Shine your soul with the same
egoless humility as the rainbow
and no matter where you go
in this world or the next,
love will find you, attend you, and bless you-
Here’s the real deal folks, when ever I hear that I should do “something”, my resistance ramps up. For example, as a child, when I was told I had to practice my hand writing (Catholic schooling – go figure), Guess what happened? I never wanted to, and I have the scars to prove it! It should come as no surprise, that when I was introduced to how wonderful yoga and mindfulness are … I threw up my defenses and prepared for a fight.
Although, “something” keeps pulling me back to center. I have studied enough texts, read many more books, attended enough workshops (not in Bulgaria though … ), and practiced enough to know that mindfulness and yoga help(s). However, yoga and mindfulness are not the magical cure-all to every challenge we face in life.
I fell prey at the Gravel Worlds one hot breezy day last August to one particular mindfulness practice notion – That by practicing mindfulness you will magically and instantly feel relaxed – Chill. That may happen, although as I learned, the hard way, most likely it will not. By simply smiling and being fully open to the present moment, is truly what matters. I don’t practice meditation to get better at meditation. I practice meditation to wake up to this beautiful world. Think about this for a moment please … Don’t practice to get better, simply be you.
Registering for a 150+ mile gravel ride and participating in a 150+ gravel ride are two different things. I lamented: I think, I’ll take a week off of meditating and practicing yoga leading up to the race, sort of like I used to say I’d taper my training and “carbo load” (<— whatever this is), the week prior to the event. What I found out was, the conditions of my environment did not have to be perfect, that it’s fine to practice informally, and for a blonde haired dude like myself – on a complete whim, even right now. I didn’t have to taper and load to have a good ride, and I certainly don’t have to wait until I have a spare 22 minutes during the day to practice mindfulness and yoga.
What if I’m not doing it right? I don’t feel a lot of warmth and kindness toward myself right now. I’m trying to fabricate and generate all this good will toward myself and, and … Damn it! I’m just not feeling it! Sounds familiar huh?
Artificial, fleeting feelings of self-love by trying to stay positive, race day pep talks … Dear readers, after all the abuse and pain I have subjected myself to, I have arrived to the conclusion that – It’s enough to simply have the intention to be kind to your self, simply being in the present moment, no matter what may happen next.
I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living-
As I strive to live each day, focused on changing myself and the world we live in for the better, I started to notice I ask more questions than actually getting anything meaningful accomplished.
Many moons ago when I first started writing this humble blog-o-thing, I came up with a litmus test before doing “anything” – Ask questions out loud to myself, situations change when I take a moment to write my most vulnerable thoughts and questions down and get a healthy, deep inner dialogue going. Yes! Talk out loud to yourself in public, trust me its OK, and here’s why: Asking questions matters in our lives. I’m a shining example that a deeper level of questioning can help to transform yourself.
*Listed below, in no particular order are a few questions I kick around, out-loud mind you, during the course of a day*
Can I do one thing today to make a small, noticeable difference?
What am I waiting for?
Am I as open to new possibilities as I think I am?
What can I do differently today, to begin making the changes I want to make in my life?
What do I want to spend the rest of the day doing?
How do I create more harmony and bliss in my life?
What do I look forward to doing every day?
What’s the tiniest change I can make that will create the largest difference in my life, change that might create a ripple effect touching those around me?
What am I creating that will outlive me?
Is it time to start something new? Like right now?
When I’m not asking myself questions, I become stuck in the same old habits, the same old tired and worn out routines. Sometimes Dear Reader – All it takes is asking a question out loud before entering your 10am yoga class. A piece of paper from a kitchen drawer to scribble a note, a blank screen on your gadget to see your amazing reflection … The simple act of speaking (or writing) a question, makes it tangible, dense and real.
Last June after dealing with another string of self-inflicted injuries from racing and competing beyond what my body could take. A friend offered up a ride to take my mind off things … This upcoming Saturday evening is the annual GONG Ride here in our fair city – Omaha, Nebraska! Hands down the best social ride in Omaha all year – Please join us and keep in mind, the first round of drinks is on me!
