Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"A Little Less Conversation A Little More Action Please"?; Creating Balance

Katie and I are in Arizona now and we've been staying with some of our Warrior friends here...the Bomstas. I love them! They've got three kids and their house has a vague familiarity to it. It's brought back a lot of memories of my childhood coming home from school, snacking until dinner, watching TV or movies all day, playing outside, running to and from after school activities. Watching the kids play reminded me of how simple life is and how simple it can be to have a good time playing in the dirt. It's also reminded me of how easily we become complacent and bored and how easy it is to get into a routine.

It's weird to think about what I might have done had I not had organized sports or extra curricula rs my entire life. Would I have played outside more? Would I have spent more time in front of the TV? Did my extra curricular tire me out so much that I no longer wanted to go outside and play as I grew older? I'm sure I used the excuse "I just need to relax for a day" before! I don't care about when, but more about why play became more structured as we got older. Who was it that told us that mucking around in the dirt was only for little kids. Or did someone tell us that? Maybe as we grew older our attention spans for mindless play became less and our need for stimulation became greater. I don't know...I'm sure someone out there has got a theory or two!

There has certainly been a common trend throughout this trip though. Summing it up nicely in one word - PLAY. Secondary to that would be to give yourself permission to relax. Easier for Katie and I as we've chosen that for ourselves, or at least some people would view our road trip as sheer play (although that's so not the intention), but we need to be reminded to relax as well. Especially when we're busy running from place to place...not realizing how easy it can be to get burnt out. Aaron Huey posted a link for a video not long ago about play and how essential it is for our well being. Play before you do anything else! Why? Because then you're in an awesome mood and when you set the tone for the day in the energy of playing, the rest of the day will only follow in those footsteps. I think Patch Adams would be a good example of that...he never stopped playing. I don't see why life became so serious...any book I've ever read in the area of self-development has said that Play is an essential part of living and we all need to have more of it in our lives. It's about the balance!!!

You can teeter-totter all you want between play and 'serious business' :(, but how do you feel? It's like a roller coaster of ups and downs, elation and frustration. If there was a balance would that not just mean happiness all the time? Or at least a more stable sense of balance in which you contribute and receive with grace and flow?

It's interesting. I'm sitting outside writing this and in the backyard next door they are doing some sort of construction. There's lots of loud men and machinery. I consider my writing my work. Not in the sense that it's a job, but it's a passion of mine and I consider blogging a way to plant the seed and nurture it and love it until it becomes a giant tree that will in some form or another bring me abundance (opportunity, money, healing, etc). Now, most people wouldn't be able to 'work' in this environment because it's too loud, distracting, etc. I on the other hand just had an epiphany in this situation!! As I'm writing, I'm contributing and as they're doing their work, they are distracting me, but also making a contribution. Instead of forcing myself to continue I take a break and receive or just listen, breathe, be grateful. I receive the sounds, the smells, the gratitude that those people are making a difference for whomever's back yard they are digging up. And when I do that, take the time to be present and actually listen, smell, see I actually appreciate it rather than resent it. Listening to them now, talking and doing whatever they are doing (I think it's something with a pool), they've got a good leader. He's talking them through the process; a very good teacher I'd say! I can't see them because the fence is concrete between the homes, but I'm really curious now!!! These people have gone from a distraction to a source of curiousity...interesting. Now they really are a distraction because I've now become more interested in what they're doing than what I'm doing. I think that's ok. I feel like that's natural because there's always an opportunity to learn, whether it be about yourself or about others (which is really about yourself anyway). Maybe distractions are the Universe's subtle hints to have a little more balance. As long as you trust your intuition to know when to allow distractions and when to continue with your work, I feel that's exactly what it is. The Universe is perfect and wants balance for everyone, it's us and our thoughts, conditioning, what we think we 'should' do that creates the imbalances in our life.

Giving and receiving is just like talking and listening! Let's say you were having a conversation with a chatty person and you couldn't get a word in edgewise. You receive and listen so much that you can't take anymore (even though you may not realize this), so you create a distraction for yourself, whether intentionally or not. So that you can talk, get away and speak/give either to that person or someone else. You intuitively find a way to create the balance! The tricky thing is that your emotions prevent you from seeing that you are creating that balance. Or maybe they are indicators to remind us to find some balance. Hmm...I might just play with this for a little while and see what happens.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Snowboarding...Life Lessons Revealed

Yesterday Ben took Katie and I snowboarding up at Keystone which is about an hour outside of Denver. I was super excited about learning to snowboard because it's been something that I've wanted to do for a while now! And of course it was something new for me to learn!

We geared up and Ben gave me my first lesson. He taught me how to ride my heel edge, and we made an attempt at a toe edge which ended with me flat on my back. When you're using a toe edge you're supposed to stay far far away from that heel edge! It's deadly! He left Katie and I to practice while he did some runs of his own on another hill. It was good. I got a good feel for what I was capable of, but also what I needed help with for when he got back. Needless to say I spent most of the day on my ass or trying to get back on a part of the hill that would actually allow me to move!

What would have taken Ben probably 10 mins to get down ended up taking us probably like an hour and a half. This was the real test for me. Can I make it down the mountain and back to the parking lot fully intact both mentally and physically?

It was a long journey down that hill that never seemed to end, but a big learn for me as well. Since reading Dan Millman "The Life You Were Born to Live" I've experienced many situations in which I'm faced with a choice....continue to do what I was doing before or recognize what I'm doing and choose differently.

