Some of us think holding on makes us strong but sometimes it is letting go-
Late last year I found myself working and “living” in our fair city, Cambridge, UK. Having fallen back in love with cycling after trying to kill myself running, instinctively I brought a few bikes with me. Riding in Cambridge is not the horror show many would lead you to believe. The streets, bridleways and footpaths this spring and summer have been refreshingly pleasant. I wake early, and not long after that, I’m out finding a pedaling flow before the sun comes up – Bliss! My almost daily rides have truly been wonderful, that is until last Sunday morning.
As I approached a blind corner near the top of Chapel Hill, which runs into a lovely, peaceful wooded path. There was a woman walking ahead of me, and my presence startled her.
“You need to be riding back on Chapel Hill road with the other cyclist,” she told me hastily.
“Good morning ma’am?” I replied, as my unquestionable ‘Murican accent wafted in the still air.
“Why don’t you cyclist follow the rules like everyone else” she replied.
I dismounted slightly ahead of her, and as softly spoken as the world awakening around us … “My name is Jeremy, and I’m out here for the same reasons you are – Peace, kindness, finding equanimity in this mad world. Plus, my bike is filthy dirty … The road weenies don’t like it when I spray them with mud.”
Kate smiled and laughed at my “Cars R Coffins” jersey. I on the other hand, melted, as Kate let down her startled guard. We walked for a short while, then parted ways further down the dirt path that was unfolding in front of us … I had broken into her peaceful temple, and for that I was deeply sorry.
Cambridge, the United Kingdom, Europe and little ‘ole Omaha, Nebraska are desperately trying to “fix” cycling related things. My solution to our (yes our) epidemic of hostility and intolerance involves a fundamental change in the prevailing attitude(s) of each one of us. Kindness, gratitude, honesty and a smile are free 🙂
Drops of water
of Russian sage
on crossed paws
of locust tree
just like this
you would have said
– Abigail Gramig – Dusting the Piano –
As if you were on fire from within. The moon lives in the lining of your skin-
Yoga, life after all, is built around building relationships. Like an asana, building a healthy relationship requires commitment, alignment (both internal and external) and loving ourselves unconditionally.
The danger, of course, is pushing beyond one’s physical limits especially if the alignment is off. Many of us are simply unable to accept our own limitations, our own bodies. Many well-intentioned people push themselves to assume postures that are simply too advanced, or continue to hold contorted positions that are causing them pain, either because they haven’t learned the correct alignment, or because their own ego equates personal limitations with failure.
Pain is our bodies unique signal that something is amiss. However, discomfort, if experienced in proper alignment, can eventually give way to a deeper inner strength and even pleasure (smile when the going gets tough). That’s why making yourself uncomfortable (daily) is a good “thing“.
What lies at the very meaning of the posts so far this week? Those who choose to constantly adhere to the commandments of yama, niyama and asana will achieve transformation of some sorts. I have no idea what this transformation may have in store for you!?! However, in order to rise above your current state of suffering and unhappiness? Living in a ludic, harmoniously way is a good place to start.
Hope, Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, Whispering ‘it will be happier’…-
Did you happen to know that your gorgeous smile is actually contagious? Not my smile mind you, yours! The little nugget of your brain that is responsible for facial expressions, smiling when happy or mimicking another persons smile resides in the cingulate cortex (this is but one part of that squishy thing between your ears). Smile at someone today or with someone today, it’s likely they can’t help but smile back. If they don’t? Their either preoccupied taking a pic of their feet, a Detroit Red Wings supporter or they’re making a conscious effort not to smile back at you.
Looking at the bigger picture, each time you smile at a person, their brain triggers them to return the favour. You are creating a symbiotic relationship with a complete stranger that allows both of you to release mood enhancing chemicals in your brain. These very same chemicals activate reward centers and help you live a brighter, healthier life. WOW! All of this from a simple smile 🙂
Here’s the deal peeps: This kind of information is fleeting and falls on deaf ears far too often. No one wants to read a bloated self-serving book about smiling and magazines don’t fly off the shelf informing readers to smile. We can’t always control what happens to us, however I will guarantee (with complete confidence) that gracing your picturesque face today with a smile can seriously change your internal and external experiences in life. Your smile is something that should be worn at every available opportunity. Less Lululemon and more smiling!
*Science content has been removed due to it being boring and tedious.
A gentle early morning Walk, whilst Smiling and enjoy the company of a Friend.
Quick reminder that tonight is your chance to get a sneak peek behind the CultFit curtain. A dashing group of us will be attending the Buddhist Boot Camp book signing and Q&A session at The Bookworm in Omaha, NE this evening. I’m curious to ask Timber Hawkeye his thoughts about smiling?!?
Also over the weekend I will be putting together the annual CultFit Meetup calendar. Sadly, there will be only a handful of running events this summer although all the cool kids these days ride on two wheels … If you know of an event in the Midwest you would like us to attend? Please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org