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Thursday, August 25, 2011

8/5 - 8/14 Days 217 - 226 8/15 - 8/24 Days 227 - 236

I swear the second half of the year is moving at a much much faster pace than the first half!  Is anyone else feeling the same way?  This blog is the first one I have got finished in sub 10 days in a long time.  My goal for the next one is to get it under a week....

Don't forget to post your book summaries for the book of the month club.  I have been enjoying reading the ones that are already up there.  I need to get mine up asap before I forget what I want to summarize :)  You can post your book summaries here: Book of the Month Club

This last week has been one of the most profound of my life... not because anything extra extraordinary happened or I won the lotto or anything like that.  No, it was something more, a shift has occured inside of me and I am not sure how to explain it, but I will do my best in the lines that follow:

I shared with all of you my personal struggles of the last several months.  The emotional ones: anniversary of my friends suicide, fathers day, negative feelings about myself; the mental ones: being unmotivated, not being able to concentrate, and the physical ones: hernia surgery, hair surgery, which lead to nearly 3 months of being sedentary that I allowed to really pull me down.  The results - I found myself out of shape, living in a body that was unfamiliar to me, one that I did not even recognize when I looked in the mirror.   Challenging times...

Thankfully for me life had a grander lesson amidst all the above, one that I have learned before, one that I have shared with all of you, one that it never hurts to have a little reminder about.  From our greatest challenges come our greatest opportunities to learn.  And of course, we cannot appreciate the beautiful vistas from the tops of the mountains unless we spend a little time in the valleys below.  It's hard to remember the view when you feel "stuck" in the valley.  When you feel "stuck" you have a couple choices: either stay stuck and wallow in the valley you are stuck in, OR pick yourself up and start climbing towards the top of the mountain.  Easier said than done, right?

Picking yourself up is the hardest part.  You see as much as we can say we dislike feeling down, sad, depressed, shitty, upset, angry etc...  We complain about being unhappy in the valley, but resist taking those first challenging steps up the mountain - why?

It is a comfort thing.  We as human beings love to resist change even if that change will be a positive one.  We may say we are unhappy with a situation, but we resist changing it and will make up every excuse imaginable to support the situation we are.  Lets use me as an example:

Two surgeries left me limited in what I could do physically for almost three months.  I am a moving person, I do not sit well, and now I had to sit to recover.  My biggest fear was getting fat, losing muscle, going soft, falling out of shape, losing everything I had created myself over the last 10 years of exercising.  These fears while a little over the top (I certainly was not going to lose EVERYTHING), were natural to have, however the actions I chose to take on my part to support the fears were not.

I chose to eat every single piece of junk food imaginable.  I choose to spend every day worrying about how the inactivity was going to change me.  I choose to whine, complain, bitch, moan, etc... about the circumstances.  And guess what I got: in return... exactly what I thought about non stop, exactly what I feared.  I gained weight, lost muscle, got softer, felt lethargic, had less energy, and the list could go on and on...

Our thoughts have an amazing power and influence over our reality.  They are and always will be the foundation of the reality in which we exist in in our day to day lives.  You think negative thoughts like I am not good enough, if only I had this, I am fat etc... guess what, you are going to get negative results.  Are you surprised, need to be further convinced?  Don't think about the Big Pink Elephant standing on a Beach Ball!  Hmmm... what just popped into your head????

Now back to the shift.

Each day since being able to go back to exercising I have been feeling stronger, more confident, more myself, more ALIVE.  It has been amazing to see how just the re-introduction of exercise can make such a tremendous difference in how I feel.  I love it!  However, as I was driving down to Palm Springs it was the opposite.  I was filled with fear.  "Can I do this?" "I am not 100% yet" "How will my body respond to the heat?"  and so on and so fourth. 

Then something magical happened, I looked up and saw the big tall mountains looming majestically over me and I felt goosebumps spread through my body.  My heart rate quickened, my mind went quiet, and one of the most genuine smiles I have ever smiled in my life swept over my face.  I can do this."  "My body is strong!"  "I love the heat!"  "I am in the Valley right now, and it is to climb out of it; THIS IS MY MOUNTAIN TO CLIMB!"  I was so pumped, I could not wait to get up there...

Headphones were in, gear was secured, smile was in place, beauty was everywhere; I was ready to start.  As I took my first few steps of the 8-9 mile round trip journey I kept getting that same goosebumps sensation that I had earlier in the car.  The further I went the stronger I got.  The more I changed my environment, not just the environment around me, but me physically, the more the energy inside me increased and the voices inside my head diminished.  As I went higher I felt like I was going faster and not slowing down from the increase in altitude.  It was an amazing feeling.

I hiked around for over five hours that day and what was more amazing than the natural beauty that I got to spend the day in was the inner peace I found within myself.  I spent almost an entire day being completely present to what was going on within me.  My mind remained quiet.  Those pesky thoughts of bills to pay, deadlines to meet, chores to be done, drama to be dealt with, that plague all our minds rarely entered into my mind the entire afternoon.  I have only experienced this a few times in my life... during the big moments; the skydives, the first kisses etc...

That's when I realized a shift had occurred.  Suddenly I had replicated the same feelings I feel in the "big moments" of life within the little ones!  The little moments had the same feelings as the big ones.  EVERY MOMENT HAD BECOME A BIG MOMENT!  I WAS EXISTING IN THE WORLD THE WAY I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO!!!!!!!!

When I started this year my personal goal for myself in doing the 1000 Challenge was to focus on living for all the thousands of little moments, to learn how to get out of my head, to focus on living my life the way I want to.  And while I am still not 100% of the way there, I got a taste of it, I know it is possible.  Thoughts, ideas, philosophies I have believed in for a long time suddenly came to fruition that magical afternoon.  It leaves me re-invigorated with the knowledge of what is possible for us all.  To exist in each and every moment of life with a quiet mind and an open heart.

Just re-reading that last line gives me goosebumps... what's possible in life is not just wishful thinking everyone, it is a reality if you/we/all of us choose to make it so!

Enjoy the pics,

Be sure to check out the hike video at the link below the pictures

Carpe Diem,


Mt. Jacinto Hike

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