I’ve been exploring this concept of full-bodied living lately.
(I even looked to see if the url was available. It’s not. But then I realized it fits right here on this site).
Full bodied living is…
Living with your full body…and spirit and mind and soul.
Allowing them all to grow and thrive and build upon each other.
Because if one system is wonky, they’ll all be out of alignment. You can’t focus only on one.
I talk a lot about fitness on here, but really mental and spiritual health are just as important. I feel more and more like I can’t discuss fitness without discussing mindset and spiritual progress.
It’s something that’s completely in alignment with this website, with my cause, with what I believe in.
Not only do we need fitness and good nutrition to feed our physical bodies, we need certain habits to take care of our mental and spiritual sides as well.
And rather than being drug along by agendas and responsibilities and expectations, we need to take control and follow our hearts and live in full expression of ourselves
I would say full-bodied living is about “living life to the fullest,” but that expression has been so overdone and watered down that it doesn’t feel right, even though it’s exactly spot-on if you really think about it.
Full-bodied living is about stretching and being intentional
about living each day to its full potential.
This past Memorial weekend was the perfect example of that, for me.
I went to bed each night utterly spent, in the most delicious way.
It wasn’t the deflated and exhausted type of “spent.” It was the fulfilled and full-bodied living type of spent. Stick around until the end of the post for my best tips, so you can live it too!
It started on Saturday, when we headed out for some good ole Memorial Day rummage saleing.
I love rummage saleing. It feels like a treasure hunt to me. I love finding things that no one else has, like vintage belts, handmade necklaces, and treasures dug up from half a decade ago.
These two are just happy to be along
Some people see junk. I see unique one-of-a-kind treasures.
I also found some sporty clothes for my son and My Little Pony stuff for my daughter because My Little Pony makes her (and me) happy;)
Afterward, once we were home, I felt this overwhelming need to purge the house. Big time!
Bring new stuff in, get rid of even more stuff. It’s all about balance.
Plus, a tidy(ish) home makes me happy, so the clutter had to go.
What started as a small project turned into about 8 hours of tidying, purging, organizing, and scratching around until my home felt calm again. It was a thorough spring cleaning. It felt sooooooo good.
I also worked out my body in a way that you could call “functional.” My workout for the day was being functional. It wasn’t a workout that prepared my body for daily activities, the workout was the daily activities.
I have never seen this number on my FitBit before. The product of cleaning and going up and down the basement stairs a million and a half times. I even washed, brushed and braided the hair of all Rayna’s new dolls before dropping utterly spent into bed.
On Sunday, since Hubster was gone, I invited my parents to take a road trip with us to Wisconsin Dells. I had been sitting at my desk last week, thinking about how amazing it is that it’s summer, wanting to do something super summery when I decided on the most summery place around here I know. Wisconsin Dells.
We took the day very leisurely, with no plans at all except to explore and just soak up the summery goodness.
We started at the Deer Park, because if there’s one place we have to go every time we go to the Dells, it’s the deer park. We could spend all day there. There were so.many.babies. Like, super fresh straight-from-the-oven babies. Gheeeee!
Where else can you get this close?
An unafraid tiny human
Spirit animal moment
This monkey cracked me up. He would adjust himself and then slowly return to this “Om” position. Then he’d pluck something off his partner and slowly return to the om position. Zen monkey business.
After that, we found a nice park downtown to have our picnic lunch. We had quite the healthy spread. And the kids enjoyed the park. My dad had been up for nearly 24 hours at this point (third shift), so he took a little snooze under a tree. See. Slow and leisurely perfection.
Then, we headed downtown for some casual strolling/people-watching/shopping. It was just such a beautiful day and soaking up the high energy of summer and travel and happy people. We didn’t buy much. Some of the stuff for sale there has been the same since I was a kid. But the buzzy, excited, warm energy? That’s exactly what I needed.
Kayne and grandpa paint-ballin’
That view though!
We made one more stop before we left. Kayne saved his allowance money to take his grandpa go-karting (precious!). And although he wasn’t tall enough to drive himself like he was hoping, the unadulterated smile on that kid’s face was everything.
Monday, we headed over to High Cliff for a cookout with my sister and her family. Hubster and I watched the small kids while everyone else went exploring. We traded in the high energy of the previous days with a lower laid-back energy. I just relaxed and read on a picnic blanket. I did take one small leisurely hike with this handsome kid.
Major forest therapy
But mostly I just sank into my blanket and thought about stuff. Even came up with a few great ideas while lounging. Afterward, on the ride home, I felt a peace like no other. It was exactly what I needed.
(Speaking of forest therapy, I just created a new website over at www.forestbathingcentral.com. I’m only getting started on it, but I’m putting together a program full of exercises for forest bathing or shinrin-yoku, because it’s become an integral part of my full-bodied living regimen. So stay tuned!)
So, let me give you a few tips on full-bodied living from what I’ve been learning.
My advice for full-bodied living:
Live your days with your entire body. Get the most out of your physical body. Take care of your mental wellbeing. Embrace your spiritual side. Do everything you can each day to live with your entire being: body, mind and spirit. Always work on improving yourself, mind, body, and spirit. Not from a place of inferiority, but from a place of growth. When you feel so deliciously spent at the end of a day, and you feel like you’ve accomplished so much, that’s when you know you’ve lived with your full body.
Take time for rest. After you’ve lived with your full body, you might feel the need to slow down for a bit. That’s OK. Sometimes the frenzy and high energy need a counterbalance to prevent it from turning into dissonance and irritability.
Resting is good, but not all the time. Rest should happen after you’ve lived with your full body, and it should be temporary. The full-bodied living? That’s what should take up the majority of your time. Not the resting. Rest only long enough to feel the frenzy slipping away and the calm taking over, and not a moment longer. Sleeping all day is a sign of depression. Living all day is a sign of elevation.
Rest should be productive. Resting doesn’t mean spending an entire day in front of the TV streaming Netflix. Unless you’re sick. Rest should still be productive. You can still take a leisurely stroll or read or knit or do something. You know how one might take “active rest days” from exercise where they are still active, but not hardcore? You also need “active rest time” from overwhelm, but not too long. When you feel like you’ve been sitting too long, it’s time to move. That’s why I make it a point to get up from my desk once an hour, because an hour feels too long to sit. Rest shouldn’t feel depleting. It should feel reviving.
Figure out what your body needs and feed it that. When I felt like I needed warm buzzy summer energy, I made it happen with our road trip. When I feel like my body is being weighed down by sugar and fat and chemicals, I ease up and feed it clean ingredients (like what I’m eating on the Tone it up nutrition plan). When I feel like too much “stuff” in my house is stifling my energy, I make time to gut it. After I did all those things and felt I needed to slow down a bit, I rested. I lived the weekend in complete alignment with what it required.
What about you?
Do you practice full-bodied living, or has this post at least inspired you to want to? What was your favorite or most productive part about Memorial Day weekend?