I picked up a new language a few months ago. It was just laying on the ground, dirty, so I scooped it up and popped it in my mouth-
On Wednesday I wrote a post discussing self-talk. A post in which I trimmed a major theme out, primarily because it was aimed at self coaching for athletes and dare I say – ultra competitive folks. One of the issues I struggle with, daily – having once been über-competitive, is introducing mindfulness, awareness, compassion and self-love as important tool(s) to reaching your full potential, in whatever you choose to do.
I would like to thank A Somewhat Likable Girl and Fit Recovery for twisting my arm a little bit! I’m not one to back down from an opinion, although when it comes to doling out advice? I like to tread lightly, for each of us are truly unique and special, and I mean “special“. Warning: A healthy dose of self-serving advice and bloated opinions lie ahead ….
The portion I edited out …
It amazes me how much time, effort, and money we pour into training for “whatever“. Thinking that better equipment and shoes will help us break through the ultra marathon wall, typically at mile 43.5. Cyclist, obsess over saving a few grams, for what? Four meager grams will not help your torrid pace near the finish. Yoga folks … Fabulous new pants and a see through crop top will not help you hold a pose longer – That’s the truth!
How does this tie into finding equanimity, self-talk, mindfulness etc.? We are keenly aware that competing and training, aerobic exercise, yoga and lifting weights are effective ways to relinquish the anger and frustration that can fester when we “Zip it Up” rather than fully expressing ourselves in the moment. Physical activity and competing can be a pathway to equanimity, like any type of meditation. Although, I feel we are missing out on the best part.
During competition, yoga – brutally honest moment: I have seen more people comparing and competing in yoga class than at the start of CAT 1 Crit. A topic for another day … More so than letting out aggression and relieving stress. Positive self-talk and personal coaching allows us to deconstruct the elements of what happened, let’s our aggression escape the moment, allowing us to resolve conflicts in a magnanimous way.
For those of you reading who may not know – I fully have surrendered to myself and embrace ahiṃsā. <- This is where I stopped, before a long-winded rant ensued.
What in the world am I talking about? Remember who you are, that’s it. Remember that you a special person doing something you love to do, but please keep in mind that YOU are not the ACTIVITY. Positive self-talk and coaching affords us the time to reconnect with our humanness. WE are not our GOAL(s), no matter how important they are to you. I’m pleading with you not to lose this perspective. Instead, cultivate it within your self coaching, self-talk and whatever. Having goals and competing can make us pretty damn cool, but not as cool as the all-encompassing, creative and mysterious universe to which we already belong. Knowing your true self in this crazy world assures you of finding serenity, even at four in the morning, rain pouring down, butterflies in your quivering stomach … Mile maker 43 cannot come soon enough!
Be well this weekend and please take care.
Popular culture is a place where pity is called compassion, flattery is called love, propaganda is called knowledge, tension is called peace, gossip is called news, and auto-tune is called singing-
*Continued from Wednesday*
When I first started to become aware and conscious of what was (is) happening in the present moment, both inside and outside my body: I tapped into a powerful life changing skill. Even more powerful than running a marathon or some whimsical power yoga class and even more powerful than lifting a ton of weights and boasting about my efforts. Mindfulness allowed me to witness my own thoughts and feelings, to observe them as they pass by, like clouds effortlessly floating through the warm, blue sky above. Mindfulness has graciously offered me a front row seat, to a show, that is my own mind, and what a messed up show it can be at times!
When I first started writing years ago, I recklessly held onto judgment, ego and reaction. Little did I care to know about the true purpose of mindfulness … To be able to see what is happening inside, without ownership, judgment, ego or reaction. Instead of simply witnessing the thoughts of my mind, its endless cravings for attention, bitching, and bloated opinions? I reacted to everything, everything that my mind suggested (look up the old posts). I flat-out refused to take a seat, where to place my attention, and consequently, how to live my life.
Mindfulness allowed me to discover the awareness to which my mind’s play appeared before me, in a comfy, velvety seat.
Mindfulness is a tremendously powerful practice and well deserving of the attention it is receiving of late. We should be tread lightly though, mindfulness is more than a social media trend, more that just posting your workout results on Facebook, for the world to marvel at. True mindfulness, the mindfulness I have surrendered to, is a challenge that requires the up most dedication, awareness and humility – But damn, mindfulness is well worth the effort.
Who brought the popcorn? The show is about to begin …
When you see a good person, think of becoming like her/him. When you see someone not so good, reflect on your own weak points-
Seva, (service) has come to define my true self while walking along this spiritual path “thing“. Embracing Seva allowed me to tap into my personal growth and creativity, or lack there of at certain times – I can’t possibly be the only person in the world who forgets their right from their left?!?.
During each step of my journey, I believe I need to be sharing in some shape or form, whether it’s with a close friend in need of comfort, writing – blogging or the willingness to help a complete stranger. I sincerely believe it’s important that we take notice of the tiniest actions in our lives, realizing that we are all in this world – together. Life is not about acquiring as many “things” as we can … Life is about actively contributing to the whole thing.
This thing being Gaia.
When we take time to give openly, to listen with an open heart, to love equally, to heal kindly, to teach passionately, to be compassionate in daily life? We are expressing mindful love through Seva. That’s about as simple as it gets folks.
Take care and be well!
I’ll settle for the 6 horse
on a rainy afternoon
a paper cup of coffee
in my hand
a little way to go,
the wind twirling out
small wrens from
the upper grandstand roof,
the jocks coming out
for a middle race
and the easy rain making
the horses at peace with
before the drunken war
and I am under the grandstand
settling for coffee,
then the horses walk by
taking their little men
it is funereal and graceful
like the opening
I believe that truth has only one face: that of a violent contradiction-
Social Experiment: Arrive 5-10 minutes early to your next yoga class and simply look around the parking lot, take a moment to observe how many people are on their phones – doing whatever – instead of walking inside, setting up their mats and chatting with their fellow students. People can’t even use the restroom anymore without feeling the need to stay connected. A symphony of sounds, beeps and buzzes coming from the people around you … Who does #2 really work for?!?
Last summer I asked myself, aloud, midway through a series of asanas at home one afternoon: Do you need to have your gadget on to feel connected? Can you truly practice mindfulness if you are constantly accessible to the rest of the world?
My intention during this time was to make “exercise” <– whatever that may be … A time to connect with myself, leaving the distractions and stress of my day behind. This so-called “tech curfew” quite literally took my breath away during a long, flowing summer ride and while practicing at home. Less time looking up poses to contort and twist myself into and more time being, me. Riding down hills now, head up, smiling, feeling the cool breeze racing past. I don’t need a computer cluttering up the bars to let me know how fast I am going.
At first you may be uncomfortable with how naked you feel as you go about your everyday activities. Although, after the initial shock withers away, you will be pleasantly surprised as to how liberating it is … Not being connected.
Make today a day worth remembering. Without having to chronicle your adventures on Vine …