Shine your soul with the same
egoless humility as the rainbow
and no matter where you go
in this world or the next,
love will find you, attend you, and bless you-
Here’s the real deal folks, when ever I hear that I should do “something”, my resistance ramps up. For example, as a child, when I was told I had to practice my hand writing (Catholic schooling – go figure), Guess what happened? I never wanted to, and I have the scars to prove it! It should come as no surprise, that when I was introduced to how wonderful yoga and mindfulness are … I threw up my defenses and prepared for a fight.
Although, “something” keeps pulling me back to center. I have studied enough texts, read many more books, attended enough workshops (not in Bulgaria though … ), and practiced enough to know that mindfulness and yoga help(s). However, yoga and mindfulness are not the magical cure-all to every challenge we face in life.
I fell prey at the Gravel Worlds one hot breezy day last August to one particular mindfulness practice notion – That by practicing mindfulness you will magically and instantly feel relaxed – Chill. That may happen, although as I learned, the hard way, most likely it will not. By simply smiling and being fully open to the present moment, is truly what matters. I don’t practice meditation to get better at meditation. I practice meditation to wake up to this beautiful world. Think about this for a moment please … Don’t practice to get better, simply be you.
Registering for a 150+ mile gravel ride and participating in a 150+ gravel ride are two different things. I lamented: I think, I’ll take a week off of meditating and practicing yoga leading up to the race, sort of like I used to say I’d taper my training and “carbo load” (<— whatever this is), the week prior to the event. What I found out was, the conditions of my environment did not have to be perfect, that it’s fine to practice informally, and for a blonde haired dude like myself – on a complete whim, even right now. I didn’t have to taper and load to have a good ride, and I certainly don’t have to wait until I have a spare 22 minutes during the day to practice mindfulness and yoga.
What if I’m not doing it right? I don’t feel a lot of warmth and kindness toward myself right now. I’m trying to fabricate and generate all this good will toward myself and, and … Damn it! I’m just not feeling it! Sounds familiar huh?
Artificial, fleeting feelings of self-love by trying to stay positive, race day pep talks … Dear readers, after all the abuse and pain I have subjected myself to, I have arrived to the conclusion that – It’s enough to simply have the intention to be kind to your self, simply being in the present moment, no matter what may happen next.
I don’t want to be alone, I want to be left alone-
Why do we feel pressured into always feeling like we are “doing” something, rather than simply “being“?!?
“Being” involves accepting this beautiful moment for what it truly is. Why? This moment, and the next one … Will be here no matter how much we try to control them. When we begin to chill – relax, and let go of the struggle to form our reality (and others) into our preconceived ideas of what it should be. We gently begin to let go of regrets about past events and fear of what may happen in the future. We learn to extend love, compassion, and kindness to ourselves, and everything around us. Rather than categorizing reality into Facebook Status Updates – “likes” and “follows.”
This moment, right now, sore back and cold coffee in hand – Is just a moment a time, we don’t have to be stuck here forever now do we?
Speaking of Being and Doing: Artsy Wheels <- amazing story!!!
”Being” lies at the very heart of my mindfulness practice. Oddly enough, “being” has required more practice and training in order to overcome my natural habits and biases … Be well this weekend, and please take care!
No matter how hard you try, there are times when things just don’t go as planned. And, it’s not because you are doing something wrong. It is because the thing you are after is not designed for you. It is not a part of your destiny-
The subtle art of paying attention to the details in the present moment – Mindfulness. We don’t often “think” we are engaged in the process of being mindful … Whether through practicing yoga early one morning, listing to the birds playing riding to work, taking in the beauty of a lone daisy swaying in a field … Without getting caught up in where these moment may be leading us.
The past week has been rough, I have to admit that it’s been hard to focus on the present moment; my reckless past and gentle future seem to be taking up all the free space in my brain these days (which isn’t much to begin with). My practice of Ahiṃsā, has fallen out of balance of late as well. Pushing a little too hard mountain bike racing, and not paying attention while commuting to work – Life pro tip: Railroad tracks are “slippery when wet” … Not honoring my true spirit and self has been anything but mindful of late.
This beautiful moment right now, reminds me that the present moment contains the possibility for all things, including freedom from suffering, picking splinters and little gravel bits from the battered left side of my body. Being mindful right now? Is not going to make my bruises and scars magically disappear, reverse the abuse I have put my body through this past week, put the Colorado Avalanche back in playoffs, or even re true my front wheel.
My Dear Reader(s) we are here, in this beautiful – crazy mess for other reasons as well … To marinate in this tender (literally) moment – fully present and mindful. Have a fantastic weekend, and please take care!
Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity-
*I wrote this post during a brief stop, riding a century one scoring hot weekend last summer in Nebraska. I’m not sure why I didn’t publish it at the time, maybe I was on to something, or maybe not. It’s safe to say that I walk a path in this beautiful world differently than most, and this philosophy carries over into how I help folks to compete, not on the road – but rather in this thing called life*
I am fortunate and humbled by the amazing people I get to talk with each day. The most captivating, and certainly the most personal moments occur when we struggle to “spit it out“, to put into words the thoughts that lie at the very edge of our ability to put them forth as meaningful words, a dense conversation full of wonder and meaning. Each of us has experienced the feeling of straining, against the very limit(s) of putting our thoughts into words, or even these well intended thoughts into actions.
Opening people’s eyes to the real benefits of yoga and training athletes is more than just enhancing their ability in a tangible way (inflated numbers – fleeting results), but rather – developing deeper thinking, a curious mind and wondering too. This really bothers me, deeply. You know what? It flat-out pisses me off … If you can’t think what you can’t say? Don’t put your thoughts into action – with only half your heart. I’m comfortable saying for the first time on this platform, that I am gently leading you on a journey for more words, deeper thought and wondering, exploring different ways to say, see and doing “things“.
Many of us are comfortably corralled within the limits of our power of thought, speech and outward actions. We don’t think anything we can’t say and we can’t say much. The truth of the matter, we don’t even come close to doing the things we can do, and we certainly don’t do much. More often than naught, a closed mind isn’t stubborn, just stunted in its ability to grow, in hibernation so to speak. I feel the same way in-regards to how we live in this byzantine world we called home now-a-days.
To get by in the ultra competitive world we live in, all we need is a few things to think and say, a few things to do, and a few ways to stop our thoughts from running beyond what we’ve already thought.
I feel my work here is done, be well and do take care.