: The Night Has a Thousand Eyes :

We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will-

This evening when we find ourselves handing out treats to all the little ghouls and turds that inhabit our neighborhood – Pause for a moment, and gently turn your gaze away from the harsh glow of the warm gadget in your hand (Halloween Instagram pics can wait ). What is the reality that you see unfolding around you? Can you describe the nuance in each costume that knocks at your door? Their color, the story behind each superhero costume? Are the kids smiling and excited, or are they still with nervous anticipation of scoring a large amount candy?

This reality that we are witnessing first hand is the world as it is right here, right now. It may seem that we live life outside of “reality“, warm gadget in hand and simply observing the bundled up joy standing right in front of us as we snap a series of pics. The “reality” we capture on our gadgets only exists in our mind(s) eye, and we view it through our own unique magenta or black and white lens, filtered outside of our senses.

Daily Meditation:

After we finish dinner tonight and ready the goodies to hand out, imagine for a second that you are a different person, a different ghoul. Set down your gadget, choosing to capture life from a new perspective instead. Life is not a series of pictures we share on the inter-webz. Life is a series of remarkable photos occurring right before our eyes.

CultFit Turd


: Higher & Higher :

You are — your life, and nothing else-

A little over two years ago I stopped planting myself on the couch and turning the TV on for no good reason. Very seldom do I pay attention to the pathetic, dreadful “news”. I am picky with whom I choose to spend time with. Something happened in my life that I fail to put a finger on, and even now its hard to put into words to share with you. I realized there was a deep-rooted issue with my soul, my true-self. It was as if my soul, was raw, torn, ripped wide open. As if my true-self needed a “special” kind of time. We often think of time as a linear aspect of our lives … 0400 in the morning – Time to rise and eat breakfast , 0900 – Second breakfast, 1200 – Workout over lunch … As the cadence of time marches on, we fall prey to time – Time truly dictates our life.

Bringing balance to body, mind, and spirit has never been more important to me. With this intention, I packed my bags last Tuesday and set off for a long weekend of cyclocross racing in Winnipeg – A beautiful city nestled near the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers. Winnipeg is an idyllic oasis on the eastern edge of the Canadian Prairies, the spirit of Winnipeg perfectly aligns with its inspiring surroundings. A city, simply being

This exhilarating excursion nine hours north of Omaha, NE included boundless adventure at every turn. Between the company of close friend(s), practicing at Public Yoga, an endless amount of delicious food, the support of a large, cheerful crowd, laid back fellow competitors and the great outdoors; only served to deepen my connection to simply being. My weekend transformed into an eye-opening experience that both heartened and challenged me.

Do you recall when you last fell prey to marching in step with time? Maybe it’s when you stopped looking at your iThingy every fifteen seconds, or better yet, when you fully surrender to a state of flow during your morning yoga practice or whilst training for your next big event? A moment in which you stop counting breaths and checking Strava for a little bit as you exercised your creative muscle(s) – that “thing” between your ears.

This is when time stops pedantically chugging along,  and being begins. May you take a moment to bathe in the beauty of simply being this morning.

Daily Meditation:

This beautiful “thing” called life presents to us the opportunity to slow down and savor the concept of being. Even when counting the miles away driving from Omaha to Winnipeg (642 … ).

CultFit Fall


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