Friday, April 15, 2011

Letting bones do their work

Do you remember a time when you had a specific job to do, which you were keen on doing, but someone else decided to take over and do it for you, keeping you from doing your allotted work?

This has happened to me in the past, and I remember that it did not feel good to be prevented from carrying out what I considered my "duty" at the time.  Accomplishing our own work feels good!  Watching someone else do work that we believe is ours to do does not necessarily feel good.*

With this in mind, imagine what might be going on inside you when your muscles take over the job of your bones.  Your bones are designed to be weight-bearing; they are meant to take on the entire weight of your body, transferring it into the surface you are on.  They are made to be strong!  We have this erroneous idea that our muscles are what make us strong and hold us up, and this causes us to grip and tighten our muscles when that is really completely unnecessary.  Muscles move your bones around in space, but bones are where the real, inner strength lies.

The habit of directing our muscles to take on the work of our bones isn't such a good idea in the long run.  Doing the job of bearing weight keeps bones strong and healthy; taking away their job can lead to osteoporosis from underuse.  Bones are all about inner strength.  It's interesting to remember that the inside of a bone is actually not solid: the marrow is where red blood cells are produced. Our greatest strength lies in being fluid, resilient, and willing to let each part take on its appropriate job.

So, let's let our muscles stop working so hard to be strong, and let our bones get stronger by allowing them to do their job of bearing weight.

Just keep thinking thoughts like these:

"I am not stiffening, hardening, or otherwise trying to make my muscles do the work to hold me up.  I am not preventing my bones from being strong and weight-bearing.  I am letting my bones be strong and resilient.  My strength is bone-deep.  I am not using my muscles to interfere with the work my bones do best."

* Of course, it can actually be very nice at times to let someone else do some of our work out of a spirit of kindness and generosity, to help us when we're tired, etc.  The skill of allowing others to help us--for their benefit as well as ours--is a whole different topic for another day!

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