For over 20 years I engaged in a practice of regular and consistent exercise without seeing much — or any — impact on my strength, mobility, or endurance.
It wasn’t for lack of variety in my programming. I engaged in a variety of modalities: strength training, yoga, pilates, swimming, flying trapeze, trampoline, barre classes, gyrotonic, walking, you name it.
I also invested in personal attention, cycling through multiple trainers over the years.
There was never much difference.
Finally, in 2019, I learned why my efforts weren’t yielding results: my body was locked in multiple compensation patterns.
Each of us has a certain number of compensation patterns. We favor one leg over the other, shift our weight from front to back or back to front.
My body took this to the extreme.
To summarize it without getting into the weeds:
My body is like a dysfunctional office: everyone does everyone else’s job, but nobody does their own.
Since I first learned this from a physical therapist in 2019, I’ve worked with various PTs and movement experts to recondition and retrain my body from the ground up, slowly training muscles on their jobs and finding ways to force them to do their jobs.
As I’ve made progress in this rehabilitation, my strength and coordination have begun to improve.
I can lift substantially heavier loads. I don’t get fatigued as easily. I have better endurance.
Everything Has a Purpose and a Part
Everything that exists in nature has a part to play. From the lowly ant to the mighty lion; from the bees that pollinate the flowers to the fruit that falls from the tree. The rain and the sun. The wind and even the wild fires that scorch the earth.
This is true in our bodies as well, because we are a part of nature. Every muscle, every system, every bone, every ligament: they each have their parts to play in ensuring the optimal function of the the body as a complete system.
When different parts don’t do their job, other parts take over. Then the parts that take over don’t do their jobs. The eventual result is that the system fails.
We get injured or develop illness. When the body can’t coordinate within itself, simple movements exhaust it. Fatigue sets in sooner, and it becomes difficult to generate momentum or sustain activity.
You Have a Part
What is true in nature and in the body is also true for us as people:
Each of us has a part to play in each domain where we operate.
In your household, in your business, in your sacred work, in your life in general: you have an area that is uniquely your responsibility.
In the Kabbalah Tree of Life framework, this area of responsibility is called your Malchut. This is the final sphere on the Tree of Life, which we have been attuning over the past several weeks.
Malchut is literally translated as “kingship.” It’s often translated as “sovereignty” or “mastery.” And it can have that meaning too: the places where we have complete autonomy and authority.
On the most fundamental level, to attune to the the sphere of Malchut is to recognize what is your part and what is not your part.
Just like in the body, when we try to take on more than our part, the systems in which we operate become dysfunctional and stop working.
In the Tree of Life framework, the energy flows in both ways: down from the top and up from the bottom.
Malchut is the foundation.
Why Knowing Your Malchut is Essential For Productivity
What throws most of us off-track with our goals is that we try to do too much.
The world sends signals every day that are designed to capture our attention.
But you can’t respond to everything. And that’s not even the point.
You can’t chase every lead. You can’t master every skill. Not every opportunity is an opportunity for you.
The game is to know what you’re doing and whatever you’re doing, do it well.
Taking the right actions, pursuing the right opportunities, rests on being clear about your area of Malchut.
When you know what you’re responsible for, you know what to be responsive to.