If you choose to be fearless, then be fearlessly authentic not an imitation of someone you envy-
Walking into my final yoga class yesterday, a thought crossed my mind – That we live in a world where competition is valued above all else, and that personal achievement is directly tied to self-worth, in essence we have fallen prey to the belief that in every competition, every yoga class, every red light, text message battle … There are two possibilities – Better and Best.
When I was a young lad, maybe six, I arrived home from school one fall afternoon and innocently looked into my fathers eyes and asked if I was “the best?!?” The week prior at school, we had been learning about comparative words like “better” and “best,” and I was innocently curious if I was “the best” at something, perhaps burping, armpit farts or cleaning my room? My kind father calmly replied, “You’ll never be the best at anything son. The world is a magical place with like millions upon millions of people; it’s impossible to be the best. Just do your best, and you’ll be fine in life.
Focusing on continual self-improvement, rather than being the best at “something”, has allowed me to have a more realistic and insightful look into my true self.
... The kindness of others is all they ever wanted, the laughter of neighbors prospering in the blue light of summer. Those of the small sputtering flame and the sudden white sprung hair, who feed off envy and grow old quickly, desire largesse. The role of poor relation evokes a lack they are not apt to admit, or unbearable pity. They prefer to penetrate the giver’s effortless knack of giving they perceive as vitality, a pulsating entity that rewards the kindness of others tenfold. This they have witnessed. This they have tabulated relentlessly. The generosity of others whose spirits, like their long-legged children blossoming into a progeny of orchards and fields, flourish. Those who have never known kindness drag into the privacy of their smallness the baskets of fruit appearing year after year on their porches, to be picked apart in the hushed posture of thieves. They peel skin, probe flesh the color of honey as if the seeds will yield something other than a glimmer of sweet air rising from the roots of trees and licorice-laced, half-opened leaves. Those of the small flame, who feed off envy and grow old quickly, live out their lives hungry, glaring at themselves across the table, wife of the cruel mouth, husband of the thin broth trickling like spittle. - Cathy Song
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.