My upcoming cross-country move is HUGE for me. In many ways, it represents all of the deep body and heart work I've been doing for years. I'm allowing myself to move into what I want in my life, especially as it relates to what creates - and reflects - resilience.
And it scares the shit out of me! :)
In the last few weeks, my husband and I have upped our efforts to finally get the house on the market (repairing, painting, cleaning, etc.) and I've discovered SO MANY similarities between doing this work and the work of tending to the body.
So here you get my unedited, totally non-comprehensive list of...
Body Lessons Learned
From Prepping My House to Sell
1. You're gonna feel all the feelings.
I was painting the hallway yesterday. It's where my son first crawled and where we have epic games of chase. There's the bedroom I labored for days with my son and the one I miscarried two babies in. There are the marks in the paint from every piece of furniture moved around to accommodate everyone's sleeping needs and the place where I was sitting when my son first laughed. And then there's the place I was standing when I found out my mother had died. This house has sheltered a lot of pain, a lot of laughter, a lot of love making and dance parties and dinner parties and rituals.
The same is true with the body. It is your home. And when you begin to work on it, or you change how you're working on it, you can expect there to be a cornucopia of emotions to experience. It's totally normal an done reason I advocate for a slow and steady approach to movement, so you don't get overwhelmed emotionally!
2. You can do more than you think.
We had planned to outsource a few more things than we did, but when we looked at our budget and decided we'd rather spend our money on other things, we chose to figure out a whole bunch of things we knew little about and to do things we initially didn't feel we had time for. Replacing faucets and tile, patching cement, painting a gazillion square feet, washing all of the windows, installing a kitchen back splash. Turns out we had more capacity than we realized.
It can feel daunting to look at all of the things on your "be healthy in my body" list, especially when you are learning about new things. But I've seen time and time again at how we can learn new skills, get stronger, fit in more movement, learn what we need to. We can take the time, make the time, become competent. YOU can do that.
3. You need help.
While there's more you can do than you might imagine, you can't do it all. We could't/wouldn't do a full bathroom remodel or finish a closet. It just doesn't make sense to try to piece together all of those skills, bit by bit. We also didn't try to replace the faucet or fix the leaking valve without seeking out YouTube videos. And we've used our date night several times for working on the house because we had the help of a babysitter.
It's not a great idea to go it alone. Seriously. I've tried this. You will go further and faster and deeper with just the right amount of people who can support you in your efforts: teachers, guides, body workers, doctors. I have a whole team of people to support me in my body, including working 1:1 with movement teachers. We all need to make sure we have adequate support.
4. Keeping up with maintenance is the path of least resistance.
There have been a host of reasons why we haven't taken care of lots of things around the house - emotional and practical. It's certainly not been ideal, but it's meant that getting the house ready to sell has involved a whole lot of money and time expended in one fell swoop. We've felt the pain of that.
I see this with my clients, too. Maybe you skip you exercises for a while and suddenly realize that they were actually helping. Or maybe you wait until there's a body crisis before you'll do what needs doing. In fact, our homes and our bodies do best when we take care of them ALL the time and we don't wait until we suddenly need everything working to take care of what's not.
5. Keeping your eye on the prize doesn't mean 24/7 focus.
We want to move. We really, really, really want to move. We've been working on it but hasn't been non-stop most of the time. We took our son to play in a corn maze this last weekend with his aunt, I've kept up with my regular long walks and my exercises. We eat and sleep and make love and have dance parties.
It can be physically but, more to the point, emotionally draining to focus on your body 24/7. So don't do it. You're great as you are. Take time off from thinking about your body, trying to fix it or improve it or make your life just right for it. Go have a drink, sit on your tucked tailbone, knit for awhile. It's all good.
