Let me just remind you that this river of your life, this undertow that keeps you in place and playing by the rules while the seasons change and your face grows old with worry is all a construct of your own making. There is no point to argue this because it has to be, but it’s so easy to forget. One could say that the sun is always shining regardless of how we interpret the weather and the sun is not concerned about this but is waiting patiently to see if we notice. It has to be so because otherwise nothing would happen at all.
There is no Intelligence that has any interest in keeping us confused or in keeping us any way whatsoever. We’ve been given a play book and there it sits, on the coffee table collecting dust, while we fret and wonder why things are the way they are and continue to try harder at playing by the wrong rules.
That’s ok, you can do anything you want and, actually, that’s the point. Similar to the differences between “western” and what most people refer to as “alternative” medicine, one can invest great amounts of energy in treating symptoms or in eliminating causes. Same energy invested but with vastly different results. Act or react, I think you know the difference.
Why doesn’t everyone do the same thing, have the same experience, or even seem to live on the same plane as one another? Because they don’t, in fact, live on the same plane but the only difference from one to the next is an understanding and practical application of the levels and rules of the game. Yeah, that’s right, game. Life’s not a mystery, it’s a very sophisticated game and it will run us like pawns until we remember that it is our game. Notice I use the word, “remember”, because life was never anything else, but again, so easy to forget, so easy to be too afraid to play, so easy to stay caught in the undertow of our own design.
I’m talking to myself as much as anyone. If you can’t figure out where all these obstacles keep coming from, take it up with the boss, look in the mirror. If moving forward frightens you, that fear will throw up every kind of roadblock your infinitely colorful mind can come up with to reinforce the validity of your misconception.
An architect, a real architect, has no need for fear because they understand the rules, or the “rule”, as it were.
Everyday, you create your life.
This is true in all professions: sometimes we get so busy working that we don’t make time for learning. It’s vital to remember that your current skill set can only take you so far and learning is an essential key to moving forward. Next month I’m taking advantage of two excellent opportunities for professional development.
September 9, 2012:
PiYo Instructor/Pro Training and Workshop
Together Strong in Santa Fe, NM
September 25, 2012
Power Yoga workshop with Bryan Kest
Yoga Junction in Louisville, CO
This train is just getting started!
Have you ever been sitting at Starbucks, nursing a grande soy mocha latte and feeling frustrated about your income? You know the thoughts: If I could just make a little bit more money, I would have so much more freedom and be so much happier. Rich people suck and my life is so unfair, boo hoo…. Hold that thought.
Yesterday Rick and I ate lunch in Old Town. As we were walking back to the car Rick says, “I want ice cream”, so we made a detour to the ice cream shop which was conveniently located right by our car. I was perusing the flavors and deciding what I wanted when Rick says “Unless you’re really set on this, I’ve changed my mind.” I wasn’t really set on it so we left. On the way back to the car I asked him what happened. “It just seems silly to pay almost $4 for one scoop of ice cream when pints of Ben and Jerry’s are on sale for $3.99 at Albertson’s”, he said. Hard to argue with that.
I use the coffee analogy all the time. For the cost of two drinks at Starbucks you could buy enough coffee beans and Hershey’s syrup to serve mocha latte’s to the whole neighborhood so why spend $9 on only two drinks that don’t even have alcohol in them? Where’s the rationale in that?
The other biggie for me is going out to eat. Eating out is arguably my most favorite pastime but it makes no sense. For two people to go out and have a reasonably nice dinner one could realistically expect to spend at least $50, probably more, maybe even a lot more. That’s one dinner, one night; you go home empty handed and wake up hungry again the next day. How many really great meals could you prepare at home with $50 worth of groceries?
It took me a long time to figure out that I can spend my way through any amount of income. The answer to having more is not necessarily making more, it’s spending better. Past a certain point, financial freedom is not contingent on income, it’s contingent on how the income serves you.
You might be wondering what frivolous spending has to do with fitness or PiYo. Well, what it really has to do with is priorities. How do you allocate your resources so as to provide yourself with freedom and happiness instead of being enslaved by debt and ego? I can only speak for myself but I don’t want to work 16 hours a day just to pay the bills so one day I can drop dead from exhaustion. To me, health and fitness falls under the heading of freedom and happiness so I continuously look for ways to make these things work together.
The number one reason people site for not working out is a perceived lack of time and the number two reason is a perceived lack of money. Why don’t people have time? Usually because of work and why do they work so much? Because of money. This is the cover story but in many cases it is simply not true because untold dollars and hours are being wasted every day. It’s easy to say “I’m too busy to work out” but yet there seems to be plenty of time for watching TV or surfing the internet. Easy to say I can’t afford a gym membership or home workout dvd’s but where is that money going instead?
