I'm not sure if your Christmas experience is similar to mine, but every year, Santa Claus brings me a new book to unwrap beneath the festive tree.
This year was no exception, as I eagerly received Michelle Obama's latest release, The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times. Having already read her previous book, Becoming, I was intrigued by the prospect of delving into her next book.
In the days between Christmas and New Year's, I found myself naturally drawn to the book, incorporating it into my breakfast routine.
As I discovered, the conversational tone of the book transported me into a virtual morning chat with Michelle Obama, making my mornings feel like intimate discussions with the former first lady.
What captivated me most was the storytelling, not only as the first lady but also her reflections on the pandemic.
Like many of us, she picked up a new hobby during those uncertain times.
Early on in the book, Michelle confesses to indulging in multiple "How To" books and countless YouTube tutorials, all centered around her newfound passion—knitting.
During the pandemic, when time seemed to stretch endlessly, Michelle Obama, like many, grappled with anxiety.
The revelation that knitting became a source of solace for her was both surprising and enlightening. She described how this seemingly simple activity reversed the usual order of things, letting her hands take the lead while her mind took a back seat. It served as a detour from anxiety, offering a much-needed respite.
Reflecting on Michelle Obama's experience with knitting, I couldn't help but connect it to the broader theme of physical activity and its impact on mental well-being.
Her insight into the transformative power of knitting mirrors the broader truth that bodily movements, regardless of their intensity, can teach us valuable lessons.
In her words on page 34, Michelle Obama highlights the unexpected lesson learned during her knitting sessions—allowing her hands to lead provided a reprieve from anxiety.
This resonates with the profound effect that even minimal physical activity can have on mental health, as evidenced by existing research.
Michelle Obama's willingness to explore a new hobby and engage in fine motor movements demonstrates the potential for positive change through moving our bodies. It prompts us to consider how we, too, can incorporate movement into our lives, irrespective of intensity or traditional perceptions of physical activity.
In essence, this narrative reinforces three crucial points:
1. Movement allows us to explore beyond the confines of our minds, achieving great things when we let our bodies take the lead.
2. The mind can take a back seat, and our bodies can become our teachers when we engage in physical activities.
3. Scientific studies support that engaging in physical activity can have a substantial impact on mental health. While knitting may not qualify as intense physical activity, it serves as a reminder of the potential benefits that such activities can offer.
So, the question arises: How can you introduce more movement into your life, embracing the powerful influence of physical activity on your overall well-being?
What impeccable timing to consider your own movement as we start a new year!
Stay well and happy moving,
☝🏼 Ready to embark on a new movement journey in 2024? Join me, in person, for my weekly Everyday Yoga classes. You can find more information here.
Missed my most recent newsletter? Don't worry, I've got your back. Find all my exclusive letters here on this blog. ~Lisa