If you claim to be a real friend then be real in your soul. If you claim to be fake then be an enemy instead-
I was in my early 30′s when we first met. This particular marathon was in a beautiful and exotic part of war-torn Baghdad, Iraq. I did not like it from the start and it only got worse from there …
I nuzzled my way onto the starting line cocky, arrogant, and self-centered. I couldn’t stand the thought of having to run through the pack, outlasting the early sprinters and generally weaving through the pedestrians. Much to my dismay, I faded back 10 miles into this scorching hot race. This was just another marathon, but I was the same person.
And there I was at the next big race in Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. The same person I was a year earlier followed me to this race as well …
It finally dawned on me, blonde hair and all, that it was I, who needed to change or else I would be my own worst enemy for the rest of my life. As I began to walk the path of meaningful change in my life, I came to realize my poor marathon performances were a metaphor for the way my life works. I can cast blame and run away from poor performances, although they will keep returning until I finally face them, and owe up to them.
Over the past three years of blogging. I tried at times, and failed more often than I like, to share with you, thinking out-loud, why these particular traits of me bother me so much.
Once I set out to change myself all those years ago, I started to notice that the “old” me doesn’t come around as much anymore. When these feelings do arise out of nowhere? I tap deeper into my inner compassion and gratitude … Noticing that in some ways, I have been trying to help myself all along, I was just to cocky, arrogant, and self-centered to notice.
Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself-
A quick show of hands: Have you ever held onto the belief that you could change someone else’s behavior, if you were persistent and dedicated enough?
I witness this quite often with friends going to yoga class, working out together and the awesome folks I help out. Sadly, I have arrived at the conclusion that people only change when it’s rewarding for them to do so, and when they’re capable of it.
Rewarding and Capable – Interesting.
I have lived many years shrouded in the fallacy that “peer” pressure, being a “caring” friend pressure, will make those close to me change. I’m writing this morning to share with you these following thoughts - People only change when they’re ready to. If I want my friend to change, I have to figure out how they would be motivated to change, how change would benefit them.
On the subject of motivation and change – I offer up to you these two links. Have a beautiful day, and please take care!
The world isn’t fair, Calvin.”
“I know Dad, but why isn’t it ever unfair in my favor?-
I want to go back and touch on “should” thoughts for a moment before we move onto today’s post. Contemplative thought is truly a brilliant tool to exploring your true potential, just not when its time to perform. I like to call these – trigger happy thoughts or reactive thoughts. Let’s dive a little deeper and to maintain some clarity, I’m relating the post today to competitive outings and more specifically: Running.
What are your initial thoughts and feelings when I tell you that “Fairness” – Is a fallacy? Fairness is rubbish and compete utter nonsense?
Many of us (maybe this hits close to home for you) … Cloak ourselves with the falsehood that there exists only a single standard of fairness and – SPOILER ALERT! - It’s our very own! What we consciously choose to ignore, and this is when we start our “should” thinking, is that fairness is a completely subjective concept, based on our individual needs, expectations, and values. The big boy truth, is that your definition of what’s fair? Is completely self-serving (mine included).
If your buttons have been pushed in the past, or even right now because you thought you were being treated unjustly? Let me share a classic example most runners have lamented about: “I should not be in the 30-39 year old age bracket! It’s too competitive! If only the race organizers would change the ages – my time in a different bracket would get me on the podium!”
The next time you find yourself questioning fairness, your mind clouded with “should” thoughts? Try this on for size at the starting line - What I see as fair? Is a direct reflection of my own deeply held personal preferences. Then proceed to run the race of your life!
Only idiots fail to contradict themselves three times a day-
All the talk on the blog-o-sphere and down at the local bodega, is that everyone is “practicing” mindfulness and becoming spiritual folks. Sounds pretty cool to me!
While any sparkly toe dipped in the practice of “spiritual” awareness is beneficial, there is a trend in mindfulness, which will interfere with and obstruct the full power of a gentle mindfulness practice.
Without awareness of this “trend“, we spend years lost, wandering in yet another prison of our ego, another trap of the mind, and as a result; We miss out on the real gifts mindfulness practice so gently brings us. Mindfulness is trendy, it’s hip and its cool. This is fantastic news! Although, we must be careful that like other trends, mindfulness does not get swallowed up in the next stream of CrossFit, Flavor of the month Yoga, Fixie Bikes and enjoying a Gluten Free lifestyle.
This is why I am worried, and writing these pedantic, bloviated posts of late: These new -mindful folks- are becoming yet another form of their already, inflated ego(s). Prideful and Mindful do not play in the sandbox of life together – Kindly.
With mindfulness on the trendy “social media” radar?!? We cannot afford to miss the chance to change what this powerful practice can reveal to us: Who and How we are, and simply … Being.
Embracing mindfulness is a solid step along our paths in life. However, don’t rest quite yet, and don’t congratulate yourself yet either. For there is still much work to be done …
*Part two of this nauseating post will be posted this Friday*
Wisdom cannot be imparted. Wisdom that a wise man attempts to impart always sounds like foolishness to someone else … Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it-
One of the most powerful ways we can cultivate self-love to is to give ourselves the subtle gift of time. The message we send when we are fully present, mind, body, and spirit, is that we care, enough, to make ourselves the number-one priority in our lives.
Let’s think about this for a moment – I’m not talking about being selfish, nor am I talking about updating our FaceTube status moments before attending a ninety minute power yoga class.
Unfortunately, our lives can get pretty hectic and crazy, crazy enough to the point that there seems to be little down time where we, can really connect with ourselves. We live in a world that makes us believe that time tuning out – FaceTube, Social – Whatever, is indeed time well spent. You can probably guess I don’t believe it is.
Instead of writing bloviated Yelp! reviews, how about we set aside “self-time” in which we devote time to ourselves?!? Sounds insane huh?!? Personal example: Beginning last year, I decided to commit every day after work to time with the family. No TV programming, that’s all TV does anyways, program our minds into becoming vast wastelands. We disconnect from technology, and connect to simply being. The specific activity is rather trivial, it’s the time we spend together … It’s the time I spend “unconnected“ that matters.
I’ve found that more times than not, removing an activity that is sending unhealthy messages about our true selves, is indeed the purest expression of love.