There are two ways to feel the wind

“There are two ways to feel the wind: Climb into the open and be still, or keep moving.”

—Mark Nepo, author of The Book of Awakening

Image from Unsplash by Crystal Baeza

We all want to feel vital and alive. Feeling the wind on our skin when we are still lets us know that the world around us is alive. When we feel no breeze about us, we often tap our own stores of energy and take action to move in the world to feel something.

On most days, I take a walk around my housing development. One circuit is about eight-tenths of a mile and there are four primary segments that point in all four directions. During parts of my walks, I feel the wind directly in my face. Other times it comes toward me from the sides or from behind. It is in this last situation I can often make my walking pace equal to the speed of the breeze when only the aliveness from within my heart and breath can be felt.

EXERCISE:

Where and when do you feel the greatest sense of aliveness? Try some experiments of being still and doing something active to see what you discover.

“We learn who we are in practice, not in theory.”

“We learn who we are in practice, not in theory.”

—David Epstein, author of Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

Image from Unsplash by Giorgio Trovato

I just finished binge watching the Disney+ 6-part series Welcome to Earth with Will Smith. It reminded me a bit of the series Running Wild with Bear Grylls but on steroids.

Instead of each episode highlighting a different celebrity, Welcome to Earth took a deeper dive into our breathtaking natural world, and into the world of Smith’s fascinations and fears of exploring.

Watching from the safety of my recliner I felt his excitement in stretching beyond his physical and emotional limits. I too wanted to be an explorer and yet I realized it is hard to do that wearing fuzzy slippers!

EXERCISE:

Where and how can you learn a great deal about yourself by becoming more of an explorer? What opportunities present themselves to you each day that you have yet to embrace?

Decide to decide and then take the leap

Decide to decide and then take the leap. You will land on your feet more than you think.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Jeremy Bishop

Making good decisions takes practice. Consider letting your heart, gut, and then your head be your guide. Seeking congruency among these three and acting with courage will increase your batting average and confidence with future decisions.

EXERCISE:

Where are you currently struggling to make an important decision? How can you let your head, heart, and gut guide your path forward?

Requesting the support of a close friend, family member, or coach can offer alternative perspectives you may wish to consider.

Friday Review: Adaptation

Friday Review: Adaptation

How good are you at adapting to change? Here are a few adaption-related posts you may have missed.

 

“Human nature is like water. It takes the shape of its container.”

 

 

 

 

“You will not stop a steamroller by standing in front of it, but by letting it run out of steam.”

 

 

 

 

“Sometimes in the winds of change we find our true direction.”

 

 

 

“When the path is blocked, back up and see more of the way.”

“When the path is blocked, back up and see more of the way.”

—Mark Nepo, Author of The Book of Awakening

Image from Unsplash by Mike Cox

How familiar are you with the game of golf? To make courses more difficult, golf architects do numerous nefarious things to challenge and often frustrate both the weekend warrior and even the pros. Beyond making a course longer, various types of obstacles are built into most holes to make putting that little ball in the hole more difficult.

Of all the obstacles that cause the most consternation is the sand trap, which is now referred to as a bunker for political correctness.

Sometimes upon entering one, our ball lies so close to the lip that forward movement with the next shot is impossible. In such circumstances the player must step back from the situation to realize the only path forward is to hit the ball sideways, backwards, or even go back to the tee and accept a penalty stroke.

EXERCISE:

Where are your paths blocked in either your personal or professional life?  How would stepping back from these situations help you see your way forward more clearly?

Whoever is soft and yielding is a disciple of life

“Whoever is soft and yielding is a disciple of life. The hard and stiff will be broken. The soft and supple will prevail.”

—Lao Tzu, ancient Chinese philosopher and writer

Image from Unsplash by Robert Tjalondo

Next August Wendy and I are planning an extended vacation to Alaska and northern Canada with some close friends. Among our various excursions is a dog-sled outing which has gotten rave reviews.

Getting around these areas in winter usually involves snow machines, dog sleds, or snow shoes — especially if you live outside a city. Even with all of their modern shock absorbing technology, snow machines with their many plastic and metal parts seem to have a good many mechanical problems compared to the softer, more yielding materials made by nature.

EXERCISE:

Where in your life has being soft and yielding versus hard and stiff helped you prevail?  What does being a disciple of life mean to you?

Please reply to this post with your thoughts.

“You are the laboratory and every day is an experiment. Go and find what is new and unexpected.”

“You are the laboratory and every day is an experiment. Go and find what is new and unexpected.”

—Joel Elkes, 20th Century father of neuropsychopharmacology

Image from Unsplash by NASA

How often do you feel bored? How have your daily habits and rituals caused you to feel stalled or stopped? Where have you entered a form of hibernation, penned up in your den, waiting for some better day to emerge?

In winter, many of us simply hunker down to wait out the cold, dark days. We often seek out comfort foods and warm blankets until the coast is clear to come out into the newness offered by mother nature’s unfolding of spring.

Imagine you had the opportunity to spend the winter months on the international space station where every moment counts. Instead of sleeping in, you would enter the laboratory of your days to conduct various experiments to unearth new possibilities and discoveries.

EXERCISE:

Where and how can you add more experimentation to your days? How can and will you use your precious time to discover something new and unexpected today?

Notice your internal playlist

Notice your internal playlist.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Mohammad Metri

The moment we wake up it starts. Our inner voice begins and won’t stop until an undetermined time after our heads hit our pillows. If you — like many people — experience insomnia from time to time, the pause or stop button can be most elusive.

EXERCISE:

What thoughts have you been playing on repeat lately? What pivoting strategies can you apply given this awareness? How can you shift your playlist to one that soothes and serves?

“Notice if you are watching what is happening or if you are a part of it.”

“Notice if you are watching what is happening or if you are a part of it.”

—Mark Nepo, Author of The Book of Awakening

Image from Unsplash by Bruce Lee

When my children were young, we took them to a local farm and adopted two cats. We named them Oreo and Cookie due to their black and white fur patterns. Their primary residence in our home was our spacious sun room where they could watch the birds, squirrels, and other creatures from their beds or favorite cushioned chairs.

The only time they left our home was to visit the vet, which involved placing them reluctantly in carriers, which they hated. Just the sight of these prisons caused them all kinds of distress and to lose clumps of fur.

The decision to have indoor cats was for our convenience, and we did our best to provide lots of attention and kitty toys to entertain them. Having each other for company helped us also feel better about this decision.

EXERCISE:

To what degree are you engaged in an indoor life of watching? How and in what ways can you move out from the windows and screens of your world to be more “out and about” with others in your various communities?