How awesome it is that we are all smiles after climbing Lemon Dam! This has been such an amazing and positive group. Cheers!
Any one that knows me has heard me use the Authentic as a way to describe a much sought after sense of real happiness, peace, and contentedness. I use the word Authentic as it really smacks at the core of where the purest healthiest source of pleasure comes from: that is living and breathing right smack dab in the center of our TRUE self.
Most describe it as a raw and visceral sense of peace and ease.
When we choose to set our course of navigation from that purest and most Authentic point we become then equipped to weather any storm. We have an internal amulet for hurt, loss, and even abandonment. We make the absolute and 100% right decision every time, without waiver or second-guessing.
“Good for her, not for me!” As the funny Amy Poeher proclaims. (clearly skilled in Authenticity)
I set out recently to become my own experiment in living or shall I say running in the Authentic. I hold nothing back here, nor am I ashamed to say that I have spent many years operating from the opposite platform. I’ve competed and trained and lived from a very small, frightened, and neurotic place. And regardless of the outcome-no matter how many gold metals adorned-it felt like crap. The smiles fake, and the pleasure fleeting. Anxiety and insecurity would insidiously creep back in.
And so, as a big fan of personal reinvention (something I’ve worked on now for quite some time) I set out to see if I could just possibly run, train, and even compete in a 50 kilometer uphill running race from a fully Authentic self.
My Authentic self would feel excitement, the exhilaration of competition, of the challenge. I would feel compassion and ease as I moved steadily from mile to mile, despite the difficult terrain. I would not go into the dark zone. Success would be measured by simply crossing the finish line with a smile (regardless of a number). I would salute and embrace my competitors efforts.
On the physical plane: I would feel deeply connected and reverent to my body, converse to the militant slave driver.
I would feel fully alive.
And so N=1 turned out an affirmative. I offer that we CAN change our script, our paradigm, our habits. We can re-wire and create positive memorable experiences.
We can live and breathe an Authentic life.
I’ve been quiet lately.
This blog that I’m told will help maintain a proper “online presence” has lately been merely a platform to announce, but hasn’t been a place of my true voice or my spirit.
As some know I struggle against social media, and the likes of being a blogger and a good self-promoter. Certainly useful in application, for me it lacks a certain kind of necessary soul support.
To me a voice without a soul is more uncomfortable and itchy than a good case of Kansas poison Ivy. My fellow Midwesterners will understand the metaphor.
And so my silence has been of comfort and far better than scratching an inch that persists.
I’ve been noticing something though-something so clear and clairvoyant that my voice comes back with gusto.
As I (as we) bump and muck around in daily routine and life I’ve been detecting a profound difference in the way I operate. I make the analogy of a devices’ operating system. The operating system determines the entire functionality of that device. That OS is equivalent to the human container for thought, action, emotion, feeling, experience.
The difference is simple: some day’s I’m living Big, and some day’s I’m living Small.
Not actual size.
Living Big is freedom, creativity, zest, expansion, laughter, forgiveness, intuition, ease, and connection.
Living Small is comparison, doubt, fear, analysis, anxiety, precision and perfection, scarcity, competition.
Can’t you just FEEL the difference?
Athletics(currently long distance running) provides me the most conspicuous of platforms to notice Big and Small. Some days I hit the trail as if I was again a child calling “Jailbreak!” as the doors fly open at recess-minus perhaps cartwheels. I run with ease, with lightness; with a delight in just being alive. No mention of pace or time or measurement. Yes, even while watching the clock to get home on time for dinner.
However, Small enters and Small measures.
It always measures: fast enough, strong enough, long enough, right, wrong, okay, not okay, and even measures my thigh circumference. It’s the keeper of all good things.
Big and Small are not just kept to my running, but seem the most obvious there. Running is my barometer. My guidepost.
I often talk about how running (or any thing really) can be the door way in.
It’s a way to see our selves in a blind world.
I offer no advice, but more I offer observation. Small and Big seem to ebb and flow, but Big feels like where I want to be more and more these days.
And now I head out the door for a run, Big self in stride.
Hi All- due to a power outage last evening...Mindfulness for Athletes will be rescheduled for Tuesday Feb. 21st at the Durango Public Library. 5:30-7 pm.
There was a massive power outage last night in Durango which forced many buildings to close. This is a perfect opportunity to practice some mindfulness, we look forward to seeing you all in a month!
I think I speak for most of us, the last week has been tough. The events that have transpired in the country seem to have impacted us on an incredibly deep level. No longer is it just politics, but rather it's personal-smacking at our very core values and beliefs. I've had so many of these conversations over the last week that I'm noticing wanting to just go numb and tune out, but even that doesn't feel much like an option.
There does seem to be some sort of Call to Action. As my rational mind spins and spins, trying to connect dots, to understand, and then of course to project into the future the only thing that seems to distill down over and over is the same: fear and division. More division. And so over the last couple of days, with mental exhaust, I've made a commitment to tune in more to my heart. This is not some airy fairy call to action, but rather something that transcends my failing rational mind, it calls me back to some very basic human principles.
