Everybody will get their wants, when they heartily want-
How much time did we waste wanting “things” this past weekend? Searching for a new pair of minimalist running shoes, a new GPS gizmo for the bike, the latest and greatest all natural yoga mat? Wanting to be thinner, healthier. In today’s world it seems we are always caught up with wanting and searching for newer and better “things“.
Did you wake up this morning eagerly chasing after the “things” you could not find the prior two days? When we spend all of our time wanting we leave little room for the possibility of ever having a calm, peaceful state of mind. Our mind becomes like a playful dog, panting and drooling at your feet, waiting to chase after the next ball. Better yet, just like a like a dog, many of us are rather adept at chasing after our own tail! The direct result of all this play time is that our mind becomes unfocused. We focus more on what might happen or could happen, rather than what is actually happening right now. So in chasing after the next great “thing“, we miss out on the present.
For many of the kind folks reading today, there is the real daily grind of reality and there’s what they think life should be like if they had more stuff to make it better. The space between the two is usually equal to the level of disappointment and frustration when things don’t go as we’d like them to. Somewhere in the middle lies acceptance of things as they are and a greater sense of appreciation for the small “things” in life.
The start of the week is an excellent time to take a moment or three to reflect on what, or who, you are most grateful for. Not wanting things to be better, just content for what you have.
Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy-
The tension sprinting up through my arms and shoulders, violently grasping my neck. I can’t think straight, my mind is abuzz with the stress that has accumulated throughout the day. The list of “things” to finish before tomorrow morning was spilling over. I knew I needed a change of mind, something, anything to carry me away from this tangled moment in time into a place love and harmony.
Not too long ago I would step aside, gather up all my running gear and head out the back door for a “run“. I thought at the time, if I just ignored the pain and stress, run a bit faster and harder, get my heart rate up a little more, develop a thick and hardy lather… I would instantly feel better by the time I finished 10+ miles.
An hour or so later, I would collapse on the porch with my head hunched forward watching the sweat roll off my nose falling diligently between my bare feet. The thoughts in my mind had slowed for the moment, until the pain and tension returned …
I would like to share with you something so profound, so ridiculous and so not cool, that you will avoid telling your friends or even blogging about it: Compassion and Mindfulness. Don’t scatter away quite yet, it gets better before it gets worse.
Using your body to invoke a better state of mind starts by paying attention to what we are feeling inside and not abusing our body through outward actions. This moment of reflection before heading out the door is the point where spirituality and personal development intersect. When we move with awareness and give attention to the stress, the aches and pains, we can change how we feel, instantly.
A simple act of kindness towards yourself, sharing a smile and hug with another, erasing the pain before you get moving. To me? That’s pretty cool and something to share with your friends …
… I am in the next seat.
My shoulder is against yours.
you will not find me in the stupas,
not in Indian shrine rooms,
nor in synagogues,
nor in cathedrals:
not in masses,
not in legs winding around your own neck,
nor in eating nothing but vegetables.
When you really look for me,
you will see me instantly —
you will find me in the tiniest house of time.
Kabir says: Student, tell me, what is God?
He is the breath inside the breath.
I would like to take a moment to say Thank You to all of you reading this morning over a cup of blueberry coffee, or perhaps a Bloody Mary?!? Thank You for your kind words, thoughts and passion towards these blog-o-post things here. I am deeply moved and touched by all of you!
Be well today and please take care.
Be — don’t try to become-
It’s 8:30 am, the kids are packed and ready for school, you are dressed and “ready” for yoga class at 9:00. Your mat, towel and chilled coconut water are in the car already. The kiddos are hopping about causing a ruckus as you hurry them out the front door … “Where in the hell are the car keys?!?“
At this very moment you have two choices moving forward: Being or Doing?
Being involves slowing down our frantic mind and deliberately grounding ourselves by focusing on the present moment, the “lost” car keys. In being , it’s completely fine to be your true self, and in this case? A forgetful blonde haired dude. Embrace the moment to develop a different relationship with your own senses and emotions by deliberately focusing on what they are trying to patiently convey to you.
Being involves accepting what is, there’s nothing we can do to change the current situation. Rather than berating ourselves for not knowing where the keys are or placing blame onto others, we allow ourselves to look fully and with an open mind at where we are. Eventually we realize that the situation may not be as catastrophic as initially we believed it to be. We learn to extend love onto others, compassion, kindness to ourselves, and everything around us … “Oh look here are the keys sitting on top of the filing cabinet in the garage. Exactly where I placed them after forgetting to roll up the windows before bed last night.“
Some of the most important “things” in life are as simple as misplacing our car keys.
Those who do not move, do not notice their chains-
Can someone please answer this seemingly “simple” question: What the heck is progress?
Let’s narrow our focus on yoga for our conversation this morning … Progress on your trusty yoga mat looks and feels rather different from a straight gravel road shooting up over the horizon. After a few sips of juniper berry infused mead, I like to think of progress on the mat as more of a dance, the rumba to be more specific. Two steps forward, one step back, a smile, loosening up a bit, three steps forward, two confident steps back. We seem to find our own pace, our own rhythm even if it takes a few drinks.
Progress with yoga often gets worse, much worse before it gets better. Being a dude I didn’t know this initially and I thought I was losing control of both my mind and body. I was confused (this is very easy for me) because I thought that yoga was supposed strengthen me both spiritually and physically – Instantly.
What I didn’t know at the time was that this dance backwards was the very beginning of taking a few gentle, confident steps forward. I had to regress before I could start once again to creep ahead. Just like an infant crawling on their little hands and knees, I needed to learn how to roll over, sit up, fall down and crawl before I could walk (literally).
Sometimes I didn’t want to get up after falling down. Looking back, I don’t know how I got up on my feet again after the trying times, life. Eventually I did. Then I stumbled and fell again back onto my mat. Clumsily I rose to my knees, then to my shaky feet once again. This morning I stood straight after riding my bike to work. This is my dance in life.
Learning to love yourself, to take care of your emotional and physical self. This is how I define progress.