A personal revolution is the consequence of confronting self – as is -
Over the years, I have slowly arrived at the conclusion, that who I was, turned out to be largely influenced by whom I associated with. Quick example: Have you ever noticed how you feel and behave one way with your family on Thanksgiving and differently with your friends on a rowdy Friday night, and another way with your running buddies early one morning and super flexible yogi’s during a rigorous class?
Not that who we want to be is of no consequence during our daily lives. Although when it’s at odds with what another person’s presence pushes us to be … Let’s pause for a moment – Personal story time. I get caught up in the moment, depending on whom I am surrounded by and the given setting. Who I truly want to be often loses out, or is muted by their presence. How often, for example, do you want to be loving, kind and gentle towards yourself during yoga class, only to be left feeling cold and bitter by the lack of gratitude and energy in the room?
The idea I’m trying to highlight and one I feel is quite important, is that all of us, let me say this again – All of Us – exert far more of an influence on the people around us, more than we perhaps realize. This may not be our conscious intention, but by who we are ourselves.
When we allow our true selves to shine through, no matter the setting, the intention or who we are surrounded by? Let’s just say I feel its immensely important to sit up and take notice of the profound effect this may have on our lives …
Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant with the weak and wrong. Sometime in your life, you will have been all of these-
I would like to wrap the week up by not talking about “No“ … But rather two extremely powerful words, two words that transcend our overuse of “no.”
Showing empathy does not drain or deplete our true spirit, our friends. Nor does empathy weaken the strongest of family ties. Empathy empowers us with a special sense of togetherness, a powerful sense of being connected. Empathy, the ability to powerfully understand another person, is invaluable, in every relationship of our lives.
It feels good, doesn’t it? Satisfying and empowering, being on the receiving end of empathy. As parents, friends, yoga instructor(s), pilates even. A training partner at 5am on a rainy Saturday morning … Take a moment to pause and reflect on the people you have worked the hardest for in your life. The people who connect and powerfully understand – You.
I feel motivated, when I feel understood. How about you?!?
There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature-
One vibrant morning in Omaha last summer. I joined a friend for bike ride and a “refueling” stop midway. We decided to try a little café in Countryside Village that is well-known for diverse, healthy fare and devilishly good treats. Both of us were trying to get our diets in order for the upcoming cyclocross season, so splitting a sandwich fit in perfectly with our plan(s).
Moments after sitting down by the front window, a friendly waiter arrived to take our order. We asked for a club sandwich (which could feed four people) and two waters, one with a wedge of lemon. As our waiter was starting to walk away to place our order into the bustling kitchen, my friend threw in a side of homemade kettle chips. Needless to say – “things” just got real!
“Dude… You, of all people, know that I am not very good at saying “no.” Do you smell how delicious they are?Look at the young couple enjoying their order! Fresh kettle chips are simply irresistible I tell you! It’s torture! The humanity – Gah!!!!”
“I’ll have a few and toss the rest away …“
Finally I chime in …
“How about “no” kettle chips? Let’s say “no” to the order of chips now, so we don’t have to say “no” over and over when they arrive from the kitchen – begging to be savored and devoured!”
My friend finally relented and we kindly asked our waiter to cancel the order. Twenty miles down the road, my friend said he felt pretty good that he didn’t get the tasty, perfectly fried kettle chips. Who needs duck fat fried slices of potato heaven, when you can share good company and an awesome sandwich instead!?!
This is when my Strava obsessed and quasi – superstitious friend discovered the strength and power of saying “No.” Did saying no to the kettle chips add watts and power to our hill training program? Who knows, and who cares. Although we did go back after finishing our century …
“Yes no yes no yes no?
Yes red, no blue?
No red, yes no?
In out, up down?
Do don’t, can can’t?
Choices sit on the shelf life
New shoes in a shoe shop.
If the in crowd are squeezing into a must-have shoe
And the one pair left are too tiny for you
Don’t feel compelled into choosing them
If you’re really a size 9, buy that size.
While everyone else
Hobbles round with sore feet
Your choices should feel comfortable
Or they aren’t your choices at all.
Why limp when you can sprint?”
- David Baird, Fiesta of Happiness: Be True to Yourself
May I ask you once more? In a deeper, more personal way … Why limp through the day, when you can sprint?
Nothing is so strong as gentleness. Nothing is so gentle as real strength-
“Slow down, you move too fast … Life, I love you, All is groovy.“
Can you recall the last time you were in love, with life? Noticing the subtle – yet profound flowers blossoming from the dormant grass below ?
During lunch with a close friend this past Friday, I struggled to put into words this exact thought: When was the last time you fell in love with life. All of us have become multitasking savants, hastily doing no fewer than three things at once. Making breakfast while texting about the NCAA tournament and updating a post we have been working on for a few weeks. Our minds are literally filled to capacity, overflowing with “things“. When does the Sun rise tomorrow? The Sun does rise – right? Why does Windows take so long to boot? What’s the forecast for this weekend? Am I out of shape? I look bloated! What if I perform poorly in yoga class, my next 5k? This latte is too much, are they stealing my debit card information? Will it snow tomorrow? I need to book an appointment to have my nails did – done – whatever? What time is it, do I have time to workout/run/swim?
Time is flat, circular and restrictive. We continually arrive back at the same point, with a gadget of some sort close by.
Can you recall the last time you went for a leisurely walk after dinner? The “garden of life” variety of walk that didn’t involve a pedometer, taking a selfie or tweeting to the masses the calories you burned, and all the “other” information we vitally need to live.
If you can name the song and artist that set the gentle tone for the post today,without using your Google Machine – You win a prize or something! All, truly is groovy!!!