Breadcrumb Legacy

Have you ever taken yourself on a long hike or walk on a trail you’ve never travelled before? Or perhaps you have decided for no good reason other than boredom or curiosity to drive yourself a different way to work or home? Some folks might consider these behaviors as frivolous, careless or downright wasteful of one’s valuable time! Especially given the high likelihood of getting lost when we attempt travels into the unknown. But really, what’s wrong with getting lost once in a while? Isn’t this the stuff of life? And besides, if we choose to take a detour on purpose, we may certainly take precautions before and during the journey to reduce our chances of getting lost. This is the 21st century after all. We have GPS devices on our phones and in our cars. Getting lost is harder to do these days!

So, in honor of our explorer nature, I’d like to wander and weave my thoughts through this post today. What follows are some of the musings and wonderings I had while ascending a neighborhood trail on my morning’s walk. Usually, I walk and jog the sidewalks and surface streets in my neighborhood. Staying on the hard-pack is the most efficient (less strenuous) way to get in my daily miles. But for whatever reason, the idea to hike the strenuous, rock strewn summit trail 2000-ft above the neighborhood, seemed like the thing to do this morning. I’m not sure why I thought today was a good day for the summit trail; I did not have the right shoes for the hike, nor did I have my trekking poles; but the hill was summoning me to ascend and I felt willing to oblige its call.

“There are two ways to get lost: To get lost unintentionally, to get lost willingly! There is adventure in both, but the difference is this: The first has fear, the second has joy!”

― Mehmet Murat ildan

Perhaps it was the verdant, extravagant shades of green covering the usually brown hills; or maybe it was the cool temps of this late summer morning that urged me onward and upward in breathless revelry? Regardless, I’m not sure when it commenced, but at some point on my way to the summit, I began to think about those breadcrumbs. You know, the breadcrumbs that Hansel cast on the trail to guide him and Gretel safely out of Grimm’s dark forest. It was a brilliant idea of his and well executed too. Unfortunately, Hansel had not considered the birds and beasts of the forest who would eat the crumbs and obliterate their hopes and plans for a safe return journey.

It occurred to me, while I was trudging up that summit trail this morning, that we often do the same thing as Hansel did. Have you ever noticed or found yourself on life’s path in a place you had no intention of travelling? Sometimes a sickness or a lack of attention or an unforeseen accident or happenstance can force us to take an off-ramp on life’s highway. Adversity always takes us to a place far from the safety of our own neighborhood. Then there are other times where we choose to travel like an explorer, and we’ll purposefully traverse unknown territories. It seems to me the explorers who journey on purpose, these ones usually have the luxury of following in the footsteps of others who have travelled the route before them. They are like the birds of the forest who pick up the breadcrumbs left behind by former pilgrims.

“It’s okay to get lost every once in a while, sometimes getting lost is how we find ourselves.”

― Robert Tew

So these were the thoughts which carried me onward this morning as I stumbled and bumbled my way to the summit. Those thoughts swirled in my head like vultures over carrion. There was a strand of thinking about how we leave breadcrumbs for ourselves as we journey into our own dark nights and scary forests. Things that look like breadcrumbs for me are activities like journaling and meditative reflections. Especially helpful breadcrumbs are those cathartic sessions of venting and downloading and expressing or wishing and dreaming with friends or loved ones as I as journey through the the land of the lost. You know we all have these times, of living with the loss of our health, or the loss of a loved one or the loss of a relationship or work or the loss of our ‘normal’ life because of a global pandemic.

I realized too, how much we need to leave breadcrumbs for each other, because at some point, we’re all going to get lost in the forest of life. And this is where we have an opportunity to leave a legacy for those who come behind us on the trail. Have you ever considered what sort of legacy you are leaving for those who know and love you? Whether you plan your legacy or not, you are indeed leaving your breadcrumbs for those others who come behind you on life’s byway.

“Sometimes it takes a wrong turn to get you to the right place.”

― Mandy Hale

Your legacy is left in all sorts of places. You know that, right? And these places you leave your breadcrumbs might surprise you. For instance, in this age of social media, what ever you cast out into the ether of the Internet, you leave behind a trail of yourself with every post you make on social media and/or every electronic message you create via your phone or computer. I think this is something worthy of your consideration, don’t you? What kind of breadcrumb legacy are you leaving your family and friends? I hope you’ll make your exchanges count for those who read you after you have crossed over into the high country.

If you don’t use the modern technologies, you still have breadcrumbs to scatter! Your legacy is branded onto the memories and hearts of all those with whom you interact. Are you teaching them how to show up bravely when you are under stress or duress or sick in your body or soul? Are you showing them how to love and care for the needs of others who are struggling with lack of resource or ability? Perhaps you leave your legacy by taking care of those lost and broken others found in nature; the wild things we share space with: the animals, the plants, our environment?

I hope you realize that your lostness in life is not a thing to evade, but rather a life-line to chase and embrace. It is your lifeline and mine; we each need those breadcrumbs to find our way home. When we willingly travel to the high country, where the air is thin and the vistas expand, it is from these heights that we might remind each other…we are not lost when we walk with those who journey willingly with us. And all those others who have gone before, they too show illumine our paths. When we follow the breadcrumbs of trustworthy pilgrims, we are walking each other home…through the dark forest to the place of the rising sun. Carry on, faithful explorer; the view from the summit is worth your each bumbling step and straining breath.



Exercise Challenge: Week 35 – 2022

Bear Plank with Kick Through

Challenge: perform as many repetitions as possible while 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.


