The Morning Mile

The Morning Mile is now a ritual. 25 days now. Wow.

I want to come clean. COVID as the quarantine period dragged on activated the hibernator energy in me…

It’s not that I wasn’t doing things, especially around the home. But lack of a weekly dance and the usual outings to stores and parks meant, well, my energy field changed. It seemed to drop into a mode where any possible calories were being stored for “a long winter” and my energy level – vitality – was reduced.

With a new baby, LOWER vitality is NOT what I needed! To say the least.

I know some (rare) people establish new habits and rituals easily. Not me.

For me I need to make it easy straightforward as possible. It needs to be achievable. A quick walk somewhere nearby (or even around in circles in the house if necessary) for 1 mile would be it. About 11-15 minutes out, and 11-15 minutes back.

We’re really fortunate to be near the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Mountains to Sea Trail that runs along it. For the past 25 days I’ve picked a segment, set a timer, set AllTrails to map the trip, and walked. Three mornings a week I’m by myself. The other four my boy Emerald (almost 7 years old) comes with me. Adventure!

The results inside me are significant. The trend towards contraction has reversed. It feels like my “world” has expanded.

The trend towards storing energy and shutting down any “unecessary” expenditure has reversed and now there’s a trend towards having more energy (and resilience).

It’s not dramatic. It’s palpable… I can feel it. My partner notices it. I notice it.

Here’s the map for a bit longer Morning Mile that Emerald and I did this morning. You may be able to click the image to see the photos and path in more detail:

image

We took a side track to explore which added a half mile. :smiley:

Why am I sharing this?

Well, because getting movement seems to be really hard for many in the community right now. Yes, there are still quarantine restrictions in many areas. But even in areas where outside activity is allowed, there’s the fear factor and the “contraction” factors to consider.

As the quote above mention, it is often the reason you want to do something that is the most important.

I’d say it is the REASONS (multiple) that are most important!

One reason alone – like wanting to use weight – would NOT have gotten me out every morning for 25 days. No way. Not when it was raining. :slightly_frowning_face:

Stack Your Reasons

When I have many reasons why I want to do something, each day one or more will feel activating – even if others don’t. Here are just some of the reasons for my Morning Mile:

  1. Vitality Re-activated!
  2. Expand my energy
  3. Experience Nature in its weather variations
  4. Get to be an Explorer
  5. See and sense what’s around me - sensory awareness
  6. Feel the earth beneath my feet
  7. Dance along the trail
  8. Listen to music
  9. Unwind my tensions
  10. Use my stored weight
  11. Build strength to be able to carry my daughter as she grows
  12. Process emotions that get clogged in my tissues
  13. Move lymph to support my immune system
  14. Have more temperature resilience (so I can enjoy cold, hot, wet, dry weather)
  15. Maintain my physical and sexual presence
  16. Have a positive, FUN physical experience I can do each day with an intention for 5000+ steps a day (without overdoing it)
  17. Live longer and healthier to be alive and vibrant with my partner and children

What’s It For You?

I’m inviting you to consider what movement daily or weekly would
add to your vitality. Share it in a reply if that’s a YES for you.

Make a list of as-many-benefits as you can come up with the support this change. Those are the fuel.

Then, make a list of the RESISTANCE that comes up. Resistance is a companion to change of any kind.

If you choose to share your resistance, I’ll do some tapping to help support you and post it here. Deal?

Here’s to Thriving Vitality for you, me, and WE!

~ @Rick

4 Likes

The world feels so different in the rain. Same path I’ve walked a dozen+ times. Alive in a different way. Grateful that this devotion to ALL the ways the Morning Mile serves my well-being and intentions also has invited exploring the world in weather than used to quite simply “keep me HOME.”

3 Likes

image

On top of the Morning Mile are aspects of my thriving life like Simple Uplifts. There’s also an opportunity to really feel my energy and how adding music changes the flow of chi (qi - energy) during the experience.

This morning my energy was sluggish. As I Dropped In and Tuned To the experience I was about to engage with, the action of putting on headphones and listing to Latin Dance music came to me… YES!

From that YES the music started affecting my energy. Instead of being in the dampness and mud, I was on this flowing juicy dance trail. I had not gone down a trail quite like that before. Dancing around soft spot… feeling the bounce of the moss with the music… softening my steps to flow with vocals…

I remember reading the book Chi Running five years ago, not to RUN, but to bring more of that energy awareness to my rollerblading. Now, bringing it to the Morning Mile. Grateful to have this quote above resurface today.

2 Likes

SIXTY Days.

Going back and re-reading the 17 reasons I listed above, over a month ago, I am struck by how these are interwoven into my Morning Mile experience… all of them. Writing them out brought them more into consciousness.

Most days I do not listen to music. The days I do are so perfectly right for that.

