Don’t waste your time with explanations: people only hear what they want to hear-
Shrouded in our arrogance, we often believe time is never-ending. When in fact, the end of time, or at least this time, this moment as we are experiencing it … Is the one thing in our lives of which we can be absolutely certain of. If I may ask you this morning, why then, do we insist on spending these precious moments consumed with how many followers we have on WordPress, or perusing the trending topics on Reddit, rather than being fully engaged in this amazing moment in our lives?
This morning I woke up earlier than I normally do. I found myself paying more attention to “something” else. Rather than being fully engaged in the fleeting moments lying before me … Moments that, for their own reasons, are even more precious than most … I had my face buried in the screen on my iThingy, lighting up a still dark room. A none too subtle reflection of my enamored face switching between the weather app and the fantasy baseball app, reminded me of unwavering attention to my virtual world, and my increasingly wavering attention to my true self. This moment prompted me to pause, set down my gadget, thinking about just how much distraction we volunteer for in our daily lives, and how much these distractions impact what we have come to consider meaningful in our lives (my fantasy team stinks this season).
Figuring out and deciding what to fill each moment during the day with, is truly, the most challenge part living a life, in the moment.
Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude-
How many times did you notice this weekend your thoughts and emotions going in two different directions?!? A quick show of hands … Cool, we have a few shaky hands poking up in the back of the room.
We often experience this state of mind whilst practicing yoga, running along a scenic trail, holding hands with a loved one. Our burdened mind tells us that we should forgive, let go of these dreary thoughts and be fully present in this beautiful moment. However, our hearts may be holding on to feelings of bias, doubt and not being able to forgive. Our heats long to forgive, although the rancidity of the thoughts tumbling around in our mind keeps bringing up of past wrongdoing(s).
We create our own limitations when we consciously choose not to forgive.
My hope this week is to share with you and shed a little light on the profound idea that forgiving yourself (and others) is a choice, a choice that we control and a choice that will have the most impact on whatever you choose to engage in (yoga, running, loosing a few pounds etc).
Forgiveness is a powerful feeling, even more powerful than your best 5k time. Forgiveness will release you on the “mat“, in “life“.
Some people’s blameless lives are to blame for a good deal-
Self-blame is pernicious. Self-blame amplifies our perceived inadequacies, the weight we gained over the weekend, coming up short during our last marathon. Whether real or imagined, self-blame paralyzes us before we can even begin to step away from the mirror this morning.
Up until the point you decided to open your email and read this post, we have been taught to extend loving-kindness to others. Although we often fail in first extending loving-kindness to ourselves.
The most significant factor contributing to our tired system of self-blame is our failure to recognize our own humanity. From the day we were born, you, me (maybe) are perfect beings. Let’s think about this for a minute … You alone are enough. However, we are very much human beings: Perfect in spirit, yet as we age and experience the word around us, we often dwell in the illusion of our perfectionism, our need to constantly be right and improve on what already was perfect.
When either we or the world we create around us does not live up to our “dreamt up ideal“? We often take on fault and responsibility that is not ours to own or bear. Our failure to recognize the balance of responsibility in any given situation leads us into the trap of misappropriating this responsibility, which can quickly devolve into self-blame.
When we arrive at a point of self-realization, one that allows us to be our true selves, imperfection is no longer an obstacle, imperfection is an opportunity. We only need to open our eyes, our hearts, our spirit to it.
If you walk away from reading today, please – please take note that recognizing you are perfect, just the way you are and that perfection is stunningly imperfect in nature. Matter of fact, perfection is a downright mess, a beautiful mess. Just like your hair when you roll out of bed in the morning.
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 to 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.
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars-
Please take your shoes off before we embark on an early morning Walk and feel free to leave your clichés concerning “pints of green beer that are half-full and half-empty” at the door as well.
Optimism, is a proactive state of mind we often find ourselves in. Optimism is a belief that many of the outcomes we seek in life are indeed within our control. We cannot control all of the outcomes in our daily life although we do enjoy adapting our actions and emotions to reality as they unfold around us.
Pay little attention to the clichés about “positive thinking” as you meander through the rest of your day. Instead, begin to pay keen attention to your: Positive Doing.
For it is in our Positive Doing that we can begin to change the very core of our intention, creativity and reinvention. Oddly enough, positive doing is also a way of capitalizing on ‘Luck‘.
Next week I will be writing (trying to at least) about Yama, Niyama, Pratyahara, Dharana and some other random stuff as well. So your patience as a reader will be on full display, thank you in advance!
While I have your attention, allow me a moment to say to each of you: “Thank you for your continued support of CultFit“.” The early days of blogging here were rather crass and down trodden, not something to look forward to everyday. What many of you have witnessed the prior two years is the gradual acceptance of ‘some dude‘ learning to be at ease and in harmony with himself. Nothing more and nothing less.
We often search for the solutions in our lives through inappropriate means (performing yoga to become flexible or enlightened is but one example). The thought(s) in the post above will resonate deeply next week, so please keep them in mind. Be well this weekend and take care.