I think our society puts a lot of emphasis on maximum effort and charging ahead. Whether it’s business, relationships, or sports—have you ever noticed that the more force something, the more difficult it can be to achieve? Clear thinking can’t possibly happen and good decisions can’t be made unless you—pause—and be present and mindful in that stillness. Much like golf, the most efficient way forward is to let go, release the tension, and stay calm.
It’s common to slip into a semi-conscious state when doing activities such as walking, driving or weightlifting—the body is moving but the mind is thinking about something different altogether. When this happens, you move away from the present moment, away from the direct experience of life.
Most people rarely think about how they hold their body. But the ability to tune into the way your body moves, will allow you to do everything with more grace, strength and balance.
The body is very wise: it often tells us how we are, even before it becomes obvious to us mentally. Unfortunately we’re so caught up in thought, that we hardly feel anything anymore. Our life takes place in the head.
Try this mindfulness exercise:
Take a deep breath in through the nose, and out through the mouth. As you breathe out, close your eyes. Notice how your body feels. Starting at the top of the head, gently scan down through the body, noticing what feels comfortable and what feels uncomfortable. Does that area feel relaxed or tense? Energetic or tired? Feel the weight of your body on the chair or standing on the ground.
Think of your life as a river. The surface rippling with thoughts; sometimes rapids throwing spray into the air; other times mellow and meandering. There are moments where we get so caught up in the turbulence of these ripples that we panic, we struggle, and we’re unable to breathe.
If thoughts are like the ripples on the river, we can learn to rest on the bank and watch them coming and going, but never chasing or getting swept away in them. Continue Reading…
Kicking it into second gear, I hammer the gas pedal to the floor and aim for the hairpin corner—this seems crazy, my thoughts tell me. Letting go of panic, my focus turns to the moment and the actions I need to take. I trail brake and drift the car sideways through the corner, looking ahead for the perfect trajectory before I stomp the gas again.
Your first instinct in any stressful or high-risk situation is to react. Like a rally car driver who learns to disengage their impulses when driving full throttle through a winding forest, you can increase your performance by learning to tune into the moment. Continue Reading…
What happened today that you’re grateful for? Did you have a lucky break, did someone say something nice to you, did you have an awesome bike ride?
Do you own a $7,000 mountain bike, live in a beautiful pocket of the world, have a roof over your head, and friends and family who love you, but still feel discontent? That’s probably because we’ve been culturally conditioned to focus on what we don’t have, rather than appreciating we have and how far we’ve already come. Continue Reading…
Peddling up Mt. Fromme on our twin Santa Cruz Bronson’s, my friend Craig is taking me to Upper Oil Can bike trail. He tells me I’m ready to tackle some technical woodwork. I’m so excited to face the severe danger looming on the horizon!…or maybe what I feel is anxiety and I shouldn’t do this today—it’s so hard to tell the difference between emotions sometimes. Anxiety and excitement are completely different emotions, one positive, one negative—but are they different, really?Continue Reading…
The space that does not yet exist is located in a place known only to your deeper senses. In life you’ll always receive that which is scheduled for you, but not yet present. Our lives are continually in motion with the wave of time. As the wave rises and falls, our effort responds to the waves of time.
When you learn to ride the wave, your life can evolve naturally and with minimal resistance. Riding the wave, however, is not a passive experience. It requires you to be focused, centered and intuitive.
Your alarm clock beeps. You hit snooze a few times before rolling out of bed to swipe your self-worth feed, rush through a shower and skip breakfast before heading to work, already late…
If your morning resembles a hurricane, you might consider developing a Zesty Morning Routine. Each morning is an opportunity to start fresh and become fully awake in your life. There’s no need to design an overly complicated routine, but being a little more mindful will go a long way. It will also help you begin to wake up with purpose and energy from knowing what you want to do and why.