Posted: March 11, 2015 Filed under: Kindness, Meditation, Yoga | Tags: Body Image, Commuting, compassion, cycling, happiness, health, hipster, Identity, kindness, life, love, lululemon, meditation, motivation, nature, Omaha, pilates, running, trail running, yoga, Zen
There are some questions that shouldn’t be asked until a person is mature enough to appreciate the answers-
We are made up of many “things,” so are our handy gadgets, fancy cars, spiffy shoes, colorful yoga mats and ridiculously expensive bikes – A bunch of cells and molecules blended craftily together. If there’s a major distinction to be pointed out between us and these cherished inanimate objects, it’s that we tactile beings are blessed with the ability to feel our emotions and to communicate them to others. Or do we?!?
While we have the ability to express our emotions to others, sometimes – most of the time, we don’t always do it when we desperately need to. It’s important to pause and ask why every once in a while. As you may have noticed in my recent posts, I have been asking myself “why” quite a bit of late. I do so because we live in social media/hyper connected world that tells us, don’t feel upset,” or don’t feel sad, don’t worry, and to “Be brave and stand tall” when adversity graces our lives. It’s also important to remember that the world we live in has a double-edge sword, waiting patiently to chop our heads off when our emotions sway the opposite direction, when we boast and brag about a new gadget, personal best and buying a new bike. The net result of all of “this,” is one sad but brutally true underlying message – Stop being and don’t feel anything.
My posts of late have been painfully tedious for one important reason: I’m starting to make a habit of honoring myself and you, each and every day. One last question before we part ways this morning: Before you click “publish, “like” or post anything online … Is there a moment where you think about the ramifications of your action(s), a moment where you stop being and fail to feel anything?!?
Posted: February 17, 2015 Filed under: Kindness, Meditation, Yoga | Tags: blogging, Buddhism, compassion, cycling, family, freshly pressed, happiness, health, hipster, kindness, life, love, lululemon, meditation, nature, passion, running, writing, yoga, Zen
The truth knocks on the door and you say, “Go away, I’m looking for the truth,” and so it goes away. Puzzling-
Meditation is like that. Full of seemingly impossible contradictions! Meditation is tedious and difficult to write about given our connected-analytic nature. Meditation is much easier to explain to someone who habitually thinks poetically. Like the inspired yoga instructor who creates a magical flowing class off the top of their head, or the mountain biker who flows with little effort on tight single-track. Meditation, my kind of Meditation that is … Centers on expanding our logical thinking into poetic and logical thinking. Still with me?!?
How then do we tap into being both a logical thinker, in addition, to being a poetic thinker? This is the essential transformation that a deeply rooted Meditation-Mindfulness practice teaches us.
Allow me to change logical thinker and poetic thinker into – Mind and Heart.
A few years ago, I decided to attend a local workshop and “learn” to meditate. The plan was to attend this workshop, receive a mantra or whatever and instantly become healthier, increase my focus, and calm my crazy mind in like, 13 1/2 minutes of practice twice a day. That was the promise printed on the meditation workshop website. I was “that dude” at the time before tearing my knees apart. An over-achieving runner, and I prided myself on the hard, mindless work I put in daily. Maybe this mindfulness meditation stuff would help me compete at a higher level?!?
On the day of the workshop, as I signed in and unfolded my freezing yoga mat in the picturesque studio, something began to stir within my mind and heart. I had a warm sense of excitement and anticipation that quite surprised me. I literally had no idea what to expect from this class, however in some “weird” way, I resonated with the people who were presenting the workshop and my fellow class mates – Each one of them had a sense of calm that was palpable and real. I listened attentively to their words and the stories they shared, but it was something far beyond the resonating words that was connecting with me, stirring my soul. It’s as though I had passed through a doorway into a serene, peaceful place where my heart expanded and connected to world spinning around me.
This was the first time that I had an awareness of my mind, separate from the peaceful part of my heart.
There are two ways of experiencing Mindfulness … Mind and Heart.
