Late Summer

Out for a walk tonight,
the dog is throwing all her weight
against the leash, lunging toward
the fat tomcat

licking his black ankles
with a delicious, solemn attention
at the top of the neighbor’s steps.

Because this is what the dog
was made to do.
Because for some lucky animals

the space between the body
and what it wants
is all there is.

– Carrie Fountain

CultFit Summer


: Optimism :

What day is it? “It’s today,” squeaked Piglet. My favorite day,” said Pooh-

My acts, these posts, are not necessarily random but they are based on kindness and service.

Seva, above all else, has been essential for my transformation, personal growth and for tapping into my creativity (little what’s left of it). At every step of my journey I have felt the need to be sharing in some shape or form with you. I have believed from the very first post that it’s important to see that we are all in this together, it’s not about acquiring more stuff or taking care of what you have, it’s about actively contributing to the whole “thing” I like to call Life.

Life, all the beautiful beings we consciously choose to ignore, the furry cute little creatures, plants and even mother earth, we are all in a symbiotic relationship with one another. When we step outside of our ego driven selves to take time to give, to contribute, to listen, to love, to heal, to teach, to be compassionate in our daily action(s) for all forms of life? We are expressing mindful love through Seva. As we take time each and every day to become more mindful of our thoughts, words and actions we begin to take a breath of unfettered mindfulness. This breath allows us to slow down, to pause, to listen and not react to the little things spinning around us or being trampled under foot.

When we act with mindful love guiding ourselves, we bring the best out of those we interact with on a daily basis. Winnie the Pooh once said “Beings are like honey pots, those that get the most mindful attention yield the sweetest of honey.” Action and reaction -aka- the Law of Karma begins and ends with how we mindfully care and love after our own gardens first <— This is critical, and then learning that through Seva, we can bring forth the best in all the beings we live with.

Some, many folks, try to express mindful love through “pay it forward campaigns” – “social media pats on the back” and a “look at my loving attitude,” self-serving way of living. Seva is as simple as sitting down with a friend after yoga class who is going through a difficult time, cleaning out your cluttered closet and giving what you haven’t worn in five years to a local homeless charity, volunteering at a local animal shelter, or working in a food kitchen for a day. If you don’t have time for this? Then maybe consider donating to a charity or organization that makes you smile and your heart gently glow. The Action and Reaction – The Law of Karma – isn’t as important as the feelings of love and kindness behind it. When the right energy is sent with the most humble of gift(s), the world can simply multiply your actions a million times over.

Daily Meditation:

I encourage each and every one of you taking a moment to read this post, to embrace Seva. May kind, and compassionate thoughts spring forth from your heart this weekend – Take care and be well!

CultFit Daff


The Strangers

After we picked you up at the Omaha airport,
we clamped you into a new car seat
and listened to you yowl
beneath the streetlights of Nebraska.

Our hotel suite was plump with toys,
ready, we hoped, to soothe you into America.
But for a solid hour you watched the door,
shrieking, Umma, the Korean word for mother.

Once or twice you glanced back at us
and, in this netherworld where a door home
had slammed shut forever, your terrified eyes
paced between the past and the future.

Umma, you screamed, Umma!
But your foster mother back in Seoul never appeared.

Your new mother and I lay on the bed,
cooing your birth name,
until, at last, you collapsed into our arms.

In time, even terror must yield to sleep.

Patrick Hicks

CultFit Nebraska


: Grounded :

I wanted only to live in accord with the promptings which came from my true self. Why was that so very difficult?-

How do we retain a balanced centre when all the structures we have centered our lives around appear to be falling away? Lately, I have been personally challenged on  multiple fronts: My health, future decisions at work, and at home. In essence – I feel ungrounded.

It is important for me to preface that I had not practiced yoga seriously before, and that I did not understand the benefits a regular practice could afford me. I mention this because I want you to feel that I was, in certain ways, an unlikely candidate to be a “yoga” convert. Nonetheless, I discovered yoga when my friend Rachel instructed me during a physical therapy session (after one of my knee surgeries) to lie on the floor with my legs up against the wall. “Cool Jeremy?!?” she said. “We are going to breathe now.” In breath, I discovered a way to temporarily relieve the nausea like effects of severe pain and frustration, knowing I will never be who I was before. The kind of anxiety that cuts deeply, and shallows your breath.

