Two weeks ago, we moved all of our stuff out of storage in Oregon into a moving truck, picked up our cats from their cat sitter, and drove the 1400 miles to Santa Fe, NM, where we put everything back in storage until our house is ready for us in mid-October (finally!).
(BTW, if you want to know how I handled the upper body challenges of driving solo for nearly 30 hours over five days, check out this video.)
Somewhere on the long drive, between episodes of Oprah's SuperSoul Sunday podcast and Sufjan Stevens' (et al) brilliant song, Mecury, on repeat, a thought emerged clearly, as though floating before me:
I'm no longer interested in exercise.
I sat with this thought awhile, noticing the ease I felt when I held it, but curious about what exactly it means to me. Among other things, I'm an exercise TEACHER, after all. And not just that. I love to exercise, I believe in exercise:
- I get really fascinated by the ways parts of the body connect to other parts and what it takes to create movement at the intersection of those parts.
- I've spent hours exploring the subtleties within a prone inner thigh stretch, just to name a single exercise.
- I've seen profound changes happen in my and others' bodies when I offer a few exercises. Profound. Life-changing. Pain-eliminating. Function-restoring.
And yet the truth of my thought, I'm no longer interested in exercise, wouldn't escape me. In fact, it felt obvious, and like I was just late to the table, only now realizing some fundamental truth that had been sitting around awhile.
Here's what I've made of it:
So many of you think you are coming to (this form of) exercise to fix parts of your body that aren't working. To address dysfunctions that have caused suffering. To get better. And, of course, exercise will do that.
But, over and over again, I see that what is often happening on the deeper level is that you're turning to exercise to fix yourself. Because you think you are broken. Because you want to get out of your body. Because you don't think you're good enough.
The body - and our exploration of how it moves and how it doesn't - can be a way of coming home to yourself, a way of becoming MORE embodied, more whole.
However, exercise can also become a measuring stick for your worth, a way of trying to beat back the voice(s) that has you trying to outrun your mortality, that has you trying to become someone other than you are.
Sometimes, it's a fine line, yeah?
Of course, the only reason I see this is because I cross that line. Frequently. I hold great compassion for the parts of me that believe I need fixing. And I hold great compassion for the parts of you that believe you need fixing, too! I also profoundly understand the deep pain that can occur when our bodies aren't healthy and working naturally and how we want to go about guiding them to a new place - a task that can be done by drawing closer to our bodies, not by prescribing yet another thing for them that will finally prove our worth.
Are you with me?
As I travel through this work - largely guided by how I experience my clients and how I experience myself with my clients - I am gaining clarity on where I stand. On what I am good at. On what I have to offer you. On what I'm interested in.
And I'm not interested in exercise that exists outside the larger conversation about who you are and what you value and what your inner journey is like on this earth.
I'm not interested in exercise that is about keeping you small in body or heart.
I'm not interested in exercise that cuts you off from the wholeness of who you ALREADY are.
I'm not interested in exercise that helps you shame yourself, devalue your gifts or otherwise feeds the not-ever-good-enough loop.
I'm not interested in exercise that is keeping you in a perpetual one-down position, always needing to defer to the experts outside you.
I'm not interested in exercise merely as a way to get rid of a problem, without exploring the lessons present in that problem.
I'm interested in more. So much more.
I'm interested in you becoming more you and living more of who you are out in the world.
I'm interested in helping you understand what your body wants you to know.
I'm interested in showing you how WELL your body already works so that you have something to build on.
I'm interested in you becoming a graceful, grateful inhabitant of your body.
I'm interested in you owning the truth of your highly personalized, embodied journey.
I'm interested in going deep, really deep, into the heart of your body, so that you can access immense spiritual wisdom and self-healing capacities you didn't know you had.
Taking a mindful inquiry into how we use our bodies. Noticing what happens when one part moves and another moves at the same time helps us uncover the deeper story. Changing how we move our bodies invites us to change how we move about the whole of our lives. Exercise is a part of all of this.
I know many of your are on this deeper journey. I know because I work 1:1 with you (AMAZING) or you're in my courses (THERE ARE NO BETTER STUDENTS) or you email me (I LOVE YOUR HEART-CENTERED EMAILS). I'm imagining there are more of you, too, who are looking from afar, curious about this deeper relationship with the body, with this other way of relating to exercise.
(I haven't lived out these values perfectly. In fact, I imagine some of my communication has resonated at times with the not-good-enough, fix-me parts of you. I appreciate your patience as I "live outloud" with you here.)
For those of you who are ready, I want to travel more deeply alongside you, offering you not just the space to become more embodied, but the questions and lessons and guidance I have learned on the path I have walked to get here and the paths I have helped my clients walk. I want to support you in this work of inquiry into the body so that you can find compassion for yourself and learn from the difficulties that are present for you. So that leaning into your body becomes a way to help YOU becoming more YOU.
Instead of running another live round of one of courses (although for those of you who are longing for that sort of structure and teaching and want to move at your own pace, check 'em out here!), or opening up more private sessions, I feel called to offer coaching to a small group of women: capped at five. If there are more than five interested, we can see about creating another group.
Small Group Coaching
Gathering with a small group of women committed to going to deep into their lived experiences and sharing about the journeys they are on is a transformational experience. The women in my HeartBody Method and Restore Your Wild courses have experienced the immense power of gathering together for our live coaching calls.
I want to offer this support outside of any of my courses, however, and for a longer stretch of time. This is about alllllllll the stuff I listed above regarding what I am interested in.
Here's the plan:
We'll meet twice per month for 1.5 hours by Zoom (a web conferencing platform)
Each person will commit to this journey together for nine months
Sometimes I will pre-emptively offer a teaching element, but mostly we'll respond to whatever is present in the moment for the group
Each person will receive the individual support they need, too
Because this is the beta round of this work, if you will, the cost is just $65 per person per month (that means you're paying just over $20/hour for our work together)
This group (or these groups, depending on how many of you want to take this deeper journey together), will start in early November.
Do you want to take this transformational journey with other women?
We'll go from there...
~ ~ ~
More than anything, I want you to know that exercise doesn't have to be an end in and of itself. Learning about your body doesn't have to be about discovering another way you're falling short. Pain and dysfunction don't have to be about suffering.
Your body has immense wisdom. And you are perfect just as you are.
In love and light,