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Chapters

It’s time for me to transition, again. My plan, when I came to Catalonia in Dec. 2019, was to live in a small town for eight months while training, racing, and looking for a house to purchase and where I’d put down roots. “The best-laid plans…” I depart, characteristically, with mixed emotions. There’s excitement for a new chapter based on the aforementioned theme, this time in my Nordic homeland where the scent of forest peat is strong and the bird song is familiar. There’s a sadness to leave what started to feel like home in both familiarity and in developing

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Rejuvenation

91 days. As of this writing, I’ve survived fifty-three days in solitary lockdown and thirty-eight days in phased de-escalation. At first, I welcomed the opportunity for deep internal work that sequestration provided. I had just returned from Arunachala in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India; a trip that included opening experiences I’d sought for decades. However, as time without face to face communication and zero human physical contact increased, life energy drained from my batteries, and my ability to cope waned. When we citizens were once again allowed to go outside, albeit only in very short and pre-determined time slots, we felt

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Death & Rebirth

Each day I endure multiple deaths and rebirths. Deaths to dreams and to opportunities for exploring, experiencing, interacting, and sharing in the world. The rebirths are of hope and hopefulness. My constant aim is to rise out of dystopia and into light, lightness, and loving movement. But bereavement is taxing, and renewal is not without cost. I experience these particular deaths as energy-sucking crises. While not ominous, they can be dark places filled with sadness, even dread. I am aware that this painted image arises from my mind’s predilection for anxiety, a malevolent vortex with which I am far too

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Alive Again

After nearly two months stuck in my flat, I’m back in nature.Breathing forest terpenes.Resonating with bird songs.Refilling energy stores. If given the choice, for my last time on earth, I will always choose even one quiet minute in nature over any number of days, weeks, months or years confined in concrete. …If possible, I’d spend that moment in silence with a close friend. In an episode of “Living the Questions”, Krista Tippett discusses connection (kindred) and disconnection (sequestration). “We draw raw energy from each other, at a primal, animal level, when we are in the room together.” We need to

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Accountability of Process

In a recent post-workout comment to my coach, I wrote that I got through it thanks to accountability—to myself, to the process, and to him. I could say that something similar is true for most days right now. I’ve been in Spanish lockdown confinement for over seven weeks. Because I live alone, this means that my only interactions have been once or twice a week when visiting the small, weekly market to purchase fresh produce or a health food store for other items. And since I don’t speak Catalan or Spanish there’s been no dialogue. For the first five weeks,

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Conscious Connection

Pre-dawn and daybreak are special times of day for me. There’s a feeling of love, connection and quiet that allows me to more fully resonate with the subtle energies and hear the singing birds. Over the past couple of weeks, out of solidarity and concern, my neighbour and I have taken to waiving and greeting each other, “Bon dia.” During these magical moments, I actively soak in life’s vitality, knowing that it will support me during the coming twenty-four hours. This is especially important during my extended isolation in lockdown. I often think and dream about being in a different

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Real—Unreal

This morning I climbed onto a ledge and sat in the first rays of sunshine to drink tea and read. The chapter, entitled ‘Creation theories and the reality of the world’, contains Sri Ramana’s answers to questions regarding our enigma with the waking and dream worlds, and our difficulty in coming to terms with which world, if either, is real and which is unreal. It’s a subject upon which I’ve never felt I could get any grasp, and not for lack of trying. But this morning’s musings were set on the backdrop of comments made virtually between friends these past

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Portal

What an odd experience it is to be sequestered, to be in lockdown. I’m certain that we all feel some level of frustration, uncertainty, helplessness, and/or inquiry into one, or many, dimensions of our central, global coronavirus motif. Admittedly, my biggest challenge is the same now as always, not to be overly occupied with beliefs on various topics. Perhaps that’s why I keep returning to the theme of holding space for insight and change. Humorously, even this is based on my own viewpoints. Notwithstanding, I step into the enquiry: can this time be a catalyst for a shift in the

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I Am

The title of this post is a shameless copy from my best mate’s blog post. Dano has a tremendously optimistic view in life, and he’s constantly teaching me to give people the opportunity to shine. Yet, with race and event cancellations, the global pandemic, uncertainty abounding on (too) many levels, and the growing virus on his island paradise even he is feeling that it’s “hard not to have it get to you.” It’s ‘Aloha Friday’ and he wrote about some things for which he’s grateful. As I read his words I could hear his voice in my head, see his

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Toolbox

There’s no doubt about it, lockdown quarantine is getting to me. I’m a loner. I’m single. I live alone. I’ve been a nomad for a decade. At first, I begrudgingly accepted that my life developed this way. Over the last several years, however, I’ve embraced this lifestyle because it provides tremendous opportunities to travel, experience different cultures, and see things that most people only dream about or only see via visual media. This way of life also allows for immersing myself in quietness, something I find immensely soothing. I thrive when living in a cabin in the woods where nature

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Moved To Tears

Never did I imagine that I’d visit Arunachala Mountain and the Sri Ramanashram in India. Nor did I expect the intensity of the experience once it happened. Tears came quickly in Ramana Maharshi’s presence. I crumbled to my knees. And now, each time his image comes to mind I’m overwhelmed again. I do not entirely understand what this is about. Perhaps it will be fully revealed. Perhaps not. It does not matter. One morning, during satsang, as I looked at Ramana’s face my attention moved to his eyes. For the first time I saw love—soft, relaxed, and calm. Previously, I only

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Cultural Paradigms

How do I convey the intensity of experiencing a completely new and different cultural paradigm? Thus far, only video recordings and hours of conversation have helped me chronicle and process the myriad of events, heartwarming interactions, fantastic tastes, iconic themes, disturbing sights, unfathomable realities, and personal insights into my own nature. Not even two days pass before the feeling of being overwhelmed begins to arise. I question my ability to survive the rest of the trip. Compassionately, I hold space for managing it all by reassuring myself that it’s OK to spend a day in nature’s quiet, away from the

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Decade & A Year

I don’t usually reflect on my training and racing through total duration and distance. Instead, I pay more attention to the patterns within the days, weeks, and months. But when I was asked, it seemed interesting to have a look. It’s been a tumultuous year that included a chronic health issue with roots reaching back to my infancy: it’s played an increasing role throughout my life, culminating to a peak this spring. Since then a lot has been learned and major strides have been made towards what is now the best health of my life. This decade has been a

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Mystery

“The mystery of life. ” ~Hella (my best friend) I feel like a dog who twists & turns his head trying to understand a sound, or what someone is saying, as I try and fathom death and that dad isn’t on this earth now. Although he wasn’t the father I wanted him to be, or that I envisioned having, he was still my dad, and I mourn the loss of the dad energy I’ve held in my heart. I’m also struck by the futility of fighting against death. It’s a losing battle. It seems far smarter to utilise that energy for

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Dark Night

I’ve made it through another dark night. While I can’t say for certain that it’s over, it does feel like I’ve stepped through a door. And on this side of the threshold, I can see two things that have helped me reach this point. Consistent, healthy routinesDuring this difficult time, I’ve relied on practices that support my wellbeing. Over time I’ve learned that there are six keystones to my health: sleep, good nutrition, community (support and connection**), time in nature, regular exercise, and daily meditation. I’m constantly tuning each of these but they have all proven to be essential. Thanks

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