22 April, 2012


Working out in the gym is like heading into the Office for me. I walk in with bag, towel, iphone, notepad and pen. I have to. I get more adrenalin hits from my thoughts than anything else. I’m often out of breath and bubbling with ideas immediately after a jog and need to record the thoughts and feelings at that very particular moment. Once I lose that feeling, the idea fades too. Exercising and Creative Highs is one of my favourite, enduring relationships, where one gladly induces the other. And one I hope I never have to retire from.

It was in the middle of my core strength session today and while not enjoying one millisecond of it, I did enjoy observing people in the gym around me during my rest period. It struck me that the two most brilliant machines we know, the Universe and the Human Brain (its estimated there are nearly the same number of nerve cells in our Brain as stars in the Milky Way Galaxy) lack the ability to view themselves? Yet, no matter where I looked in the gym, the finely tuned Human Machines rarely took their eyes off themselves. I sometimes wonder how much of the world I have missed while keeping my eyes and thoughts on myself? I perhaps would have been tossed out of a Hunter Gatherer Tribe 10,000 years ago. Observation was imperative, but not of ourselves. Observation of patterns in nature, animal behaviour, movement, vegetation and water distribution were essential for survival. The Hunt was central to their Storytelling as was knowledge and discussion with communal exchanges. I can see myself standing before the Kalahari Bushmen in a short animal hide skirt and fur robe, reporting in for the week: “So fella’s, I’ve lost 5kg this week, a couple of inches off the tummy, buttocks aren’t as firm as I’d like and… do you think I need a hair cut?” By the shape of their stunned faces, I would be lucky if my report didn't irritate their cannibalistic appetites. “Only in bad times Melanie, would we eat you!” a slow, booming, Chiefly voice would remind me. My focus would soon shift to that which feeds & waters the tribe.

If I now think in terms of emotional food and water for interactions and good relationships in this modern day, I feel we’d all fare a little better to adopt some of the skills and knowledge of the Hunter Gatherer tribes from 10,000 years ago & while we’re there, take a quick moment to appreciate just how powerful the Universe and our Brains are and observe others more than ourselves, learn, love, sing… and play Softball!