Thursday, 3 May 2007

Triple Gym Workout

“Church is the gym for the Soul”. That’s what the poster outside the church said when I drove past last weekend. It got me to thinking. First I thought - clever. Then I thought - sad – even churches are reduced to sound-bites. Then, can you give your soul a workout?

It got me thinking about gyms. It’s been a while since I’ve been near one. I still have my membership, it’s just it seems that I keep coming up with other things to do – I mean there’s never anything on TV - apart from when if there had been nothing on then I might just have gone to the gym! But there can be no doubt that having stopped my fitness sessions, I’m suffering in various ways – stiffening-up, putting on more weight, and losing contact with my gym pals.

Thoughts then drifted to ‘mind gyms’. It seems now that in order to keep our brains healthy and active there are mind gym workouts we can do. Personally my mind never stops – but usually I’m thinking about work. I fall asleep thinking about it and I wake up thinking about it. Not healthy! This week I’ve had a bit of a distraction because I’ve been focussed, at times, on this blog. I often try and meditate – and try the ‘if a thought comes into your mind just let it come and go’ approach. Problem for me is that there is a big line of thoughts – one comes and goes, then the next, and the next and so on and so on. Sometimes my mind is so full, it’s like everything is competing for first place. More than once I’ve said something which has been a combination of several non-related thoughts! This needs to stop.

So, back to where I started. Can I give my soul a workout? Well it’s a while since I’ve been to church – so I’ve certainly not been doing it there. When I was younger I went to church then at some point I just seemed to stop – not sure why. I think though that I’m quite a spiritual person, although I’m not quite sure how I would define what I mean. But I’m interested in different religions and I now have a ‘fusion’ of beliefs. Basically, it comes down to compassion, understanding, and equality. But I think this is an area I need to examine more.

In terms of PLAN A, this means I need to build in Mind, Body and Spirit workouts.


Mary Witzl said...

Try yoga! That is a great mind, body, and soul work-out.

Another good thing to do is gardening. You can ruminate a lot when you work in the garden, and you can definitely get a great work-out, though the gym is a lot easier on your fingernails. The garden does much more for your soul, of course.

My problem with most churches is that they're short on proper Christians. Almost all the people there would no doubt describe themselves as Christians, but I've seen some of them in action and they're not even close. I'd have to agree with Gandhi who said 'I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.'

My garden is now my church.

eg(scotland) said...

Mary - Thank you for those wise offerings. I do enjoy gardening and get pleasure from it. I think in the past though, it's been a case of having to get jobs done rather than perhaps seeking to get a greater benefit from it in that much wider sense. I have a few days off now and hopefully if the weather is good, I'll get into the garden. I'll try a different approach when I'm out there. Thank you.

On fingernails - I gave up on them when I took up rock climbing! I should say that rock climbing is probably the one activity that takes my mind off everything else. But I haven't climbed for a few months now - so must get back to that too.


Eryl Shields said...

Now you're sounding like me! I sometimes have so many thoughts vying for position that I can't speak at all. I do find this blogging helpful as I have to disentangle my thoughts in order to write them in a way that makes sense. I can spend hours editing though.

I'm with Mary on gardening too. When I'm in my garden thinking about what I want to do in it next, what else I can grow and how I'm going to situate my sculpture collection - once I can afford to start it!- all else melts away.

Mary Witzl said...

The previous residents of our house didn't have much time for gardening. Our garden is a mess of hard-packed clay and weeds impacted over the years into a cement-like mixture. I've been hacking away at this for the past two years and you can barely see the difference, but I have certainly saved on gym membership fees.

I'm looking forward to your posts on psychometric testing, EG. It seems to me that there is always some craze that is touted as the definitive way to measure character and aptitude, whether it is role playing or handwriting analysis or whatever. In another five years, they'll have some other wildly popular way of finding the perfect staff. Only it won't be foolproof either, so they'll end up looking for yet another one. One thing's for sure: I'd fail their psychometric testing hands down.

eg(scotland) said...

Eryl - I'm enjoying being able to set my thoughts down. Problem at the moment is I can't seem to capture the depth of my thoughts. I'll toss something over in my mind for ages and think I must write about this. But when I then read what I've written it seems quite shallow. I'm hoping the more I do this, the better I'll get.

Mary - I'm sure you'll have made a big difference on your garden. Have you taken photographs at different stages? If you have, it's worth taking a look at them. I'm always amazed how much my garden has changed. One of the wonderful things about gardening is that the job is never done - there's always something else to do. I need to get back to just enjoying mine rather than seeing it as a task or chore.


Eryl Shields said...

I'm having that problem right now. But I have to go away for three days tomorrow so I think I'll just have to put it out there and live with it. I guess we can't all be Dickens.

eg(scotland) said...

Eryl - I like that - put it out there and live with it - I need to have that sort of attitude at times - I think that's really positive.


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