I paint the spirit and soul of what I see-
Do you recall drawing growing up? A pair of stick figures going for a pleasant bike ride, some puffy clouds and a brilliant sun overhead. Curved lines of a peaceful tree that punctuate the landscape, elevating from the ground, spreading into the unknown. Our childhood drawings were pure, innocent and beautiful. There is something truly magical about drawing and trees – They are, in fact, symbols of our soul.
Trees at times, can be dark and ominous. They cast a long suffocating shadow when we stray close enough. During the winter months, their barren, bleak blackness marks them against gray skies and freshly fallen snow. Tress are survivors of winter, and we would be wise to learn from them.
Trees are, after all, capable of heavenly feats, perhaps trees are more in tune with their true spirit than we are?
Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing-
Raise your hand if you consider yourself to be a perfectionist? Good. Now keep your hand raised if you expect those around you to follow in your footsteps?
This past Saturday morning during a powerful yoga class, I made a series of mistakes, and I want to share with you in this brief post – What a relief it is to make a mistake without belittling yourself. Without a doubt, I want to do the very best I can, but expecting myself or anyone else to achieve perfection is unrealistic and a denial of my true spirit. Accepting my many “imperfections” does not mean I can allow myself to become unfocused during yoga class or life for that matter, but rather that we can set realistic goals for ourselves.
I don’t have to be perfect to smile and enjoy life, and as a wise yoga instructor once said during class – Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.
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.
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.
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!
“Yes no yes no yes no?
Yes red, no blue?
No red, yes no?
In out, up down?
Do don’t, can can’t?
Choices sit on the shelf life
New shoes in a shoe shop.
If the in crowd are squeezing into a must-have shoe
And the one pair left are too tiny for you
Don’t feel compelled into choosing them
If you’re really a size 9, buy that size.
While everyone else
Hobbles round with sore feet
Your choices should feel comfortable
Or they aren’t your choices at all.
Why limp when you can sprint?”
– David Baird, Fiesta of Happiness: Be True to Yourself
May I ask you once more? In a deeper, more personal way … Why limp through the day, when you can sprint?
It is better to be alone than in bad company-
*The following post stems from a conversation I had this weekend with a close friend and mentor. Our discussion, wide-ranging as usual, started before yoga class this past Saturday morning. We both overheard a young couple talking about the tragic events at a X-Fit competition earlier in the week, five minutes before our class started … *
Why do we work out and consciously choose to abuse our bodies? Seriously, why do WE work out and choose to surround ourselves in an atmosphere that rewards, thrives on pain and punishment ? Why do we choose to persistently neglect and abuse our body, mind and spirit?
As I started to peel back the musty curtains hanging around my true self, my mind and heart finally (after 30+ years of abuse) awakened to the source of all the change and success I choose to ignore before. I stumbled upon a little known fact, that I simply choose to ignore for far too long:
We have to create Self Love.
It’s that simple folks, no yoga teacher in the world can do this for you, nor will competing in vain competitions. Your spouse may try to, and your friends may try even harder. No one can awaken you to loving yourself!
When did we stop honoring who we really? When did we stop honoring our feelings, and responding openly to these feelings? When did we forget that feelings are important signals to tune into? Even feelings of anger, pain and fear serve an important purpose of alerting us to the obstacles that may lie ahead on our path, if we keep neglecting the honest truth.
Believe me I know, it’s a tough choice each one of us has to make: Talking about our most vulnerable personal feelings or how sore and bad ass we feel after a killer yoga class – dude.
After much thought, and a few sips of coffee, I have finally reached an understanding as to why I have limitations in my life …
I honor my body, mind and spirit.
There is no intensity of love or feeling that does not involve the risk of crippling hurt. It is a duty to take this risk, to love and feel without defense or reserve-
Avoidance of any kind of risk, big or small, is a byproduct of our fear of the unknown and needless to say: This avoidance of fear will lead to a very bland, uneventful life. Bangers and mash anyone, anyone? If we never took risks, you can rest assured that the blog posts we are reading this morning would not be Draconian in nature. No “second thoughts” before the big event tomorrow morning or lamenting nauseously about getting injured, again. By taking a risk, we embrace the courage of doing something we have never done before, even if it makes us look goofy, takes us out of our normal comfort zone and pushes back the boundaries society has firmly placed on us. Exploring the unknown, the sense of accomplishment and determination to push harder are all “things” that come as a direct result of having courage, taking risks in our daily life.
Courage generously gives us the willingness to explore and deal with the changes and challenges that will come our way. Having read this little bit, I implore you to go back and re-read the post from Wednesday, in a new light.
If you take the time to look around yourself this weekend, noticing what others have attained and wishing that you had the same? This mental foreplay you are experiencing provocatively shows you that you can create this same reality for yourself. Each one of us has the incredible ability, deep inside us, to create real lasting change in our lives. It takes infinite amounts of courage and determination, its hard although once we embrace these driving forces? We can change and we will change.
During your weekend run, bike ride, yoga class or even your 6am TRX class. Chase away the doubts in your mind and live the life, as you have created, as you imagined.
Whichever of the two occurs, be patient-
I wanted to write about self-confidence tonight …
Self confidence is the key to happiness in our lifetimes. Not self-confidence in a vain sense (think clichéd Facebook bathroom self portraits), but trusting and loving ourselves as we are. We gain self-confidence as we grow and pass through each stage of life. Having it helps us grow and become better partners, parents, friends, etc. throughout our lives. Trusting ourselves can lead to the fulfillment of dreams.
However when we experience trauma, we can lose our strength in an instant. If that does happen, can we find that lost confidence again? And if so, how?
Regaining confidence is possible but it can be a daunting and slow process. It requires a lot of patience and courage. But the most important aspect of this process is “throwing yourself in the pool.” Facing your fear(s) head on. Taking the risks that you’re most afraid of and hoping for the best. The more that we do every day to chip away at our anxiety, the better we will feel.
Over time, as we practice quieting the little voices in our heads, the ones telling us to succumb to our fears, we become more and more powerful. Even if you’re so lucky as to never experience a huge knock to your self-confidence, exercising your nerve on a daily basis can be extremely beneficial.
Do one thing that challenges you today. Get out of your comfort zone and take the plunge.
A powerful message from a dear friend. Today’s post is the 600th here at CultFit, scary I know! Words fail me when I begin to say how truly humble I am … Thank you, to all of you who have so kindly supported, shaped and contributed to the CultFit madness the prior two years. Be courageous today and please take care.