Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wellness Wednesday: Use What You Have


When I think back (which I don't like to do), I realize how much I missed out on, how much I didn't do, because I didn't have what I thought I needed to have.

Exercise is one example. For a long time I didn't do anything because I believed I had to have a gym membership, weights, a treadmill or some other special equipment. As anyone reading here knows, I am not a wealthy person.

Fill empty milk bottles with water for weights. Walk on the street instead of on a treadmill. Use a long rubber tube to stretch with. No one needs a gym. It's a luxury.

All of this to say, we can always find a way. It doesn't have to be difficult and it's a bit too easy to fall into the consumerism trap that tells us we have to buy certain things to get certain results. Merchandisers want us to believe that we need what they have because that keeps us buying and in debt.

In all things, it's important to get out of the "if only" thinking. If only I had this, I could do that. If only I was this, I could have that. If only I had it, I would be happy. If only the sky would turn purple.... If only....

This goes far beyond material things. It also applies to all other aspects of our lives. We all come with the internal software that we need to survive in this world. When you consider, our ancestors certainly didn't have all these products - nor did they need them.

It's a type of limitation thinking that leads to subtle, low level depression. There's nothing worse than feeling like we can't make changes in our own lives. It benefits only those who want to make a profit off our insecurities.

So I am learning to use these limitations as an opportunity to be a bit more creative ~ and to further simplify my life, lessen my dependence on "stuff", which leads to more freedom.

~*

33 comments:

Mel said...

You ARE creative, it is easy to find ways to overcome obstacules if you just close your eyes and picture yourself doing it.
I have limited resourses here, so it has always been a challenge, but also a JOY!
You can do it! :)

Mariposa said...

Chani, another beautiful post. I so agree with you...in fact, for awhile now, I have been jogging/ walking and doing stretching on my own and had stopped going to the gym...for me exercise needs to be enjoyable...and the gym just makes me feel to regimented.

My handler at Skype now is "Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have it, you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known."...I can so relate that with this post!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Excellent post! I have always had to be creative, and there is ultimately so much more satisfaction in knowing that I can depend on myself for what I need without buying into all the brainwashing.

If we wait until all the signs are right to do something, we never will.

we_be_toys said...

You are so right! I just came back from my daily walkies, because I know I would never really go to a gym, and walking is FREE! Being creative means finding a way to do whatever it is you want to do.
Thanks so much for stopping by my little ole blog - its always a welcome surprise to find a potential new reader!

Ian Lidster said...

You offer such gems of wisdom, dear friend.

Casdok said...

As you say - you can always find away.

painted maypole said...

"lessen my dependence on "stuff", which leads to more freedom."

yup. great post.

Molly said...

I recently started a course in tai chi, offered very reasonably by our school district. Chani if you haven't already tried it I think you should find a way. It takes a lot of concentration to learn the movements and to do them correctly. But you don't have to be athletic and it is gentle on your bones while making them stronger. I hope you will look into what might be available near you. When you have mastered the movements it becomes what they call a moving meditation.

rialudy said...

Chani as always you put me back on the right thinking and acting track.

@mariposa, thank you for your Skype handle. You are so right. It's so easy to think we want what we don't have.

Anvilcloud said...

Right. Keep in mind, however, that hand weights are relatively cheap if you feel the need for a slightly different tool. And, given this climate, I may have to invest in a treadmill next winter ... but I hope not.

Janet said...

Solid thoughts, Chani.

I used to belong to a gym and it was just a time suck for me. I wasted so much time driving there and back, changing, etc. Now I have hand weights, a stretchy band, a big ball and a floor mat and I fit it in during the little breaks in my day. It's more manageable and way cheaper.

Angela said...

Your posts are so right on, Chani. Found myself being depressed after watching an Oprah makeover show. Sheesh.

Gillian said...