In the months following surgery and slowly winding down therapy, yoga gifted a pathway for me to experience myself, in my body again. In a rich, inspiring-hued yoga studio, tucked away in West Omaha, lit in the evening with candles, with the sweet scent of Nag Champa dancing through the still air. I learned to stay in the moment, even as I yearned to escape it – To be outside training for the next race.

No matter how hard I tried, I could not escape the memories I associated with the abuse I put myself and those around me through – the warm spring air against my scarred, raw skin. The fact that I was still bruised and bleeding, the pale moonlight that flooded the cool sky at night. I tend to spend a lot of time thinking about the past and a lot of time wondering about the future. It is much more difficult to stay focused on what is happening right now in this beautiful moment. And still, in a pose, a flowing Asana, I could hold on.

The beauty of yoga is, is that it teaches us, that “things” do come to an end. The process of being immersed in a nurturing space and staying with whatever sensations emerge, and seeing how they come to an end is a profound process. To do this day, as I write sitting and standing due to being uncomfortable with my physical self. It has always been a source of shame to me that I have trouble being – Still – Not competing and comparing myself to others. Through yoga, I can express my true self in a good, a cool kind of way (even as a dude), my tense scarred face eases, and my heart feels wonderfully alive as though I could open it to the world, and I would just Stay.

Lying on my wide, worn yoga mat early this past winter, I listened to my favorite instructor explaining the path of enlightenment to our warm class. Knowing the limitations of my own attention span, I don’t know enough about them to try exploring them here, but there was such exquisite beauty in her description of being released, unbound from suffering. My mind was scattered as my body was contorted on the grey mat – The whole of me was trying to emerge in this delicate moment. Like a blank canvas before the inspired artist, at first blank, then a beautiful image tremulously appearing.

What I discovered in me, the blank canvas early one Saturday morning, was enough (I’ll never be truly whole, but enough).

Daily Meditation:

In the years since being introduced to yoga and mindfulness, my practice has ebbed and flowed, in so much that I don’t really practice “yoga” regularly in a studio now – the Asanas. Perhaps I will again soon? Perhaps not  Pausing, on second thought, I sit here smiling, knowing my devotion to yoga with immense gratitude for the true and singular comfort it brought to me. Through all of my suffering, the pain, the loss. It is necessary, to surrender, fully, to the things that sustain ones true spirit.

CultFit Path


: Revisited :

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.

Daily Meditation:

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!

CultFit Wheel


: Eh :

Canada is not the party. Its the apartment above the party-

Everything in our lives ebbs and flows at its own natural speed; when rushed, unpleasant “things” tend to happen. Personal change is most effective when it occurs slowly, allowing our behavior(s) to become automatic, and part of who we truly are.

Daily Meditation:

The rigors of daily life are like a stirred-up lake during a busy mid-week holiday: Allow the wake to calm and the mud will settle, clearing the water, our minds, our hearts.  Happy Canada-Land Day!!!

Cultfit Canada

 

 


: Meaningful :

The only reason why we ask other people how their weekend was is so we can tell them about our own weekend-

Romanticizing, endlessly, about the past is a passionate avocation, and dare I say an easy one to indulge in, as long as you overlook the self-serving conversations such as renewable-clean energy sources, carbon offsets, living a gluten-free lifestyle and what happened this past weekend while on holiday. That said, some cultural bygones such as meaningful conversation among close friends really do have their merits.

Few “things” in life are in fact as pleasurable and fertile as engaging in heartfelt, close conversation. Whether you’re falling in love again for the first time, riding some sweet trails with a cycling buddy, listening to an insightful yoga instructor during class (thank you Cheryl, Suzanne and Maia) or beginning a new friendship. Open ended, seemingly unimportant conversation is essential to building a close relationship. Conversation is also the means by which we learn, via other people, how in which the world works. A meandering conversation unlocks doors to memories long ago stored away, and forgotten.

Daily Meditation:

Without conversation, conversations that take us on spontaneous journeys through various ideas and opinions, how can we being to explore and awaken the minds of others, and ourselves? Be well and have an inspiring day!

CultFit Explore

 

 


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