Posted: May 26, 2015 Filed under: Kindness, Meditation, Mindfulness, Yoga | Tags: blogging, Body Image, compassion, Compitition, cycling, happiness, health, kindness, life, love, lululemon, marathon, meditation, Mindfulness, motivation, natural, nature, Omaha, passion, pilates, running, Seva, trail running, writing, yoga, Zen
Gaze into the fire, into the clouds, and as soon as the inner voices begin to speak… surrender to them. Don’t ask first whether it’s permitted, or would please your teachers or father or some god. You will ruin yourself if you do that-
There are many misconceptions about the role “results” play in achieving our goals (whatever they may be.)
We should define a couple of words before we move on – outcome and process. An outcome is centered on results, beating others and posting it on social media. A process involves focusing on what we need to do perform our very best, such as how we prepare and nurture our souls, training, or even practicing mindfulness. Notice how an outcome is focused on “things” outside of you. While in contrast, a process is focused entirely on you?
Most of us think that (myself included at times), in order to get the results we want, we need to focus on those results. Wanna get better at yoga? Gotta be more flexible! Loose a few pounds before summer begins … When does the outcome of a competition occur? At the end of course. If we become obsessed on the outcome, we are not focused on the process – What we need to do to perform our best from the start to the finish. What makes you nervous before yoga class or a big ride, the process or the outcome? It’s the outcome, and more specifically, a bad outcome such as not performing well or tumbling over trying to reach your “peak” pose. When we focus on the outcome, we are far less likely to get the outcome we want.
When we pause to focus on the process, we increase the chances of achieving the results we so richly deserve.
Sometimes, I can’t shift my heart from the outcome to process, the best thing I can do when this happens, is to get out of my mind completely. In other words, I go for an early morning walk, bike ride, or like yesterday morning – yoga practice in a quiet park. These moments gently take me from thinking about the outcome to, feeling the process.
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 …
Posted: November 14, 2014 Filed under: Kindness, Meditation, Yoga | Tags: blogging, compassion, cycling, Cyclocross, exercise, free range, freshly pressed, happiness, health, hope, Intention, Iowa, Iowa City, Jingle Cross, kindness, life, love, marathon, meditation, motivation, musings, natural, nature, Omaha, Omaha Bike Co, passion, perspective, pilates, running, trail running, weekend, writing, yoga
It is more Important to be of pure intention than of perfect action-
Its moments before the gentle warmth of the Sun breaks the horizon on a chilly Friday morning in eastern Nebraska. With a 90% chance of snow tomorrow and a daytime high of 20 expected this Sunday in Iowa City, IA. Perfect racing conditions for Jingle Cross if you ask me. Although, its only Friday … Why are our minds racing towards the weekend?
Raising my chapped hand awkwardly in the air – I fully admit that daydreaming about the weekend is a supernatural delight, constantly peering off into the future to escape events that happened in the past. I’m feeling warm and bright right now thinking about racing in freshly fallen snow this coming Sunday. Pausing mid sip to reflect … I spent the past few days lamenting about my lack of “training” last weekend and the last couple of days endlessly checking the weather for the upcoming weekend. Simply put (because I’m a simple dude): I actively sacrificed being this week to fleeting memories, events that have already happened, and fantasies of how “things” might unfold three days and three hours away in Iowa.
The most memorable races, the most memorable “things” in life, are rarely those that have been planned in advance. They are usually formulated over a few adult beverages with close friends late one evening in August, where we meet the moment without any preconditions or expectations and simply surrender to being. Savoring each and every moment that comes our way.
Take care this morning and please be well!
*Big Thank You to the fine folks at Omaha Bicycle Co. and Endless Bike Company for keeping me prepared this late into the cycling season – Thank you!*