“The path of least resistance leads to crooked rivers and crooked men.”
~Henry David Theoreau
Human nature is always apt to find the path of least resistance. For example, using travel apps to avoid heavily trafficked areas, searching for the shortest checkout line at the grocery store or even finding the closest parking spot at the gym just so you can run on the treadmill for an hour! (I’ve seen this a lot and I laugh every time!)
In reading quotes about the path of least resistance I realized that, depending on your life experience, to travel down the road of least resistance is following your heart and your own path; going with the flow. In my experience, however, I find that going against the grain or “unfollowing” the path of least resistance, in other words resisting complacency, is where the real growth occurs. And with that growth can come positive change.
When it comes to our bodies, it can be challenging but deeply rewarding to travel outside the path of least resistance. In previous blog posts I have discussed how our bodies are inherently lazy. Shortcuts are our friends and are much easier! That is until you find your body not able to move as it as it has begun the process of collapsing upon itself. It does not function as it used to and every movement ends in discomfort or pain. This leads to, as the quote so eloquently states, “crooked men”!
Our bodies were intended to not only move, but to move in all the ways in which it was built. Our muscles, joints, bones, connective tissues, organs were made for a reason. If we allow our body to become complacent, to allow gravitational forces to push upon us, to stop moving as we were built to or, in other words, to follow the path of least resistance, we not only risk loosing the mobility but the stability in our body, allowing tissues to wither away, which inevitably leads to imbalances, injury and/or pain.
RESISTING the path of least resistance can become mental as well as physical in equal measure. As we do (resist, that is) we can eventually find positive changes within ourselves, break down the walls of prejudice, become much more open and creative, and learn how much we can really accomplish, which in turn can boost confidence in ourselves. That, I believe, is worth the effort in going against true human nature.
In unfollowing your own path of least resistance, what is important to remember?
- Know yourself. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are you trying to accomplish? What are you trying to avoid? What are you so passionate about that it has the potential to overcome any fears and get you outside of your comfort zone? Remember why you are doing what you are doing! Is it remaining mobile to play with your children and grandchildren? Is it to avoid your hereditary health issues? It is to have freedom to move without pain or fear of falling?
- Start small. Don’t get overwhelmed by the big picture. Start with hiring a trainer, going to a fitness class, walking around the block or just being mindful of your posture during dinner.
- Celebrate every step along the way! Write each step in a gratitude journal daily, no matter how diminutive. For example:
Monday, March 18, 2019
I am grateful I walked a mile after dinner.
I am grateful I remembered to sit up taller while driving to work.
I am grateful I found an Essentrics® class close to me! 😉
- Don’t get caught up in what everyone else is doing or accomplishing. You have your OWN journey. It is made special for you. If you want to improve your situation, getting caught up in what others are doing around you may allow you to slide back into the path of least resistance. Stay focused and celebrate who you are and your PERSONAL accomplishments, one movement at a time!
- Stand Tall. Literally. The more you go against the path of least resistance in your body by lifting up and out, the more breath you can take, the more relaxed you will feel and the less trapped you will become as time goes on.
I implore you to “unfollow” your own path of least resistance. Make changes today!
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