Morning without you is a dwindled dawn-
*Written this past Wednesday at 0500*
I’m more than a little bit pissed off this morning. Primarily with myself (for ignoring my tight hamstrings and back for nearly two weeks), at our local utility company (for raising our rates again), at the lousy Nebraska weather forecasting people (for raising my hopes for nice biking weather), at some close friends I help train for not taking my advice about ultra marathon prep, and at my body once again (because it’s been barely three weeks and I’m lying on the floor covered with ice).
*Written five minutes ago*
Looking back at what I wrote last week, it just occurred to me that maybe my extreme frustration with “life” and the people around me, has at least as much to do with my own irritation(s) at the way I take care of, and treat myself. Interesting to think that if one is as gentle, kind and compassionate as one would like to be, one wouldn’t get quite so pissed off at the necessary trials of dealing with this thing called “life” …
I leave you with this – In one sentence – Who are you?
I love the accomplishments of trees,
How they try to restrain great storms
And pacify the very worms that eat them.
Even their deaths seem to be considered.
I fear for trees, loving them so much.
I am nervous about each scar on bark,
Each leaf that browns. I want to
Lie in their crotches and sigh,
Whisper of sun and rains to come.
Sometimes on summer evenings I step
Out of my house to look at trees
Propping darkness up to the silence.
When I die I want to slant up
Through those trunks so slowly
I will see each rib of bark, each whorl;
Up through the canopy, the subtle veins
And lobes touching me with final affection;
Then to hover above and look down
One last time on the rich upliftings,
The circle that loves the sun and moon,
To see at last what held the darkness up.
Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself-
A quick show of hands: Have you ever held onto the belief that you could change someone else’s behavior, if you were persistent and dedicated enough?
I witness this quite often with friends going to yoga class, working out together and the awesome folks I help out. Sadly, I have arrived at the conclusion that people only change when it’s rewarding for them to do so, and when they’re capable of it.
Rewarding and Capable – Interesting.
I have lived many years shrouded in the fallacy that “peer” pressure, being a “caring” friend pressure, will make those close to me change. I’m writing this morning to share with you these following thoughts – People only change when they’re ready to. If I want my friend to change, I have to figure out how they would be motivated to change, how change would benefit them.
On the subject of motivation and change – I offer up to you these two links. Have a beautiful day, and please take care!
It’s Earth day I wonder if we can plant more trees than people for a change?–
Big friggin’ deal! Its Earth Day! Awesome! It’s also the day after Monday! Who cares about Earth Day anyways …
Today is Earth Day, which means it’s time for our annual Earth Day social media blitz, lamenting about the benefits of “green living“. Whatever that may be. Drive a Prius, plant a tree, hug a butterfly, recycle coconut water bottles, think about how fitly you are, buy an Earth-friendly yoga mat, read green-themed blogs, chew on some kale, grow your own while you are at it, and lets not forget to change the old energy sapping – ozone layer killing light-bulbs, for “energy – efficient” ones, that will pay off their $$$ price twenty years down the road.
Don’t worry! Tomorrow is Wednesday, not Earth Day, and it’s back to business as usual.
Earth Day was once dedicated to organizing mass action to radically change public policy, largely inspired by the movement that brought an end to the American War in Vietnam. Today, “Earth Day” hype is almost entirely based on individual responsibility, and the “look at me I’m kissing a malnourished toad and planting heirloom tomatoes” crowd.
My question for Earth Day advocate(s) is this: Why should I – some poor dude – bear the brunt of environmental responsibility for Earth Day? Is it because it’s easier for companies, friends, media and governments to brow beat and shame me into action?
Is it too much to ask, to put in a little extra green work the rest of the year? To create a culture of sustainability, to live in a world devoted everyday to the well-being of the Earth? Even if it means taking a little time away from the inter-webz? Most of us don’t mind turning off the lights for an hour— lighting a candle to read, playing a board game, and some other low-wattage activities. Like I don’t know – Hopping off the treadmill, playing tag, yoga and Cycling outdoors?!?
Don’t get me wrong – Earth Day is pretty damn cool! Thank goodness we can still drink organic wine on Earth Day or is that frowned upon as well? Who cares – Cheers!