Clarity

Quiet

Quiet

I’ve been thinking a lot about paradox. Heck, I’ve been inquiring into several things lately: clarity, routine vs flow, aligning my actions with my values. But something struck me out of the blue a few mornings ago. Something I’ve not seen before. At first, when I awoke and sat up, I only recognised that something was different, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. So, I got up, made tea, lit a candle, and sat down on my cushion for meditation. All completely ordinary, but something was different—not amiss, just curiously different. I just kinda shrugged, closed my

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Preservation

Inquisitive. Cautious. Curious. Veiled playfulness, uncertain about the rules of the game, and unnerved by conflicting messages in the ocean of human interaction. …That’s what I see when I look at the picture of my two-year-old self. As that child grew, wariness morphed into self-protection and preservation. I would have preferred that the outward manifestation had become foresight and restraint. Instead, the key theme was vigilant anger. The most insidious criminal is the inner terrorist, the part of your mind that bullies you or accepts bullying by others. An agitator in your psyche attempts to keep you small by encasing

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Journey, not Balance

It’s easy to accept the adage that managing life is about finding balance: personal time, family, work, other commitments. But I find that it’s a journey, not a balancing or juggling act. Perhaps this is because of my personality, or the way my brain works: I tend towards OCD and perfectionism. For me, balancing acts become extremely exacting, even captious. And a juggling act can be chaotic, stressful and tiring as I attempt to get everything right in order to keep the balls in the air. Instead, how I move through each day is a process of discovery. My method

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Face Your Fear

Fear & Leaning In

I wrote in my journal last week, before Ironman Tallinn, that what I enjoy most is a simple, consistent daily routine. As an ultra-endurance athlete that means the repetition of training, eating, sleeping–preferably in a rather unchanging setting. Two days post-race, however, I find myself somewhat lost at not having a race for another ten months. Pausing, I notice a very subtle sensation of panic, and that my breath tightens ever so slightly. I thrive in the methodical. But I’m stimulated by goals and new experiences. It’s a very curious dichotomy; one that I don’t understand and am unsure how

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Avatar

Driver?

Where is the driver of this avatar? The mind and body are aspects of, and tools for, this form. This expression is linked to the entire system, as are all the other avatars: the snow, the trees, the insects and animals. The only driver that exists, if it can even be called that, is the universe… Awareness itself.

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Orust

Dukkha

From one coast to the other. Missing friends I’ve just left. Looking forward to hanging with others. The first of the noble truths is very prominent, dare I say obtrusive, in my life. Dukkha is grossly translated as “suffering”. It also means “the unsatisfactory nature of stuff”. As Krishna Das reminds us, “We cannot get satisfaction from things. We can get pleasure, but when that passes we have pain, and when that passes we have pleasure again. Neither one of those things is satisfying in a deep way.” I’m not equating my friends with ‘things’. Far from it. They are my

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Howie--Solo Camping

Reflection Day

Yup, that’s me: solo camping (2009), and on a bike (1972). A few years later I painted that Spidy-bike red & blue with black spiderwebs. I was 6 years old. And I felt lost already then. Like everybody else’s life, there have been a series of ups and downs. Do I feel less lost… 45 years later? Yes and no. What I do have now is some experience, both incredible highs and some pretty shitty lows. One consistent theme throughout my life has been an underlying warrior energy. I’ve identified with (or wished to have) tiger strength, samurai zen, Spiderman

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Flow vs Resistance

Resistance

The hardest part of working out is overcoming resistance–more so in the mind than the body. Even when the body is protesting for legitimate reasons, I still find that it’s in the mind that most of the combat is waged. Sometimes–actually, fairly often–in the morning there’s reluctance to doing yoga. My approach is to key into the fact that I know I’ll feel better in body, mind, and spirit afterwards. That’s not always enough of an impetus to get me on the mat, so I invite myself to just sit down, start breathing, and begin simple seated movements. I know

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Foundation & Transmission

Foundation & Transmission

The concept of athletic form refers to a healthy foundation and correct biomechanics. What happens below affects what’s above, and vice versa. Beyond anatomy, form is also about embodiment; how we carry ourselves in the world, and the type of energy we transmit and express. For me, there’s a process of learning, letting go, testing, feeling, listening. * What I choose to wear and use. * What I invite into my life. * What and how I nourish this body. * How I actualise my authentic self and interact with the rest of creation. Being naturally pedantic (to put it

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Layers, or Illusion

Layers, or Illusion

As I wrote in my last post, I’m unpacking layers physically (inside), emotionally, and mentally. It’s about the search for myself–my true self. Paradoxically, as the layers are stripped away and there’s more balance, peace and harmony within, I note that there’s less of me to find. In retrospect, this makes perfect sense by reason that stratifications are removed, honoured for the part they’ve played, and set free. In other words, as I find myself I also discover that there’s less self that’s existent. But, in what could sound confusing if it’s not experienced for oneself, as this transformation occurs

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Step by Step

Step by Step

For me, there is joy in the experience of each step as an expression. During my long run today, the focus was inward–feeling and connecting with the body and mechanics; looking for and exploring the boundaries of balance, stability, support, relaxation. I pictured myself running the double marathon on day three of #Ultraman. Energy bubbled up with regularity; thankfully, I was on the treadmill where my pace could be restrained, instead of running away with myself. During long sessions on the bike, in the pool, while running, or even when cleaning the house I’m easily tempted to be carried off

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Energy

Energy

Energy. What is it? If you ask an athlete, the reply might be that it’s the stuff that moves the muscles allowing for exercise. This person might even explain that it is the ATP generated by our mitochondria (or more accurately, the potential energy stored in the ATP). …Someone else could say that it’s the power that allows lights, heaters, and air conditioners to work. …A physicist might take it further by explaining that energy–whether it be thermal, radiant, or kinetic–is the ability to do work. All this is quite true. But I experience it as something very kinaesthetic, both corporeal

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Energy

Nourishment

Today I was graced with two beautiful interactions by two very wonderful people in my life. To say that I’m chuffed by their complements would be an understatement. …Here’s right back at you mates. The reason for sharing this with you is to encourage us all to move in the world with grace, compassion, even tenderheartedness. Personally, I find that it starts with myself. If I care for and treat myself with kindness then the world is already a softer (vs. prickly), more loving place. For the last month I’ve lengthened my morning routine in order to better nourish mind,

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Photo by Ken Hansen

Silence, then Growth

(Photo by Ken Hansen) Inside my heart there’s been a poignant silence these past hours. The feeling I’m experiencing is one of mourning. Many others, near and far, are expressing the same. It reminds me of each time a tragedy happens. There’s a gasp, then, beautifully, people come together to support and help their fellows. My prayer and request is that we hold onto this anguished and bereft energy. Let’s make an active choice to avoid moving back to our regular lives, our routines, thought patterns, and ingrained habits. Historically the water splashed away by a rock will surge back

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Should… Really?

“Should” What do you feel inside when reading that word and letting it echo in your system? Please note that I’m not talking about emotions but rather the kinaesthetic of it… the vibe in the system. For me there is tension, disaccord, pain, confusion. Interestingly, if the words are “you should”, and if I turn attention to the strong emotions and reactions that arise, the loudest noise comes from anger by the rebellious and hurt part of me that developed early in my life. To me, using should and shouldn’t imply an energy of forcing, of attempting to shoehorn life

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