With no expectations anything can become-
Life, struggle, disappointment. Hardship, pain and constant misfortune – What would our lives stories be without sharing the unpolished side of life?
Why do I want to discuss these less then “glamorous” topics a day before Thanksgiving? There are a multitude of reasons as to why, just a few off the top of my head: Remember that New Years resolution that went haywire by the 5th of January? Maybe it was a string of poor race performances over the summer? Thanksgiving is but one day of the year when we awkwardly engage family and friends, acting as though all is fine and dandy in the world … When clearly things are not?!?
We are all human (I think), and humans are by definition are imperfect beings. Every one of us (myself included), disappoint(s) someone at some time or another during the day, the calendar year and throughout our inspiring lives. This Thanksgiving and Holiday season, lets talk openly about our struggles. Lets deepen our capacity to love and connect with our fellow “creatures“.
Be kind to yourself – Soothe your worries with grace and compassion, authentic conversation is food for the soul.
There will always be a down but also always an up, your moods depends on which of the two you pay the most attention to-
In ways both big and small, our pride will be trampled on (in one way or another) during the course of a day. I suppose its safe to say that it’s nearly impossible to live life without our pride suffering a perilous blow. The ebb and flow of life … Yet, when it happens to us? We tend to take it personally – very personally, and, often enough, we beat our selves up further. Even the tiniest set back can rile our emotions and send our self-esteem into a tailspin. In part, our self-esteem reflects who we are intrinsically (our true self), however, self-esteem is also a barometer of our standing with the world around us.
The difference between my normal response to a damaging blow of my pride (an oversensitive one at that) may be summed up in one word: rumination. I am an “over-thinker” who ruminates, nauseously, in a discursive way about everyday experiences after my pride takes a hit. Especially after I finish last during a weekend race!
As I marinate in my negative thoughts, hostility and anxiety begin to seep from my very essence, sabotaging myself more than ever before. Rather than working constructively to repair the damage, I build a case for why I let myself down – A pity party of epic proportions! Sound familiar?!?
Surrender to the moment, to comfort, to serenity. The damage is done, time to move on – peacefully.
I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine-
Has someone ever asked you the seemingly simple question after a recent race, sweaty session at the gym or while picking up your registration package before an event: “Does it really matter? This thing you are doing?”
There is no meaning in “life” unless we create it, and we make our meaning by seizing meaningful opportunities presented to us. If you are short on time this morning you may stop reading here. What follows is a broader discussion on creating meaning …
Here’s the thought-provoking question of the day: How can “creating” be held as a meaningful opportunity if we have already “seen through it”? Seldom do we embrace the moment or take pleasure in simply being, enjoying the moment. Our minds all over the damn place during the day and certainly all over the place the day of an event!
Allow me to introduce an idea into the pot that might actually prove successful; creating as a “spiritual activity.” A spiritual activity that rewards your creative side, working hard and training even harder, sweating, performing. As hard as these ideas are to comprehend to some and maybe this is you, they also provide joy and happiness.
I see and read about it far too often, folks who run in a local marathon and before they even slam their first step into the pavement … They are thinking about post race glory!
Remember our discussion about hedonic and eudaimonic well-being a long time ago? Seeking and creating pleasure; having a deep sense of purpose and meaning in life?
I was never really insane except upon occasions when my heart was touched-
What could possibly call into question every small way that I interact with my surroundings? Years ago I would had been surprised, shocked at what was happening to me, not today, not anymore.
This brilliant morning, while the sun gently warms my skin, I am deeply aware of how non-violence has been completely woven into the fabric of my being. Over the years I have unprotected myself, repeatedly injured myself, sufficiently enough to feel the love of protection and with it, the drawing down of my truly nonviolent options.
This morning, I am stronger than the day before …
By early morning light, I discover peace, inner sustenance – purpose to soften the compression of violence that once defined me, to fully expose my heart to others, to find intention, to love. At night, when I drift away and my conscious mind is no longer present, the deep structure of protection takes center stage again … My sleep is disrupted, defined, brilliant. I realize that I have yet to make full contact with the deepest vulnerability hidden within the warmth of protection.
I struggle in this vulnerable moment to find a deeper understanding of peace, non-violence and not choosing to protect myself all those painful years ago. I fully realize that I have yet to experience tenderness toward the act of protecting.
Take care and be well this weekend.
How many things one should disregard in order to act-
Preface: The post that follows evolved from a discussion between some dude and a highly motivated yoga fashionista/passionate runner …
We see it everywhere: More and more well-intentioned, active people who use “data” to solve the “problems” in their life. More specifically: Using the endless amounts of data we collect from our gadgets to help us run, bike, swim and supposedly live a better more fulfilling life.
