I picked up a new language a few months ago. It was just laying on the ground, dirty, so I scooped it up and popped it in my mouth-
On Wednesday I wrote a post discussing self-talk. A post in which I trimmed a major theme out, primarily because it was aimed at self coaching for athletes and dare I say – ultra competitive folks. One of the issues I struggle with, daily – having once been über-competitive, is introducing mindfulness, awareness, compassion and self-love as important tool(s) to reaching your full potential, in whatever you choose to do.
I would like to thank A Somewhat Likable Girl and Fit Recovery for twisting my arm a little bit! I’m not one to back down from an opinion, although when it comes to doling out advice? I like to tread lightly, for each of us are truly unique and special, and I mean “special“. Warning: A healthy dose of self-serving advice and bloated opinions lie ahead ….
The portion I edited out …
It amazes me how much time, effort, and money we pour into training for “whatever“. Thinking that better equipment and shoes will help us break through the ultra marathon wall, typically at mile 43.5. Cyclist, obsess over saving a few grams, for what? Four meager grams will not help your torrid pace near the finish. Yoga folks … Fabulous new pants and a see through crop top will not help you hold a pose longer – That’s the truth!
How does this tie into finding equanimity, self-talk, mindfulness etc.? We are keenly aware that competing and training, aerobic exercise, yoga and lifting weights are effective ways to relinquish the anger and frustration that can fester when we “Zip it Up” rather than fully expressing ourselves in the moment. Physical activity and competing can be a pathway to equanimity, like any type of meditation. Although, I feel we are missing out on the best part.
During competition, yoga – brutally honest moment: I have seen more people comparing and competing in yoga class than at the start of CAT 1 Crit. A topic for another day … More so than letting out aggression and relieving stress. Positive self-talk and personal coaching allows us to deconstruct the elements of what happened, let’s our aggression escape the moment, allowing us to resolve conflicts in a magnanimous way.
For those of you reading who may not know – I fully have surrendered to myself and embrace ahiṃsā. <- This is where I stopped, before a long-winded rant ensued.
What in the world am I talking about? Remember who you are, that’s it. Remember that you a special person doing something you love to do, but please keep in mind that YOU are not the ACTIVITY. Positive self-talk and coaching affords us the time to reconnect with our humanness. WE are not our GOAL(s), no matter how important they are to you. I’m pleading with you not to lose this perspective. Instead, cultivate it within your self coaching, self-talk and whatever. Having goals and competing can make us pretty damn cool, but not as cool as the all-encompassing, creative and mysterious universe to which we already belong. Knowing your true self in this crazy world assures you of finding serenity, even at four in the morning, rain pouring down, butterflies in your quivering stomach … Mile maker 43 cannot come soon enough!
Be well this weekend and please take care.
Seeing the snowman standing all alone
In dusk and cold is more than he can bear.
The small boy weeps to hear the wind prepare
A night of gnashings and enormous moan.
His tearful sight can hardly reach to where
The pale-faced figure with bitumen eyes
Returns him such a god-forsaken stare
As outcast Adam gave to Paradise.
The man of snow is, nonetheless, content,
Having no wish to go inside and die.
Still, he is moved to see the youngster cry.
Though frozen water is his element,
He melts enough to drop from one soft eye
A trickle of the purest rain, a tear
For the child at the bright pane surrounded by
Such warmth, such light, such love, and so much fear.
Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present-
Note: Over the course of the next few posts, I am going to try to write about – equanimity – Key word being try. Personally, writing and discussing equanimity is tricky and this is where I need your help! I implore you to share your thoughts and insights on this very “tricky” topic. Thank you for your help in advance!
Equanimity is not about being a doormat to others, the world. Nor is equanimity suppressing your emotions, your true spirit. So, what the hell is it?!?
Personally, as defined by yours truly – Equanimity means maintaining mental calmness, composure, an evenness of temper, during stressful situations. There are, throughout my day, certain folks or situations that trigger within me a deep-rooted sense of anger. Which, makes it rather difficult for me to be the cool dude people often think I am? What stops me from choke slamming an ignorant driver? Lashing out verbally at a yoga instructor who leaves a tired class in high plank, only to lament how tired and sore he is? Saving the best example for last … Thinking you are having a pleasant conversation with someone, only to find out they were not listening, enamored with their gadget instead.
I have found equanimity to be my most calming state of mind, especially when interacting with people who rub me the wrong way and push my “buttons“.
If you want to make it through the day with an inner sense of grace and calm, equanimity is going to take you a lot farther than hostility. Let’s play around with the wording … If you want to make it through a challenging power yoga class? Allow equanimity to guide you, instead of being a chump, a whining chump who spews hate and hostility having to do a plank for two minutes.
Only idiots fail to contradict themselves three times a day-
All the talk on the blog-o-sphere and down at the local bodega, is that everyone is “practicing” mindfulness and becoming spiritual folks. Sounds pretty cool to me!
While any sparkly toe dipped in the practice of “spiritual” awareness is beneficial, there is a trend in mindfulness, which will interfere with and obstruct the full power of a gentle mindfulness practice.
Without awareness of this “trend“, we spend years lost, wandering in yet another prison of our ego, another trap of the mind, and as a result; We miss out on the real gifts mindfulness practice so gently brings us. Mindfulness is trendy, it’s hip and its cool. This is fantastic news! Although, we must be careful that like other trends, mindfulness does not get swallowed up in the next stream of CrossFit, Flavor of the month Yoga, Fixie Bikes and enjoying a Gluten Free lifestyle.
This is why I am worried, and writing these pedantic, bloviated posts of late: These new -mindful folks- are becoming yet another form of their already, inflated ego(s). Prideful and Mindful do not play in the sandbox of life together – Kindly.
With mindfulness on the trendy “social media” radar?!? We cannot afford to miss the chance to change what this powerful practice can reveal to us: Who and How we are, and simply … Being.
Embracing mindfulness is a solid step along our paths in life. However, don’t rest quite yet, and don’t congratulate yourself yet either. For there is still much work to be done …
*Part two of this nauseating post will be posted this Friday*
I believe that truth has only one face: that of a violent contradiction-
Social Experiment: Arrive 5-10 minutes early to your next yoga class and simply look around the parking lot, take a moment to observe how many people are on their phones – doing whatever – instead of walking inside, setting up their mats and chatting with their fellow students. People can’t even use the restroom anymore without feeling the need to stay connected. A symphony of sounds, beeps and buzzes coming from the people around you … Who does #2 really work for?!?
Last summer I asked myself, aloud, midway through a series of asanas at home one afternoon: Do you need to have your gadget on to feel connected? Can you truly practice mindfulness if you are constantly accessible to the rest of the world?
My intention during this time was to make “exercise” <– whatever that may be … A time to connect with myself, leaving the distractions and stress of my day behind. This so-called “tech curfew” quite literally took my breath away during a long, flowing summer ride and while practicing at home. Less time looking up poses to contort and twist myself into and more time being, me. Riding down hills now, head up, smiling, feeling the cool breeze racing past. I don’t need a computer cluttering up the bars to let me know how fast I am going.
At first you may be uncomfortable with how naked you feel as you go about your everyday activities. Although, after the initial shock withers away, you will be pleasantly surprised as to how liberating it is … Not being connected.
Make today a day worth remembering. Without having to chronicle your adventures on Vine …