Last spring, I spent hours preparing my flower and ornamental grass beds and then spreading mulch. It wasn’t work I was used to. But, I resolved to be mindful about it rather than complain and think about what I’d do once it was done. Along the way, something happened, I became aware of the sweet smell of the mulch. I could feel the muscles of my legs, arms, back and abdomen moving – making me stronger. I was aware of feeling optimistic about my overall wellbeing and got to quiet my chattering mind for a while.
Our ancestors had to work hard, and if there were no reward other than survival, why would man persist? There had to be more immediate gratification; hence, the myriad of neurotransmitters that flood us after running a race, or building a fence, or mulching a flower bed.
My neighbor drove by as I was working and laughed and said, “You know, there are people who do that. Why are you doing it?” Had I done that, I would have missed what became a spiritual experience … the sense of accomplishment, and the sensation of my body in motion.
I’m not telling you that you should necessarily go spread garden mulch (though, you can if you want to). However, I am suggesting you seek out ways to get outside in nature, to move more, and to be more mindful. You’ll be better for it.
Live Long. Live Well!
By: Dr. Roger Landry, MD, MPH
Dr. Roger Landry is the President of Masterpiece living and award-winning author of the book, Live Long, Die Short: A Guide to Authentic Health and Successful Aging.
(Reprinted with permission of Masterpiece Living (MPL). Originally published in MPL’s bi-weekly “Fireside Conversations.”)
Read more inspiration from Dr. Landry by purchasing his book: Live Long, Die Short: A Guide to Authentic Health and Successful Aging. Click here.