Here are a few ideas that have been lost in the space-time continuum, hidden under the centre couch cushion … let me flip it over for you.
“My lap times are abysmal! I need to shave off at least ten seconds a lap to compete in my next triathlon!”
Look at the “problems” you face not as problems but as challenges. Difficult experiences and situations in life can be excellent opportunities for growth, exploring new possibilities. Most importantly perhaps, do not run (swim) away from your problems. It’s impossible to run away, analyze downloaded data and grow simultaneously.
“I’m supposed to get 35-40 miles in per week to maintain my training schedule for my first ultra-marathon this September … ”
Be gentle, take care and be kind to yourself. As humans, parents, lovers, friends and somewhere way down the list: Athletes .. we always have something that needs a little work, some tweaks here and there and improvements to be made. The process of becoming who we want to be, starts with acceptance of who we are, right now.
“Racing in this new age group is rather intimidating. It’s like my 9am yoga class.”
By focusing on the right attitude for “life” and paying little attention to differences? We are afforded the ability to carry over lessons we learn within everyday life. Completely accepting of the fact that differences exist between all of us and these differences always will. If we continue to stay focused on what divides us instead of what unites us? Our ego will inflate in such a way that our thoughts will change from being positive to being negative.
Data can be really useful to us, there’s no doubt about it. Although I passionately feel that if we fail to address and discuss: Envy, Shame, Guilt, Pride, Lust, Hatred, and Greed … These emotions lead to a negative emotional state, one that provides little gain, much like the data we use to comfort our soul.
Be well this weekend.
Not what we have but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance-
What in the world does the terrible little word, epiphenomenon have to do with fitness, yoga pants, health and our spiritual well-being? Depends on who you ask, and seeing that you found epiphenomenon here, let us explain a little bit more.
Our conscious mind is but an epiphenomenon of the physical brain (last time we checked), and with timely, appropriate and stimulating mental exercises (reading this blog is not one of them) the brain can be enhanced, empowered and enlightened …
Imagine if you will, that we are sitting peacefully in a lovely garden (maybe The Garden of Epicurus?) enjoying some vino, a baguette and a fine section of Brie from the local stinky cheese monger. Friends, enjoying each others company and happiness. We could change the setting, sipping VitaCoCo after a group run. Discussing class as we wipe the sweat from our mats. In each of these events, we are filled with utter happiness. Allow the struggles of your day to melt away … Let happiness be your primary reason to do anything you like. The smile on your face? How did it get there in the first place?!?
Perfect Hard Style KB Swings
Not too long ago we were contacted by our Dear Friend, Tina (who just so happens to be a wonderful blogger) about an award. Recognition is great although it truly is the simple thought of others that moves us. Below are a just a few of the amazing people you will meet during your stay here:
This is just a small sample of some of the truly inspiring readers we have here at CultFit, just like yourself. We are truly humbled by all of you, be well this weekend and please take care.
Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend-
Link of the day: You seem pretty cool, let’s SWAP IDEAS
Change in the world is constant, just take a look a round you when you get a minute. Our bodies are constantly changing, adapting and processing new information every second of the day. Have you noticed the new produce at Trader Joe’s or the seasonal yoga mats at Lululemon? Change, from the moment you wake up in the morning until you gently fall asleep listening to your favorite podcast. Whether we notice or not, the process of changing happens all the time. What happens though when we start to pay attention to change?
There are many ways to start paying attention to change. We could practice by focusing our attention on any number of things: Leaving the TV off after work, smiling more during the day, going for a gentle walk instead of abusing your body running and our favorite(s) … Breathing and Meditation. Our breathing is never constant, no two breaths are ever the same. Don’t believe us?!? Try holding your breath in Downward Dag, for 30 seconds.
Yoga, Breathing and Kettlebells … Forget we mentioned Yoga. The reason being, is that we have adopted the bastardized version we see vainly displayed in many studios. Our revised list: Breathing + Kettlebells.
Let’s start with a nice flowing, gentle Walk to get into tune with our bodies before we start (breathing is paramount today).
Adho Mukha Svanasana –> Utkatasana –> Ardha Uttanasana –> 5 KB Bent Over Rows ( your palm faces the outside when picking the KB up, torso parallel to the floor, hips back, opposite hand inline with torso – parallel to floor – palm down)
Form, Flow and Grace.
Today, let’s focus on one “thing” that is changing around us. Just one for now. Take care and remember to smile.