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Movement Motivation For Selfless Souls: 5 Tricks For The Exercise-Resistant.

Exercise Heart

{Photo: Veruschka Normandeau}


Do you have a hard time staying in your body?

Or do you have a hard time putting yourself first and not getting distracted?

Does your to-do list look pretty much the same every Monday?

You wake up with good intentions that you are going to start exercising today, but morning duties (pets, partner, kids, coffee, dishes, email check-in, impromptu and inconvenient texts and messages) happen, and before you know it — although you put on your running shoes hours ago — it’s high noon, way too hot, you still have to clean the kitchen, but you are actually hungry now, so you are in a bind about whether to make a hearty brunch or go on your morning walk first… but then again, you can’t walk on a full stomach after and… hey! I haven’t even brushed my teeth yet!

And if you go now, it will be past 1 pm when you finally get to start your day. This is the morning conundrum. It’s always about priorities.

It’s always easier to feed the cat before your morning pee, because the cat is meowing.

It’s always easier to respond to texts before starting the coffee, because it will otherwise remain on your mind: “But they needed the electrician’s number and I am the only one who can get them that great deal” — always trying to save others money!

Needless to say, I feed off of helping others.

I think it had been a year since I took my Yoga teacher training and I had not done one bit of exercise since, apart from swimming and occasional dance and walking. I started with a free week-of-movement, 5 minutes-a-day Facebook group for inspiration. It included mantras such as, “My vision is clear.”

Wait, I am in the business of affirmations, and hey, this works and is inspiring. It was early December and I wondered what was the furthest away from what I could feel about being in my body. The mind-blowing mantra that returned all mystery and possibility back to me was:

“I am a shining example of loving my body.”

With this, I walked out of the house with my hadn’t-been-touched-in-a-year iPod and ventured across the highway, toward a hill in a neighborhood I had not explored. I knew a hill would kick my ass. I listened to only inspiring things, with my chest heaving and beads of sweat pouring down my temples.

With every breath and every yard, I got more and more inspired. Creative ideas were flooding my brain, and I could not wipe the smile off of my face. I kept pushing myself. Although I could not see the end of the road, I continued forward. I walked 35 minutes uphill, ending in two dirt driveways in the jungle, with rising ohila trees, straight as a pole.

Phew. Turning around, I was proud of my accomplishment, high above the ocean now, with amazing views. I felt honored that I had access to such abundant nature all around, and slightly guilty that it had taken me so long to discover this sacred and secret ideal work-out hill.

I instantly felt like I had to give back. I created a small inconspicuous circle of rocks around the base of a small tree. I cleared some brush and debris as my thank you. Then I gave the spot some reiki and did a personal chant to honor the earth and elements.

Fulfilled, I headed back down the mountain, completely enthusiastic about my new find and making big plans to make it a routine.

Knowing I had a destination at the top of the mountain, that I could plant seeds of intentions at, set me on fire and motivated me.

I continued to pick a stone or rock on a daily basis, hold it in my hand as I either chose to release things that no longer served me or charge it with qualities I wanted to offer the earth and this world. That way, I was invested in making it to the top every day.

Some days I high-five the branches and bushes on the side of the road, as if I’m a marathon runner and they’re on the sidelines cheering me on. Other days I get to witness couples of monarch butterflies, stick bugs, mongoose and praying mantis on my path — I never know what to expect.

Some days, I hear lines in a song I have heard a thousand times and actually hear what they are and feel them in a whole new way.

My energy level has increased, my electrolyte intake has increased, my legs are feeling stronger than ever. I am proud to say I make it up five days a week and even bring an umbrella when needed. Sometimes I find lemons to bring home.

Only six weeks into it did it finally dawn on me that I was actually climbing the foothill of Mauna Loa, and that I was actually sending reiki toward the actively-flowing lava, probably only 3-5 miles away as the bird flies.

Big mama, big mama! Madame Pele, Goddess of creation, I can vouch for the creative side effects my mountain has had on me.

Sometimes we need to bribe ourselves to get out in the name of others, like selfless service.

For instance, if you are a yogi, what if you committed to 108 sun salutations once a week, (okay, or 58 or 24 or 12) and honor someone in your life with every salutation — family friends, or idols past or present. Maybe set intentions for what you want for the world (for instance, peace, harmony, joy).

Be as sincere or challenging and creative as you want to be — whatever it takes to scoot your bum into a sneaky, mobility-inducing direction.

My two closest family members are immobile: my brother is a paraplegic and my granny needs a walker. I live on an adventurous volcanic island. Oh, I don’t want to walk out to the newest beach on this planet again — that arduous five-minute walk — but, I can!

And I can take a different picture every time and send it to my brother! These are my creative blackmails to watch yet another unique sunset.

Here are five motivational tricks to get moving:

1. Pick a final destination that is easy to access from your home or place of work, and that will actually challenge your efforts for the time you have to spare.

For example, if you want a 60-minute walk, pick a destination that is 30 minutes away, make a discreet sacred space that you could collect rocks or sticks or shells in, so you have the benefit of tracking your accomplishments, aka your prayers.

2. Get your entertainment lined up: inspirational podcasts, groovy music, affirmations, continuing education to indulge your mind and to challenge any fears of time indulgence. On the flip side, leave it all at home, unleash your mind and enjoy the nature — whatever floats your boat.

 3. Get some groovy shoes and accessories.  I have my uniform now, so there are no excuses to get out of the house. I have a small purse, with a notepad and pen, since I can’t afford to miss jotting down the slogans and blog posts that hill tickles out of me.

 4. Make commitments and routines: pick a weekly affirmation that is your theme that you work with. Keep it positive, it can be about body, health, mindset, work or your wildest dreams. Pick a prayer or chant that you always do upon arrival at the turning point. Or make the commitment to pick up three pieces of trash.

 5. Dedicate your walk/hike/swim/salutation to special people, take pictures, start an art project and share your joy with them during that time or after — sharing that love and joy may inspire others.

So take it a step further and actually tell people you are thinking of them and you are documenting your time as you go — perhaps use this time to catch up with dear ones.

As I told my landlord of my new-found love adventure, in utter approval, the self-proclaimed shaman said, “Give it all to the mountain, the mountain can take it.”

Mountains… talk about selfless!


VeruschkaNormandeau03Veruschka Normandeau is not lost, she is a pioneer and magic dealer. A rainbow love warrior, healing artist, documentarian, designer, reluctant yogini, inner & outer tour guide, transformational island retreat curator and all around mystic mermaid cowboy. Veruschka is a true Bohemian by ancestry, and is embracing the mundane, absurd and the extraordinary with her twin flame on the Big Island of Hawaii, where lava, dolphins & magic springs. She helps people change their minds in their bodies and hopes to cultivate authenticity & heart courage for ecstatic living in others. Veruschka is inspired by the eye of the whale, alchemical union and stands for miracles (#mahaloismybusiness). You could contact her through her website, Facebook, Instagram or Etsy.


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