My sense of what is “cold weather” has definitely changed. Layers and a sweeeeet soft neck wrap and fleece hat make even the low 20’s feel fresh rather than biting.

Most of all, I have explored and see this territory in ways that I had not before.

I know I need (!) Nature time. But to be fair, I need connection and writing and nest even more. Yet, Nature is an essential nutrient. Like altitude for me. Vistas.

Noticing nature this past week I’ve been struck by how often it’s… The Dead Stuff… that really captures my eye. Well, not dead dead. It’s a tree trunk once alive as a tree and now alive as an ecosystem of its own with moss and fungi and sprouts and rot. Wow. So beautiful.

Kinda makes me wish I could form such a little world when my time is done. Well, at least I can be a “dusty contributor” in the right place.

1 Like

It’s interesting how this milestone – 90 days AND walking in the rain – helps re-invigorate me. Today was day 92 and 2.4 miles of exploring along a ridge, taking a new path, hearing the quiet along the road… listening to streams AND my body.

2 Likes

Yes I am considering doing movement a few times a week. Some weeks I actually am moving to my funky walk and a few others. It does help my legs feel better.

My reasons for moving myself.

  1. Moving my legs to help them stop aching.
  2. Move my lymph to help the swelling in my legs.
  3. Staying mobile at my age.
  4. Enjoying dancing once I get started.
  5. Loosen tensions in my body.
  6. Help lower my blood sugar
  7. Getting stronger and have more balance
  8. Staying stronger and more balanced to prevent falls.

My resistance is that

  1. I get involved in stuff and don’t want to get up and move.
  2. My legs ache and I will baby them instead of getting up and moving.
  3. I would rather take a nap.
  4. And so on…
1 Like

Only #4 is really activating of emotional energy. The others are primarily “survival” feeling and “maintenance.”

How about something like, “I get to experience being ALIVE in ways that other activities don’t offer.” ?

“There’s a part of me that longs to express Herself, and I want to give Her some playtime and art, too!”

“30-seconds of dance a day… makes me a Dancer! I want to activate that aspect of my identity because I’ll move through my entire life with more of that identity when I do.” :heart_decoration:

2 Likes

Yes I see that. I didn’t feel the emotional feelings when I posted mine. I thought I was.

I will play with these and see if I can come up with some more feeling ones.

2 Likes

3 Likes

I’ve been both types. :wink:

3 Likes

Day 100

This morning I needed to walk. I needed to go someplace I knew well, close by, no chance of it being blocked by a barricade.

I’m not sure what emotions got clogged or activated in my tissues overnight. But I awoke with my energy unstable, ungrounded, and unable to focus (even on my breathing).

If there’s a long term advantage to having multiple practices, it’s that when one “doesn’t do it” the body-mind-spirit can offer another on the menu. Meditation failed. Coffee failed! Can you believe it?!?

After 100 days of Morning Miles, my body “knows” what it can do. It has experienced different weather, different trails, difference paces and distances. I could feel my inner wisdom rising, “We got options, buddy!”

Out on the trail, my energy moving, heart pumping harder than it would sitting on my tush… yes, my energy started to change. It sorta… HAD to. And as it moved, the options kicked in. Unwinding was happening. Releasing was happening.

And then came the nourishment

Near the end of the 1.1 miles, the sun started shining through the trees. Interestingly, it was around the same rise in the trail where I had noticed the pine cone that my shadow was seen on a large tree…

In this simple reflection, I remembered about simple uplifts. The key to a simple uplift is to ALLOW it to influence you.

I paused. I took the picture to both remember and to share with friends here. And then I leaned against the tree and allowed the sun and morning and my beating heart to influence me.

Later… holding Adira

When I returned home, Adira woke soon after and was fed. The next hour it was her and me while @Jem rested.

What I know for sure is that having listened to my body and having a selection of practices I could draw from, the Morning Mile put me in a place where I could really savor being Daddy, too. We had smiles, quiet explorations, a massive poopy diaper… even the espresso fascinated us both.

Yes, I needed to move my body and energy this morning – for me. My Me-Space was chaotic. Leaving it that way without support would have been painful.

Also YES, tending to my Me-Space puts me in a much more potent place when it comes to my We-Spaces. :heart_decoration:

4 Likes

When I initially read your quote I read ‘princess emotions’…ha! I definitely have some of those that clog my tissues at times, for sure!! :slight_smile: “Can’t someone else do it?!” “I don’t feeeeeel like it!” “This is stoooopid!” “This is haaaaard!”…(all said in a whiny, nasally tone for proper effect),

When I wake up feeling similar to what you’ve described it can be really hard for me to change that experience…to alter that course that was set while sleeping and unaware of the mutiny. That’s been a real problem for me over the years…having the agency to change my state rather than succumbing to it…collapsing into it. I’m reminded of our Tapping Circle yesterday and the discussion around altering our course by just a fraction of a degree and what a difference that can/will make. A small re(fine)ment of the (coarse) course will take us to new inner and outer landscapes. And most certainly there will be challenges there as well. That’s the nature of this adventure. If the journey is devoid of challenges then it is not an adventure. This all sounds pretty good to me as I type it out but I still have a hell of a lot of this to put into practice and fill my tissues with before I can say I’m wholeheartedly on this adventure.

