You know on TV when there’s one of those awkward, shocking moments and all you hear are the crickets in the background? Well chirp f*cking chirp…this is one of those moments-
Being embarrassed in social situation(s) feels rather unpleasant. When someone remarks suddenly before class: “Your underwear is showing,” or while standing in line for a coffee … “Your barn door is open,” even better yet “Is that balsamic vinegar salad dressing in your hair?!?” Here let me smell. Few of us are likely to feel particularly joyful, to say the very least.
I’m recalling this morning with you, times during my life when I have felt the most embarrassed and to my surprise – Being embarrassed truly can be joyful!
There are a few moments of feeling embarrassed that instantly come to mind. One, was the night my son was born about nine years ago I suppose. You see, I exude a fairly calm, cool and collected demeanor, most times that is. I was pretty chill during the birth and what stands out to me was when it was only my beautiful new-born son, myself and a caring nurse handing him to me for the first time – “Here is your son sir” placing him gently into me shaking hands, tears streaming down my face, having no clue in the world what to do. I was embarrassed in this truly joyful moment.
At the same time though, there are horrible feelings that also produce embarrassment, feelings of being humiliated …
I still remember like it was yesterday, the dreadful scene when some of my classmates in 6th grade took great pleasure in teasing me to tears, because I was “fat” and started to go through the throes of puberty – acne and all. Calling me “fatty” by the boys and girls, the incessant teasing, only served to make the humiliation more degrading. I was deeply embarrassed during these joyless childhood moments.
What life, compassion, kindness and gratitude provide us is, if we reflect and allow the blushed cheeked, crying and shameful negative feelings of humiliation fade away. Is that, maybe, just maybe embarrassment really is an expression of – Joy.
Don’t think about making life better for other people who don’t even deserve you, rather, focus on making your life the best, for yourself and those who love you-
Why do we find it so difficult to share our dark and dirty selves online? Do we openly express our happiness via social media to seek the approval of others? Perhaps the most damaging part is that by only recording and sharing the splendid moments in our lives, we lose track of who we really are? 100 happy days isn’t enough to outweigh the other 265-ish days in the year.
Right now, in this beautiful/inspiring moment, I can pen a list of “things” that really pissed me off and made me feel rather unhappy yesterday. The first 5 or so things would be dedicated to parenting. Having a nine-year old dude going on 20 is good for a few unhappy annoyances. Sprinkle in a entitled beagle for at least 10 more. Next up would be work and then a major portion would be dedicated to the many poor choices I make during the day: Peanut butter with or without honey – Who to start on my fantasy hockey team – Which yoga poses to practice – Reading an article about the upcoming movie “Interstellar” that gave away major plot points – Which race do I sign up for next – Fussing over the recent elections.
My #happy# moment yesterday was something so profound and kind that the thought of sharing it publicly, affectionately adorned with a hash-tag, seemed woefully self-serving (which is why I’m doing it now …). Why you may ask? Because it deeply touched my heart and soul. This amazing gift was something I could have Instagramed, or Twerped . The “thing” that brought me joy, and made my heart swell with gratitude yesterday, amid all the nine-year old drama, entitled beagle crap, work issues and peanut butter guilt … Was opening my email, sorting through all the spam from local yoga studios, and noticing a gift card email sent from a close friend. It is precisely because of all of the unhappy moments—the ones I’ve listed above and the ones I carry close to my heart—that this moment was so precious, and why I’m still smiling this morning after stepping on another Lego piece at 0400!
Opening up our hearts and writing about ourselves online, while blindly attempting to live up to the expectations of others, makes all of this social media stuff kinda less than truthful at times.
We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will-
This evening when we find ourselves handing out treats to all the little ghouls and turds that inhabit our neighborhood – Pause for a moment, and gently turn your gaze away from the harsh glow of the warm gadget in your hand (Halloween Instagram pics can wait …). What is the reality that you see unfolding around you? Can you describe the nuance in each costume that knocks at your door? Their color, the story behind each superhero costume? Are the kids smiling and excited, or are they still with nervous anticipation of scoring a large amount candy?
