There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. – Martha Graham
During my infant school years, we would have something called ‘Quiet Time’ which took place between three and three-thirty every day. The idea was that it would calm we little buggers down sufficiently to send us off home in a reasonably peaceful state.
Once into ‘Quiet Time’ we were expected to rest our heads on folded arms upon the desk and close our eyes. I rarely complied to the full extent that I was supposed to, and on numerous occasions earned a sharp pat on the head when caught, eyes wide open and tongue protruding as I pulled faces at any other ‘Quiet Time’ naysayer I could spot.
Attempts to gently persuade me that ‘Quiet Time’ was ‘Good For Me’ went completely unheeded because, you know what? I bloody well hated ‘Quiet Time’ and things that were ‘Good For Me’ – in fact, my hatred was laced with ten kinds of passion on the subject!
And nearly six decades has hardly changed me. Okay, the ten kinds of passion-like hatred has lost much of its potency, and I’m a little more benign about being a tad quieter these days but I’m not, and likely never will be, one of those people who can effortlessly embrace regular exercise, for whom calm is second nature and who understand with quite mind blowing clarity why they do what they do.
I detest exercise but I’ve found something that works for me and, dare I say, gives me enjoyment. I’ve curtailed many, but not all, of my bad habits – I am, however, on their case! I have a much better understanding of why I do some of the things I do, whilst making an effort to learn about the rest.
In short, I’m only human and, I would guess, very much like a huge swathe of the population – whether that be unhealthy eating, no exercise, lack of self-care and all the rest that we have to get to grips with, all whilst trying to get on with the business of just being.
And let’s face it – the sheer exhaustion of just being can be quite enough for most of us, yet alone have to do everything else that is ‘Good For Us!’ – But I’ve found that with massive amounts of elbow grease, an industrial sized shoe horn and a fine tail wind, it is possible to not just live but to do some of the things that help us to grow as well … most of the time …