Saturday, November 22, 2014

Of man buns and magical dances

Hi Friends,

I'm a list mode this week as I try to keep abreast of my responsibilities, which seem to be multiplying like rabbits, or stray cats, or ants. (Do ants reproduce a lot? Because I'm pretty sure they should win some sort of reproduction award here in southern California, as of late.) And so, in the spirit of list-making, I have another list for you today:

1. If Biola University's trends are any indication of general American trends, then man buns are in. This is a trend I can get behind, people. And so can my brother:

Don't mind me; this is my "I just rolled out of bed" look

Did I just text my brother saying, "I need a picture of your man bun for my blog, stat."?

Why yes, yes I did. There are some things I never dreamed I'd find myself texting. 

2. This week I discovered a flourishing, fragrant rosemary bush in my yard. The property I live on is so shaded that it's hard to grow much of anything, so this discovery was delightful. Garlic and rosemary-coated sweet potato medallions, here I come.

3. When I was home a few weeks ago, I showed my family this video of a young man with down syndrome, named Tim, who owns and operates a restaurant with the help of his family.

Tim loves going to work. In fact, he loves it so much, he does a dance-off in the parking lot each day before work. He calls it his "dance of magic."

After my family and I watched Tim's dance of magic approximately seven times, my sister and I looked at each other with the same idea.

"If we did this everyday for a month, it would change our brains. They'd be swimming in happy endorphins!"

Research indicates that the thoughts we think and things we do change our brains. Depressed thoughts beget depression, while grateful thoughts beget joy. Saying unkind things once makes it easier to do it again, while managing angry impulses once makes it more natural to manage them in the future.

It would seem, then, that the things we do with our bodies significantly shape our inner state. Dancing in the parking lot before work every day — acting the way we want to feel — could do a lot to chase away discouragement and fatigue.

I feel confident that creating my own, pre-work dance of magic is a marvelous idea. I'm just not sure I have the guts to dance my way through throngs of college students, by myself, everyday for a month. Which is why I showed this video to one of my classes last week and asked who would be willing to do this with me.

"When and where?" a few of them asked. And: "Can we do a dance of magic right now?" So, they're in. The last month of the semester just got a lot better.

4. This spiel has major brain-changing potential, too. If only we each did this every day:

Swaying and clapping whilst standing on the counter seem to be key to making this chant particularly effective. So clear your counters, folks...

5. I'm still in a state of wonder at things my body can do these days. There are so many daily benchmarks that highlight the restoration of my health. I'm particularly in awe of my ability to wash dishes daily. In the past, I had to ration out energy to do things like wash dishes, so they didn't get done very much. But now, I can wash them every day, no problemo, without having to clear my schedule so I can recover afterwards. It feels so empowering. Gosh, I hope I don't start taking these little things for granted.

 6. It's the weekend! We should go do a weekend dance of magic to celebrate. It'll do us some good. 

Here, I'll make it easy, and include some dance music for you. Ready, set, GO!

Hoping for a glorious Saturday for you all.