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?!?
Surrender to the moment, to comfort, to serenity. The damage is done, time to move on – peacefully.
Habit is the intersection of knowledge (what to do), skill (how to do), and desire (want to do)-
It seems that in today’s world we have the freedom to pick and choose form a potpourri basket of interests …
“Check it out! I’m like totally doing this 30 day paleo, meditation, yoga, power walking, green smoothie, smiling at strangers, whole body cleanse thing! Just read about this push up challenge and hill sprint interval thing as well!”
Why do we choose to pursue a wide variety of “things” simultaneously and figure out how to do these “things” in a way and on a level that is average at best?
“My friend and I had a great workout at the box yesterday! 5 rounds of: 15 push ups – 15 jumping jacks – 15 sit ups – 15 walls balls and a 400m run. I still need to work on my push ups though, three years now and they are still pretty sloppy.”
Whatever happened to developing a deep knowledge base, knowing information (not stored on a gadget) and total devotion to the pursuit of mastery in a single field?
“I forget what my split times are in the pool but I’m thinking if I can work on my transition more it should make up for my poor swimming performance … Maybe?!?”
Are we afraid as a society to endure the intense work, discipline and willingness it takes to master a selected discipline? Are we afraid to embrace the risk needed to walk away from merely being “average” in the name of becoming extraordinary at one?
“It’s the same during every century ride: Chum it up with the guys for the first few miles, then I ride alone for the remainder of the time, lost in my thoughts, worried about “something”? I suppose it’s the 8am yoga class tomorrow and the 5k at noon?!?”
Yearn for the sense of intensity, focus and intrinsic reward that comes from the single-minded quest to master a particular body of knowledge: Yoga, mediation, martial arts, relationship(s), life etc. Radiate the pure energy and passionate spirit that comes not only from having attained mastery, but from simply being in the process of mastery. The secret Dear Reader lies here in the process of seeking mastery, this is where we find awareness, comfort, stillness, joy, harmony and balance.
Do you, deep down inside, feel satisfied knowing that you are merely pretty decent at a bunch of “things”, but not exceptional at any?
We can only evolve so far sitting still in comfort-
Take a gentle moment to close your eyes and observe the thoughts that arise within your mind. You don’t have to share what popped up although chances are, your mind either brought up something from the past or moved into the future. More times than not, this mental commentary is a constant distraction that keeps us from focusing on the here and now.
As we begin to slow down in this hectic world, our mind quiets down and begins the slow process of focusing on one thing: Now. In the present moment there are no marathons in two weeks, parent teacher conference in two days, fear of failure, or anxiety prior to showing up to the big event. These “things” are the direct result of our mind endlessly sliding from the past into the future.
When we settle into stillness and embrace the life in front of us right now, our fears and worries dissolve.
A simple Walk, nothing more.
The greatest gift of stillness comes when we’re able to maintain this present moment. Just something to ponder whilst taking a self-shoot of yourself, in the bathroom, after blasting your abs at the gym …
Seven attitudinal factors constitute the major pillars of mindfulness practice: They are non-judging, patience, a beginner’s mind, trust, non-striving, acceptance, and letting go-
Day after day in my blog-o-thing reader, I read stories from passionate men and women who have been neglecting their bodies. They lead the lives of a secret double agent, as they try to hide the pain from themselves and from others close by who love them. They go through heart wrenching injuries, blog about said injuries, all the while inflicting tremendous pain on their children, friends and family. Or they try to make a desperate, tear filled, heartless effort at holding on to the shreds of a life they had before they kept re-injuring themselves.
They tell stories dutifully detailing the pain they have gone through for a quick thrill, a medal and a t-shirt or a furtive moment of being superior to their peers. Oftentimes they lament not remembering making the decisions that tore apart their knee, their back, their life: “It just happened …“.
It’s easy to judge from the outside looking in on this madness. How could someone risk everything in life, for what really?
Our signature Workout. The perfect fusion of body weight work, breathing control and being present in every moment.
One Minute Hand Stand Hold
One Minute High Push Up Plank
How many times through is up to you?!?
I want to spend the rest of this week talking about three, immensely powerful words: Stillness, Awareness and Comfort. It really has taken two years and 600 posts to come up with just three words. STILLNESS, AWARENESS and COMFORT… Something to think about this evening as you take pictures of your feet, while resting an icepack on your sore knee.