Posted: September 12, 2014 Filed under: Meditation, Yoga | Tags: anxiety, Autumn, blogging, Body Image, Buddha, Buddhism, Celiac Diease, compassion, exercise, fitness, freshly pressed, gluten free, happiness, health, karma, Karma yoga, kindness, life, love, lululemon, marathon, motivation, musings, natural, running, Seva, sex, trail running, writing, yoga, Zen
There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up-
What is the secret formula that can provide us with a long and fulfilling life? Most of the nauseating advice we are bombarded with is formulated around living a “healthy lifestyle” (<- whatever this is), leading to assumptions that center primarily on the physical aspects of this thing called life.
“Eat your cauliflower!” “Drink your coconut water!” “Run, walk, cycle, sex, yoga and drink red wine!” Say the experts, and you wonder why our culture is brimming with anxiety! Gotta do this, and we gotta do that if we want to live a long prosperous life! Gotta browse LivingSocial for the best yoga deals, shop organic and eat gluten-free – even if we don’t have Celiac disease. Most of our effort is done with variable success and the predictable stress is eagerly awaiting us around each corner.
How can we feel better about ourselves, boost our confidence naturally and build true inner peace? :Generosity: The quality of being kind, practicing selflessness and understanding, the willingness to give to those in our lives “things” that have value. Generosity is a spiritual principle that provides us with the key to leading a happy and healthy life.
Generosity is a natural (organic – ha!) confidence builder. Generosity acts as a shield against self-hatred and anxiety. By focusing on what we are giving, rather than what we are receiving, we cultivate and nurture a more outward orientation toward the world, shifting the focus away from our physical selves, onto something deeper, something that has a far greater impact on our daily lives.
Each beautiful morning life presents us with a handful of opportunities to be generous; through embracing generosity (not cauliflower, not coconut water, not even gluten-free bread), we can do ourselves and those around us a world of good.
I am deeply grateful to each of you reading today – Take care and be well.
Posted: September 9, 2014 Filed under: Meditation, Yoga | Tags: anxiety, Autumn, Big Ring Ranch Enduro, blogging, compassion, cycling, exercise, Fall, family, fitness, free range, freshly pressed, friends, happiness, health, hope, kindness, life, love, meditation, Mindfulness, motivation, MTB Racing, musings, natural, nature, nebraska, Omaha, paleo, passion, peace, perspective, pilates, running, trail running, Tranquility, Worry, writing, yoga, Zen
If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath-
This morning, I’m anxious about any number of things and more specifically the Big Ring Ranch MTB Enduro this coming Saturday. I have not been able to find peace and tranquility very well, or as much as I would like the past few days. This race was supposed to happen in June, however Mother Nature won in the end. I feel tense and unsettled no fewer than a couple of times throughout the day: Worrying about pedantic things like gearing, my level of fitness and health, and I worry about “why” I was talked into this in the first place … I worry a lot, because I find comfort in worrying.
The first thing I try to do when my worrying mind takes over, is to figure out what is not working right now in this beautiful moment. Sounds easy enough right? For me personally its harder than it sounds. Some mornings there’s a clear answer to be found during a sun salutation, but often it’s jumbled and convoluted – for my mind is not entirely present. I feel like I’m “hanging out” and going through the “motions.” I feel like I’m going to disappoint a bunch of family and friends – You – My Dear Readers. The once solid relationship I had with myself is spiraling out of control.
Other mornings, though, I really don’t know what the problem is. On the surface it appears that everything’s going fairly well, my breath is in tune with my flow and my mind is centered in the moment. Although, buried under the surface: I’m still struggling with worry.
The more I struggle with worry, the more anxious I become. I desperately need to find peace and tranquility, but how? Where do I start?!?
Does what I shared above sound familiar? Some folks go for a walk, others head to the gym and surrender to a warm bath afterwards to find peace and tranquility. However, through being bold and trying, surrendering to the moment … This is when we find peace and tranquility.
Time to head out for a morning walk.
Posted: September 8, 2014 Filed under: Meditation, Yoga | Tags: trail running, marathon, yoga, paleo, gluten free, natural, free range, pilates, health, motivation, running, meditation, perspective, cycling, exercise, blogging, family, passion, love, nature, happiness, Omaha, nebraska, compassion, kindness, freshly pressed, musings, parenting, gratitude, Zen, Cyclocross
Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them-
As any working parent knows, sometimes you have to think creatively to juggle work, partaking in outside activities and keeping your child engaged and out of trouble. Or am I trying to stay engaged and out of trouble?!? Anyways … Last Fall during cyclocross season I could not find a sitter on a regular basis, Grandma was busy doing grandma things and letting my 8-year old son stay at home alone is not an option . So I decided to take him along with me.
