: Wandering :

I am much inclined to live from my rucksack, and let my trousers fray as they like-

Lately I have been “obsessing” over a few Active Transportation problems (mostly cycling related) in, and around Omaha, Nebraska. Not gigantic, earth shattering problems, but a source of ongoing irritation and minor frustration to me personally. At any rate, and given that May is National Bike Month … Our local Active Transportation quandary has woven itself into the deepest folds of my mind, and I find myself spending a fair amount of time thinking about them, and how we as a community spend so much time and energy trying to change tedious little things. Such as “improved” bike routes, road markings and better street design, for very personal reasons.

I spent my morning ride to the market yesterday thinking about why we want to create change, while auto-piloting through a series of hills, defaulting to these thoughts during random periods of the early morning ride to keep my mind curious.

Stewing on “things” that irritate me or that fall into a “problem” category generally serves a purpose. Normally issues slide right off my back or float away little puffy little clouds dancing across the sky. In this case, I stumbled across my “aha” moment while riding back home yesterday afternoon. In fact, the solution was so embarrassingly obvious that I had to stop riding for a moment to say aloud:  “I’m amazed I didn’t realize this before.”

When our minds our locked in with tunnel vision, trying to brainstorm solutions to problems that generally do not exist. They don’t have full access to the power, curiosity and creativity we consciously choose to shut off, lamenting and obsessing. Organizing community advocacy groups and whatnot.

Daily Mediation:

My little “moment” yesterday was just that – little and insignificant to the community at large. Although, obsessing about life’s mundane problems is not as fun as obsessing about our true passion(s) in life, or the selection of artisanal cheeses at the market (Top Tip – If you want to ride faster? Buy something cold and sprint home before it spoils.)

Sometimes we have to allow a problem to slide to the top of our priority list, let it stew for a bit, and trust that the answer will bubble up when we least expect it.

My solution if you are curious?  :Seva: For the Heartland

seva


: Seeds :

It has always seemed that a fear of judgment is the mark of guilt and the burden of insecurity-

I ask of you on this lovely May morning – Are you really curious how the next five, ten, fifteen years of your life will look like?

Possibility and wonder flourish in the wide open spaces of uncertainty. If we were absolutely certain about how everything would turn out in our lives, we would have no room to consider what might happen if we choose a different direction, a different path altogether. Imagine how “life” might be like stuck in an endless one-way street, on a set deserted railroad tracks with rails so straight and narrow, we would never be able to see beyond our next step.

When we pause to think about it, like our beautiful lives, a seed is both fragile and dense with endless possibility. Provided with the proper conditions, a tiny seed can grow to be a beautiful tree or a plant that bears yummy fruit, flowers or those things called vegetables! In our hyper connected world it pays to remember that a seed grows at its own pace. For that seed to be its absolute best, it will need plenty of love, compassion, kindness and care.

Friends, we are no different, anticipation of what could be possible, is what makes life exciting. In order to breathe possibility into reality, we need fertile ground, a stable environment and a warm, kind and compassionate heart.

Daily Meditation:

May a dose of uncertainty grace your lives this morning What will become of this seed, your life? Only you possess the magic, that is your frigging awesome life, in the palm of your loving hands.

*It’s good to be back with you, my Dear Readers, after finishing the Citizens Academy of Omaha’s Future last night. There are many stories and new topics to share with you, until then – Take care and be well! And before I forget – Its National Bike Challenge Month!*

CultFit Commute


First Yoga Lesson

“Be a lotus in the pond,” she said, “opening
slowly, no single energy tugging
against another but peacefully,
all together.”

I couldn’t even touch my toes.
“Feel your quadriceps stretching?” she asked.
Well, something was certainly stretching.

Standing impressively upright, she
raised one leg and placed it against
the other, then lifted her arms and
shook her hands like leaves. “Be a tree,” she said.

I lay on the floor, exhausted.
But to be a lotus in the pond
opening slowly, and very slowly rising–
that I could do.

Mary Oliver

CultFit Tree


The Telephone

In the old days telephones were made of
rhinoceros tusk and were big and heavy enough
to be used to fight off an intruder. The telephone
had a special place in the front hallway, a shrine
built into the wall, a niche previously occupied
by the blessed virgin, and when the phone
rang it was serious business. “Hello.” “One if
by land and two if by sea.” “What?” “Unto you
a child is born.” “What?” “What did he say?”
“Something about the Chalmers’ barn.” The
voice was carried by a single strand of bare wire
running from coast to coast, wrapped around a
Coke bottle stuck on a tree branch, dipping low
over the swamp, it was the party line, all your
neighbors in a row, out one ear and in another.
“We have a bad connection, I’m having trouble
understanding you.”

Nowadays telephones are made of recycled
plastic bags and have multiplied to the point
where they have become a major nuisance.
The point might ring at you from anywhere, the
car, the bathroom, under the couch cushions…
Everyone hates the telephone. No one uses the
telephone anymore so telephones, out of habit
or boredom or loneliness perhaps, call one
another. “Please leave a message at the tone.”
“I’m sorry, this is a courtesy call. We’ll call back at
a more convenient time. There is no message.”

