Exercise Challenge: Week 21 – 2022

Down Dog to Plank Push Up

Challenge: perform as many repetitions as possible maintaining good form. Do this exercise for at least five days of the week. Keep track of your repetitions on your calendar or journal. Which day did you perform the greatest number of repetitions? Celebrate your improving strength and share your outcome with a friend or training partner.


Towards the Light? (Linking-Thinking #3)

“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.”

Og Mandino

Literature, poetry, science and spiritualty are rife with evidence and anecdote comparing our material bodies and lived experience as infused with the same energy and essence as light. Yet to be human is to live life in the experience of the equal and opposite energy of light, which is felt and intuited as dark. Almost everyone has heard it said that if you are having a near death experience, then you should go towards the light. But consider this: going towards the light may also be a life giving experience! In fact, you essentially obeyed the imperative of going towards the light on the day you were born. On your birth-day, you were forced out of the darkness of your mother’s womb and expelled into the light of Mother’s Earth.

“Human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but…life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.”

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Where or when in all creation has anyone or anything been able to parse, sever, or obliterate this cycle of dark to light or death to life? And yet a great human desire is to resist the dark of night and separation. Why do we so strongly desire to experience living only in the light? Can you not feel the strong connection we have, to the cycles of dark and light? To death and life? To the the cycles of our Mother’s Seasons?

“People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”

Carl Jung

The cycle of death and life is an infinite loop. And if we consider all created things, might we soon realize that LIFE always finds its way back from death? Can we eschew gloom over those things which look and feel like death or darkness to us; might we forgo assigning the dark things to the ‘pits of despair’? Perhaps then, we may remember, again and again, that the dormancy of darkness is required to recharge, reinvent and reinvigorate life’s energy and light. Let’s flip dark thoughts to life with this reflection: it is the absence of light which points to the promise of an eminent birth experience. If we could embrace the vitality of the dark, then we might realize it is only from this place where we may go forward towards the light.

“I have learned things in the dark that I could never have learned in the light, things that have saved my life over and over again, so that there is really only one logical conclusion. I need darkness as much as I need light.”

Barbara Brown Taylor

For consideration/meditation:
What looks or feels like darkness and/or death to you?

setbacks; defeats; difficulties; misfortunes; failures; misunderstandings; shortages; loss; reversal; obstacles; illness.

When you’re in the dark, what can you do to go forward towards the light?
Reframe your perspective; rest; refrain from judging yourself or others; accept; forgive; ask questions; seek answers/counsel; test your beliefs.


Exercise Challenge: Week 20 – 2022

Double Leg Reach

Challenge: perform as many repetitions as possible maintaining good form. Do this exercise for at least five days of the week. Keep track of your repetitions on your calendar or journal. Which day did you perform the greatest number of repetitions? Celebrate your improving strength and share your outcome with a friend or training partner.



On Becoming

If you inherently long for something, become it first. If you want gardens, become the gardener. If you want love, embody love. If you want mental stimulation, change the conversation. If you want peace, exude calmness. If you want to fill your world with artists, begin to paint. If you want to be valued, respect your own time. If you want to live ecstatically, find the ecstasy within yourself. This is how to draw it in, day by day, inch by inch.”

Victoria Erickson

BELIEVING is SEEING (Linking-Thinking #2)

to believe (verb) – to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so.

to see (verb) – to have the power of sight; to understand intellectually or spiritually; to give attention or care; to find out; make inquiry; to consider; think; deliberate; to look about; to observe.

THE AMERICAN HERITAGE® IDIOMS DICTIONARY

If you have known me for any amount of time, you know this one thing about me: I like to run, and I really feel like a runner when I run fast. However, this one thing is also true: I am not a fast runner. But I am a runner none the less, no matter how slow or fast I run, simply because I run. And because I run, I believe that it is possible to achieve my goals of running longer or faster when I follow those training plans designed to prepare and adapt my body to go the distance.

What you believe has more power than what you dream or wish or hope for. You become what you believe.

Oprah Winfrey

This belief of mine is essential to my productive running life. If I did not believe it possible to become the marathoner I desire to become, then my doing would be disconnected from my thinking and believing. In other words, I believe I can complete a marathon distance race, because I have trained my body and my mind to adapt to the increasing stresses of marathon training. Every day I perform the exercises prescribed in my training plan, I am a marathoner. These BELIEFS I have about myself and my running, make it possible for me to SEE (realize) the results and accomplishments of my training and of my believing. Truly, I become a marathoner even before I toe the line of any marathon race.

“In running, every step you make and every push forward changes you – it transforms you into a different person. Every single run adds something to you and then it also takes something away. You are not the same person you have been at the starting line and by the time you come to the finish your inner self has been reinvented and reimagined.”

