(Editor’s Note: In this issue, we welcome new health and fitness columnist Jamie Leno Zimron. A 5th Degree Aikido Black Belt, Zimron is an LPGA pro, somatic psychologist, body-mind trainer and a corporate and conference speaker. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Stanford University and founder of The KiAi Way Inc. and
Many thanks to the Bay Times for wanting to create a new health and sports-oriented column, and for inviting me to be the columnist! As a lifelong tomboy and athlete, I’m looking forward to the opportunity to share with our community fresh and useful holistic approaches to high performance and peak potential living.
This column is meant to be an informative forum, and to light your fire to be as alive and well as you can be! You’ll find here health and fitness tips, features on LGBTQ athletes, current issues in the sports world, answers to questions you send in, etc. But at the outset, let me
say that this column is founded on a few notions that I hope will go on your mantra list:
Fitness Can Be Fun!
Sports Are Games, Play Them!
We Are Awesome Body-Mind-Spirit Beings!
Health ~ Happiness ~ Harmony ~ Every Day!
To me these are the themes for a truly gay lifestyle. Politics aside, I’ve always liked the G part of LGBTQ, maybe because I’m old enough to remember when ‘gay’ meant ‘happy’ and ‘cheerful.’ Researchers at Stanford University have been studying the science of happiness for the past decade. Different bio-chemicals are released when we’re stressing or smiling, and human neuro-physiology is intimately responsive to our thoughts, emotions, actions and experiences. Scientists are now providing the data that says feeling good is the basis for peak performance, productivity, and creativity. They are confirming that all people need to be gay, at least in their spirits, because well-being is actually causal to success.
It reminds me of when I was traveling in Greece years ago. I, of course, had to head to the island of Lesvos and hang out on Sappho’s beach (home of our homoerotic lyric poet foremother). All of the islanders happily proclaimed themselves to be Lesbians, and the men would laugh big Lesvos laughs! So just think: What if everyone decided that gay is good? That figuring out how to feel happy and be cheerful is vitally important? And what if we ourselves could fully embrace a gay lifestyle, with the greatest of joy and pride and integrated body-mind fitness?!
So let me urge you to come out … and play, have fun, feel good. We’re not talking playing video or new app games here. Whether you’re out of shape, or overly intensely buff, or a geek, or just too busy with work or family or at your computer, find a few minutes to stop and move around. Jog, jump rope, stretch, put some music on and dance. Feel your body. Move. Breathe. Relax. Circulate blood, oxygen, chi-flow. Do what kids do and enjoy just being alive and lively.
Kids learn best and thrive when they’re excited and engaged. Since we’re all kids inside, and gay to boot, let’s put having a good time and engaging with excitement at the foundation of our work, fitness, and relationships. I’m not suggesting this in a frivolous way, ignoring the difficulties of daily life or heaviness of oppressive realities and injustices. What we have most input into and control of is our own internal energetic state, and that’s where we can connect to our own power to meet the challenges of the outer world. We can ‘lose it’ in what I’ve come to call the ‘Stress Mess,’ or discover and practice ways to cultivate a more balanced internal zone that yields the happy benefits of well-being and desired external results.
There will be more to come on all of this in forthcoming columns! For now, try taking regular, simple but powerful breathing breaks to deepen your sense of calm, personal power and feeling good, and to replace negativity with creative flow.
Carve out 2-4 minutes to sit quietly. Stop all activity and focus on your breath. Notice that breathing is more than inhale-exhale-inhale-exhale-etc. There is actually a space in between breaths, at the bottom of your exhale and top of your inhale. Notice that space, and hang out there for a few moments, or for a count of 5. It’s a very quiet restful space of no-thing and no-doing. Just pure being where you can begin to open into the larger space of pure beingness from which all activity arises and then subsides. It’s a space of healing. Of relief. Restoration. Effortless balance and even bliss. Within minutes, you can re-calibrate your body chemistry and re-set your mental and emotional state. Plus, it’s immediate and free (and a lot cheaper than a trip to the doctor or therapist or health food store). Such a deal, and so easy to go forward on your gay and merrier way.
Til next time, try out new gay mantras and explore your new hangout in between breaths!
For more information about Jamie Leno Zimron and her work, please visit thekiaiway.com/.