This reality that we are witnessing first hand is the world as it is right here, right now. It may seem that we live life outside of “reality“, warm gadget in hand and simply observing the bundled up joy standing right in front of us as we snap a series of pics. The “reality” we capture on our gadgets only exists in our mind(s) eye, and we view it through our own unique magenta or black and white lens, filtered outside of our senses.
After we finish dinner tonight and ready the goodies to hand out, imagine for a second that you are a different person, a different ghoul. Set down your gadget, choosing to capture life from a new perspective instead. Life is not a series of pictures we share on the inter-webz. Life is a series of remarkable photos occurring right before our eyes.
You are — your life, and nothing else-
A little over two years ago I stopped planting myself on the couch and turning the TV on for no good reason. Very seldom do I pay attention to the pathetic, dreadful “news”. I am picky with whom I choose to spend time with. Something happened in my life that I fail to put a finger on, and even now its hard to put into words to share with you. I realized there was a deep-rooted issue with my soul, my true-self. It was as if my soul, was raw, torn, ripped wide open. As if my true-self needed a “special” kind of time. We often think of time as a linear aspect of our lives … 0400 in the morning – Time to rise and eat breakfast , 0900 – Second breakfast, 1200 – Workout over lunch … As the cadence of time marches on, we fall prey to time – Time truly dictates our life.
Bringing balance to body, mind, and spirit has never been more important to me. With this intention, I packed my bags last Tuesday and set off for a long weekend of cyclocross racing in Winnipeg – A beautiful city nestled near the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers. Winnipeg is an idyllic oasis on the eastern edge of the Canadian Prairies, the spirit of Winnipeg perfectly aligns with its inspiring surroundings. A city, simply being …
This exhilarating excursion nine hours north of Omaha, NE included boundless adventure at every turn. Between the company of close friend(s), practicing at Public Yoga, an endless amount of delicious food, the support of a large, cheerful crowd, laid back fellow competitors and the great outdoors; only served to deepen my connection to simply being. My weekend transformed into an eye-opening experience that both heartened and challenged me.
Do you recall when you last fell prey to marching in step with time? Maybe it’s when you stopped looking at your iThingy every fifteen seconds, or better yet, when you fully surrender to a state of flow during your morning yoga practice or whilst training for your next big event? A moment in which you stop counting breaths and checking Strava for a little bit as you exercised your creative muscle(s) – that “thing” between your ears.
This is when time stops pedantically chugging along, and being begins. May you take a moment to bathe in the beauty of simply being this morning.
This beautiful “thing” called life presents to us the opportunity to slow down and savor the concept of being. Even when counting the miles away driving from Omaha to Winnipeg (642 … ).
The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it-
Our lives are saturated with technology – from email to texting, FaceTube to Insta-Look at me, Linked-Out to streaming media of various flavors online. Living in a digital world, our attention is almost always focused on something outside of our physical body. Either playing a game online with a friend or surfing aimlessly – Always doing something! We treat our own unfocused minds like parents on a cross-country road trip: Turning on the in-vehicle entertainment system and watching “Up” for the millionth time until the little ones pass out.
Are we there yet?!?
My mind needs periods during the day, just like children do at school … Time to run and play, jump from hither and yon, with little care in the world. My mind needs to be able to flow freely from thought to thought, or simply rest in no thought at all. The spaces between tasks, between thoughts, between breaths, between all the objects of my attention—are deeply important to our true selves. When I miss the opportunity to live in these gaps, I become a minion to my mind, and subsequently anxious of any moment when my mind is not occupied – Gotta check my fantasy team and Ebay!!!
A deep and lasting confidence arises when we can enjoy the open spaces in life. Our culture has placed a value on action, information, and entertainment, and we are encouraged to keep the mind busy at all times. If we want to create down time, to make space, we have to actively do so.