Some years ago, I developed a case of plantar fascitis, inflammation of the fascia in the soles of my feet. I had moved from flat Houston to hilly Boulder and was enjoying lots of hiking, biking, and walking as I made friends with my new home. I didn't connect the pain in my feet with the idea that I should back off a bit until it was too late.
The Thrall of Inertia
During the slow process of healing, I began to enjoy just sitting. I needed to rest, right? Relaxing in a chair felt so good, and the idea of getting moving seemed less and less attractive. Two years and 15 pounds later, it occurred to me that I was now officially sedentary. My feet had healed but I was still in the thrall of inertia. Not exactly in sync with my image of being athletic.
Movement is the essence of life. Recent studies have shown that the ill effects of long periods of stillness are not undone by a burst of exercise in the morning or afternoon. The lymph system, for example, requires regular physical movement to do its work of detoxifying. Exercise helps keep the pain of arthritis at bay. Like a clogged drain or brackish creek, a sedentary body can't remove its waste efficiently and becomes sluggish and creaky.
Six Impossible Things
This is true for our minds and imaginations also. Einstein said that imagination is more important than knowledge. Imagination is like a motor that overcomes the inertia of habit - what we already know. It is the fuel for novelty and should be exercised everyday so it doesn't become sluggish and creaky, too. Do we agree with Alice that, "There's no use trying. One can't believe impossible things"? Or do we practice believing "six impossible things before breakfast" each day?
Sometimes when something "just feels right," it isn't; it is merely a habit that keeps us stuck. How have you challenged your imagination and your routine lately? It may feel scary or all wrong to do things a different way, but that doesn't mean we should quit imagining the "impossible." How things are is not set and solid. We reenforce them by thinking the same thoughts over and over. Challenge yourself to imagine six new things every day and see what happens next.
Verona Rylander is a psychotherapist with a degree from Naropa University in Boulder, CO. She grew up on grass fed beef and organic vegetables in Paris, TX and has a long history of curiosity about health, food, nutrition, cooking, and beyond. She's here to offer a broader perspective on Primal Living, changing habits, willpower, body image, and importance of your thoughts.