Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience-
Surrounding us is an odd “thing“, one that we rarely take time to notice and more often than not, have come to take for granted: This little thing called “Life.” Many of us search the entire span of our existence for peace, zen, bliss, the perfect pose, best 5k time, serenity and yet? These same things can be found in places that we overlook each and everyday. Even in a quiet summer field, life continues to flourish and live, eat and exist in a natural way, adapting and overcoming the world we merely “exist” in …
… A small doe emerges from the cracks of a wheat field and wanders up to the man-made nature trail, alongside the many busy feet and tires that tread next to her, encroaching on her survival. Interesting, this stunning animal, living, overcoming and flourishing despite our encroachment upon her natural environment; oblivious to our presence, just as we are to our own presence.
What if we paused for a second to take notice of this natural beauty? Is this an annoyance to you, throwing your pace off, adding seconds to your precious run time? One can only wonder…
Have we lost focus on the true purpose, the true use of our senses? How can we become self-aware when all we do is tune out our own beating heart and the beautiful world we live in?
The truth is that everyone is bored, and devotes himself to cultivating habits-
Feel free to file this post under the “Stopped over, liked and promptly forgot what I read ten minutes later” category.
You, me, the dude shaving in the car next to you during the morning commute, we are our own worst enemies. Especially so when we start talking about cultivating and living a “authentic“ life, full of true and unbridled happiness. We make excuses, hourly, as to why we can’t overcome something or we are too busy surfing the webz, checking our work email during a Saturday morning group ride. To stop and realize just how destructive our growth-inhibiting patterns of behavior really are.
What follows is a series of blunt and prickly questions. I suppose we could call them the “Stinging Nettles” series of questions?!? I want these to irritate you, making you look inward to find a solution rather than applying aloe-vera gel to cover up the stinging pain …
Do you constantly put “things” off? We make excuses at every turn as to why we put off doing “things” that will markedly change our lives for the better. How many times will we hear or read this today: “I know meditation and yoga can help me BUT … I’m experiencing (Insert anything here) right now and I haven’t been doing them lately.” Seriously folks, If you know a life-enhancing practice like meditation and yoga will help you make a problem disappear? Why then put it off?
Are you a pecksniffian varietal of toad stool? Our minds tend to veer towards the negative side of life, completely normal. We look at all the “things” we don’t have and feel worse as a result. Dear Reader: There is always going to be something you will not have and embracing life in this way will leave you forever unsatisfied, a Toad Stool of high moral arrogance. Looking up and seeing the sun rise, taking a deep relaxing breath of morning air or even the very experience of rolling out of bed – Alive? Something not Nothing.
Do you fell like playing the “Blame Game”? “I could had run a personal best BUT … This amateur yoga mom b!tch was in my way!” Gosh does it feel good putting blame on someone other than ourselves?!? Blaming others is like having good sex: Awesome. How about we entertain the thought of taking responsibility for having some degree of responsibility for what happened and look to how we can turn the situation around, rather than blaming all the yoga mom runners of the world?!?
Saving the best for last …
Are you hopelessly a perfectionist? Perfectionists will be displeased no matter what, anything that isn’t perfect or doesn’t meet their extremely high standards? Weak sauce! Breaking News: Achieving a state of perfection within any walk of life is an impossible goal. Perfectionism turns us into pawns of success, by narrowing our focus on failure which then kindly results in a lifetime of self-doubt, pity and dare I mention? Depression. We might as well say then that perfectionism allows us to be more efficient at finding the best deals online, keeping an organized and tidy inbox or prepared for anything that may come walking through the door. However, having high standards and goals will help us achieve “things” in life, these standards can get in the way of the pure happiness of doing something we enjoy and yes, perfectionism can and will impair our enjoyment of this thing called life.
Today marks a day of change here, a day of change in tone and added clarity. A day of asking questions instead of “Liking” and walking away.
You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one-
I often feel like I’m cycling into a 40 knot headwind when it comes to writing about mindfulness, wellness and other stuff here on this blog-o-thing. From the yoga fashionistas who regard me incredulously when I say that “looking good” is a selfish goal to set in yoga class, to the pervasive but iniquitous message that we all just need to participate in more mud runs, be more extreme, elite, hardcore in order to live a healthier life, my increasingly strong belief that we are going about this all wrong is not a popular one to say the very least.
