Health

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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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

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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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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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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

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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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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,

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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

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Sunrise — Sunset

For the past month, I’ve been bookending my days with each sunrise & sunset. It’s been very nurturing and fulfilling. Why is this? We know that early light exposure aids our circadian rhythms. ❝The body craves rhythm. The body would love to go to bed and get up at pretty regular times. And certainly one of the biggest and most effective changes people could make to their sleep is to actually fix wake up time.❞ ~Dr Neil Stanley I also feel more in touch with and connected to nature. Grounded and grateful in the simplicity of the present moment. Satisfied.

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Downtime

Off-Season

It took me many years to learn the importance of downtime. This year, I finally headed advice from Alan Couzens and took an entire month of complete rest. Alan, Mike James, and many others know the importance of enjoying another 4-6 weeks, after the complete rest period, for really light, even unplanned exercise. This is sometimes known as the Transition phase. Between time off and ‘soft’ month that’s 8 weeks of no training!! It’s been an incredible experience for me these last 7 weeks to watch the progression in my mind and body as structures heal, the mind recharges, and

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Shinrin-yoku

Sanity is a walk in the forest: · Terpenes· Quietness· Nature’s timing Autumn scent and feel is in the air.Birds are much quieter than even a month ago.The species have changed a bit too. Green remains the predominant colour,which isn’t a surprise given the amount of rain recently.But once cold nights settle in the leaves will quickly reflect a different spectrum. Nightfall arrives sooner in the dayand with deep darkness; perfect for sleeping.And the sound of a fire in the wood stove rejoins my morning meditation. Without a doubt, spring is my favourite season.Yet, there is immense beauty as summer

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