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Friday, August 12, 2011

Free Form Friday

"Vary your training, your running partners, and your environment. Only your imagination limits the ways you can spice up your running routine." -- Bob Glover

It's been a really good running week:  6.15 miles with Paula on Tuesday, 7.05 miles at the track on Wednesday morning, 9.72 miles yesterday afternoon on the road alone and 6.67 miles this morning with Jeremy.  I have thoroughly enjoyed catching up with good friends while getting the miles in as well as putting in some quality time at the track.  It makes me feel like I'm really evolving as a runner when I can derive just as much pleasure from a solo run with no music as I can from pounding the pavement with my peeps.  

"It is hardly possible to build anything, if frustration, bitterness and a mood of helplessness prevail." --  Lech Walesa

I am always beating the drum of "don't sweat the small stuff" and "life is too short".  Well, sometimes, I forget who I am and revert back to who I was.  I allowed a little work issue to consume me earlier this week; to the point of where I felt anxious, upset, frustrated and stressed out.  Thankfully, I was supported by those with whom I work and wasn't judged for my short tempered outbursts.  Once I was able to process what I was feeling and look at the situation again once I felt better, I was able to let it go.  But, I had to get to "feeling better" first.  I had to make peace with what was going on and cut myself some slack before I could move on.  

"When you are kind to others, it not only changes you, it changes the world." -- Rabbi Harold Kushner

It's easy to get caught up in the day to day business of living, isn't it?  Sometimes, we get a little too self-involved for our own good.  We put up walls instead of building bridges.  I know I must sound New Agey and Hallmark-y, but it's the truth.  There are times where I dismiss people who are trying to talk to me.  I don't make eye contact, I don't engage...because I'm too BUSY.  However, if I take a few moments to put myself in their shoes, it makes all the difference in the world.  How would I feel if I was being treated that way?  Once I ask the question, I become aware and, thus, emotionally available.  When you make the time to be kind to others, kindness comes flowing back to you.

"Sincere forgiveness isn't colored with expectations that the other person apologize or change. Don't worry whether or not they finally understand you. Love them and release them. Life feeds back truth to people in its own way and time." --Sara Paddison

Have you ever seen that email about reason, season and lifetime?  Basically, it talks about how some people come into your life for a specific REASON.  Usually, it's to meet a specific need you may have.  Then, there are those who stay a little longer, like for a SEASONThis would signify that it's time for you to learn or share.  It's usually profound and powerful, but not permanent.  Then, you have those who are with you for the long haul.  The LIFETIME ones (and I'm not talking about that uber depressing "television for women" channel).  They might not be there forever, physically, but what they bring to you is.  When these people come and go from your life, they occasionally do so against your wishes.  It's important to use their reason/season/lifetime presence in your to grow into the person you are meant to become.  Forgive them for "abandoning or disappointing" you.  Forgive yourself for forgetting what's truly important.  Letting go of attachments or expectations of anything else is a good place to start.  Everything can be for the greater good if you want it to be.

"The purpose of meditation is to get connected and to feel the bliss that is our true nature. When we commit to meditation as discipline, we stay connected and live in that bliss." -- Rich German
I have been interested in meditation off and on for quite a few years now.  My father started meditating twice a day back in the early 80's and, as far as I know, hasn't missed a day.  He's calm, relaxed and even as the day is long.  I've been experimenting with different meditation practices for the past couple of years.  Sometimes, I stick with it for weeks at a time; other times, I can barely manage to string together a few days.  Right now, I'm using a Guided Meditation CD that has four 15-minute meditations (general well-being, financial, physical and relationships).  I'm happy to say that I've sat quietly every day this week and listened to my chosen message while taking long, slow breaths in and out.  When I take the time for solitude, stillness and to just "be", I do feel connected and, dare I say it, kinda blissful.  Try it sometime.  You just might surprise yourself.

“Real life isn’t always going to be perfect or go our way, but the recurring acknowledgement of what is working in our lives can help us not only to survive but surmount our difficulties.”-- Sarah Ban Breathnach

Accentuate the positive.  Eliminate the negative.  Preposterous, you say?  It's easier than you think.  Continuing to beat the drum of the things you don't want or like will only bring an increased awareness, not to mention more evidence, of those things.  Instead, what else can you focus on?  What else can you think about?  Did you have a nice conversation with a friend that left you with a good feeling?  Well, dwell on that.  Or maybe, you found a $20 bill in a jacket you forgot about.  Celebrate your windfall.  The better it gets, the better it gets.  Accept what is and make peace with your current circumstances.  We all have to start somewhere.  Start with the small stuff.  Make it easy on yourself.  It just takes a little focus.  You're worth the effort.

In closing, I'll leave you with this final thought:

"One day at a time - this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past, for it is gone: and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering." -- Ida Scott Taylor, Author

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