Do not ruin today with mourning tomorrow-
I’ve managed to stay relatively injury free this year by self-imposing a balance between unexciting “things” and exciting “things“. At home and away from my play outdoors I limit my larder to unexciting events – cleaning up, emptying the dish washer and mowing the yard.
Lately I’ve realized I need to apply the same approach to all areas of my life. I tend to gravitate towards highly stimulating play, conversation and work the way I gravitate toward fine wine and delectable treats. I spoil myself with action, and going too hard physically. I often fail at times to seek flow, the high-stimulation thrill of doing at exciting speed whatever I feel like. To keep myself from becoming jaded, I need to compensate for my highly stimulated actions by deliberately cultivating my ability to find stillness, awareness and comfort.
My trick? Mindfulness exercise: Sitting in a quiet place as I intently watch my breath. A stimulating thought arises in my mind from a recent conversation with a close friend. I gently say “This is just a thought – A wish” . Mindfulness practice keeps my body and mind focused. How do you find balance between unexciting and exciting – I’m curious?!?
One last note, Love helps as well …
If someone comes along and shoots an arrow into your heart, it’s fruitless to stand there and yell at the person. It would be much better to turn your attention to the fact that there’s an arrow in your heart-
If through practicing mindfulness, we practice letting go of thoughts – hopefully? We need another practice for letting thoughts in, getting comfortable with threats from soccer moms, the risks associated with yoga class, discouraging and difficult thoughts during a recent early morning run. We need to exercise our ability to comprehend the tedious, harsh and more discouraging thoughts we encounter during the day more so than blasting reps and sets in a gym. Without ever practicing letting thoughts in? We tend to interpret the world through the lens of easy, wishful thinking …
We need to be brave enough to take our shoes off, expose our knackered and worn toenails to step confidently into dark, discouraging and confusing waters in our quests for uncertain gratification.
It’s not enough to be able to dismiss all the “thoughts” we process and return to the here and now as “mindfulness” practice encourages. Seriously folks – Please read the last sentence again. This is where many people get mindfulness wrong, horribly wrong: Mindfulness practice is most attractive and helpful to people who succumb to the weight of negative thoughts and feelings.
Consider that most often mindfulness is meant to discourage, discouragement.
You may be able to tell I am clearly frustrated with the current view, adopted by so many in regards to mindfulness. The power of neutral-thinking, an ability to, in effect pre-grieve the possibilities of not having the latest yoga fashion(s) so that we aren’t scared of living without them, limbering our minds much the way we learn to breathe into and surrender to the searing burn of a stretched hamstring during chair pose.
By letting thoughts in, we have already visited failure, humiliation and injury. We are prepared to contemplate deeply even when it’s not cool or trendy. Here’s the harsh truth that many yogis, blog posts and tired yoga magazine articles fail to provide us: Mindfulness practice is not believing you can ward off undesirable outcomes by not thinking about them.
Truth is not something outside to be discovered, it is something inside to be realized-
Can we all agree that some of the posts here are rather cheeky at times, silly, wasted, pointless? Who wants to talk about authenticity, forgiveness, spirituality, mindfulness?
The best gift you can ever give those you love, and those who care deeply about you, is a healthy “you“. Sounds cheesy, right? Seriously, I thought having a chiseled body doing yoga and performing 1000+ crunches a day was well enough, but a healthy “you“?
Consider for one fleeting moment this morning what I am suggesting. If you are as healthy as you can be, in both mind and spirit, you will be the best possible version of yourself. Less time talking about failed run times, painful yoga sessions and more energy devoted to exploring the world with others.
We could talk about knowing our personal limit(s), making the best use of our time and energy while maintaining a healthy relationship with our body … But this topic is dull and painfully tedious?!?
Quite possibly the greatest gift you can ever offer yourself is not running a marathon or becoming a yoga teacher. Accepting yourself, right now, with no make up, pink bunny slippers and all, is so very powerful … Maybe not as powerful as doing 103 sun salutations in a row, but close enough?!?
When you offer your true, whole self to whatever(*), in both mind and spirit? … Boring stuff right?
* (I figuratively and literally mean whatever: relationships, sex, fixing a flat tire, running … whatever.)