It started with snowshoes . . .
For Christmas, my son – a competitive athlete as well as a good listener – gave me a book entitled, Fit Soul, Fit Body. It is co-authored by a Shaman in the Huichol tradition, and a 6-time Ironman Triathlon Champion. The Ironman Champion writes that he was “unstoppable not because he was physically the best, but because he was emotionally and spiritually at the top of his game.”
It got me to thinking . . . I already spend quite a bit of my personal and vocational time tending to my soul fitness. So when my husband and I sat down on 12/31 to talk about our goals for 2014 – personal, business, relationship, family – I decided that one of my big goals is to prioritize body fitness by exercising 5 days a week.
I try to get to 3 zumba classes per week; but I want to add 2 more days of some other kind of exercise. When the warmer weather comes, I want to get back to running. But what to do in the wintertime? In the years since my body has been unable to keep up with downhill skiing, I’ve been thinking about snowshoeing. But I hadn’t gotten around to following up and getting what I need to do it.
So on New Years Day, I headed over to EMS – happy and grateful that they were open – to finally take action and purchase some snowshoes so I could begin to realize my fitness goal as early in the new year as possible. The clerk was very helpful – showing me the snowshoes especially designed for recreational use, and the telescopic poles to help over rougher terrain. I was psyched to see that both the snowshoes and the poles were on sale – yay!
As I was checking out, I felt a tap on my shoulder and a voice saying, “Can she use this?” An arm reached in front of me and held out an EMS coupon for $25. I turned around to see who was offering this incredible gift, and found a woman I had never seen before. While I was stumbling over myself to say thank you, the clerk said, “Sure,” took the coupon, and deducted the $25 from my already sale-priced equipment. While fumbling for my credit card, I turned around to look for the coupon-giving woman who was heading for the door. I yelled “thank you” again, and said, “I’ll pay it forward!”
The clerk was smiling as we finished up, saying “I love it when things like that happen.” I felt suddenly full and alive – aware of the energy people talk about when they are part of a ‘pay-it-forward’ chain reaction . . . aware of a generosity that is most often latent in me, but all of a sudden bursting and wanting an opportunity for expression.
I went out for my first snowshoe this morning – beauty and stillness all around me. I can’t wait to go again tomorrow, and tomorrow, and . . . I’m aware that ‘fit soul, fit body’ is somehow a circle or a spiral. One leads to the other, and then to the other, and then to the other. Generosity, energy, joy, movement, gratitude, power . . . fitness . . . soul . . . body . . .
UPCOMING PROGRAMS & EVENTS
“What is Spiritual Direction?”
An evening program of inquiry and experience in the ancient practice of spiritual direction
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Acton Congregational Church, Acton, MA
“A Faithful or a Fevered Life”
Congregational Church of Littleton Annual Women’s Retreat
Saturday, January 25, 2014
8:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
St. Benedict’s Abbey, Still River, MA
“Soul of Leadership Mini: Transforming the Organization’s Soul”
Rev. Susie Allen and Dr. Margaret Benefiel
10-week program beginning February 7.
Two in-person days at Bethany House of Prayer, Arlington, MA (February 7 and April 22), with three small group meetings and online work in between.
“Sourcing the Soul for Lent”
Rev. Susie Allen and Rev. Dr. Dirkje Legerstee
A day of worship, reflection and application for creating fresh Lenten worship
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
MACUCC Conference Center, Framingham, MA