Nature

An Invitation

Recently, I read a quote that sparked something inside. With a short pause, it was apparent that there were numerous subsequent responses. It would have been easy to disregard these and focus solely on the strong, energising, and confident energy that initially arose but, I’ve trained myself to look closer because there’s usually more going on. And honestly, it’s the subtle layers that are often the most interesting. “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” ~Jenifer Lee To be transparent, I felt uneasy with the question about what sets my soul on fire. Why? It’s

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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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Unravelling

Nature is always there for me, exactly how I am. Upon rising yesterday I was pulled away from the meditation cushion and encouraged instead get outside directly. After stuffing a thermos of tea in my pack of swim gear I set off for an early walk around the lake, returning to the dock where I’d swim and meditate. It was clear that the Universe was inviting me into a healing space with fresh air, bird songs, rising sun, and movement that was different from my regular stretching and rolling. For over a month I’ve been struggling with incapacities in my

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Clarity

When we’re not clear with ourselves about who we are and what we want it’s impossible to have clear and effective communication with others. We’ll make things up (consciously or unconsciously), and we’ll take things personally because we don’t really know what we feel or believe. Until we get clear about what we feel, and learn to express this with nonviolent diction, we’re only fooling ourselves. Growing up I learned to be a perfectionist because it provided a way for me to feel like I had some control in my life. What I didn’t realise was that the OCD behaviour allowed

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Eternity

When does eternity start? 5 minutes at a stoplight can seem like forever, and 3 hours on a treadmill moves into the realm of hell eventually. But at what point does it go from bearable to endless? As a young child, I remember clearly the time when my mom put me down for a nap. On some level, I was cognizant of my disdain for the forced downtime. Heck, I probably wanted to be out chasing geckos. I must have recently overheard the saying “a watched clock never moves” because, thinking myself clever, I moved the dial on the old-style

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Recovery

Nature for Recovery

A walk in the woods is an excellent way to support recovery from a myriad of life events. Recently, I strolled through the woods after finishing a long run and three days of back-to-back larger training volume. Fresh air, sunshine, forest terpenes, nature’s quietness mixed with soothing sounds of wind in the trees and bird song, and a distinctly grounding energy are very supportive. One of the reasons the best athletes in the world can absorb a lot of training is that they rest between sessions like the best in the world. Not everybody has that opportunity. We devote time

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Green. Nature.

Green

There’s an increasing amount of research showing that spending time in nature is good for our health, for a variety of reasons. (Of course, studies aren’t necessarily needed since personal experience makes this clear as well.) Incredibly, studies also show that just looking at photos of greenery and nature can help lower stress. Before reading on, take a moment to breathe, down shift, and enjoy the colours in this landscape. This picture was taken during my ‘long ride’ yesterday—on a very blustery autumn day. Time in nature helps me reconnect to my body and senses, to other people, and to

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Simplicity

A Simple Life

I’m learning that the simpler my life is the happier I am. Yet, there is renitent energy. Even while acknowledging my happiness-simplicity experience, there’s something inside me that is resistant to living increasingly simply. What is that element? I can hear the addictive patterns scream out in fear of answering the question. Fear/Addiction: Don’t look closer, don’t inquire. And, God forbid, don’t even think about asking the question about what it means to live a simple life? Me: Why not? Fear/Addiction: Because you might have to give up something? Me: Um, well, isn’t that kind of the point? (In order

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Midsommar

Midsommar

🇸🇪 Glad midsommar! Yesterday, I changed locations, again. The plan to stay put for a couple of months had to be revised due to unforeseen circumstances. That’s life. But where I am now is clearly a happy place for me. This morning’s resting heart rate was as low as I’ve seen it (I measured twice!), and HRV (heart rate variability) was nicely high. I spent a few hours after rising to ‘move in’. I’m a bit of a nut when it comes to having my space & stuff organised. Then my best friend and I meditated together, talked, and shared

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Orange Blossoms

There’s a saying, “A grateful heart is magnet for miracles.” I arrived in Málaga, then Marbella, somewhat frustrated with various aspects of the day’s travel. During the next 12 hours an ongoing question rolled in my mind, why am I here? Plans for attending this Ironman 70.3 competition were made long ago: the goal, qualify for the 70.3 World Championships in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. But that was prior to a recent decision, and before visiting my new favourite training and, perhaps, living location. The Decision As I felt into volunteering for the ÖtillÖ World Championship, it became stunningly clear that my

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OM

Show Up…

Show Up… …And just Be. That’s what Life does. If it’s good enough for Life, it’s most certainly good enough for (the illusory) me. When I stop, watch, and listen there’s a deep sense that it’s really this simple. We humans like to make things complicated. That’s different than ‘complex’, which is a series of simple systems built on top of each other. Nature is a huge teacher for me. I often recall our dog laying on the grass at the cabin: he and nature were just showing up. Neither of them asked why they were there, what their purpose

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Winter

Winter

It’s a love-hate relationship. I could say the struggle is between me and winter, but that would be a lie because wintertime is just doing what all seasons do, expressing life in their own way. The tension, and the ease, are within. Part of me contemns the cold, and the darkness. Simultaneously, I appreciate the tenderness in nature’s quiescent. She invites me to join her. Creation whispers, “Slow down, my boy. Be like the seeds preparing for rebirth. Nourishment and strength enroot in the repose.” And when I relent, accept, and embrace… She smiles. “That’s it, my son. Breathe. Feel

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Sitting on the edge of the bank

Breathing

‘Sitting on the Edge of the Bank’ It’s taper time. Keep the frequency, lower the volume. ・・・ Meditation & quiet time are as important now as always. Spending time in nature helps ground me: * grass moves in the breeze; * ducks graze for food; * and trees, well, they always just are. ・・・ I sit. The body breathes. Life moves (without the constructed seriousness that my mind projects). /Namaste.

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The author on a morning run.

Resiliency

What does resiliency really mean? Or perhaps more importantly, what is it I intend to relay with the concept? Basically, the ability to change shape as a result of internal or external drivers, and either return to original form or retain desirable modification. Think of water: * In liquid state it can flow, and reform, to fit any shape into which it’s poured; a bottle, a cup, or a teapot. It’s fluid. * In a gelatine-like state: it’s malleable in a way that it bends to stress but rebounds, i.e. after an insect glides along surface tension. It has structure.

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