There he sat on the swings, flanked by a few new friends he instantly befriended. I was proud of him playing nicely pushing the merry-go-round when it was his turn; then hopping aboard to take in the fun. As he settled into playing carefree, I started to warm up and get ready for the race, and before too long I was comfortably in my single speed cyclocross racing groove.
That is, until about ten minutes after the call to the starting line, when my son suddenly blurted out from the top of the slide castle (by top – I mean the very top, like on the rooftop top). It wasn’t a cute, that little boy is adorable shout mind you. It was one of those incredibly eager, excited, this kid must be crazy or whatever shouts you expect a rabid sports fan to let loose during the heat of battle. Every set of eyes within a half mile immediately focused on him, perched gallantly high above, Star Wars t-shirt, Yankees hat and all … My heart immediately went silent on the backside of the course. I didn’t know what he was saying, but as parents we know in an instant when our kids are the center of attention! Making my way back to the start, I could make out that his eyes were glowing wide with delight, he had a huge smile on his innocent face and I could finally make out what he was shouting:
“Go get em’ Dad! Gears are for chumps and soccer moms!“
I could hear the crowd laughing now and starting to join in with my little dude, supporting their rider on this cool October morning in a more boisterous – colorful way. In this magical moment, somewhere between trudging through a sand pit and jumping over obstacles, everyone in attendance understood a 8 year old’s perspective on not taking life too seriously and having fun.
I would personally like to take a moment to thank the following kind and passionate folks for making the below schedule possible for me: Omaha Bicycle Co. and Endless Bike Company – Thank you!!!
Big Ring Ranch Endure Sept. 13th
The Wicked Wilson 100 Sept. 14th
Flatwater Twilight CX Sept. 24th
Omaha CX Weekend Oct. 11th
Omaha Jackrabbit Oct. 18th
Star City CX Series (Wednesday Nights)
*Winnipeg CX/Canada National Championships 2014 Oct. 24-26* Personal Highlight of the Fall Calendar *
Spooky Cross Nov. 1st-2nd
Gravelicious Gravel Grinder Nov. 1st
South Dakota Cyclocross State Championships Nov. 8th
Jingle Cross Nov. 14th
Nebraska State CX Championships Nov. 23rd
Iowa State Cyclocross Championship Dec. 6th
Posted: August 29, 2014 Filed under: Meditation, Yoga | Tags: biking, CultFit readers rock!, cycling, First Aid Kit, gardening, Global Solidarity Ride, gratitude, Labor Day, love, Mountain2Mountain, Omaha, passion, Thanks!, Tour de Garden, weekend
Music always sounds better on Friday-
Tomorrow I ask you to support the women that dare to ride! The inaugural Global Solidarity Ride takes place tomorrow and I simply cannot express how important this ride is to me. Shannon Galpin of Mountain2Mountain is doing amazing work bringing the simple joy of spinning along on a bicycle to the women of Afghanistan.
Before the weekend begins, I personally would like to – Thank You- for your continued support of
my your little blog-o-thing! Be well this weekend and please take care!
*Please join me this coming Sunday in Omaha for the annual Tour de Garden Omaha! I’ll even pick up the first coffee or tea for you – My treat!*
Posted: August 28, 2014 Filed under: Meditation, Yoga | Tags: Buddhism, Buddist Boot Camp, gardening, Gary Soto, gratitude, Labor Day, Lawn, love, Omaha, passion, Poetry, Summer, yoga, Zen
I sat on the lawn watching the half-hearted moon rise,
The gnats orbiting the peach pit that I spat out
When the sweetness was gone. I was twenty,
Wet behind the ears from my car wash job,
And suddenly rising to my feet when I saw in early evening
A cloud roll over a section of stars.
It was boiling, a cloud
Churning in one place and washing those three or four stars.
Excited, I lay back down,
My stomach a valley, my arms twined with new rope,
My hair a youthful black. I called my mother and stepfather,
And said something amazing was happening up there.
They shaded their eyes from the porch light.
They looked and looked before my mom turned
The garden hose onto a rosebush and my stepfather scolded the cat
To get the hell off the car. The old man grumbled
About missing something on TV,
The old lady made a face
When mud splashed her slippers. How you bother,
She said for the last time, the screen door closing like a sigh.
I turned off the porch light, undid my shoes.
The cloud boiled over those stars until it was burned by their icy fire.
The night was now clear. The wind brought me a scent
Of a place where I would go alone,
Then find others, all barefoot.
In time, each of us would boil clouds
And strike our childhood houses
- Gary Soto