Health

Nature's Winter

CGM

I’ve been using a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) for three weeks. Although I’ve only scratched the surface, some patterns are emerging that allow me to plan interventions and observe their effects. • Week 1: Just watch and document without changing anything.• Week 2: Become more acutely aware of the effects of foods, exercise, and their timing in order to attune mental and physical sensations with objective data.• Week 3: Start testing various interventions. As someone with a history of an eating disorder, I was concerned about monitoring food intake*. I feared falling into a cycle of attempted control. But I

Read More »
Sunshine

Peace

❝ Peace is not in the hall. It is in the repose of the Self. It can be gained anywhere.❞~Sri Ramana Maharshi This quote is, for me, more than a nice thought. It’s a bit of guiding principle. The past many weeks have been dreary and dark—literally and figuratively. My mental, emotional, and physical dispositions have been rather low. The reasons are multi-faceted. Thankfully, I’ve spent years building a collection of tools to support myself in situations like this. It includes reaching out to others; I can’t make it on my own anymore, nor do I wish to try any

Read More »
Nature is itself

Right As Rain

Life is incredibly full. I just have to slow down enough to experience it. When I sit quietly listening to the rain, watching leaves dance in the droplets and noticing the changes in the ebbs and flows of intensity, all the purpose in the world is present and accounted for. Within this space, I hear an invitation to give up my constant pursuit of whatever it is I think I’m looking for and instead just notice what’s already and always present, even as I engage in ‘daily life’. We, humans, are a curious animal. We seek reason for which something

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

Now

The past wanes in fading memories. The future eludes with uncertainty. The present is all that truly exists. Thus, the smart investment is in Now. Recollections can be fun and heartwarming. But they can also lead me to negative rumination. Deliberation is helpful when making plans. Yet, here too, it easily leans towards anxiety. Only in the current moment am I certain to find reality and peace… if I’m open to being it. It’s this stillness that is the place of greatest action… if I’m aware enough to allow it. ❝ There is neither past nor future. There is only

Read More »

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

Read More »

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,

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

The Questions

Every day starts the same for me—lockdown or not.Meditation, reading, then asanas & stretches with a bit of chanting. Not much changes when looking solely at the routine. Likewise, while confined to my own residence, not much changes in my immediate surroundings either: inside trainer ride when it’s raining, outside trainer ride when it’s not. But just as the outer world moves along with constant change, so too does the inner world. The tendencies of the mind are always in flux: how my body feels, my mood, my energy level, stress and fatigue levels, and desires or lack thereof. I

Read More »

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

Read More »

Types Of Quiet

I entered the hall with our group, filming to capture the moment. Then, I turned towards the statue of Sri Ramana Maharshi and my world flipped upside-down: the power and presence of Maharshi reached in and took hold. I directly experienced Bhagavan and crumbled to my knees crying. Quiet #1: SpiritYears ago, I’d read a few books containing Ramana’s teachings, but I never imagined visiting Sri Ramanashram. It seemed to me that it was a place reserved solely for highly committed devotees. Yet, there I was, unmistakably overwhelmed in my heart and not understanding why. Over the following two weeks,

Read More »

Movement

Close friends and family know that I’m a much happier person, and a great deal more pleasant to be around, after I’ve exercised. This is especially true following longer duration sessions, whether that be biking, running, swimming, or downhill skiing. The reason for the increase in affability is multifold. In her book, “Joy of Movement”, Kelly McGonigal does a science-based deep dive into the health-enhancing and life-extending benefits of exercise and movement. The underlying mechanisms may surprise you, they did me. Without question, exercise helps create happiness, meaning, and connection! ❝ McGonigal draws on insights from neuroscience, psychology, anthropology, and

Read More »