In the case of snowboarding it was about taking the time to learn the steps. Normally I'd say ok tell me what to do and I'll just go do it my own way......on the mountain yesterday there was no chance for that. Snowboarding is a process. You must learn the basics and how to control your movement to get anywhere. Once you have the basics, you need to practice them. Then after that I'm sure you can learn to do more. If I didn't enjoy snowboarding so much I'd probably just fly down the mountain, falling, doing whatever it took just to get to the bottom. For me snowboarding was the perfect challenge; not to big that I wanted to say 'f*^k it!' and just big enough that I'd be willing to put the effort in to practice and be patient just to have the success of making it down a hill without falling! It was easy for me to listen to instruction and implement it, but it was a challenge for me keep my cool after falling and to get up and do it again with the same amount of diligence and effort each time. It was easy for me to do turns when I had someone to talk me through it, but it was a challenge to talk myself through it and not get caught up in "am I doing this right? why am I not moving fast enough? stay off your toe edge!" The lesson in that was to take my time. There is no need to rush anything, it will come with practice. Follow the steps and get a good foundation and then take it from there. Get into your body and out of your head. Have patience with the process!!! It's not a wham bam thank-ya ma'am process, just like life isn't either. We're here to live it and all the processes along the way, forcing things only takes the joy out of the whole picture.

After we got done, I felt like absolute crap. 'Feel the burn' has a whole new meaning for me now and all those suicide drills in volleyball and basketball practice in highschool seem so easy in comparison to my snowboarding adventure. It was a bit of a reminder of Warrior camp as well. A reminder that I am a Warrior. I did what was hard, I never gave up, I acted in spite of my mood and inspite of fear at times as well. I saw it through to the finish line. As a Wizard I accepted the support of others instead of trying to do it all on my own, I stayed calm, I went with the flow (as much as I allowed myself to) and I accepted and utilized what was. Towards the end of the hill, it was no longer a learning about how to snowboard. My physical body just couldn't take it, I accepted that I just needed to make it to the bottom of the hill and I used that as a learning experience about myself, about what I'm capable of and what I can really do when I feel like I've got nothing left. In my mind I pretty much said, "Ok, this last bit of the hill is going to teach/show you a lot about yourself, what are you going to do? What choices are you going to make to get yourself down that hill?" I'm being completely honest when I say that I'm not sure if I would have made it to the bottom of the hill if Ben hadn't stuck back and waited for me. I would love to say that the Warrior in me would have kicked in and pushed me through, but I'm not sure...and I'm fully willing to admit that. Ben kept me focused, in the present. Just another reminder that I need people in my life to hold me accountable and to support me, to keep me on track when I'm lost in my thoughts. Someone to say "dude, I know you can do this, you're not copping out now, you're almost there".

Along the way we think that life is meant to be lived. It is, but it's also meant to be learned. There is always something new to learn about yourself, or always something you might need to be reminded of. Being aware of it is the first step.

I look forward to the next time I go snowboarding....which might be a while considering I feel like I got hit by a bus! And maybe next time....some butt pads!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A New Chapter

It was a long drive out to Colorado, but well worth the time and lack of sleep. I feel at home here and that sense of peace is my confirmation that I am in the right place and doing the right thing right now. It's bee a learning experience for me, as everything in life is and stopping to smell the roses or see what is really going on has been something I haven't been doing lately.

My sister and I are staying with our friend Ben and he's got this great book by Dan Millman. "The Life You Were Born to Live: A Guide To Finding Your Life Purpose". It's very interesting and so very accurate!!! Even after endless hours in courses and reading countless spiritual books I am still amazing (yes I am amazing!), I mean amazed :) at how much more I have to learn. This book uses your birthday and numerology to show us what traits we have brought with us in this lifetime, what challenges and obstacles we are here to overcome and experience as well as the mountains we are to climb to fulfill our purpose only to find that it doesn't end! "Your parents gave you a name, the Universe gave you a number."

My number is 34/7. The 7 indicates my primary purpose or lessons for this lifetime which is Trust and Openness. The 3 and 4 are other vital parts of my birth number which are Expression and Sensitivity, Stability and Process. Then there is also a bit about the combination of numbers, which I haven't yet got to as I'm still reeling from the fact that this book has me absolutely pegged!!!

The interesting thing is that since learning about my tendencies and my traits I have become more aware of them and how they are operating my life in both positive and negative ways. My tendency towards paranoia as a 7 leads me to have a sense of fear about 'missing out' on something or 'losing an opportunity or chance' as well as creating crazy insane stories about events that don't even happen!!! It's costing me enjoying the present moment and going with the flow. It is most definitely a trait I had not understood until I read the book. Another is my impatience that causes me to skip steps, miss instructions, jump to conclusions, do things half goes hand in hand with my paranoia. My impatience is what leads to my paranoia. If I had enough patience to see things through step by step instead of leaping across the river, I'd save myself a lot of frustration. The paranoia is also what has stopped me from trusting myself, others and the universe and has kept me closed up and guarded my entire life. Only in the last year have I really begun to open up to this concept and more recently begin to trust myself and the universe.

I'm very greatful that my sister is with me for this journey and road trip, because she has proved not only a great friend, but also a great warrior who speaks her truth and calls me on all my shit! As well, she seems to be having a blast and that makes me happy to see her happy. We feed off each other and so far it's been a great time! I'm glad our relationship has grown to a level where we can bitch at each other and still laugh our asses off in the process! I look forward to what this new chapter brings.

Check out this thing called 'life', it's pretty cool when you see it for what it is...everything!