Temple

Not a place of worship exactly
but one I like to go back to
and where, you could say, I take
sanctuary: this smooth area
above the ear and around the corner
from your forehead, where your hair
is as silky as milkweed.
The way to feel its featheriness best
is with the lips. Though you
are going gray, right there
your hair is as soft as a girl’s,
the two of us briefly young again
when I kiss your temple.

- Jeffrey Harrison

CultFit Temple


Polka Dots and Moonbeams

If I saw you hitchhiking, I’d smile and return your thumb’s up, just for you doing such a great job of being a positive roadside influence-

Each of us has the keen ability to notice when “things” in life are starting to get in the way, that is of course – If we pay close enough attention to them.

Personally, it was thinking I had to excel at everything. Life, work, play, pilates, yoga, cycling and making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich – everything. When I felt as though I had come up short, or when I felt as though the sandwich I had just made was underwhelming and missed my expectations, it’s incredibly frustrating and discouraging to say the least. Its taken quite some time, although, I’m peaceful knowing there are going to be areas in my life which I do not have the upper hand.

Daily Meditation:

There’s something intrinsically freeing knowing, and owning any potential pitfalls that come our way   And once we notice this? “Things” cease to be a surprise anymore, and more like relief.

CultFit Self


Composition

We used to call it the boob tube,
but I guess they don’t use tubes anymore.
Whatever, it serves a small purpose after waking
and before falling asleep. Today’s news—
but is there such a thing as news,
or even oral history? Yes, when you want to go back
after a while and appraise the accumulation
of leaves, say in a sandbox.
The rest is rented depression,
available only in season
and the season is always next month,
a pure but troubled time.

That’s why I don’t go out much, though
staying at home never seemed much of an option.
And speaking of nutty concepts, surely “home”
is way up there on the list. I feel more certain about “now”
and “then,” because they are close to me,
like lovers, though apparently not in love with me,
as I am with them. I like to call to them,
and sometimes they reply, out of the deep business of some dream.

- John Ashbery

CultFit Composition


In – Tention

It is more Important to be of pure intention than of perfect action-

I spend a fair amount of time ruminating why I’m struggling with my “performance” when others, clearly are not. I tend to think my poor “performance” is karmic retribution (whatever this is) for some bad deed in the past, and this bad deed is the sole reason why I stink, suck – Why I am continuously sore and injured – Why I had a bad race, or whatever we say after stinking up the joint! When I look outward for answers, I view karma through a stained prism, as a spiritual judicial system, where I am forced to suffer based on some bad deed I can’t even remember that happened 24 years ago Or maybe it was ten minutes Pardon me as I look it up on my phone.

As loosely defined by yours truly: Karma is about the nature of our intentions, our intention(s) in this beautiful, inspiring moment. To explore a tad deeper, think of our actions as having two distinct attributes. Let’s use riding a bike as an example: Pure Behavior and our Intention behind said behavior.  What matters to forming our true-self  is not the “pure behavior” that makes up our action but our intention in engaging in that action. It pays to remember, as the Buddha said: Intention is Karma.

Consider for a moment taking your bike out for a spin early one brisk, Fall morning. Our “pure behavior” equals throwing a leg over the top tube and smiling, not necessarily in that order. However, the intention behind this action could be to simply surrender to the moment, being compassionate and generous to those we encounter during our travels – or – It could be to show ill-will toward others on the trail, cruelty to your body for training too hard, or being greedy Chasing down another podium finish.

Daily Meditation:

Some Dude (Buddha) once said many moons ago, “Intending, one does karma My intention Dear Reader(s) Is to return to my true self: To show more compassion, to be generous and most importantly (to me): To be kind.

CultFit Me

 


Prelude in – Me – Minor

There will always be a down but also always an up, your moods depends on which of the two you pay the most attention to-

In ways both big and small, our pride will be trampled on (in one way or another) during the course of a day. I suppose its safe to say that it’s nearly impossible to live life without our pride suffering a perilous blow. The ebb and flow of life  Yet, when it happens to us? We tend to take it personally – very personally, and, often enough, we beat our selves up further. Even the tiniest set back can rile our emotions and send our self-esteem into a tailspin. In part, our self-esteem reflects who we are intrinsically (our true self), however, self-esteem is also a barometer of our standing with the world around us.

The difference between my normal response to a damaging blow of my pride (an oversensitive one at that) may be summed up in one word: rumination. I am an “over-thinker” who ruminates, nauseously, in a discursive way about everyday experiences after my pride takes a hit. Especially after I finish last during a weekend race!

As I marinate in my negative thoughts, hostility and anxiety begin to seep from my very essence, sabotaging myself more than ever before. Rather than working constructively to repair the damage, I build a case for why I let myself down – A pity party of epic proportions! Sound familiar?!?

Daily Meditation:

Surrender to the moment, to comfort, to serenity. The damage is done, time to move on – peacefully.

CultFit Serenity


: Lamento :

Fame you’ll be famous, as famous as can be, with everyone watching you win on TV, Except when they don’t because sometimes they won’t-

Watching a cycling (running – whatever) event affords both participants and spectators alike, an intense experience of competition, and if we pay close enough attention – An unfettered obsession with winning. Many hard-working, competing riders define success as a podium finish and anything else as an utter failure.

How do we address competition and competing in a different way?

Opening up and pouring my spirit before you Winning is an outcome. When I become obsessed with the outcome, rather than the moment – I lose sight of the journey, I lose sight of my true spirit and how I arrived in this magical moment. I lose appreciation of simply being and my sole focus on is on me And sometimes, I don’t enjoy this side of “me“.

Our culture is obsessed with winning, often at any cost and by any means. Once we have tasted winning, we need more of it – Winning is an addiction. The alluring pleasure, the rush of winning is fleeting, unlike the deep-rooted satisfaction of knowing that you have done your best. Winning makes people focus outside themselves for validation of their self-worth.

Daily Meditation:

My past obsession with competition and winning, restrained me from engaging in a personal journey of self-knowledge and finding my place in life. This journey is entirely an internal and personal process, not one that requires a podium finish or constant competition with others as a measure of my true self-worth.

CultFit Winning


Kindness

: When a friend opens a random page in your life :

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,

only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

- Naomi Shihab Nye

CultFit Kindness