Then there is the other secret. There isn’t any symbolysm [sic]. The sea is the sea. The old man is an old man. The boy is a boy and the fish is a fish. The shark are all sharks no better and no worse. All the symbolism that people say is shit. What goes beyond is what you see beyond when you know-
Do you have a favorite “thing” to which you identify with? Cycling, yoga, running, under water basket weaving? Listening to music? Flags? Religion? Sports teams? Society is increasingly being swallowed whole by the symbol based experience – I’m a cyclist, a super flexi-wanderlust-yogi, a weekend 5k master and a LvL 5 underwater basket weaver. Dear Reader, it’s time we remembered what we truly are – Timeless beings, trapped in a physical body. How much time do we spend doing “something” that does not signify something else, to someone else? How often do we take a break from our intensely representational world?
When I arrived home yesterday after work, I had the sense that I needed to “tune down” the processed, symbol based day I had so far, to a fairly unprocessed natural evening. I quite enjoy practicing mindful meditation while walking our dog. Thinking of nothing is really hard as the two of us meander along in the rain … “Why are our neighbors hopelessly obsessed with keeping their yard pristine? Oh this is nice! A sprinkler system running during a rain storm! This elm tree is interesting, I wonder how many cicadas are calling it home at the moment? Why are cicadas so damn loud? Really Dude – You are seriously going to pee on their trash bins?!?” I do remember one wonderful meditation experience I had recently in Utah, when I was able to just be aware of my physical self and surroundings, apart from the cultural and the social layering of interpretations the world flippantly heaves upon us. That is to say, I understood what I was as a being, not as a social identity – A middle-aged white male from Nebraska. Someone who is often associated with competing because I enjoy riding a bike and racing. Some dude who goes to yoga class to be “seen” … This experience was wonderfully freeing, and when I ended my session, I felt that I had returned to my life, – Being, with a renewed sense of energy, because I was choosing to take up my name (Jeremy), and eschewing everything else that society neatly fits me, us into. In stillness, I placed my name down for a short time, laid down all the symbols that help me process and live in this cruel world, and for a moment, I was able to just – Be.
I said aloud to our dog as we stepped back inside – “My identity ultimately does not depend on these “things” in order to exist.” He looked at me inquisitively and proceeded to lick his belly.
The real world, a world without symbols, mass shootings and senseless violence. The world outside of “whatever”, outside of our roles? Is more splendid than we know it to be.
I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing-
Because each one of us reading on this chilly Monday morning are rational, intelligent people (and maybe myself). We believe that if we know the reasons for the “things“, in our daily life … This understanding of events will set us free. Imagine knowing what other people are thinking standing in line for a latte or how they are feeling, or why they act differently than we do?
Real life however? Does not work like this …
Knowing why other people “do” what they do, won’t make us feel any better this morning, and it certainly won’t make us any warmer on the inside – in our hearts. It seems as though our journey in today’s world, constantly seeking answers … “Let me look the answer up on my phone“, begins and ends with: “Yeah … But“.
Why don’t our thoughts and feelings fall into place when “life” so graciously presents us with a rational answer?
Over the first part of the year, I am going to steer this CultFit vessel off course just a touch. I want to explore finding the “eureka” moment(s) in our lives, and how we react when the right answer arrives at our pretty little toes … Now, the real work begins.
Be well this morning and please take care!
Compassion is the basis of morality-
Here is the flat-out, honest truth you have been searching for your entire life: You are going to screw up eventually.
Everyone, You, me – the dude picking his nose in the car next to you … Make many mistakes, daily.
A few times in the not so distant past, I have lamented painfully about self-compassion. Self-compassion (loosely defined) is the extent to which you treat yourself with kindness. Self-compassion differs from the likes self-esteem (its critical to note this), which is how good you feel about yourself. Self-compassion determines how well you spring back from adversity during the course of the day. Like getting down on ourselves when “things” go sideways … Treating ourselves and others with kindness, makes it infinitely easier to recover from harmful experience(s).
When our sole focus is intent on protecting our self-esteem, we can’t afford to look at ourselves objectively, honestly and with a pure heart. We fail to acknowledge the need for improvement, because it means acknowledging weaknesses, shortcomings and maybe – That we screwed up somewhere in our past …
Is life not a thousand times too short for us to bore ourselves-
With our attention spans dwindling every second this Holiday season, our impatience increases twofold.
Feeling stuck in the moment … Painfully listening to a co-worker’s weekend escapades in Templeton, Iowa, waiting in line for a cold latte that arrives ten minutes too late … The more agitated we feel and the more agitated we become. Stuck with no cell access in a morning meeting, no Twitter on our gadgets, our anxiety increases with the slow passage of time. What can we do during these painful moments?
My cure for “boredom” is to make life interesting, stimulating and fun. Maintaining an emotional balance also requires finding the time for “boring” meditation practice, resting my mind and body …
Recognize your boredom this morning. This is all I ask of you before the Holidays set in, settling in to agitate and overwhelm us. When we start practicing now, before we sense ennui enveloping our bodies and spirit? Awareness is a beautiful antidote to boredom.
*It’s also a great method to not getting injured during the winter months*
Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude-
I’m writing this post surrounded by mismatched socks, Lego’s, a lone blaster rifle and Anakin’s light-saber. Sitting on the only comfortable spot on my fifteen year old couch, typing on a MacBook that’s been around the world dozens of times and left a battery dead somewhere in a far off desert, or on my kitchen counter …
You know what? I couldn’t be any happier.
Earlier this morning before driving to yoga practice at 0500, I caught myself picking the millionth crumbled Cheerio out from underneath my foot and organizing the books we were enjoying the night before. In this moment of silence, stillness, I laughed thinking about my Son who had brought these crumbled Cheerios and books into our home. My heart beat slowly, filled with joy – Realizing that I am happier now, in this beautiful mess, than I was a year ago, hobbling about on crutches. I savor these moments of gratitude, more than I could have ever imagined.
Grateful, grateful to eat a few Cheerio’s off the floor before I put my shoes on this morning … Who or What are you grateful for this morning?