Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mind Over Machine Matters

Monday morning as I leaned against my washing machine, the warmth and rhythmic motion brought back the memory of working out at a health club in Montreal a good few years ago.  Back in 'those' days, we (my sister, friend and I) would go to aerobic classes, use the gym equipment and take leisurely saunas which were  basically catch up time for chatting.  Some of the gym equipment was, as I think back, really quite funny.  There was one in particular that had a base, torso and wide rubbery strap that when placed around your thighs and turned on would shake your (ahem) fat.  Yup, all you had to do was stand there and be shaken like a dry martini.  We always felt so impressed with ourselves, spending upwards of ten, even twenty minutes on this machine.  When we stepped down our thighs were numb but, heck, we had really worked out and if that was the price that had to be paid, so be it. 

So back to the washing machine.  I thought about the clothes being agitated inside, think thighs here, and realized that the only thing that was actually working out was the machine.  Oh, sure, there was movement, but no actual musculature was involved, only the (ahem) fat.  Sure it was an exercise, one of futility.  Time spent, but no payoff. You know, like busy work handed out at school. Not necessarily a lesson, but a holding pattern.  It was, to a large degree, passive. 

The exercise machine would not, could not, exercise for us.  When modern technology began replacing these antiquated ideas, and exercise machines were the accompaniment to our regime, not the star attraction, we saw some changes in our physiques.  While not intentional, we had been deceived.  The clothes were not thrashing about and washing themselves, nor were our legs or hips doing any reducing.  Yes, we were deceived, but did we inherently know that we were being deceived?  I think Lord Greville may have captured the essence of deceit when he said "No man was ever so much deceived by another as by himself".  

Let us not fool ourselves.  It is a betrayal of the most intimate sort.  While each and every one of us can talk ourselves into one thing or another and become indignant at the outcome, we are still fooling ourselves.  Yes, I allowed myself to be shaken to numbness on that otherwise docile machine, but at the back of my mind there was a flicker, a nano second of a thought that said, "how is this possible?" 

It's not about the machine, it's about us.  We matter and we need to care enough about ourselves not to fall victim to..... ourselves.  

Somewhere out there, in the great land fills, are bits and pieces of cocktail shaking exercise machines.  They are harmless. They only did what they were wired to do.  Every time, though, that we stepped onto one, we rewired ourselves into believing that we could passively attain great physical rewards.  Please refer back to Lord Greville's quote.

Wishing you light, love and great achievements.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Time Marches On

Today is considered a neutral day on the Kabbalistic calendar.
Poof!  January has come and gone, February has arrived, and if we're not observant, March will be upon us before we have taken the time to truly appreciate February.  As I have become aware, almost painfully of that stage of life as regards age (now measured in decades) I have felt the need to let certain things go, while at the same time trying dearly to hold on to body, brain and belief.  In french the expression, 'jamais dit jamais' or 'never say never', we are led to believe that nothing should be ruled out as anything may happen.

Yesterday revealed many things.  At a family celebration I was greeted by a four year old who replied to my question of 'how are you?' with an extended hand and a very mature, 'fine, thank you'.  I watched as my very fit seventy-two year old cousin bench pressed two hundred pounds.  My husband and I happily observed as our sixteen year old son had meaningful conversations with family members almost fives times his age. It was a day of basking in the comfortable glow of several generations of a family, who, at many different stages of life exhibited behaviors not generally associated with their particular age group.

One can repeat cliche after cliche, such as Chaucer's 'time and tide wait for no man', but yesterday we lived it.  A four year old, who, while having his whole life ahead of him to master the intricacies of social interaction, had already begun, a seventy two year old who has refused to allow age and gravitational pull to wreak havoc on his body and a sixteen year old who relished the opportunity of conversational intercourse with his elders all indicated that time was precious and not to be wasted.

Yesterday clearly revealed that each and every day has a purpose, and while days tend to pass quickly we can still experience one that holds much and guarantees a future with a warm and happy past.  Manifesting our future so that one's memory bank will be filled to capacity with the good times starts here, now, today in the month of February.  At this point not once has the word procrastination entered into this discourse, however, Persius said 'for yesterday is once tomorrow' and I am a firm believer that we cannot recapture the now.

March, we know you're there. We see you peeking your head around the corner.  You are a lovely month in your own right, but please, excuse us, we still have much of February to enjoy.

May today bring you much and tomorrow bring you more. 

Love, light and happiness.