Last week, I drove past a billboard which firmly suggested I “Live life full throttle”. My automatic driving pilot had kicked in as it was 7:30am and my bleary state didn’t lend itself to full throttling just yet, maybe after a cuppa. I don’t even know what the advert was for, coffee? A car maybe? If it was a car I suspect it wasn’t for a 2002 Fiat Punto as mine doesn’t have that function.
Is this how I should be living life? Full throttle? screaming along, wind through my hair (fan on full blast). Always going somewhere and doing something. There’s a certain sexiness to that thought though. A certain sexiness to grabbing a Starbucks “to go”.
On my last post “It’s a matter of perspective” I asked some friends and colleagues to share one piece of advice on health. An idea of sharing much valued advice from friends, family and colleagues came to me from a great book “Kitchen table Wisdom” by Dr Rachel Remen.
“Everybody is a story,” writes Dr. Remen. “When I was a child, people sat around the kitchen tables and told their stories. We don’t do that so much anymore. Sitting around the table telling stories is not just a way of passing time. It is the way wisdom gets passed along. Despite the awesome powers of technology many of us still do not live well. We may need to listen to one another’s stories again.”
The piece of advice (from the previous post) that I’d like to offer to our virtual kitchen table, brought a smile to my face. It read, “My grandfather used to say..If you’ve got a moment give it to your arse” I don’t know the grandfather, but you can just imagine him sitting across the table saying this and I couldn’t agree more.
The danger of living a life full throttle is that we are so busy doing things, going places that we forget to stop, we forget to sit and take a breath. Usually, when we do sit, when we do take down time, it’s either watching the tellybox or on our devices checking out pets doing ridiculous things (I’m not saying that there’s no benefit to watching a dog driving a toy car). It’s just not a total switch off. The power is still very firmly switched on, making sense of the image on the screen, brain still whirring away.
“Beware of the barrenness of a busy life” Socrates
There is a skill to be learned, I mean, if your mind is occupied from the minute you wake up to the time you fall into sleep, then going into a peaceful state is not going to come naturally. You’ll just end up sitting, waiting for something incredible to happen and getting very frustrated about not doing the next thing on your list (speaking from experience here). So let me go through a simple routine check that I included in the movement classes.
You can sit, stand or lie down, it doesn’t mater one jot.
- First, take a couple of deep breaths and adjust your posture so you’re comfortable
- Turn your attention to your feet, give them a wriggle and ask the question “how do they feel?” happy? free? painful? restricted?
- Now turn your attention to your knees, then hips and ask the same questions
- There’s no need for adjustments, you’re just noticing, just paying attention
- Now round your spine into a slumped position and then the opposite direction, lifting your chest
- Roll the shoulders a couple of times, lift them then drop them. How do they feel?
- Moving up to your skull, slowly tilt your head one side then the other, rotate your head to look over one shoulder then the other. How does it feel? does it feel different turning left to turning right? Just notice
- Now Just be. Breathe. Let everything be how it is, feeling the way it does.
Paying attention is a skill and the more you practice the easier it will become.
So, lets heed some sound advice, grab a minute and give it to your arse! Sit down, be still.
Oh, Couldn’t leave with without sharing this shot of Moose. Living life full throttle in the Punto……
Thank you for reading ’til the end
Until next time