When will then be now?

The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it-

Our lives are saturated with technology – from email to texting, FaceTube to Insta-Look at me, Linked-Out to streaming media of various flavors online. Living in a digital world, our attention is almost always focused on something outside of our physical body. Either playing a game online with a friend or surfing aimlessly – Always doing something! We treat our own unfocused minds like parents on a cross-country road trip: Turning on the in-vehicle entertainment system and watching “Up” for the millionth time until the little ones pass out.

Are we there yet?!?

My mind needs periods during the day, just like children do at school Time to run and play, jump from hither and yon, with little care in the world. My mind needs to be able to flow freely from thought to thought, or simply rest in no thought at all. The spaces between tasks, between thoughts, between breaths, between all the objects of my attention—are deeply important to our true selves. When I miss the opportunity to live in these gaps, I become a minion to my mind, and subsequently anxious of any moment when my mind is not occupied – Gotta check my fantasy team and Ebay!!!

Daily Meditation:

A deep and lasting confidence arises when we can enjoy the open spaces in life. Our culture has placed a value on action, information, and entertainment, and we are encouraged to keep the mind busy at all times. If we want to create down time, to make space, we have to actively do so.

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: Lamento :

Fame you’ll be famous, as famous as can be, with everyone watching you win on TV, Except when they don’t because sometimes they won’t-

Watching a cycling (running – whatever) event affords both participants and spectators alike, an intense experience of competition, and if we pay close enough attention – An unfettered obsession with winning. Many hard-working, competing riders define success as a podium finish and anything else as an utter failure.

How do we address competition and competing in a different way?

Opening up and pouring my spirit before you Winning is an outcome. When I become obsessed with the outcome, rather than the moment – I lose sight of the journey, I lose sight of my true spirit and how I arrived in this magical moment. I lose appreciation of simply being and my sole focus on is on me And sometimes, I don’t enjoy this side of “me“.

Our culture is obsessed with winning, often at any cost and by any means. Once we have tasted winning, we need more of it – Winning is an addiction. The alluring pleasure, the rush of winning is fleeting, unlike the deep-rooted satisfaction of knowing that you have done your best. Winning makes people focus outside themselves for validation of their self-worth.

Daily Meditation:

My past obsession with competition and winning, restrained me from engaging in a personal journey of self-knowledge and finding my place in life. This journey is entirely an internal and personal process, not one that requires a podium finish or constant competition with others as a measure of my true self-worth.

CultFit Winning


Midnight :Sun:

Do not ruin today with mourning tomorrow-

Struggling to eliminate our flaws, tossing abrasive feelings to the side  Fighting ourselves into a place we deem more pleasant and less disruptive. Our instinctual fight or flight response operates in perpetual “autopilot” mode, navigating us toward safety. Although, what happens when we switch our autopilot system off?

I quite literally stumbled, and flicked my autopilot switch from “on” to “mindfulness” about five years ago. Mindfulness offered me a very specific and helpful way to accept, and value myself, by gently inviting me to pause To look within my thoughts, and notice what I am experiencing moment to moment – The polar opposite of killing the gym and running myself into the ground. Rather than conclude something was “wrong” with me for experiencing troubling thoughts and feelings, I simply acknowledged and attended to whatever I happened to notice at the time. Acceptance of who I am is enormously freeing, as long as I pause long enough to recognize that the path forward is awakening to myself, and not who I want or wish I could be.

Daily Meditation:

As the many experiences in life arise and float away, we dip our toes into a pool of stillness that has long sat stagnant.

CultFit Mindful

 


We Shall Be Released

Every afternoon that autumn
walking across campus
past the conservatory
I heard the soprano
practicing
her voice rising
making its way up the scale
straining to claim each note
weeks of work
of days
growing shorter
darker
storms slamming the campus
the semester staggering
to an end
everyone exhausted
drained
heading out and going home
the campus nearly deserted
but the soprano
still working the scales
when I passed under the trees
the liquidambars on fire
the clouds like great cities
sailing out to sea
and didn’t I ascend
with her
my own weariness
and sorrows
dropping away
didn’t we rise together
her voice straining
wavering
at the top of its range
almost reaching
almost claiming
that high
free-of-the-body
final note

- Joseph Stroud

CultFit Final

 


West of the : Moon :

With enough courage, you can do without a reputation-

Does it seem as though we are constantly defining who we are by our actions? Why is it difficult telling, or explaining who we really are?

Being distracted, busy and stressed is a choice I often make without a second thought.  No one is forcing me to take on all of these responsibilities and activities in my life. Sometimes it seems that being stressed out and busy is a symbol of status in our society. Raise your hand if you have uttered the following phrase(s): “I’m a _____” or “Look at all of these “things” I do.”

I’m a yoga instructor, pilates teacher, and coach. I’m an avid cyclist,  a quasi racer and competitive. I’m an engineer of some sort  I

Whatever happened to just being? I believe our identities have been so wrapped up in what we do that we have forgotten what it is like to just be.

Daily Meditation:

I need to pause now and – be, me.

CultFit Unplugged


Misplaced :June:

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?!?

Daily Meditation:

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.

CultFit Peace


The :Cosmic: Game

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself-

What are we seeking when we engage in self-reflection along our path to discovering our true authentic self? I asked myself this question during a recent cycling event, one where I had quite a bit of time to think about “things” in life.

Stumbling upon my path to discovering my authentic self has been riddled by a myriad of close calls, disappointments, pain and yes: Suffering. Years of engaging in destructive behavior seemingly crushed me as a person and still haunt me, even as I proof read this post.

Everywhere I sought help and refuge, I was continually told the way to discover “who we really are” is to simply scrape away all the dreck that has been heaped upon ourselves over the years. Sounds easy enough right?!? If life were only as easy as reading a $5.99 self-help e-book or a top 10 list to discover your true self blog post. The more self-help advice and guidance I marinated in, the more I began to notice how self involved I was becoming. I gradually became concerned only with what affected me or only with that which is useful to, or focused primarily on myself. I started to make every day life “things” that were not about me, about me, and I became blind to world unfolding around me The more I looked inward, the more I tuned out. I stopped living life.

Each one of us has a self that is beautiful, flawed and unique. Each one of us are blessed with a complicated set of life experiences that no one else has. Our lives are an accumulation of experiences – both good, bad and the ugly. We are amazing – dynamic creatures, and we are continually a work in progress!

Daily Meditation:

These experiences, however, are the very “things” that the searching to reveal our true authentic in a book or whatever, toss to the side as unimportant or distracting. My path to an authentic self, starts with acknowledging my woeful self-deception, that I am my own worst enemy and bringing my Son along to a few cyclocross races last season helped to shed light on what matters the most to me in life (more on this next week).

I hope each of you reading today have an amazing weekend, take care and be well!

CultFit Deception