Core Lessons

After a number of failed attempts I’ve finally found an exercise routine that is working for me. It’s not perfect, and it 100% rests on being able to get up at 6am with no family interruptions, of which there is no guarantee. But for the most part, I’ve had enough early mornings now with an exercise video in the basement to experience a change.  

I first noticed this change last week when I was driving. As I sat in the car, I felt something I hadn’t ever noticed. I smile as I write this: it was like meeting a stranger for the first time. That stranger that I was face to face with, was my core muscles.  I know, strange to imagine but true! As I sat in the car aware of these new muscles, I noticed I was sitting straighter and feeling stronger, grounded, and present.

Of course, if you know me, you’ll understand that this has captured my imagination and has left me thinking about the relationship between our core muscle strength and our capacity to feel centred, and the impact this has on our quality of presence.

In our work with leaders and teams, Michelle and I often talk about the body and the importance of presence in our relationships with others. The mindfulness exercises we introduce can usually get people to tune into their nervous system for greater awareness of their state. But this new relationship with my core muscles has really reminded me that the connection between mind and body is paramount.

It’s hardly rocket science I know, but it’s new information for me.  As someone who has spent a great deal of time living in my head, and following my breath in meditation, this ‘aha’ about exercise is a wonderful new piece of the puzzle.

So, may this inspire you to set aside time for exercise with a focus on the core, and as you engage in this routine, use it to centre your body and your mind. Engage those muscles because they are part of your body’s ‘team’ that will keep you upright and present in the midst of the complex swirl of work and life.