"We are all wanderers on this earth...our hearts are full of wonder, and our souls are deep with dreams." ~ Gypsy proverb

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A part and apart

Though the difference between "a part" and "apart" is only one single space, the complete separation of definition created by that space is what I am contemplating this morning in my meditation. I realize that I feed my spirit and mind regularly enough so that I am able to sustain myself emotionally every day, but eventually 2 legs on a 3 legged stool will not be enough. The third part of me has been set aside for over a year now, and I will tell you that it feels like a gray cloud following me around everywhere trying to catch up.

I have had such a tumultuous relationship with my body my entire life, but one thing is for certain, when I move, dance, sweat, I feel nourished and spiritually revived. The ways that physical exercise nourished me has changed much over the years, from the gym and all of its machines, to swimming, to gym classes like step, to Pilates, to Ashtanga yoga, and dancing, well, there was always dancing :). But all of that has stopped. For the first time in my life, my poor body has been quite neglected meaning no nothing--no regular hiking, no swimming, no yoga-- nada, zip. I canceled all my memberships last year as they were hardly being used anyway. I had come to loathe the gym and the machines in all its staleness (no offense to those that love the gym:). It seemed soulless to me, and I wanted to be outside where fresh oxygen was pumping and green life fluttered and breathed around me. I had believed that I would utilize my bicycle, the walking trail behind my house, the pool, and continue doing yoga in my home on my own, and I did, for a little while. Then it all gradually came to a halt. And with that halt, my body slowly transitioned from being a part of me, to something disconnected and very much apart from me.

I can blame whatever I want, but that really doesn't matter anymore does it? I don't find blame or excuse much useful anymore. The truth stands alone.
The neglect has slowly begun to eat away at my insides, and the outside, well it always works itself from the inside out anyway. Wholeness is not possible without all of its parts working, moving, and communing in harmony together. I know this. But knowing hasn't been very useful to me lately.

I have some new soul work to thank for pushing me to turn and face that cloud.  It is no longer the white elephant, but a large, gray, luminous cloud begging me for my attention.

I am listening.

It begins with one thought that turns into one decision. One step, one deep, long breath inviting energy, renewal, vibrancy, and life. It's about creating that beautiful space for my body to be one part of a whole again. It begins today. I know it won't be easy, creating space never is. But being ready is a good place to start.

And I am ready :).

with love
xx oo


  1. tell me what you decide to do and i'll do it with you...cross country! hooray for deciding!

  2. I struggle with this same thing very often. I wish I had more time to nourish my body...time for yoga and meditation. All I can say is you're not alone...and being ready is the best place to start. Good luck in your journey!!

  3. Being ready certainly is a good place to start! I was thinking about this very issue today, as my own body is also sorely neglected. I think I may be just about ready, too. I hope you're feeling very much whole and a part of your body soon!

  4. No it won't be easy, but you'll do it! Beautiful photos, inspirational words as always.
    I struggle with this exercise thing too. I feel so good when I'm active! Physically, emotionally, spiritually; it all works smoother with a daily walk/run. But somehow, I fall into a funk and become a slug and then it's downhill from there...

    I don't like the gym either. I'd much rather take a walk through my neighborhood, take a swim, or just spend an hour vigorously cleaning my house. Pre-kids, when we lived in Hawaii I used to surf a lot, but now that we live in Annapolis the weather is a factor...and the kids too.

    I'm inspired now though! Actually, since we've been staying in this hotel I've been using their free gym and remember how nice it feels to be active, even if it is on a treadmill. Now I just have to commit myself to carrying this trend through fall and into icy winter! :)

  5. MJ, this post speaks to me greatly! Unlike you, I have rarely kept up any sort of schedule for good physical activity. Though for those times that I did, I always felt good.

    I have let the busy life take hold and I don't exercise, at all. Yesterday, I spent two hours shopping by myself (I NEVER shop) and tried on countless pieces of clothing to try and find a couple summer items. I came home with a cardigan sweater. Not good.

    So I am inspired to join you -- in some way -- even if it is just through some encouragement!

    Thank you, thank you for sharing!

  6. Very inspiring! I've neglected my body for too long. Having three kids, I often say that chasing after them and cleaning up the messes are my exercise, but I know in my heart I need to do something more to help me, physically and mentally. Wishing you much success on achieving wholeness!

  7. Oh, me too, MJ. When I'm outside, moving, everything lifts. The light is clearer, my mind brighter, my heart happier. I don't do it enough—I have been very aware that my body is asking, more and more insistently, to be taken care of. Not just with healthy food, and living mindfully. But with movement.
    Your words are beautiful. Your thoughts and new intentions are inspiring. Perhaps you will help me get outside and move too? That sure would make me happy.
    (And again, I'm not sure why we live so far apart (and a part), when clearly we are supposed to live on the same street and be going for morning walks together, and often! Taking in the light. Breathing, talking, laughing, living Wholly.)

  8. I went for a walk for the first time today in months, and, boy, did it feel good! Exercise is certainly something I put on the back burner as well. And I'm not a gym person either - would much rather be outside.

    I adore the photos! So beautiful!

  9. I never could 'enjoy' the gym but the feeling from exercise is bliss so why is it so dang hard to find time for it? This post squarely hit me on the head. : )

  10. I think body image is hard for a lot of women. This is a perfect time for getting out and moving, enjoying this beautiful world. My thoughts are with you MJ as you begin this journey. Love ya!xx

    PS- Love the new header!

  11. Beautiful post and so timely for me. I JUST started exercising again last week since before my last baby was born and BOY OH BOY am I out of touch and "apart" from my body. I totally relate to this post and it encouraged me in my own journey back towards wholeness with my body. Thanks for posting M.J. you always hit the nail on the head!

  12. oh and I absolutely LOVE your header!

  13. You always have such beautiful, honest, thoughtful posts. Thank you again. I wish you wholeness and health on this journey!!

  14. For me, I can say that I love yoga and always feel great when I go to a class. But, really it is the end part of the class, where I am flat on my back, listening to my own breath and still for a few minutes. It's that quiet, that time that heals so much of me. I hope you find your way into wellness, smoothly.

  15. was it neglect, initially? perhaps you made the choices necessary at the time. we can only spread so thin.

    my body-love this past year was accepting sleep, embracing it, falling into it wholeheartedly.

    yay to being ready!

  16. Sweet post. We all have our little journeys. Thanks for sharing yours. I bet it you it won't take much for you to re-connect with your body. I've never been part of a gym. I've always depended on the road and a pair of walking shoes.

    And I second this: "was it neglect, initially? perhaps you made the choices necessary at the time. we can only spread so thin."

    You are healthy and beautiful. Don't forget it!

  17. What a beautifully written post.Really. I think many of us can relate. Just one step at a time, right?

  18. Beautiful inspiring words and photos, MJ. Enjoy this journey as you find the right thing for you!


“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
~ George Bernard Shaw