What You Pay For – (Linking Thinking #6)

Are you getting what you want? From your relationships? Your health? Your fitness or physical training? From your occupation or employment? Are you more content or happier today, this week, this month than you were six months ago? A year ago? You might think these are rather self-absorbed types of questions, but I have a point in mind for your consideration.

Today’s post is a continuation of the theme behind all the Linking-Thinking blog posts this year. I hope you’ll read or revisit the previous posts if you haven’t read them yet. You may find them helpful reminders in applying the principles of purposeful awareness to our thought life. Namely, the posts reiterate in one way or another the value of recognizing the patterns of our thinking. Why is this skill so vitally essential? Because the thoughts we curate (pay attention to or attach our beliefs to) are the thoughts that run and create our every day reality. There are no exceptions or work-arounds to this universal truth. Thoughts are energy, and as such the energy they generate is relayed through the brain into the body. Thoughts in motion create energy too, as emotion. The body responds to this emotional energy without bias; this is the nature of human physiology. The autonomic responses to sensory energies are working on our behalf and in our subconscious psyche, 24/7. The physical body is designed specifically to collect and interpret sensory data received from the outside environment on behalf of our biological operating system. Our sensory system has served humans well through the eons. However, these systems have not evolved much though the eon. In this respect, our base instinct nature is similar to that found in all of the animal kingdom.

Remember, the goal right now is to gradually change your response to what you can’t control. To grow stronger on the inside day by day, so that in the long run almost nothing on the outside can affect your inner peace and wellness without your conscious permission.

marcandangel

So when you ask yourself the above questions and if the answers come back with negatives, you might want to seriously assess your thinking thoughts. Are the majority of your thoughts in any given day about the things you want or don’t want in your life? This is an important point to note! If you treated your thoughts as dollars and cents in your bank account, what sort of experiences are you paying for with all the minutes, of all your days?

Energy is the currency of the universe. When you ‘pay’ attention to something, you buy that experience. So when you allow your consciousness to focus on someone or something that annoys you, you feed it your energy, and it reciprocates the experience of being annoyed. Be selective in your focus because your attention feeds the energy of it and keeps it alive. Not just within you, but in the collective consciousness as well.

Emily Maroutian

Seriously, your best life is literally held within the confines of your own mind (not to be confused with your brain)! You create your reality over and again with each and every thing you choose to think (and believe). Might you decide, on purpose, whenever you realize you’ve slipped into unconscious patterns, to spend your attention, on the things you want? It is my hope for you today, as I finish this last series post, that you will task yourself to spend your thinking thoughts wisely. Choose as often as you want, and make deposits rather than withdrawals into your best-life account. Because to think about what you don’t want, simply invites the economy of compounding interest to give you more of what you don’t want or need.


To the Full

Think...Feel...Be....BodyWise!

Have you ever noticed how the universe has a way of getting our attention when it’s time for us to learn a life lesson? How it seems like every other conversation we have, or book we read, or music we hear, or sermon we attend, or movie we watch, there is a recurring theme or word or message seemingly designed solely for us; if only we have ears to hear, eyes to see, and a will to put into action.

My most recent message from the universe has provoked a question, an intrigue, an examining: What does living life ‘To the Full’ look like? on the outside? on the inside? How can I know if I’m living my life to the full?

But then I wonder, is it even possible, to live life each and every day, with such focus, verve, and single-minded application? Conceptually I embrace this maxim one hundred percent! To the full ~ full steam ahead! But in…

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Exercise Challenge: Week 34 – 2022

Plank with Dumbbell Row

Challenge: perform as many repetitions as possible while 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.


Chasing the Beautiful

This morning as I ambled the streets of my neighborhood, everything seemed dreamy and quiet under the heavy clouds from last night’s monsoon. The cool air, dank and heavy in the low lying streets and washes, lathered my skin with a mixture of goosebumps and sweat. And that shiver of goosebumps induced by the unseasonal chill, roused me awake. I had dressed expecting a warmer temperature. But now I was intrigued by the brisk cool I encountered. Surely this is a portent of cooler days to come…oh September!

Be brave enough to turn away from shiny objects, and toward the light that makes them shine.

Martha Beck

The specter of change was fresh and palatable this morning; and like the goosebumps rising on my skin, my senses were alerted to the beauty arising with every step I took. The morning’s landscape seemed to be emerging with radiant light even as the sun struggled to beam through the rain clouds of yesterday’s storm. And this is when it struck me that I was traveling through a sanctuary of magnificent artistry. Everywhere I looked beckoned my noticing. The morning’s light playing hide and seek with the waving wands of grass. The flowers opening big and bright and loud to capture the sun’s warm and drying rays. Is there no better medicine for one’s soul and happiness? And look this balm is free for all…for all who have eyes and ears open to noticing. Where is the light for you? Have you tried chasing the beautiful…putting your self in the Way of Beauty…Everyday? I hope you’ll find a way to make this a regular practice in your life…I think you may find it quite magical and life enhancing.


Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

Phillippians 4:8-9

Exercise Challenge: Week 33 – 2022

Squat with Side Kick

Challenge: perform as many repetitions as possible while 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.


Your Next Life

Letting go doesn’t mean forgetting. Quite the opposite: Letting go requires remembering the gifts of the past and the clues the caterpillar left you to navigate life as a butterfly.

Steps forward require steps down. “Our next life,” Glennon Doyle writes, “will always cost us this one. If we are truly alive, we are constantly losing who we just were, what we just built, what we just believed, what we just knew to be true.” Any real change requires you to die before you die—and know that dying can be the beginning, not the end.

Ozan Varol – The Death of You