Posted: December 9, 2014 Filed under: Kindness, Meditation, Yoga | Tags: Bliss, blogging, Body Image, Buddhism, compassion, cycling, exercise, family, fitness, freshly pressed, gratitude, happiness, health, holidays, hope, kindness, life, love, lululemon, marathon, meditation, Mindfulness, Omaha, passion, pilates, Self-love, Solitude, winter, yoga, Zen
Solitude is fine but you need someone to tell that solitude is fine.-
When I became chronically “injured” over five years ago, I was forced to trade the exciting life of an aspiring athlete for the isolation of my own mind … The loneliness was dense, palpable at times, it was hard to distinguish between the injury I was struggling through at the time and the loneliness that gripped me all of the time.
Back in the wonder years, I found being alone anything but glorious, and far from being soothing. It wasn’t even remotely sweet and delicious. Although, a close friends advice that yoga was what I needed - planted a delicate seed in my mind, and so I began to explore the meaning of “being alone.” I realized early on that being alone on my mat, in and of itself, is neither positive nor negative. This profound feedback described a good portion of my life trying to be someone who I was not – The painful loneliness of striving to be better than the person next me on the starting line or the glorious solitude of going home broken and empty-handed.
The spiritual manifestation of yoga (not to be confused with the physical) and a deeply rooted mindfulness “practice” showed me that if I could let go of the desire to win at all costs, I might be able to open my heart and soul to the possibility that life could be sweet, maybe even delicious?!? I gradually warmed to the quiet calm of my mind, mindfully following my breath entering and leaving my body. My powers of observation, began to bloom – noting the subtle details swirling around me, details that in the past – Escaped me, like the play of sunlight reflecting from the metallic rims on the road as I cycle along or leaves dancing carelessly in the air on a windy fall morning.
Once I opened my heart and soul to being alone, my loneliness did become sweet and delicious. And some days, when all is calm, it’s even beautiful. Cultivating self-compassion more so than anything else, softens my loneliness and pain, which in turn makes me smile.
Rachelle, Jeff, Cheryl – Sandra, Jim, Katelon, Alyssa, Susie – Michelle, Sara and Maia. To all of you who have “followed” my ramblings from the beginning – My sincerest gratitude for your kindness and support. There truly is no way I can accurately put into words how much you have helped me – Thank you.
Posted: December 5, 2014 Filed under: Kindness, Meditation, Yoga | Tags: Advent, blogging, Body Image, compassion, cycling, exercise, family, free range, freshly pressed, gluten free, happiness, health, hipster, holidays, hope, kettlebell, kindness, life, love, lululemon, marathon, meditation, Mindfulness, motivation, musings, natural, nature, Omaha, passion, perspective, pilates, running, trail running, Truth, weekend, writing, yoga
The two hardest tests on the spiritual road are the patience to wait for the right moment and the courage not to be disappointed with what we encounter-
Yup, Gotcha! Seriously I already know patience is totally valuable for dealing with the long lines this time of the year, soccer moms searching for the one true parking spot at the mall, or interacting with “disagreeable” folks ordering a coffee. Seriously! I’m keenly aware that true inner change takes time, and why am I becoming frustrated talking about impatience?!? Oh – Maybe it has something to do with not seeing the instant results we desire in life?
My lack of patience stems from a false sense of belief about myself. I think I should be able to handle everything in the world, myself. I think there is only one way to achieve my goals and when “things” don’t quite work out? … I become increasing impatient.
I try so hard not to get discouraged when my progress is slow.
True change takes times.
I am gently walking my path to recovery from bad habits that have defined me for a better part of my life. I’ve come so far, there’s no way I can quit right now!
If we foster and nurture patience, if we can wait for ourselves to arrive in this inspiring moment, anything can happen.
Posted: December 3, 2014 Filed under: Kindness, Meditation, Yoga | Tags: Bad Religion, Bliss, Buddhism, compassion, cycling, family, fitness, free range, gluten free, gratitude, happiness, health, hipster, kindness, life, lululemon, marathon, meditation, Mindfulness, motivation, natural, nature, nebraska, Omaha, passion, pilates, running, time, trail running, winter, writing, yoga, Zen
Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana-
Often, in our self-absorbed naiveté, we believe time to be infinite in nature. Oddly enough, time as we are experiencing it, right now in this wonderful moment … Is the one “thing” in our lives of which we can be absolutely certain of (I am deeply grateful for you being here with me right now). Why then, do we insist on spending our precious time consumed with how many followers we have on WordPress, or perusing the latest “Likes” on FaceTube, rather than being engaged in our lives?
