: 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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Polka Dots and Moonbeams

If I saw you hitchhiking, I’d smile and return your thumb’s up, just for you doing such a great job of being a positive roadside influence-

Each of us has the keen ability to notice when “things” in life are starting to get in the way, that is of course – If we pay close enough attention to them.

Personally, it was thinking I had to excel at everything. Life, work, play, pilates, yoga, cycling and making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich – everything. When I felt as though I had come up short, or when I felt as though the sandwich I had just made was underwhelming and missed my expectations, it’s incredibly frustrating and discouraging to say the least. Its taken quite some time, although, I’m peaceful knowing there are going to be areas in my life which I do not have the upper hand.

Daily Meditation:

There’s something intrinsically freeing knowing, and owning any potential pitfalls that come our way   And once we notice this? “Things” cease to be a surprise anymore, and more like relief.

CultFit Self


Composition

We used to call it the boob tube,
but I guess they don’t use tubes anymore.
Whatever, it serves a small purpose after waking
and before falling asleep. Today’s news—
but is there such a thing as news,
or even oral history? Yes, when you want to go back
after a while and appraise the accumulation
of leaves, say in a sandbox.
The rest is rented depression,
available only in season
and the season is always next month,
a pure but troubled time.

That’s why I don’t go out much, though
staying at home never seemed much of an option.
And speaking of nutty concepts, surely “home”
is way up there on the list. I feel more certain about “now”
and “then,” because they are close to me,
like lovers, though apparently not in love with me,
as I am with them. I like to call to them,
and sometimes they reply, out of the deep business of some dream.

- John Ashbery

CultFit Composition


Prelude in – Me – Minor

There will always be a down but also always an up, your moods depends on which of the two you pay the most attention to-

In ways both big and small, our pride will be trampled on (in one way or another) during the course of a day. I suppose its safe to say that it’s nearly impossible to live life without our pride suffering a perilous blow. The ebb and flow of life  Yet, when it happens to us? We tend to take it personally – very personally, and, often enough, we beat our selves up further. Even the tiniest set back can rile our emotions and send our self-esteem into a tailspin. In part, our self-esteem reflects who we are intrinsically (our true self), however, self-esteem is also a barometer of our standing with the world around us.

The difference between my normal response to a damaging blow of my pride (an oversensitive one at that) may be summed up in one word: rumination. I am an “over-thinker” who ruminates, nauseously, in a discursive way about everyday experiences after my pride takes a hit. Especially after I finish last during a weekend race!

As I marinate in my negative thoughts, hostility and anxiety begin to seep from my very essence, sabotaging myself more than ever before. Rather than working constructively to repair the damage, I build a case for why I let myself down – A pity party of epic proportions! Sound familiar?!?

Daily Meditation:

Surrender to the moment, to comfort, to serenity. The damage is done, time to move on – peacefully.

CultFit Serenity


: 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


Passion, The Savior

Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well-

Before a cyclocross race recently, I was listening to a close friend describing his favorite hobby – He likes to make wooden toys and other wooden “things“. Although, he starts many projects and simply lets them stack up, unfinished. “I don’t have a real passion for my hobby at times,” he said to me His last words before we started the race planted a question in my head that I have often thought about: How do we cultivate and nurture our passion(s) in life?

You know it when you feel it don’t you? You get that butterfly sense deep inside that “something” significant is close and you gently move towards it. You make room for “it” and you fully awaken to its presence in your life. Maybe these new-found feelings affirm what we desired, or maybe they will completely change them? For some folks, a single passion burns for their entire lives. It’s their true essence, their true authentic self and they would never give it up

Daily Meditation:

I know that whatever compels me toward these deeper experience(s) will likely wear thin at certain times during my life. But you know what? It’s totally fine with me.

CultFit Truth