The Zen Of Running

And now it has been a one week since I completed my third marathon. Two weeks ago, I felt fully trained and prepared to complete the 26.2-mile distance within my targeted finish time. And thankfully, race day weather conditions under the giant redwood trees were absolutely perfect. Yet within the first three miles of crossing the starting line, my legs were feeling heavy, tired and less than energized to meet the challenge of running a marathon that day. And of course, upon my less than optimal body scan, my mind began streaming all matter of unpleasant, unacceptable possibilities for me to consider as I braced for a day’s worth of suffering; last but not least, my spirit was straining to grasp for reasons so as to play the ‘name and blame’ game. Surely someone or something is responsible for this unexpected waning on my most important day to be a runner.

What does this all mean? Why, after fulfilling every detail of training and preparation of the past four months, did I feel so flat and impotent on this most anticipated race day? I could conjure no plausible explanations; though as the miles passed I came up with a few theories which might explain my less than stellar performance. But in the present moments of my race day, reasons were not helpful… only by dealing with the current controllable items could I maintain a peaceful mind. And what were those controllables? I gave up on what I believed I deserved that day, and resigned myself to doing what I had trained myself to do for the last four months: move forward, whatever the pace, keeping the highest, most positive mindset possible.

Every response you make is determined by what you think you are, and what you want to be IS what you think you are. What you want to be, then, must determine every response you make.

A Course in Miracles

Accepting the reality that everything was as it should be, I let my mind be bathed in the peace of the shimmering light filtering through the vast array of the redwood forest; and I reconciled myself towards enjoyment of the day, no matter the outcome. I would embrace this unexpected difficulty and practice my Linking–Thinking techniques, namely: give no matter to the thoughts swirling in my head; and there was a considerable amount of negative thinking streaming past my eye screen. So the work of the day was to distance my Being self from the negativity, and turn my Doing self towards awareness. I had everything I needed to cue me towards peace: the sound and tempo of my footsteps and breathing. And no matter what else was streaming through my consciousness, the one thing I hung onto throughout the 6-hour wog (i.e. walk/jog) to the finish line was this: I AM a runner!

Indeed, I have much to learn yet about myself and my chosen sport. And though I am disappointed with the outcome of my third marathon finish, I am grateful for the experience and learning it has provided me. If this was easy, I would already have lost interest in the doing of this sport. And most importantly, this lesson has led me to the point of my writing this post. I hope you too might know that Believing is Seeing. I challenge you to try it on for yourself; perhaps you will discover that standing in this belief, truly transmutes the im-possible things into I’m possible.

What about you? Have you ever felt like Seeing is Believing rather than Believing is Seeing? I would love to hear your thoughts!


Exercise Challenge: Week 19 – 2022

Elbow Plank to Pike

Challenge: perform as many repetitions as possible maintaining good form. Do this exercise for at least five days of the week. Keep track of your repetitions on your calendar or journal. Which day did you perform the greatest number of repetitions? Celebrate your improving strength and share your outcome with a friend or training partner.


Exercise Challenge: Week 18 – 2022

V-sit roll back

Challenge: perform as many repetitions as possible maintaining good form. Do this exercise for at least five days of the week. Keep track of your repetitions on your calendar or journal. Which day did you perform the greatest number of repetitions? Celebrate your improving strength and share your outcome with a friend or training partner.


Exercise Challenge: Week 17 – 2022

Hip Bridge Dumbbell Chest Press

Challenge: perform as many repetitions as possible maintaining good form. Do this exercise for at least five days of the week. Keep track of your repetitions on your calendar or journal. Which day did you perform the greatest number of repetitions? Celebrate your improving strength and share your outcome with a friend or training partner.


Everywhere Love

I cannot resist the urge to spread some love-life around this morning, so this post will include some of my favorite words on the most important topic in the world! Feel free to add to my list in the comments area. Enjoy and please share the love!

To say that I am made in the image of God is to say that Love is the reason for my existence…Love is my true identity…Love is my true character. Love is my name.

Thomas Merton

The soul is made of love and must ever strive to return to love…It must lose itself in love. By its very nature it must see God, who is love.

Mechthild of Magdenburg

Work without love is slavery.

Mother Teresa

Love comes out of heaven, unasked and unsought.

Pearl S. Buck

Love is not a mold that makes two people the same person. Love is the dream that enables both of us to be our own best person–together. Love knows that no one can fill up in us what we lack in ourselves.

Between the Dark and the Daylight by Joan Chittister

“There is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.”

Vincent Van Gogh

“f you ever have a doubt in life, do what’s best for the other person. Take yourself out of the equation and you will see magically, everything will work out.”

Audrey Hepburn