I realize today that nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself-
Early this past Friday morning while driving to work, an event occurred that made me question everything in life.
Mindfulness and Awareness are a journey, not a destination, not something to achieve, not the latest “trend” to trick you into signing up for a months worth of yoga classes, and since mindfulness and awareness are deeply personal, I will humbly, and reluctantly share with you the events that enveloped my recent experience. An experience that has both failed me, and helped me tremendously.
Typically, I commute to work via bicycle. I wake early, reheat a cup of black coffee I make the night prior for a minute or so in the microwave and ease into my riding gear, gently and peacefully. This was not the case last Friday. For you see, I was in a rush, I was outside of my body, I was aware of my actions but not mindful of them. The usual list of things come to mind – Work, riding more, building a new bike, helping friends and family, trying to practice yoga twice a day, spending more time abusing myself than nurturing my spirit. Slowing down does not come naturally to me. I once had an old riding buddy (he was old and had legs like tree trunks …) in England say to me, “slow down to go fast mate” and I got it at the time. It’s the proverbial Aesop’s Fable the story of ‘The Tortoise & the Hare’, the tortoise won by going slower. Faster only gets you to your destination quicker – Driving to a noon yoga class while at work, instead of riding my bike to work and practicing at Halleck Park when the sun rises. Driving to work so I can pick up and drop off some bike parts a day ahead of schedule instead of just waiting for the weekend. By practicing to go slower, I become mindful of the world around me, and I pay more attention … I actually arrive exactly where I want to be, with more awareness. Instead of a steamy car wash bay, spraying the putrid, burning flesh of a deer from the underside of my car.
All of this sounds so simple, although in practice, its much harder.
So where does this leave me? I believe I need to reflect and review my actions with intention – Do my words and actions really align? My feelings really are indicators of my true spirit. When I am feeling incredibly frustrated with life, unsupported and angry? I need to pause, and take better care of my own emotional well-being. My thoughts truly create the world I call home. Being mindful of how I think is essential to my place in this comforting world at times.
Actions, feelings and thoughts that convey encouraging messages, that leave me feeling content and with a smile on my face, are at the heart of living mindfully.
I sat on the lawn watching the half-hearted moon rise,
The gnats orbiting the peach pit that I spat out
When the sweetness was gone. I was twenty,
Wet behind the ears from my car wash job,
And suddenly rising to my feet when I saw in early evening
A cloud roll over a section of stars.
It was boiling, a cloud
Churning in one place and washing those three or four stars.
Excited, I lay back down,
My stomach a valley, my arms twined with new rope,
My hair a youthful black. I called my mother and stepfather,
And said something amazing was happening up there.
They shaded their eyes from the porch light.
They looked and looked before my mom turned
The garden hose onto a rosebush and my stepfather scolded the cat
To get the hell off the car. The old man grumbled
About missing something on TV,
The old lady made a face
When mud splashed her slippers. How you bother,
She said for the last time, the screen door closing like a sigh.
I turned off the porch light, undid my shoes.
The cloud boiled over those stars until it was burned by their icy fire.
The night was now clear. The wind brought me a scent
Of a place where I would go alone,
Then find others, all barefoot.
In time, each of us would boil clouds
And strike our childhood houses
Reason lost the battle, and all I could do was surrender and accept I was in love-
The very essences of our being lies in the ability to surrender. How often do we have to push ourselves to the limit, only to be left depleted, sore and broken? Our inane culture rewards those who go faster (amrap), hotter (vanity soaked yoga) and longer (trivial distance events). None of these are healthy to our inner selves. It’s a lie we pay forward, the way that we live.
We all have limits – Surrender to them.
Surrender to the “What If” in your life: Become fuller, more robust, richer, hardier and more open to possibility. When we surrender to the “What If“, we open up spiritually and bring limitless possibilities into our lives.
Imagine your life without all the pushing, striving, soreness, sense of loss and pictures of your feet in a magenta saturated Insta-look-at-me photo. Consider a world in which you plant a seed, nurture it slowly and patiently watch it grow …
Surrender is a beautiful word (yup, a dude just said beautiful). It implies a total release to the tensions of our days. Surrender indicates acceptance, letting go no matter what is happening in this present moment.
There is no “What If” today, nothing to see and nowhere to go. Surrender.
** It’s not often I ask for frivolous favors from you. Today, I ask of you to reflect on the message above and in the very near future, re-write this post in your very own words. Not at the last-minute like myself but rather in a very personal and open way.
There are quite literally only .001% of the readers, reading this morning who know the murky behind the scenes details of CultFit. Here’s your chance to get a peek behind the curtain. This Friday the 8th of March at 6pm a few members of CultFit will attend the Buddhist Boot Camp book signing and Q&A session at The Bookworm in ‘Muricas home town: Omaha, NE. Timber Hawkeye is a brilliant speaker, writer and a breath of fresh air in today’s world.
If you would like to meet beforehand for a coffee, tea, glass of wine (<-Hint) by all means drop me an email at: email@example.com