stand up and sit down… so, can I do that five times? At least I can walk these stairs… so, can I do that two times? At least I can sit in a chair and hold my arms up… Can I do that for 30 seconds? Can I do that for 60 seconds? At least I can bend and raise my legs in the air, one at a time, from a chair… can I do 10 repeats of this?

When you get stuck and you don’t know where to go next for your movement, maybe you could play a game of, “At least I can.” Let us know how you were able to move and encourage yourself. We can all, at least, do a happy dance for you.