My heart tells me right now, that kindness is called for. Gentleness. Not in some grand activist sense but in day to day, ordinary simple American existence. It means a little more warmth to others, a few more smiles. It means looking into the eyes of the clerk at the grocery store and saying a sincere "Thank you". To me....THAT is what is being called forth right now.
Some might say that this is passive, too simplistic, or permissive of actions that are simply not okay. I challenge that, because in light of all that we have witnessed in the country, the very basics have been bulldozed over.
I propose that we start from here. We start to build the bridges in the most simple, kind, and gentle ways. We stop pointing the fingers, and we get off our self-righteous bandwagons, because THAT is the breeding ground for fear, hate, and division. No matter what side of the isle you're on.
I've pondering some of the great leaders of peace over the last days: MLK, Mother Theresa, Ghandi, and yes even the words of Mr. Lennon. What would they say? What would they do?
Smile more, be kind to each other, get off the cell phones more, and BE the change.
It feels almost undeniable for me right now, as I continue to watch the patches of gold above Lemon Lake disappear each day on my commute home... the shift. I find the autumn here in Colorado to be one of the most glorious experiences one can have-a sharp deliberate beauty that is only enhanced by it's fleeting nature. Enhanced by the season that looms off in the horizon.
I've been inclined to offer up tips and tools based on not only my own experience but also of my clients and athletes in the past. For whatever reason, today I just choose to offer up observation.
Drawing on my "california-new-age" side of me, I must tell that the last couple of weeks, while trying to soak up as much time in wilderness as I can, I've been able to tap into a deep feeling or energy coming forth from the natural surroundings. At times it feels like bliss, crisp and clean; the sunlight and the angle so bright that the trail blends with the shimmering gold-ness. I have to stop and pause. The smell-also unmistakable. The sound too. It's a full body and sensory experience. Can anyone relate?
And yet, in the midst of this blissful state, there is also a shaky feeling, an unknown feeling. I find myself feeling a bit off, a touch of fear even?, darkness is coming minute by minute and with that a deep knowing that it's time to go inside. Both physically and in metaphor. In some of the more Native traditions, the fall is the time of introspection, of being closer to ourselves, of diving into our own growth work. During the summer we play, we expand, we exhaust. So the natural cycle lets us return to roots.
Drawing on recent conversations: this inward movement for some feels inviting, comforting. Soothing even. Others yet, report feeling that unease, that shaky-ness, the darkness coming. We all live in such busy worlds, filling our days with to-do's, and tasks, meetings, and appointments. What if we could go a bit deeper, to press pause. (well, okay I guess I am offering some tips here)
Pause and ask, "What does this time of year mean for me?"
If nothing else-just get out there and experience the shift!
Let me be clear, I did not run over Imogene Pass this year, nor did I turn around at the summit. As usual, both are metaphors for some profound insight that life, yet once again, has served up.
I continue to be in constant amazement about how, when receptive, life (universe, god, spirit, insert your own) can give us the exact teachable experience we NEED- void of our own willpower. Allow me to explain. Through my own growth work and healing, I've made a complete 360 with my relationship to athletics and sport-not a 180, but a full circle. I have been able to come back that pure, raw, and exhilarating place that led me to endurance activities so long ago. Gone are the days of obsessive, competitive, and worry some intentions-elite mentalities, and neurotic training.
Simply put, my soul now sings when I move. Mountain running brings this out like no other. I set my sights on running and training for Imogene this year. My number one goal was to enjoy myself-feel the freedom that only mountains can bring, the companionship of my four legged friends and my two legged ones on the trail with me. The day of the "race" would be a simply be culmination of this. That's it. Fun and freedom.
One week before the event, I felt a strange pain in my leg-often as runners this can be our new normal, but something really nagged me this time. I had a choice: check in or check out? Congruent with my work, I listened. I found out that indeed I had an injury in my pelvis and running on it could be disastrous. Despite all of what I wrote already, I felt devastated. I felt like a big part of my world had been yanked away from me. All of those training days, the efforts, the hopes for a fast run..all for nothing!
But wait...the following day, something even deeper nagged at me. I was being EXACTLY what I had worked so hard to over come! Hadn't I completed what I set out for? Indeed, my summer was filled with mountain vistas, fresh air and a beating full heart! So, where had I gone wrong?
So often in life we loose ourselves, despite our best intentions. I call this being human. I had lost myself, even for just those brief days. However, a deep and loving force inside, called me to reconsider...I HAD reached my destination after all. I had completed my journey. As I see it, the universe, created a situation that allowed me to see this. It paradoxical but so true.
Had I run over Imogene...I actually would have missed out! I would have been blinded.
And so, what I share is just the ponderings of how we get lost from time to time, how we get swept away from ourselves and how...if we care, we can allow life to bring us back home.
For me, pardon the cliche, it was ALL about the journey, destinations are aside.