Tag Archives: body

“How Does One Bring One’s Mind and Body Back Together? The Best Means Is ___”

In The Awakened Eye, Ross Parmenter writes, “How does one bring one’s mind and body back together? The best means is a vacation.”

Hmmmm…I think there are many ways a person could answer the question, “How does one bring one’s mind and body back together?”

I think some people would say “Meditation.” As I write about in Better Than Before, meditation wasn’t helpful for me, but many people do find it useful.

For me, I’ve found, I can bring my body and mind together by mindfully enjoying the experience of my body. Which is delightful.

For instance, I take a moment to enjoy my sense of smell. We can enjoy beautiful scents without any time, energy, or money; a scent ties us to the present moment, because we can’t bookmark it, or save it for later, or even continue to experience it for very long. In my book Happier at Home, I write about the power of the sense of smell, and all I did to try to get more good smells into my life (and also get rid of bad smells, very helpful!)

I also deliberately notice the colors around me. I’ve become obsessed with color. So many beautiful colors, so many fascinating aspects of seeing color.

Do you agree that a vacation is a good way to bring your mind and body back together?

How would you fill in the blank?

“Truly to Enjoy Bodily Warmth, Some Small Part of You Must Be Cold.”

“Truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast.  Nothing exists in itself.  If you flatter yourself that you are all over comfortable, and have been so a long time, then you cannot be said to be comfortable any more.”

–Herman Melville, Moby Dick

This explains one of the joys of camping.

Agree, disagree?

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Secret of Adulthood: Sometimes, Material Desires Have a Spiritual Aspect.

Further Secrets of Adulthood:

 

Agree, disagree?

This reminds me of another Secret of Adulthood: Sometimes, you can minister to your spirit through your body.

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Secret of Adulthood: Sometimes, You Can Minister to Your Spirit Through Your Body.

Further Secrets of Adulthood:

 

In Happier at Home, I spend a chapter focused on the “Body” — because our physical experience always colors our emotional experience.

Continuing in this line of thought, in my forthcoming book on habits, I return to the subject with the Strategy of Foundation. I argue that in order to have the self-command that we need to foster good habits, we need to pay a lot of attention to our Foundation, and therefore we tackle habits that help us to:

1. Sleep

2. Move

3. Eat and drink right

4. Unclutter (because for most people, outer order contributes to inner calm)

Three of the four Foundation habits relate directly to the body.

When it comes to ministering to the spirit through the body, in my own life, I often turn to one of my favorite happiness habits: To cultivate my sense of smell. I have a big shelf crammed with beautiful or interesting scents, and whenever I need a lift, I go there. Plus I have a lucky perfume.

How about you? Do you have ways to minister to your spirit through your body? Through your eyes (looking at art or nature), through the sense of taste (comfort foods, new cuisines), through the sense of hearing (listening to your favorite upbeat music is one of the quickest ways to intervene in mood), or through the sense of touch (getting a massage, fur therapy by petting your dog?)

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Find It Hard To Wake Up in the Morning? Try Stretching.

Every morning, first thing, to help myself wake up (it is 6:00 a.m., after all), I spend a minute or so stretching. This isn’t a rigorous or carefully designed set of stretches — more the kind of desultory stretches that we did in my seventh-grade P.E. class before running laps around the gym.

I touch my toes, I do some straddle stretches, I twist left and right, etc. I do this not for any scientifically based reason (in fact, from what I read, it seems that this kind of stretching may not always be a good idea), but because it helps me feel awake and energetic. This easy, simple habit makes me feel much more alert and comfortable in my body.

I pay particular attention to my neck, because I have a history of pulled muscles in my neck. I actually think to myself, “Wake up, neck!” as I turn my head from one side to the other, then move my head forward and back. Again, for very unscientific reasons. A friend told me that he’d heard (note: high probability of urban legend) that many people pull muscles as a result of suddenly reaching for their alarm clocks — that the abrupt movement, right out of sleep, was hard on muscles.

I thought about this, and I realized that when I’d pulled a muscle in my neck, it had always happened in the morning. For instance, my worst episode came when I pulled my neck first thing, as I was filling my electric kettle at breakfast. I looked down at the faucet, and I could feel the muscle riiiiiiiiiiiip. Of course, I realized, my seeing this morning pattern might just be an example of confirmation bias, but waking up my neck seemed like an easy idea that couldn’t hurt.

I stretch my whole body, though, just to feel more energetic and ready for my day. When I skip the stretching, I really notice the difference in my physical experience.

How about you? Do you have any strategies to help you feel awake and energetic in the morning? Or to avoid neck strain.

I’m working on my Happiness Project, and you could have one, too! Everyone’s project will look different, but it’s the rare person who can’t benefit. Join in — no need to catch up, just jump in right now. Each Friday’s post will help you think about your own happiness project.

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Enter your name and email in the sign-up form here, and every day, a name will be picked at random. U.S.Canada, and U.K. only–sorry about that restriction on the give-away.

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