Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself-
What are we seeking when we engage in self-reflection along our path to discovering our true authentic self? I asked myself this question during a recent cycling event, one where I had quite a bit of time to think about “things” in life.
Stumbling upon my path to discovering my authentic self has been riddled by a myriad of close calls, disappointments, pain and yes: Suffering. Years of engaging in destructive behavior seemingly crushed me as a person and still haunt me, even as I proof read this post.
Everywhere I sought help and refuge, I was continually told the way to discover “who we really are” is to simply scrape away all the dreck that has been heaped upon ourselves over the years. Sounds easy enough right?!? If life were only as easy as reading a $5.99 self-help e-book or a top 10 list to discover your true self blog post. The more self-help advice and guidance I marinated in, the more I began to notice how self involved I was becoming. I gradually became concerned only with what affected me or only with that which is useful to, or focused primarily on myself. I started to make every day life “things” that were not about me, about me, and I became blind to world unfolding around me … The more I looked inward, the more I tuned out. I stopped living life.
Each one of us has a self that is beautiful, flawed and unique. Each one of us are blessed with a complicated set of life experiences that no one else has. Our lives are an accumulation of experiences – both good, bad and the ugly. We are amazing – dynamic creatures, and we are continually a work in progress!
These experiences, however, are the very “things” that the searching to reveal our true authentic in a book or whatever, toss to the side as unimportant or distracting. My path to an authentic self, starts with acknowledging my woeful self-deception, that I am my own worst enemy and bringing my Son along to a few cyclocross races last season helped to shed light on what matters the most to me in life (more on this next week).
I hope each of you reading today have an amazing weekend, take care and be well!
Music always sounds better on Friday-
Tomorrow I ask you to support the women that dare to ride! The inaugural Global Solidarity Ride takes place tomorrow and I simply cannot express how important this ride is to me. Shannon Galpin of Mountain2Mountain is doing amazing work bringing the simple joy of spinning along on a bicycle to the women of Afghanistan.
Before the weekend begins, I personally would like to – Thank You- for your continued support of
my your little blog-o-thing! Be well this weekend and please take care!
*Please join me this coming Sunday in Omaha for the annual Tour de Garden Omaha! I’ll even pick up the first coffee or tea for you – My treat!*
I sat on the lawn watching the half-hearted moon rise,
The gnats orbiting the peach pit that I spat out
When the sweetness was gone. I was twenty,
Wet behind the ears from my car wash job,
And suddenly rising to my feet when I saw in early evening
A cloud roll over a section of stars.
It was boiling, a cloud
Churning in one place and washing those three or four stars.
Excited, I lay back down,
My stomach a valley, my arms twined with new rope,
My hair a youthful black. I called my mother and stepfather,
And said something amazing was happening up there.
They shaded their eyes from the porch light.
They looked and looked before my mom turned
The garden hose onto a rosebush and my stepfather scolded the cat
To get the hell off the car. The old man grumbled
About missing something on TV,
The old lady made a face
When mud splashed her slippers. How you bother,
She said for the last time, the screen door closing like a sigh.
I turned off the porch light, undid my shoes.
The cloud boiled over those stars until it was burned by their icy fire.
The night was now clear. The wind brought me a scent
Of a place where I would go alone,
Then find others, all barefoot.
In time, each of us would boil clouds
And strike our childhood houses
To lose confidence in one’s body is to lose confidence in oneself-
Throughout our lives, our daily experiences feed into the deep, old sense of shame that grips us. We assign this ongoing feeling of shame to parts of our bodies that we see in a negative light. Ranging from feeling awkward in front co-workers and friends, feeling our of place running on the treadmill, to race day failures or even minor training oversight(s) can be attributed to simply not looking “right” … Only serving to feed from our inner trough of self-hatred.
Have you ever blamed a poor performance, or failed to show up to an event because you were ashamed to be seen? Soul sapping thoughts that you are too “out of shape“, I don’t belong or deserve to be here with all these “fit” folks? When we lose confidence in ourselves, we instantly surrender to failure, instead of pursuing what our hearts passionately want to do. Why is this so?
My battered and beaten body is hands down, the biggest target of my ever so critical inner voice. No matter where I stand in life, it continually provides feedback of my many imperfections and keeps me from fully relaxing in my own skin …
Each morning when we wake, we are afforded the beautiful opportunity to hide or reveal our true selves. When the harsh “voice” is telling us to keep our sweaters on or to stay home on race day … Be brave, be bold my friends – for you truly belong in the here and now.
Have a blessed weekend and please take care!
That long-ago morning at Ruth’s farm
when I hid in the wisteria
and watched hummingbirds. I thought
the ruby or gold that gleamed on their throats
was the honeyed blood of flowers.
They would stick their piercing beaks
into a crown of petals until their heads
disappeared. The blossoms blurred into wings,
and the breathing I heard
was the thin, moving stems of wisteria.
That night, my face pressed against the window,
I looked out into the dark
where the moon drowned in the willows
by the pond. My heart, bloodstone,
turned. That long night, the farm,
those jeweled birds, all these gone years.
The horses standing quiet and huge
in the moon-crossing blackness.