With autumn, comes the beginning of exercise classes and reconnecting with the ladies I left behind as summer blew in on an old sailboat. I’m not one to go to the gym or yoga studio when the sun is bright and warm and encouraging me to do my workout outside in the warm fresh air. But this time of year I can hardly get myself out the door under the blanket of gray skies, clouds, and wind, to so much as take the dogs for a walk. So, I’m loving my yoga class.

This morning’s class got me thinkin. We were practicing the art of isolating our muscles by doing exercises such as clenching a fist without tightening the shoulder, bicep, or forearm. I found it nearly impossible, yet loved the whole idea. What concentration and self control it encouraged!  Have you ever tightened your right glut without having your thigh, knee or calf tighten also? It’s tough but it’s fun to do and it shows us how connected everything in our bodies is. It’s a challenge to isolate one muscle and flex it without several others joining in, yet a great practice.

I had a tooth ache once, a really bad one, and it took patience and concentration to identify exactly which tooth it was that was causing all the pain. In the long run, it wasn’t the one I thought at all! I simply couldn’t isolate the pain to correctly identify the bad tooth. It’s like having pain in a shoulder without knowing exactly what part of the shoulder is causing the pain. If only we could isolate that pain, we could then identify the problem.

The art of isolation can be practiced in many ways. Isolate oneself to an environment of complete quiet where the eye’s take in nature’s beauty and the scents are fresh and clean and what happens? Perhaps peace, introspection, rest, a chance to regroup. Often we think of isolation in terms of remoteness. Yet a person can be isolated in a a crowd if desired. The power of the mind is stronger than anything else.

Anxiety stems from energy being used in a negative manner causing worries and concerns. Sometimes I find myself anxious and don’t know why. Yet, if I take the time to isolate myself if even for a short time, I can usually pin-point the source of my anxiety. Often times, it’s simply being over tired or maybe I had too much caffeine. Other times I realize that what is really wrong can be fixed with a phone call or a visit, or dropping a card in the mail. Sometimes it’s learning to trust and give control over to God. Wherever the source of anxiety stems from is insignificant as long as we learn to isolate it and then deal with it. The sky isn’t really falling, although sometimes it feels that way. It could just be that I need a good nap!


Mary Ann



2 thoughts on “Isolate

  1. Mary Ann, I agree on the importance of isolation. I just returned from a Women Writing the West conference in Albuquerque. Although I loved the comradeship of my writer friends, it was good to get back to the isolation of my home office. It’s good to be comfortable with oneself, isn’t it?

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