Exercise

1 (a): the act of bringing into play or realizing in action:  use; (b): the discharge of an official function or professional occupation; (c): the act or an instance of carrying out the terms of an agreement (as an option) —often used attributively

 2 (a): regular or repeated use of a faculty or bodily organ; (b): bodily exertion for the sake of developing and maintaining physical fitness

 3: something performed or practiced in order to develop, improve, or display a specific capability or skill

 4: a performance or activity having a strongly marked secondary or ulterior aspect

 5 (a): a maneuver, operation, or drill carried out for training and discipline; (b) plural: a program including speeches, announcements of awards and honors, and various traditional practices of secular or religious character

Source: www.merriam-webster.com

Etymology

Exercise (n.): mid-14th century, “condition of being in active operation; practice for the sake of training,” from Old French exercice (13th century) “exercise, execution of power; physical or spiritual exercise,” from Latin exercitium “training, exercise” (of soldiers, horsemen, etc.); “play;” in Medieval Latin also of arts, from exercitare “keep busy, keep at work, oversee, engage busily; train, exercise; practice, follow; carry into effect; disturb, disquiet,” literally “remove restraint,” from ex- “off” + arcere “keep away, prevent, enclose,” from Proto-Indo-European ark- “to hold, contain, guard” (related to: arcane).

Original sense may have been driving farm animals to the field to plow.  Meaning “physical activity for fitness, etc.” first recorded in English late 14th century.  Also from late 14th century as “a carrying out of an action; a doing or practicing; a disciplinary task.”  In reference to written schoolwork from early 17th century.  The ending was abstracted for formations such as dancercise (1967); jazzercise (1977); and boxercise (1985).

Source: etymonline.com

Wisdom

“An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”

Henry David Thoreau (1817—1862, American essayist, poet, and practical philosopher, renowned for having lived the doctrines of Transcendentalism as recorded in his masterwork, "Walden" and a vigorous advocate of civil liberties, as evidenced in the essay, “Civil Disobedience”)

Bio Source:

www.britannica.com/biography/Henry-David-Thoreau

“Something in the air this morning made me feel like flying. . . "

Eileen Granfors (writer and author of such books as, "Stair of Sands" and "Some Rivers End on the Day of the Dead")

Bio Source:

www.goodreads.com/author/show/4150542.Eileen_Granfors

“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” 

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900, German philosopher and cultural critic, famous for uncompromising criticisms of traditional European morality and religion)

Bio Source:

plato.stanford.edu/entries/nietzsche/

“If you are in a bad mood go for a walk.  If you are still in a bad mood go for another walk.” 

Hippocrates (460 bc — c. 375, ancient Greek physician who lived during Greece’s Classical period and is traditionally regarded as the father of medicine)

Bio Source:

www.britannica.com/biography/Hippocrates

“Listen for the call of your destiny, and when it comes, release your plans and follow.” 

Mollie Marti (researcher, educator, and author of "Walking with Justice")

Bio Source:

molliemarti.com/about/

"The pain of running relieves the pain of living.” 

Jacqueline Simon Gunn (clinical psychologist and author)

Bio Source:

daseinproject.com/author/jgunn/

“Our mothers were largely silent about what happened to them as they passed through this midlife change. But a new generation of women has already started to break the wall of silence.”

Patricia Posner (journalist and author of the book, "The Pharmacist of Auschwitz: The Untold Story")

Bio Source:

www.trishaposner.com/about/

Meditation

“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

 

Walking, like so many other modes of exercise, is a great spiritual practice where one can access and connect into Flow.  In this moving meditation, we are more available to witness the magic and wonder in the ordinary.   It matters not where we are in levels of our understanding and consciousness, Life will show up in big and small ways, especially if we pay attention.

Walking is just one path to mindfulness, where we can contemplate.  It also gives us access, if we choose, to multi-levels of awareness.

For instance, this morning, I was listening to a Podcast sent to me from a dear friend.  My favorite spiritual teacher, Father Richard Rohr was being interviewed by the introspective journalist, Krista Trippet.  I listened intently as I picked up litter in my neighborhood, said hello to neighbors, and paid close attention to traffic as well as to the mysterious encounters from the animal world.  I even got a little sad when I saw a little squirrel lying under a tree as if he was asleep.  I was a little tempted to pick him up, but knew sooner or later nature’s clean-up crew (mainly turkey buzzards) would eventually pick over his body.

Last Friday, I was walking more focused with little distractions, contemplating and enjoying the present moments.  On the way back into my neighborhood, I sat for a bit with a beloved friend and neighbor to talk.  By the time I arrived home, a boat load of inspiration descended down from the Heavens.  It was unexpected and exciting, and I felt so grateful for my beautiful and abundant life.

Exercise in any form is not only about the physical assertions, but about the rewiring of our minds so we can get to another level of consciousness and heart-centeredness.

What is your spiritual practice of exercise, sojourners?  What connects you in?

Faithfully Yours, Tonya

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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