Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change-
The first step on this “journey” of mine, was simply getting to know myself once again.
Before I competed in my first Gravel Worlds, I focused on “building strength” and training for the rigors of a 150+ miles gravel ride. A little over three years ago, I was struggling post surgery to get back into my cycling groove, needless to say I felt rather unprepared and woefully out-of-place. The week leading up to the chilly predawn start just outside Lincoln, Nebraska, I tried to imagine all the possible situations and challenges I could, and would encounter, and the associated mindset(s) I needed to adapt to them. I did not realize during the moment, that in doing so, I inadvertently found myself focusing on my true inner weaknesses – on the things that I need to improve, and on the behaviors that have eluded me for so long, that I pushed aside to compete, that did not come naturally to me … Anymore. Shortly after an early August rain shower, and two punctures, I quickly realized that I can allow myself to feel confident about my ability to deal with what the road had in store for me, for my life. Albeit not the strengths the stereotypical Lycra clad/carbon fiber cyclist, a little smile here and there, and a deeply rooted sense of humor kept two wheels up and spinning along into the evening.
Quiet simply, being yourself, being authentic – Is pretty inspiring!
There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors-
Recently I have been reading some old posts and drafts that were never tidied up, and there is one in particular, I would like to share with you again … When the time is right. At the time I was still exploring and awaking to my true path in life. I was crass and rude then, cocksure and quite frankly – mean-spirited. Competition and ego oozed from my pours, and I was not a very pleasant person to be around.
Life has thrown me a series of off speed pitches of late, thank you for understanding the lack of posts and my absence. I hope each one of you reading this morning has a wonderful weekend – Take care and be well!
In Manhattan, I learned a public kindness
was a triumph
over the push of money, the constrictions
of fear. If it occurred it came
from some deep
primal memory, almost entirely lost—
Here, let me help you, then you me,
otherwise we’ll die.
Which is why I love the weather
in Minnesota, every winter kindness
to obvious self-interest,
thus so many kindnesses
when you need them;
praise blizzards, praise the cold.
There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up-
What is the secret formula that can provide us with a long and fulfilling life? Most of the nauseating advice we are bombarded with is formulated around living a “healthy lifestyle” (<- whatever this is), leading to assumptions that center primarily on the physical aspects of this thing called life.
“Eat your cauliflower!” “Drink your coconut water!” “Run, walk, cycle, sex, yoga and drink red wine!” Say the experts, and you wonder why our culture is brimming with anxiety! Gotta do this, and we gotta do that if we want to live a long prosperous life! Gotta browse LivingSocial for the best yoga deals, shop organic and eat gluten-free – even if we don’t have Celiac disease. Most of our effort is done with variable success and the predictable stress is eagerly awaiting us around each corner.
How can we feel better about ourselves, boost our confidence naturally and build true inner peace? :Generosity: The quality of being kind, practicing selflessness and understanding, the willingness to give to those in our lives “things” that have value. Generosity is a spiritual principle that provides us with the key to leading a happy and healthy life.
Generosity is a natural (organic – ha!) confidence builder. Generosity acts as a shield against self-hatred and anxiety. By focusing on what we are giving, rather than what we are receiving, we cultivate and nurture a more outward orientation toward the world, shifting the focus away from our physical selves, onto something deeper, something that has a far greater impact on our daily lives.
Each beautiful morning life presents us with a handful of opportunities to be generous; through embracing generosity (not cauliflower, not coconut water, not even gluten-free bread), we can do ourselves and those around us a world of good.
I am deeply grateful to each of you reading today – Take care and be well.
Even chance meetings are the result of karma… Things in life are fated by our previous lives. That even in the smallest events there’s no such thing as coincidence–
Its a beautiful morning and the perfect time to discuss karma.
I often hear from different folks (I personally contemplate these thoughts as well) who want to know why they are struggling, when others are not (running specific this morning). The vast majority of them think their training/performance is some sort of “karmic retribution” for a fleeting, bad action in the past – Heaven forbid we eat three pieces of wedding cake the day before a race! Fast forward to limping across the finish line, emotional and sick because “bad karma” doomed them to suffer from the very start.
This next bit is a memo to myself: The simple truth about Karma? Karma is about the nature of our intentions, our intentions in this very moment.
When we respond to our intention and action(s), with kindness, compassion, and generosity? We are planting the seeds of change, slowly blossoming into someone who is kind, compassionate, and generous. We are defining our character, which in turn has a pretty cool effect on the world around us.
The teachings of Buddha in regards to karma can be life changing. Each one of us posses the ability to change ourselves no matter how ingrained our habits may be, even blaming a poor performance on wedding cake. As some wise dude once said: “Intending, one does karma.”
I know you’re tired but come, this is the way-
Moment of unfettered honesty: Writing and discussing the concepts of Seva, Karma Yoga, Mindfulness and Meditation are seemingly tedious and self-serving. I acknowledged and respect, that I have ‘turned off’ and alienated many of you taking the time to read today, talking about “New Age” voodoo bullsh!t.
It occurred to me recently, standing in line at Whole Foods, scanning the trendy magazines, as I placed a pound and a half of ground buffalo on the conveyor … How I noticeably cringe at the idea of sounding –New Age- Spiritual – Holistic – Whatever. I noticed how hard I work not to be seen as “Whatever” in any way.
The “thing” is, I know what I dislike about the “Whatever” stereotype(s) – it’s not the practice or the flavor of the month yoga asanas that are being taught – but how they are being presented to us. Take a look around you at the natural foods store.
Why is our culture obsessed with outward actions instead of using “Whatever” as a framework of inward exploration? I recall a conversation before yoga class and hearing a fellow class member saying, “I always wanted to learn how to meditate and now that “society” thinks it’s okay – I’m going to do it.”
These twenty words made me pause and think, how the setting within which we are exposed to “something” can be both deterring and supportive, and the way in which we are exposed plays an important role.
There is “Whatever” for everyone.
Seva, Karma Yoga, Mindfulness and Meditation provide a means for myself to investigate my mind, maybe “Whatever” then, is perhaps, something each one of us can benefit from in this “vanity clad” oriented culture we marinate ourselves in.