December 6, 2012 at 8:52 am | Posted in Body, Mind, Nature, Recreation, Senses, Touch, Treatment | 6 Comments
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Splendour in the Grass Small

Step into your (new) comfort zone!

Chances are you live in your head far more than your body.

While a rich mental life offers entertaining discourse with superior company, you can have too much of a good thing.

At the most practical level, your body is a life-support system for your brain.

Serving the latter to the detriment of the former ultimately compromises both.

So, while hobbies, alcohol, medication and literature may seem preferred paths to contentment, beware false readings from a selfish organ that knows exactly what you’re thinking.

Though all impulses may screech to the contrary, it’s vital to shift your corporeal form.

The trick is to find a (probably solo) exercise you enjoy.

Swimming is ideal, but unsuited to warmer months.

Walking is a good year-round alternative.

If you can find a large grassed oval that’s deserted at inconvenient times, you’re in for a treat.

At first, the prospect of circling with nothing but your protesting mind may daunt.

To ease yourself in, try downloading fascinating documentaries to an iPod or some such.

Acquiring facts is a great way to silence your inner voice.

Once you’re in the swing, take the next step.

Take off your runners and walk barefoot.

At once, the 2D green disc you’ve been traipsing will become a 3D sensory adventure.

Suddenly, you’ll detect every nuance of the turf.

After rain, you’ll feel the little mounds worms made overnight.

When the sprinklers are on, you’ll slosh through puddles and streams.

When it’s dry, you’ll scale tiny sand dunes.

Soon you’ll realise the oval has a camber to aid drainage.

And that a barely perceptible tilt creates a particularly lush spot.

Each time you pass through this, the grass will remind you that, while still an etherial being, you’re definitely of this Earth.

Literally and metaphorically rooting yourself in the real world is an ideal counter to a busy brain.

And the fitness you gain will keep the relationship healthy.

If you’re lucky enough to live by the sea, the benefits of walking barefoot increase a thousandfold.

So close that book, put down that bottle, turn off that screen and



Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.


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  1. Hey Paul

    If you don’t mind, I thought I’d share here a few of the benefits I have experienced with Pilates.

    While it’s not quite the same as walking on the beach, feeling the sand grate between my toes or the squelch while walking in that soggy bit, it still makes me think about my body – how it fits together, how it works, how efficient movement of one part depends on the correct positioning of another.

    There’s no time for thinking about my latest ‘problem’ during a class, a welcome relief from the thought-chasing that often goes on.

    Pilates develops long, lean muscle (not at all like the results of weight lifting), correct breathing, concentration, and the body-mind connection. It gives both a cardio and a resistance workout.

    Needless to say, I’m a fan of Pilates.

    Perhaps this will be useful for readers 🙂

    • Dear Desolie, when you expanded on Facebook, I was dying to ask if you’d be kind enough to reproduce your valuable insights in a comment on this post. But you’ve been so damn generous with your support this (and every other!) week, I didn’t want to push the friendship. So I’m truly delighted you took the initiative. I’m confident our readers will dig your words the most. Thank you very very much for adding them. 🙂

      • Not a problem, Paul.

        I’d love to hear if any of your readers try Pilates and how they feel about it.
        When I mentioned our FB conversation to my instructor, she said she’d love the challenge of working with Aspies.

        • So would I, Desolie! Imagine if Pilates turned out to be of incalculable value to people on the spectrum. I’d LOVE to witness a discussion between your instructor and our readers. Fingers crossed there’s folk out there willing to take the step. 🙂

  2. Terrific post, Paul. It sounds like you’re using your powers of observation and sensory input for good! I wonder in how many other dimensions can you take a similar approach? That is, what is the walk-round-the-oval equivalent in your more difficult (perhaps human) interactions? Just a thought. Another lap …

    • Trust YOU to move the goal posts, Ad! I get such a sense of ennui when they remove the padding from those winter sticks. I’d much prefer jocks to bash themselves senseless all year long. I’ll take your suggestion on board, though it’s still anyone’s game. 🙂

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