Thanks for visiting me...I appreciate your comment.
I also like your blog very much, I've been tuned in here for awhile trying to read while I work, I am "visually merchandising" my front window of the spa. So ironically, your post touched me. (Is that ironic? not sure ;D)
Anyway, I guess what I am saying is, I agree with you.
I recently quit so many 'extras' because it was money down the drain. The gym was one of them. I am not wealthy either, and I like to hang on to the money I do have incase I need it! So that said, I am doing what you are doing, walking outdoors...lifting weights at home (large books work well for doing triceps, just hold behind your head and lift up)...sorry for rambling.
We all really don't need these things, and it is super challenging and fun once you decide to live without them~!!
xo

Moanna said...

Great posting. I agree there's nothing worse than feeling we can't make changes in our lives. Thank you for the idea that simplifying is an inexpensive way to make changes.

jen said...

and it all adds up, doesn't it...the rethinking, the detachment, the slow waltz to freedom.

Journey Through Life said...

This is fantastic. I do love reading your perspectives on things. I am going through this in one area of my life, thinking that I can't do it like that because of this. It is scary to move beyond that thinking, but come across your post is the coincidence I need to Be Brave and open myself up to new experiences.
Thanks!
xxx

Los Angelista said...

Great point but it's so easy to forget that. When I lived in China I didn't have a gym but I had a bike, a jump rope and push ups. All three worked pretty well.

Jane said...

Fantastic post! I struggle with these same beliefs and I am working hard at simply enjoying the gifts I have. It's easy to find yourself tripped up in the materialism when that's all society shows us these days.

bella said...

What a delightful and creative way of living in this world.
We're most definitely on the same wave length.

Mommahbear. said...

The more stuff I have the more stuff I need for my original batches of stuff. And, I'm not much happier than when all my stuff fit in my knapsack.

wheelsonthebus said...

For the record, I prefer walking on a path or a road to walking in a gym.

Mary said...

Wonderful, wonderful post, Chani.

Regarding exercise - I never could afford a membership to a gym for myself. So I pounded the streets with my disc man and walked 3 miles a day for many years. I was very healthy then...

I'm going to send this post to my daughter, age 25, who is whining about not having enough money to do this or that. Life is what you make it - if you have an a resourceful mind.

niobe said...

What you say about "if only" is so, so true. I see this around me all the time. Sadly, what often happens is that the person eventually achieves the "if only" and it doesn't make her happy. She then substitutes another "if only" and continues her futile pursuit of the happiness that always seems to just elude her grasp.

MsLittlePea said...

Gyms....I hate those places. The time alone getting dressed and driving over there is enought to keep me away. I'm lucky enough to live in a neighborhood that has small but sufficient workout room. But I'd rather get my workout outdoors....the treadmill there comes in handy for rainy days though.

I agree with you. Before I lived here I just jogged out doors and used an old jump rope for my cardio. Who needs all that expensive gear?

Maithri said...

There is such a beautiful sense of freedom in this post... and in all you write.

Sending you the love that lights the little stars,

and my gratitude for your presence on this earth,

M

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I’ve always found it strange how we humans—or is it simply contemporary humans?—can so often allow “what we don’t have” to control us.

Aliki2006 said...

I've never understood the whole gym thing. You are so right to point all this out, and to try and struggle against this dependence on "stuff."

crazymumma said...

oh Chani, I hear this, the weight of our stuff is killing me! Less IS more!

anne said...

Ah. One of the main reasons our house has been TV free for years now and will remain so. My time has become much more valuable to me.

MP3 e MP4 said...
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hele said...

This is the one realization that I keep on returning to.

Let go of what if I was a nicer, cleverer, more caring person.

Girl on the Run... said...

This is such a great post! I am so guilty of the "IF ONLY'S" It really should be more about creativity and imagination!

Christine said...

gyms drive me crazy (and i used to work in them). with some creativity and some planning there aren't as many limits to what we can do. i find that we are mostly limited by our own imaginations.



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