life lessons

Muscle Memory

Hi my friend,

How are you?  How are your spirits?  Do you feel it as bizarre as  I do to find my days devoid of certain hallmarks that chronicle the passage of time?  I thought today was Thursday, and arguably no 24 hour period is far different from another right now – morning walk, evening walk, FaceTime with my kids and kidlets, reading, cooking, knitting and trying to teach myself how to needle felt (and failing miserably).  As I write, it sounds like I’m doing this sheltering in place pretty damn well – and I am, but for the spectre of my devoted doctor reminding me on a videocall about my high risk status – blah, blah, blah…I hear it, I can’t fully absorb it or I wouldn’t be able to move.

Which brings me to why I’m writing.  When we speak of muscle memory, we typically think of our bodies – using our muscles with regularity so that they know what to do and become better with use.  Good thing too.  Get out there people, if you can – the birds are desperate to be heard.

What about the muscle memory of connection?  We learn how to interact with each other, we develop our communication skills with practice (admittedly some more than others),  we learn to listen and respond (again, some more than others).  When I was in grad school, active listening was a year long course – and frankly, it was exhausting.  That said, it’s a muscle I use and use and use.  And when there’s no one around, I listen to the subtlety of sounds I typically pay no attention to.

How are you doing with the muscle memory of your heart?  Of the thoughts you are giving free rein in your gorgeous head?  Are you exercising your power to choose?  And can you choose hope in the face of so much fear and sorrow?  Can you choose to see some beauty despite this frightening reality that unfolds with increasing despair each hour?  I cop to being a Pollyana, though even I struggle at the moment.  So, I return to muscle memory.   I am pretty limber with hope, I am incredibly flexible when it comes to love – in fact, I wish my physical muscle memory was as toned.

Krista Tippett wrote – “Hope, like every virtue, is a choice that becomes a habit that becomes spiritual muscle memory.  It’s a renewable resource for moving through life as it is, not as we wish it to be.”  I hope you are well,  I hope you are exercising your mind and your body.  I hope.

 

15 thoughts on “Muscle Memory

  1. This is so beautiful, honey…so true, so hopeful, so YOU. And it’s just the reminder I needed this morning. When so much is *beyond* our control, we must lean into that which we can govern, and our mental muscle memory is surely that. Thank you for this gentle reminder, my precious friend. Stay safe. xoxox, L

  2. This was so beautifully said, my dear friend. I read it twice… And I laughed out loud when you said that you thought today was Thursday because I did too! Big surprise!!😄

  3. like you, i am eternally a hopeful optimist. i’m trying to do my best, as each day is a bit different, though i need to be reminded which day it is exactly. i’ve just begun teaching from home, and it’s a huge challenge for my team and i, but we do the best we can, and the main thing is to keep our connection to our young class. this is a beautiful post, and i especially love the ending. be safe, be well.

    1. Thank you Beth – and yes, optimism may be a bit more challenging than usual, but its imperative. Those you are teaching are very very lucky…

  4. When you right, it feels like you are right next to me. Wonderful.
    And laughed at the Blah, Blah, Blah, I get it!
    Last thing I’m reading for the day, and a comforting passage to dreamland.
    Thank you Mimi.

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