One very important part of the journey I describe in Smile at Strangers has been understanding how the mind and body fit together—how one can influence the other. Personally, I know I have to engage both parts of myself in order to solve my most difficult challenges. I can think of at least four different kinds of physical activity that are important to me:
- Recreational exercise (running, swimming, walking);
- Karate, especially sparring, which is my way of physically confronting violence without suffering serious trauma;
- Practical self defense practice, where I train my body to stand and move in ways that reflect power and confidence;
- Meditation, where I work on reconciling internal conflicts through awareness rather than exertion.
- What physical activities and routines do you have that help you stay healthy and in touch with your body, or that build your strength, skills and sense of self-worth?
- What kinds of physical activities have you tried before (even as a child!)? What did you like or dislike about them? Are there any you’d like to go back to?
- What are some activities you might like to try in the future? Can you make a plan to try out a new activity, perhaps with someone else in the group?