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


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


Passion, The Savior

Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well-

Before a cyclocross race recently, I was listening to a close friend describing his favorite hobby – He likes to make wooden toys and other wooden “things“. Although, he starts many projects and simply lets them stack up, unfinished. “I don’t have a real passion for my hobby at times,” he said to me His last words before we started the race planted a question in my head that I have often thought about: How do we cultivate and nurture our passion(s) in life?

You know it when you feel it don’t you? You get that butterfly sense deep inside that “something” significant is close and you gently move towards it. You make room for “it” and you fully awaken to its presence in your life. Maybe these new-found feelings affirm what we desired, or maybe they will completely change them? For some folks, a single passion burns for their entire lives. It’s their true essence, their true authentic self and they would never give it up

Daily Meditation:

I know that whatever compels me toward these deeper experience(s) will likely wear thin at certain times during my life. But you know what? It’s totally fine with me.

CultFit Truth


The Last Swim of Summer

ought to be swum
without knowing it,
afternoon lost to
re-finding the rock
you can stand on
way out past the
raft, the flat one
that lines up four-
square with the door
of the boathouse.

Freestyle and back-
stroke and hours on
the dock nattering
on while the low sun
keeps setting fin-
gers and toes getting
number and number …
how could we know
we were swimming the
last swim of summer?

- Jonathan Galassi

CultFit Direction


Midnight :Sun:

Do not ruin today with mourning tomorrow-

Struggling to eliminate our flaws, tossing abrasive feelings to the side  Fighting ourselves into a place we deem more pleasant and less disruptive. Our instinctual fight or flight response operates in perpetual “autopilot” mode, navigating us toward safety. Although, what happens when we switch our autopilot system off?

I quite literally stumbled, and flicked my autopilot switch from “on” to “mindfulness” about five years ago. Mindfulness offered me a very specific and helpful way to accept, and value myself, by gently inviting me to pause To look within my thoughts, and notice what I am experiencing moment to moment – The polar opposite of killing the gym and running myself into the ground. Rather than conclude something was “wrong” with me for experiencing troubling thoughts and feelings, I simply acknowledged and attended to whatever I happened to notice at the time. Acceptance of who I am is enormously freeing, as long as I pause long enough to recognize that the path forward is awakening to myself, and not who I want or wish I could be.

Daily Meditation:

As the many experiences in life arise and float away, we dip our toes into a pool of stillness that has long sat stagnant.

CultFit Mindful