SMART INTENTIONS by Daniel Barrows

 DANIEL  in Bali

DANIEL  in Bali

 

        Each New Year resolutions are made and many are broken. I think that a lot of people would agree when I say, whether it’s the new year or mid year, it's difficult to maintain a sense of momentum and forward progression. Why is it so much of an uphill battle to maintain our intentions? To quote my movement teacher Edward Yu, “Why does trying harder sometimes become an exercise in futility? Why does following ‘expert advice’ often lead to little or no improvement?”

        Maybe some of it can be attributed to how our culture views motivation. A motive driven by a fear or lack seems to leave a depressing taste in the air. Even though there are glimpses of an open sky, something ends up derailing consistent progress. It’s probably because we have to live with a drill sergeant on our shoulder. I sure don’t want that guy hanging out all the time. I wanted to be excited about healing and exercise, the way I am excited about riding waves, hanging with friends or playing music. I wondered if it was too much to ask. Is it possible to combine playing and healing into a joyful anticipated event?

I wanted to be excited about healing and exercise, the way I am excited about riding waves, hanging with friends or playing music. I wondered if it was too much to ask. Is it possible to combine playing and healing into a joyful anticipated event?”

 

        Something curious happened since I posed these questions. I credit the Smartroller® for a large portion of this change because I started to love my time exploring movement. It happened when I made a dedication to feeling good as opposed to solely focusing on the outcome. There was room to breathe, and room to make mistakes. There was no self judgment, just following what felt good. The landscape of my body and how it moved became an amazing gift.

        Practice started simple. I told myself "only when I genuinely wanted to." Starting to let go of the familiar voice saying, “I should get on the Smartroller”. That was the same internal voice saying “I should work out.” I started giving credit to the voice that said no. Maybe he knew what he was saying. The more I jumped on it when my body wanted it, the more I wanted to be on it. Without any external motivation necessary, I was on the roller much more often. Now, many times a day, my family will find me on the Smartroller, not because my Physical Therapist/ Feldenkrais teacher told me to (happens to be my mother, Stacy, the inventor), but because I include it in my entertainment section of life. 

Slowly the images of what it’s supposed to look like, how it's supposed to feel, what I’m supposed to do, how long I’m supposed to practice... all fell away. What gave rise was an intelligence of good feeling, which began to guide proper alignment and equal distribution of effort without any textbooks or teachers. All the things I had been told about."

Slowly the images of what it’s supposed to look like, what it’s supposed to feel like, what I’m supposed to do, how long I’m supposed to practice... all fell away. What gave rise was an intelligence of good feeling, which began to guide proper alignment and equal distribution of effort without any textbooks or teachers. All the things I had been told about.”

       

Now, it wasn’t just the Smartroller that did this, but the way in which I approached my time with it. What my mind brought to the table was reflected in it’s outcomes. It’s true affect is seen throughout time. As canyons are carved by the flow of water, so does relaxed, joyous and continuous movements remold the body. Great difficulties are sometimes best dealt with by an accumulation of small actions. Enjoy it, that’s what it’s here for. And who knows, maybe other life changes are simultaneously under the surface."

Great difficulties are sometimes best dealt with by an accumulation of small actions. Enjoy it, that’s what it’s here for. And who knows, maybe other life changes are simultaneously under the surface.”