Energy wants to move. Rivers want to flow. When that flow gets cut off, the pressure mounts until the dam bursts and floods ensue. As I sit here writing at 4:15 in the afternoon, I’m still wearing the workout clothes I donned at six this morning when I was “just” going to stop in my office, do a couple of quick things, kiss my son before he went off to school, and then run to the gym. And here I sit, my anxious energy building up and threatening to burst the dam. So, I’ve got to move very soon and will the minute the first draft of this post is finished. Promise.
An Object at Rest…
According to Newton’s first law of inertia, “An object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by an unbalanced force. An object in motion continues in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” While my brain has been moving at warp speed all day, my poor body has had to wait patiently for its turn to move. A few hours ago, it stopped being so patient, tapping its foot and getting increasingly restless. My head knows that if it would just take the body for a nice walk and a few stretches, it would happily allow the brain to focus more clearly on the task at hand and finish it far more quickly and efficiently. But now we’re all tired and it’s getting increasingly difficult to find the energy to move.
The Paradox of Energy and Movement
When I first started taking aerobics classes back in the days of leotards and leg warmers, the instructor said something that has stuck with me ever since, “Those times when you’re tired and you least feel like coming to class are the times that you need it the most. So come anyway.” She was so right. When we stay still too long, it saps our energy, which is longing to circulate. And the longer we wait, the harder it is to get going again.
Joy Strategy: Stop Long Enough to Get Going
When you take the time to shake it up and get your blood pumping again, your investment will be returned in the form of increased focus and calm. Listen to your body and, whenever possible, honor it by giving it what it needs. I’d love to write more about that, but my body wants to go for a walk and it’s waited long enough.