Don’t get the wrong idea, I’m not criticizing anyone for going out eat or spending time on facebook but I am only pointing out that many times the things we think are missing in our lives, like time and money, are not missing at all. We have both of them in abundance but fail to capitalize on what is already available. We allow resources to slide through our fingers instead of using them to better ourselves.
My great uncle recently died at the age of 91. My cousin, who is a well known baptist minister in Arkansas, flew out to preside over the ceremony. He said a lot of stuff, most of which went right in one ear and out the other, but he said one thing that just may have changed my life. He said “No one has any more time than anyone else. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, it’s what you do with that time that will set you apart.”
It seems that, lately, I’ve been writing a lot of posts that I don’t finish because they’re just not good. My attempts at being educational or philosophical come off sounding like a coin-op genie and I think only a pompous ass would post such an ill thought out monologue of nonsense. It’s not that trying to relate fitness or PiYo related things to real-life, off-the-mat scenarios is wrong or anything, it’s just that I haven’t been very good at it and it makes me feel self conscious. Or maybe it’s because I’m avoiding what’s really on my mind and that’s this: I’m split between two worlds and the other one feels like it’s slipping away.
When a musician plays through a written piece of music for the first time, it’s called sight reading. A player’s ability to read and respond to written ques is a valuable, time saving commodity.
Life is all about recognition and response, sight reading, if you will.
Things change from one moment to the next, our selective focus will see this, but not that, and we will call it reality. The ground shakes and we try to keep our balance but sometimes when this happens the object of our focus shifts. A closing door often looks like the end and the knee jerk reaction is to keep trying to open it back up, to avoid failure, to avoid loss. Precious time is wasted standing in front of a closed door, staring at a closed door, praying to a closed door, pounding on a closed door and never once looking around to see what else there is. There’s open doors everywhere, so why sit in front of the closed one?
Any endeavor will present challenges to be overcome and, in accordance with the laws of nature, only the strongest and most determined will survive. I’m not suggesting that you give up on something because it becomes difficult but I’m asking you to consider the possibility that sometimes doors open and close for a reason. You may have worked very hard to build a house only to discover that you don’t like living in it or that it doesn’t fit you anymore and it is so easy to believe that you are the house, the project, the business, the object of your creation, when in fact you are none of these things. Suck on that for awhile; you are not your job.
Buddhists say that the cause of all suffering is attachment and most of us think this means attachment to things or people but ultimately it is the attachment to ideas. We hold ideas about our things, our friends, love, and our relative position in society but it is all a house of mirrors, showing us facets of ourselves and nothing more. This is why we defend ideas so fiercely because we are actually defending ourselves. But here it is again, you are not your job, you are not your possessions and you are not your relationships. All of these things are transitory, all can be taken away or leave of their own accord.
Should you feel like you’ve woken up in a hotel room, full of things that you own, yet unfamiliar and distressing, I suggest that you stop working harder and take a look around. It’s ok to change directions if you’re going the wrong way.
Interpret how you will.
A few years ago I received a panicked phone call from a friend of mine. I had just sat down to lunch but she was so distraught that I left my plate on the table and went to her house. Without divulging her personal details, I’ll just say that she had uncovered some information that had rocked her world in an unpleasant manner.
A lot of things went down that day but there is one thing that sticks in my head. She asked me “how could I have been so stupid?” I said to her “You weren’t stupid. You made the best decision you could based on the information you had. None of this is your fault but, now that you have different information, what happens next is on you.”
Over the next 6 months she completely transformed her life which, unfortunately for me, meant that she moved all the way across the country but the important thing is that she is living her vision. I would like to take credit for her success but I say things like that to people all the time and most of them tell me that I’m full of shit or that I don’t understand, and some even go so far as to accuse me of being un-empathetic.
All I did was point something out, but she did all the work, despite having numerous good excuses to sit around and feel sorry for herself. She took her new information and ran with it.
And now we get to the point.
There’s a funny thing about the human subconscious, it does whatever it’s told.
Your belief system determines your reality.
With regard to fitness, I can preach diet and exercise all day long but it doesn’t necessarily change anything because people hear the message and say “yeah, but I can’t do that”. Fast food and lethargy are not nearly as dangerous as “I can’t”.
On this day of new beginnings, if you find yourself thinking “I can’t”, don’t let it go unchallenged. Ask yourself “Really? Why not?”, and I bet you’ll find that actually you can. You can eat better, you can find time to exercise, you can step up and make a difference by starting with yourself. Ideas are contagious and when you adopt the idea that you can, other people will see that they can too. Be the change you want to see.