Every now and then I meet up with some kindred spirits during a walk or brisk bike ride, who confirm what we see every day, but choose to ignore: Despite being a society hopelessly obsessed with health, longevity, exercise and taking pictures of food, we are in fact unhealthy, unhappy and bereft of many of the simple joys of life as a direct result of our obsessions.
How about we abandon the idea of exercise as a virtuous counterbalance, absolve ourselves of the guilt that inevitably accompanies unfulfilled resolutions, tune out the constant exhortations to “get ripped”, lose weight and instead embrace the simple pleasure of putting one foot in front of the other, simply because we were born with the ability to do so and we too often don’t.
Let’s cut right to the heart of what’s wrong with our attitudes in regards to mindfulness and wellness. Despite the thousands we spend on failed gym memberships, seldom used exercise equipment and wearing the latest fashions to yoga class. We are tormented by self-loathing, guilt and doubt. We live in a world where our motivation to move is increasingly thwarted and sapped at every turn. The next time you stare out the gym window—you know the one, where everyone around you is trotting along on a dreadmill despite the fact that the sun is shining and it’s a beautiful day outside? Ask yourself: Why is going for a run, a bike ride or walk outside such an absurd idea?
Look to a simpler place for your satisfaction this morning. Hint: It’s not in the latest edition of Shape or the ever so popular Yoga Journal. What you find may surprise you …
If you see some random dude(s) doing a spot of yoga in a park this weekend? Wave hello and join us!
Everybody will get their wants, when they heartily want-
How much time did we waste wanting “things” this past weekend? Searching for a new pair of minimalist running shoes, a new GPS gizmo for the bike, the latest and greatest all natural yoga mat? Wanting to be thinner, healthier. In today’s world it seems we are always caught up with wanting and searching for newer and better “things“.
Did you wake up this morning eagerly chasing after the “things” you could not find the prior two days? When we spend all of our time wanting we leave little room for the possibility of ever having a calm, peaceful state of mind. Our mind becomes like a playful dog, panting and drooling at your feet, waiting to chase after the next ball. Better yet, just like a like a dog, many of us are rather adept at chasing after our own tail! The direct result of all this play time is that our mind becomes unfocused. We focus more on what might happen or could happen, rather than what is actually happening right now. So in chasing after the next great “thing“, we miss out on the present.
For many of the kind folks reading today, there is the real daily grind of reality and there’s what they think life should be like if they had more stuff to make it better. The space between the two is usually equal to the level of disappointment and frustration when things don’t go as we’d like them to. Somewhere in the middle lies acceptance of things as they are and a greater sense of appreciation for the small “things” in life.
The start of the week is an excellent time to take a moment or three to reflect on what, or who, you are most grateful for. Not wanting things to be better, just content for what you have.
I believe that sex is one of the most beautiful, natural, wholesome things that money can buy-
I wanted Mother’s Day to be different this year. I wanted to continue my climb upward on the Mother’s Day Classiness Gift Giving Scale. Last year was pretty pathetic, a cheap card from Target and a box of Govida Truffle’s. This year? I wandered into our local Lululemon bodega (our Lulu store is right next to a wine shop = Awesome!). What could possibly go wrong?
For us dudes, a few steps into a Lululemon store is a highly visual, sensual and erotic experience! We are greeted by provocatively attired mannequins, I mean staff … and, further back in the store, just beyond the camel toe concealing yoga pants, women are exiting fitting rooms attired in raiment that often do not seem to fit—literally, and with no pun intended, figuratively.
This sight started my mind wandering on this sultry weekend afternoon, with my lovely wife’s purse in one hand and a strawberry banana smoothie in the other: How damaging can a woman’s relationship with her body be? Damaging enough to result in pain of both a psychological and physical nature?
Throughout their lives, women of all ages must deal with idealized, societal norms and how they “measure up” in life. There are different stereotypes spanning the entire spectrum of a woman’s shape: A girl or woman with large breasts, thick hips may have to contend with unsavory assumptions about her sexuality. From a different angle, this same girl or woman may feel inadequate should she have smaller breasts and no hips. Both are patently absurd.
It is therefore not surprising to see women this afternoon squeezing into garments that don’t quite seem to fit, as they struggle daily with how they confront societal myths, that don’t quite fit.
So, I thought: “Maybe I won’t buy anything in this store? Maybe a bottle of dark chocolate wine from next door would be the better option?“
Happy Mother’s Day!
*Back by popular demand – The most viewed pic in the history of CultFit*