6. Find out what motivates you.
At first the repairs we were doing were necessities - call another roofer to see if HE might finally resolve the leaking roof (and he did!). But then it became about the house looking good and working more optimally, like having a better-working sink faucet and spackling minor cracks in the paint. I kept thinking about it as maximizing our investment - the better the house looks, the more money someone is likely to pay for it. But I didn't feel inspired to work more and work harder when I was thinking about the money. Then my mind starting drifting to whomever might live here next, about the laughter they might share in these walls, the arguments and the difficulties, too Perhaps the children they would birth. And suddenly I wanted the best for them! I'm leaving, and I couldn't give this house all it needed during the time I lived in it, but I have more capacity right now, and I feel so inspired to leave the house better than I found it. The painting no longer feels like something to just get a few more dollars, it feels like a service, a gift. And THAT keeps me motivated!
You may be taking care of your body only when it's in crisis, only when the roof (or bladder) is leaking and then maybe you skip making your physical home a place you REALLY enjoy. Does it frustrate you that you can't seem to stay the course, that you don't make use of what you are learning, that you can't get it to the next level? Perhaps your motivation is all wrong. Maybe you're not clear on why you're doing what you're doing. I have my LYRL students ask themselves every week WHY they are choosing to change how they are moving and WHY that's important. When we stay connected to our true purpose for taking action, we're likely to actually, you know, take action. :)
7. Details matter, but not always.
Painting to me has felt like a detail. There are hand prints and foot prints and probably paw prints on the living room walls. We've played hard in this house. But it looks kinda dingy. So I re-painted. But I didn't do the edges. I wasn't THAT detailed. And it saved me at least a day's work and it looks great! Had I gone for perfection, I would not be sharing this with you, I'd still be up to my elbows in paint.
I teach an alignment-based approach to movement. I teach you how to mind the details when you are assessing and exploring how to move. But it's just as important to just move. Just move. Move more, move differently. To not obsess over each little bit. Mind some details now, and see if the others need minding later.
8. Cover your bases.
It's been tempting at times to let the house prep become the only thing that matters outside of parenting and work. But I've definitely needed to focus on good self-care. The whole family has. Sleep and good food and meditative practices have remained front and center even as we've been working so hard.
This is DEFINITELY true when we are changing how we use our bodies. Bodies tend to need a lot of water and fuel and rest and, often, company. Otherwise, the nervous system is likely to be in overdrive and you're just not gonna get where you want to go. No matter the goal, and especially when it's an important one - rest and good food and whatever else YOU need to be at your best needs to be happening.
9. Be willing to be uncomfortable.
The bathroom remodel left the whole house covered in dust. I sneezed for three days straight. Plus, having a whole bunch of workers in my house while I'm trying to film for my online courses is so not my ideal. And I don't love having the dining room being a rotating closet for things going out of the house and coming in for repairs and stuff to sell or throw away. I feel like it's been months of low-grade discomfort. And this isn't even the discomfort that comes with staying present to my feelings about the move!
When you are working on how you move your body, you're going to feel weird things. Your knee might start to act up a bit. Or you're not going to like how it feels to release your belly. But if you want change, you'll need to move through the discomfort. I find it more manageable when I normalize it, when I remind myself that this is just part of the process of growth. That movement IS change and discomfort is a signal that you're changing. That's what you're going for after all!
Are you ready to change how you are with your body?
Are you ready to feel the feelings, do more than you think, get some help, put a maintenance plan into place, keep your eyes on the prize without giving up the rest of your life, stay connected to what motivates you, attend to some of the details some of the time, cover your bases and be a little uncomfortable?
Do you want to join me for this live round of Launch Your Resilient Life? It is essential work that can carry your body into a new experience, so you stop having sneeze pee or that irritating low back. And so that you can get up easily off the ground and have a better birth experience and do the yoga you love. It's work that can even open you up to bigger dreams - just ask me: I'M MOVING!
JOIN HERE: http://www.launchyourresilientlife.com/join/
Whether you're moving across the country or you're moving off your couch, I trust you'll put these lessons to use! :)