"Keep close to nature's heart...and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your Spirit clean." -John Muir
One of the core tenets in our business model centers around physical health, fitness and adventure. This tenet and practice helps us thrive and is integral to the success of the business and its expanding team. We recognize if we don't expend the extra energy in our bodies, we're not super productive and are likely to go a lot "batty." When I was asked by a mentor last May to head to a quiet spot and write out a picture for the next 3 years of business, by hand, I knew physical health would be as life-giving to us as our profits.
I chose a spot on the American River, in Northern California, just outside my friends cabin. I was there to visit her just after the birth of her son. What I thought was going to be a city adventure changed the minute I hopped in her car. After kissing her newborn, I said, "What's next?" She said, "We're heading to the mountains. I know you need them right now and so does my little family." The next day, I took a notebook and pen and headed down to the river. I asked my friend to come down at 3-hrs to check on me.
What came from the 6-hour adventure was a business model, and a really clear picture of what is going to take place between 2013 and 2016. I deeply and confidently connected with why we do this for you. What I was thrilled to see become a key component is our relationship to play, adventure, wellness, and physical activity. Everyone that makes this business thrive believes it's deeply important to bring this love of activity and play home to our families each day.
Active Rest, the theme for March posts, is one part of the relationship we have to exercise and activity. It is re-wiring the brain to trust that being physically active is a thing you want to do rather than being another obligation that you may or may not get to on your calendar.
Active Rest, when learned by our clients, generates feelings of ease and acceptance around getting out the door to be physical. They re-learn exercise is crucial for their health, losing that extra 5-lbs of baby-weight, and for their mental sanity. Exercise is no longer stressful or a place of insecurity with active rest, and your body soon becomes the seat of confidence and trust.
Why active rest is so important and foundational in our business model?
- Inspires clients to get out and move their bodies regularly, as a commitment to their long-term health.
- Encourages clients to connect with other moms (and dads) during physical activity, building and expanding their community and relationships.
- Gives clients opportunities for growth, challenging them in a productive and healing manner.
- Allows you to connect with us when we travel around the country. We actively seek out running or skiing partners when we travel, because we want to meet our readers and growing community. It's the fun of being on-the-road.
- We believe (and its proven) doing good for your body generates higher rates of productivity, happiness, and resilience in all areas of your life, and ours.
I teach women to get their body back and reconnect with physical activity using this one exercise:
- Make a list of physical activities you love and want to do. If the list is longer than 5 activities, reduce down to your favorite 3-5 activities that you know you'll be able to get to regularly.
- Now, for 40 Days in a row, commit to you and moving your body. You do one activity each day for 45 minutes to an hour.
- During the 40 days, choose some activities like Yin Yoga, restorative yoga, slow-flow vinyasa, Tai Chi, or Qi Gong to move the energy around your nervous system and deep tissues.
- Recognize that when you commit to yourself and times that work for you, you create new habits and neuro-pathways that lend to life-long, life-altering patterns. It's really good stuff.
**Track your progress so you can see your commitment on a calendar, on a piece of paper. Make it somewhere you can see it and prioritize yourself. It will help you stay motivated and connected to your practice.
***If you need support to commit to a time that works for you to get your mojo on, ask for help.
I have one client whose 9-year old daughter takes total pride in supporting her mom's physical health. The stories she tells me about her kids are stellar. They keep her on her game, and she loves sharing this connection with them. Another mother created a tag-team plan with her husband when they got home from work, and made it work to benefit both their physical health. I know how much it means to feel support in something you love doing when it makes you feel free and fantastic, make sure you have it! Once learned, you realize active rest is vital.
I wish I could talk to every mom once she is recovered from her immediate postpartum months about this one activity. Why? To help you reconnect and reorient to your body. It is normal for women to struggle with their bodies after giving birth and I wish for some healing around this norm. The commitment and devotion to active rest and your physical body will help you get your body back, gain muscle, and have more energy to get through your day. Once the 40 days are done, you will keep going. You just won't want to stop, because primary intention for this exercise: to feel good.
For all the reasons that exercise is right and good for your body, mind and spirit, you have to get to the place inside yourself where you accept that a daily practice in active rest is going to better your health. A regular practice of active rest will improve your life, reduce your stress, encourage higher connectivity in your relationships, and let your heart feel lighter.
You have to get to that place on your own, because your body health is your responsibility. Leave a comment below and tell us how you're going to commit to a practice of active rest and transform your body. Can't wait to hear what you guys have to say.
I hope that you have a lovely week and find some time to get out, "wash your spirit clean." My love to you and gratitude for showing up. May we all find our strongest bodies in this one life we will remember, for ourselves and all of those around us.