Thanks for the inspiration Rick!!

4 Likes

This idea of the importance of having the agency to change our course, to “captain our own ship” by learning better skills for sailing skillfully (rather than being tossed about on the stormy seas of life without a rudder) is precisely the process of Daoist Alchemy!

When I do Inner Alchemy work with people, the first thing we discuss is that we are no longer looking at things in terms of “pathology”, but of Potential.

Each challenge that shows up allows us to transform, to learn new skills, to become better captains of our own ship… working with what arises in that way feels so much better than simply suffering through hardships! Having the perspective of being on an adventure makes it more fun! And that, in my experience tends to make it easier to shift.

(Of course, there’s also likely to be Resistance and “rebellious qi”, as we say, but working with that is part of the Alchemy too!)

4 Likes

Yes…the ‘pathology approach’ is something I’ve given a lot of thought to and I’m not the only one who thinks it may not be the best, most effective approach to healing…constantly trying to heal our past history. That is a bottomless well for most of us. In fact I was watching a video this morning, an interview with a gentleman named Peter Crone, who used the analogy of driving a car while only looking in the rear view mirror and wondering why you’re always bumping into things. Of course difficult events of the past aren’t to be ignored or made light of but if we’re primarily looking to them (in the rear view mirror) as the place to find a new and more thriving way forward it’s problematic I think.

3 Likes

Indeed! And that’s why I focus on helping people learn more powerful energetic skills to work with the past experiences and emotions that get held in the body, so we can use the body’s wisdom to help resolve what’s been stored there, so that we don’t keep “bumping into things”.

It can be a tricky balance to give those issues the proper attention in a way that doesn’t keep us stuck in the story we see in the rear view mirror. When we work with how things are held in the body, it can be so much more freeing!

Then we open up space to move into our deeper Potential, rather than getting stuck in pathology. But first, the feelings and needs have to be compassionately met, so they can flow through, and then create the space we need for something new to arise.

Like the Morning Mile: I can see clearly how much it helps @Rick’s energy to have this practice, and I love how much spaciousness it opens up for him and for our We-Space. It’s physically moving his body, and is re-writing old stories and patterns such that he’s opening up even more room for Presence, Love, growth, creativity, and joy! It’s really beautiful to witness.

Likewise, with EFT and qigong, as well as with dance and other movement practices (but even more so with extra consciousness about them!), we have myriad opportunities to meet our feelings and process what’s held in the body, and then to tap into our embodied wisdom more deeply — so that rather than being stuck in “pathology” or pain, we can open into the next unfolding Potential. (Which is always unfolding — there’s no arrival, just continuing alchemy, which is part of the beauty of it!)

3 Likes

Thank you Jem!! Some very potent and beautiful thoughts…I appreciate that.

Yes…and it’s been my tendency to either want to ignore and disregard through all manner of distractions those feelings and needs or to pathologize them and make them the only story. But there is of course a middle road as you point out so beautifully. There isn’t always just a fork in the road…an ‘either/or’…there is often a middle road… perhaps hidden by leaves and branches from lack of use but there it is inviting us to an ‘all inclusive’ adventure.

If there was only one lesson to practice this would be it I think. The ‘drive to arrive’ (hey, I like that! Did I just coin that? lol) I’m thinking is a primitive brain impulse. It speaks powerfully to the pursuit of safety and survival and certainty. And we do need to have those places to arrive at in order to have those experiences of certainty. And from those safe places thriving calls out for something different…some more vulnerability…a bit more embrace of uncertainty…of adventure into the unknown, not recklessly but with respect and acknowledgement of our needs and often with respect and recognition of the needs of our ‘we-space’ as well.

Thanks for offering me the opportunity to think Jem… :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Google found others using that expression, but not the way you did here! And yeah, it does feel primitive brain to me. The Drive to Arrive also feel like the “I need to fix my dis-ease!!!” more than the development of inspired and grounded practices that are restorative and promote our thriving.

3 Likes

This is exactly why I don’t Google all my amazing ‘original’ thoughts… :roll_eyes: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

From within my survival imagination it’s such a compelling drive to want to take. I feel it in me as being related to the ‘magic pill’ fantasy fix…no requirement for my participation on any meaningful level…it’s just a short and pleasant drive to my destination…no one cuts me off…no red lights…no construction crews…oh look, I’m home!

1 Like