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


In – Tention

It is more Important to be of pure intention than of perfect action-

I spend a fair amount of time ruminating why I’m struggling with my “performance” when others, clearly are not. I tend to think my poor “performance” is karmic retribution (whatever this is) for some bad deed in the past, and this bad deed is the sole reason why I stink, suck – Why I am continuously sore and injured – Why I had a bad race, or whatever we say after stinking up the joint! When I look outward for answers, I view karma through a stained prism, as a spiritual judicial system, where I am forced to suffer based on some bad deed I can’t even remember that happened 24 years ago Or maybe it was ten minutes Pardon me as I look it up on my phone.

As loosely defined by yours truly: Karma is about the nature of our intentions, our intention(s) in this beautiful, inspiring moment. To explore a tad deeper, think of our actions as having two distinct attributes. Let’s use riding a bike as an example: Pure Behavior and our Intention behind said behavior.  What matters to forming our true-self  is not the “pure behavior” that makes up our action but our intention in engaging in that action. It pays to remember, as the Buddha said: Intention is Karma.

Consider for a moment taking your bike out for a spin early one brisk, Fall morning. Our “pure behavior” equals throwing a leg over the top tube and smiling, not necessarily in that order. However, the intention behind this action could be to simply surrender to the moment, being compassionate and generous to those we encounter during our travels – or – It could be to show ill-will toward others on the trail, cruelty to your body for training too hard, or being greedy Chasing down another podium finish.

Daily Meditation:

Some Dude (Buddha) once said many moons ago, “Intending, one does karma My intention Dear Reader(s) Is to return to my true self: To show more compassion, to be generous and most importantly (to me): To be kind.

CultFit Me

 


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


The Last Swim of Summer

ought to be swum
without knowing it,
afternoon lost to
re-finding the rock
you can stand on
way out past the
raft, the flat one
that lines up four-
square with the door
of the boathouse.

Freestyle and back-
stroke and hours on
the dock nattering
on while the low sun
keeps setting fin-
gers and toes getting
number and number …
how could we know
we were swimming the
last swim of summer?

- Jonathan Galassi

CultFit Direction


The Problem of Describing Trees

For a Dear Friend

The aspen glitters in the wind
And that delights us.

The leaf flutters, turning,
Because that motion in the heat of August
Protects its cells from drying out. Likewise the leaf
Of the cottonwood.

The gene pool threw up a wobbly stem
And the tree danced. No.
The tree capitalized.
No. There are limits to saying,
In language, what the tree did.

It is good sometimes for poetry to disenchant us.

Dance with me, dancer. Oh, I will.

Mountains, sky,
The aspen doing something in the wind.

- Robert Haas

CultFit Apsen Heart


:Misty:

I’m grateful for what you’ve done—and I’m ungrateful for what you haven’t done. A cup half full of coffee is also half full of sleep-

A little over 8 years ago, I traveled and worked in the Middle East and Southwest Asia for two years. I was miserable, unhappy, and I spent a vast amount of time alone, worrying about what the future had in store for me.

Travelling around Afghanistan and parts of western Pakistan had a profound effect on me. I befriended a local man on the Pakistan border named Ajiphan, we were close in age and shared many similarities in life. I feel in love with his country. However, Ajiphans life was a daily struggle of survival for him and his family – Will there be enough food and water to make it through the day, shelter at night and fuel to warm themselves during the harsh winter months.

When I returned home to Nebraska, I felt as though I had a completely new perspective on life. I felt incredibly lucky to live in a part of the world where life is easy, where even the poorest folks seemed wealthy when viewed from my perspective. After witnessing many beautiful people struggling with the basics of life, I felt incredibly lucky to be healthy, a roof over our heads and not having to worry about what will be for dinner. Looking back now I remember saying to myself when I arrived home, “‘My days of complaining about trivial things in life are over …

Of course it didn’t last. My appreciative frame of mind lingered for a few weeks, then slowly I began to take my situation for granted, and returned to the same state of unhappiness and dissatisfaction as before. Instead of “waking up” to the reality of the our phenomenal world and of  life’s situations? Bitching and moaning (for me) was easier.

Daily Meditation:

My Son and I watched Big Trouble in Little China over the weekend, a favorite movie of mine and Ajiphans. We watched this movie no fewer than a dozen times on my computer, which was powered by a generator. Sitting in a warm shelter, snacking on naan-e afghani, while enjoying a cup of black tea. I genuinely miss his companionship, and everything he taught me about this “thing” called life. Be well my friend, I miss you.

CultFit See


Sweet Peas

A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for-

At the risk of mentioning something new, doing “things” a little bit different for a change I have sensed for some time that many of my kind and passionate readers (just like you) need a pinch of courage to get them to finally go after their hearts desire, whatever that may be. Maybe its shedding the thought of looking silly in yoga class, or out-of-place at the gym. I personally know it takes a lot of courage to say no to running and choosing a nice relaxing walk instead. I could go on and on with examples, instead here is a tidy little list of ideas to be courageous today.

Make a mistake during yoga class today, like on purpose.

Follow your hearts desire while ordering a coffee.

Say, “I don’t know” instead of “I’ll look it up … “

Genuinely ask for help from someone, instead of asking Siri.

Share your vulnerable moments, openly.

Trust your inner intuition, the crazier the better.

Let the past be just that – The past.

Love yourself.

Say “yes” to the things you want and “no” to those things you don’t.

Ask someone how they are this morning, and really listen to their answer, instead of formulating your own.

Let go of your need to control everything, all of the time.

Let go of being busy this afternoon.

Say kind things to yourself, whilst staring into a mirror.

Be open to changing course, even at the very last moment.

Daily Meditation:

How have I been courageous this beautiful morning?

I set some new personal boundaries, listened to and trusted my instincts, decided to say no to riding to work – instead choosing to practice yoga instead. I penned a self-serving advice post, which many of you know I loathe Be well today and please take care!

CultFit Clouds