The past few weeks I have been paying more attention to the virtual world, instead of the real world. Rather than being fully engaged in the fleeting moments before me, moments that, for their own nuanced reasons, are even more precious than most. A none too subtle slap upside my head brought me back in time, and this abrupt moment prompted me to begin thinking about just how much distraction we volunteer for on a daily basis, and how much it impacts what we have come to consider “meaningful” in our lives.
The end result of my introspection is a simple question I often fail to ask when I’m distracted – “What’s important in this beautiful moment?!?”
The scrambled priority of our lives keeps us from savoring each sip of our morning coffee, or enjoying conversation with a dear friend, or going for an early ride/walk/hike and enjoying the sun rising gently on the horizon.
… The view that we no longer notice.
Posted: December 1, 2014 Filed under: Kindness, Meditation, Yoga | Tags: blogging, compassion, cycling, exercise, family, fitness, free range, freshly pressed, gluten free, gratitude, happiness, health, hipster, kindness, life, love, lululemon, marathon, meditation, Mindfulness, motivation, musings, Namaste, natural, nature, Omaha, passion, perspective, pilates, running, trail running, writing, yoga
At the end of the day, let there be no excuses, no explanations, no regrets-
Is it safe to say, given the byzantine nature of modern life, that most of us would admit that we could put gratitude into practice more in our own lives?
I still find myself handing out kindness and gratitude without acknowledging the what and why behind my actions. I fail to ignite a feeling of gratefulness within my heart that will ultimately burn into my memory … That this is no ordinary place or period in time – but rather a valuable one. Enriching our acts of “Thanks” – “Gracias” – “Namaste” with feelings of gratitude only serves to deepen our connections moving forward. I have been stuck in “Automatic Politeness” mode for the better part of the year, and I feel its time to put more meaning behind my actions, and deepen my presence in the world.
*BREAKING NEWS* – The Holidays are about to speed our lives up by adding “things” to our already overflowing to-do lists, this is precisely the time to slow down and savor the important moments in life, instead of expanding my holiday shopping list while saying “Namaste” at the end of yoga class.
Posted: November 18, 2014 Filed under: Kindness, Meditation, Yoga | Tags: Bliss, blogging, Body Image, coffee, compassion, Conversation, cycling, exercise, family, fitness, free range, freshly pressed, gluten free, happiness, healing, health, hipster, hope, kindness, life, love, lululemon, marathon, meditation, Mornings, motivation, musings, natural, nature, nebraska, Omaha, paleo, passion, pilates, running, whole foods, yoga
The battle you are going through is not fueled by the words or actions of others; it is fueled by the mind that gives it importance-
I was speaking with a close friend this past weekend and he asked me – quite bluntly like most dudes do, what change(s) since I ended the “reign of terror” on my body had the greatest impact on my being able to “compete” again? <– whatever this means. He waited patiently for me to share my “bad-ass” – “hardcore” training plan with him as we sipped our coffee during a frigid mid ride stop … The answer he eagerly awaited never arrived. As many of my longtime readers may know, the change(s) I made in my life were due in part to neglecting and abusing my body for many years. Moving on, after a long awkward pause I finally answered his question: I get up at 4 a.m. – Every single day. His response, in typical dude fashion was: “Why?!?” – Why wake at four in the morning?
I simply, love waking up early. I get to be myself before the little one wakes up for the day. It’s peaceful early in the morning, and the world awakening around me feels calm and serene. The subtle gift of time speaks to my soul. You have to meet yourself there, early one morning to experience it – Dude.
We fail to realize the rejuvenate energy given to us in the morning as we rush straight through it – Rushing to the gym to count reps mindlessly, updating our social status to let the world know we attended a 5:30 am yoga class. Such is the ebb and flow of life …