–  Louis Jenkins

CultFit Old


Día de la Tierra

God wanted to make heaven and the earth is that heaven. Nowhere in the universe there is so much love, life, beauty and peace. Enjoy your stay with the fellow beings-

Its Earth Day/Week\Weekend once again, which can only mean that it is time for a torrent of pecksniffian-esque blog posts and woefully self-serving “talk” beating us upside the head with the benefits of green living. Plant a tree, maybe two? Recycle this and that, munch on some kale and drive a Prius. Lament about our filthy ways, buy an Earth-friendly yoga mat and a 100% recycled content bicycle saddle. Peruse green-themed cycling and yoga magazines, grow your own “herbs“, and swap the old light-bulbs, (that work perfectly fine) for the energy-saving ones because the government said we had to.

With the infinite amount of environmental issues confronting our beautiful planet: Global warming, the increasingly trash filled oceans, deforestation of the Amazon Forest, Monsanto and our insistent overuse of pesticides and herbicides? There are far-reaching global issues for us all to feel terrible about.

I spend a lot, and I mean a lot of time riding dusty gravel roads in and alongside the farmlands here in Nebraska. Nothing troubles me more than seeing the signage of a freshly sprayed field with pesticide and herbicide. Pausing for a moment, beer cans and trash bother me more, but this is a rant for another day. From my humble perspective, these “global” issues seem far too vast even to wrap my simple mind around, much less address and take action on. Its only when we, you and I, pause for a fleeting moment during Earth Day/Week\Weekend long enough to acknowledge the scale of these problems and how long it might take, to take meaningful action. I get discouraged, if not pissed off lamenting these global “problems,” and nothing pisses me off more than seeing Natural Ice beer cans strewn along a 100 mile stretch of gravel road(s).

Allow me if you may, to turn my frustration over to the beautiful and inspiring poet William Blake. Blake once remarked: Don’t think big, think small in his Auguries of Innocence. William Blake goes on to eloquently write that the ability “To see the world in a grain of sand, And Heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour.”

It only takes a moment, a deep breath, a gentle heartbeat during one of these rides for me to shift my attention to a simple grain of gravel on the road or a single Black Eyed Susan sprouting in a nearby field. If I look at a kernel of corn in the palm of my hand, snap another bite of a freshly picked wild apple. If I really pay attention to the parts of the world that are right in front of me, right now? I eventually witness everything I was meant to see.

Daily Meditation:

Earth Day Omaha

Do something small with me this Earth Day/Week\Weekend. Over time? These small actions grow into something amazing! If you are curious about my “small” project? Please feel free to contact me/leave a comment and I will be more than happy to share. Take care and have a wonderful weekend!

CultFit Earth


For What Binds Us

There are names for what binds us:
strong forces, weak forces.
Look around, you can see them:
the skin that forms in a half-empty cup,
nails rusting into the places they join,
joints dovetailed on their own weight.
The way things stay so solidly
wherever they’ve been set down—
and gravity, scientists say, is weak.

And see how the flesh grows back
across a wound, with a great vehemence,
more strong
than the simple, untested surface before.
There’s a name for it on horses,
when it comes back darker and raised: proud flesh,

as all flesh
is proud of its wounds, wears them
as honors given out after battle,
small triumphs pinned to the chest—

And when two people have loved each other
see how it is like a
scar between their bodies,
stronger, darker, and proud;
how the black cord makes of them a single fabric
that nothing can tear or mend.

– Jane Hirshfield

CultFit Swing


One Piece at a : Time :

All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything-

Awakening experiences in life, are truly positive experiences. Personally and more recently, the Citizens Academy for Omaha’s Future has been an overwhelmingly positive experience for me. Awakening experiences and moments in this thing called “life” are when we perceive reality with a heightened intensity, when a powerful sense of inner well-being – resonates deeply. When we experience a sense of connection and meaning to so many “things” … Even while sitting in a three-hour class where the topic of discussion is community planning. My question through three classes is prolix in nature: Why are these awakening and positive experiences immensely stressful?

Revealing a more nuanced side of myself to you this lovely Spring morning – Let’s discuss attachment. I am physically, spiritually and emotionally attached to a large number of “things“, such as my hopes and ambitions for the future of our community, my beliefs and ideas about compassion, Seva, kindness, life and this amazing planet we call home. I’m attached to the knowledge and education I have accumulated, my physical body, and achievements. At the same time Dear Friends, there are more tangible attachments that have far too much influence on me – possessions, my career etc. These are the building blocks of my ego.

I feel that I am “someone” because I have hopes, beliefs, a job, possessions and because other people prop me up with false approval. Which is why I am so awkward to be around when I have to talk about myself in front of others. I’m torn between revealing my true self and what others, society expects of me.

In these moments of despair, my spirit becomes broken. My sense of identity slowly falls away. My passion(s) in life are revealed as illusions; my possessions and status have been taken away in a few awkward moments, I feel vulnerable, stressed and adrift.

Daily Meditation:

After three weeks of participation in the Citizens Academy for Omaha’s Future and after much thought about my personal attachments, there is a renewed sense of clarity and openness inside me. I am starting to feel a tremendous sense of well-being and energy, now that my outward energy is no longer consumed by maintaining these “attachments“.

To review the convoluted mumbo-jumbo above (I sincerely appreciate your patience in making it this far into the post) – When we surrender to One-ness, choosing to toss aside “I-ness” and “Me-ness”  Some amazing things start to happen! Just a humble thought to digest as we head gently into the weekend – Take care and be well!

CultFit Field


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