Monday, November 8, 2010

Wisdom of Running, Art, and Yoga

There is so much I have learned since assuming the practices of running, creative exploration,and yoga.  Below are just a few of the shared wisdom tid-bits.

Meditate.  Mental Chatter makes or breaks your experience & success rate.

If I think too much about what I'm doing, I will fail.  It happens over and over.  Positive mental feedback, "you can do this!", and thought-reminders (breathe) are excellent.  But they only go so far.  When I've put successive layers on the painting, when I'm 3/4 of the way up the hill, when I'm nearing Savasana - if I keep thinking about how I don't want to mess it up, how I want to walk, or how I want a grilled cheese sandwich....I'll quit.  Learning to control my thoughts - or at the very least, be aware of them - is crucial to my continued pursuit of any soul-fulfilling endeavors.  Meditation is vital to doing this.

Don't over-think.  If you think of something else to do, you'll do it.

If I wake up in the morning and convince myself that I have too much to do besides running, you better believe I'm not slipping on my shoes and stepping into the cold dark air.  If I have more productive things to do (as if laundry were more productive), the art gets shoved aside.  If I think I need cardio more than yoga (my yoga practice is more awarness-based - not sweat-based), the mat stays rolled up.

I am an intelligent woman who can find just as many excuses as I can reasons.  All of that thinking about whether or not I should or even can do something is still a layer over the deeper passion inside.

Once I commit to something - on the outside and the inside - it isn't a matter of whether or not I should or can do it.  I do it because I can't NOT do it.

Embrace all sources of energy. Empower yourself and acknowledge others. 

I went for a run yesterday morning along a highway then back into a neighborhood.  Half the run I was facing cars and drivers and the awareness that each and every one of them could be thinking something different about me.  For the other half of the run, I was facing birds and mailboxes and a few goats who seemed confused as to why I was running if nothing was chasing me.

There is definitely a different energy, a different feeling, I get when running amidst other people (traffic or in a race) versus running completely on my own.  The same goes if I'm taking a yoga class versus practicing in my living room or painting outdoors at Brown County versus my basement.

Embrace the energy others can provide but learn also to find your own.  Both have their benefits.

It cannot be me against them.  It has to just be me.

Remember all of those people I faced yesterday while running?  My thoughts wavered between, "Well they aren't out running so screw 'em if they think I look odd or am running too slow" and "I'm sure they are jealous that I'm out and they aren't - don't worry lovely drivers, you can do it!".  Eventually, it came down to, "If they are a runner, they get it.  If they aren't, they don't."

We all must run for ourselves.  We must paint for ourselves.  We must find our own pose.  If you are trying to be better than someone else or afraid you are worse, you act based off of the assumption that you are somehow different from "them".  Someone may make different choices than you, but at the base of it all, we are all a hodgepodge of unified, seemingly chaotic diversity.

In other words, we are all one.  Don't fight against yourself.

You can still sign up for The Fine Print!  This week's edition holds stories of non-conformity and glitter...and a challenge.  Indulge in the randomness.


  1. Powerful thought-provoking stuff, dear friend. Think that sometimes we don't even set challenges for ourselves for fear of not meeting them or giving up at the first 'hurdle'. Your wise words remind us that, somehow, we do have to take control in managing those 'inner gremlins': to block our ears or else kick them to the kerb! How powerful are our thoughts. How much they can influence our choices and behaviour, and sometimes make us lose sight of our deepest hopes and dreams too.
    Wouldn't it be amazing if we could simply turn them? Just think what we'd achieve and accomplish, what a difference our lives would make!!! We are ALL uniquely awesome and beautiful, SO much to offer... thank you for your encouragments!!
    Hugs xxxx

  2. This is SO amazing- I read it yesterday but bookmarked it so I could read it over and over.

    So much of this is stuff I struggle with, especially "Embrace the energy others can provide but learn also to find your own. Both have their benefits." I was born with Spina Bifida and had a mild stroke when I was in my 20's (everything came back except physical sense of balance) so I walk a little funky now. And I can never go ANYWHERE without people noticing, and I notice that they notice, and then I feel their energy (normally it's full of curiosity and compassion, but sometimes it can be negative and I'm super-sensitive, so...), and it's just... exhausting. So this makes SO much sense to me.

    Maybe if I approach situations by focusing on the energy *I* possess, the energy *I* put out, I can stop RECEIVING and start GIVING a little more. It's going to take some work, but I never thought about it until I read this, so I thank you profusely.

  3. i've been a lurker ... unable to keep up with everything. but this was so juicy good ... i am reminded, in the words of Kurt Vonnegut "there goes my big brain again, getting me into trouble." this past week in Susannah Conway's course we've been looking at Change in terms of the storylines we feed ourselves. Funny, we are so concerned about what we put into our bodies in terms of food, but pay little attention to what we feed our minds. i am working on debunking these two myths: I don't have enough time (followed by, I must do it all) and I cannot get up in the Morning (meaning: I am too tired to ...)

    and now a new awareness: I CAN finish my LOVELY Sketchbook Project - I can I can I can AND it will be fun.

    sorry, had to toss that one out there. So excited to be doing Mindy's class ... yikes! did i just confess to a new ecourse? well, she did offer it to me ... how could i resist?

    love you like crazy cakes- xo lis

  4. Lisa, my sister, Hannah, and I were just talking about this exact thing- excuses, perceptions, judgement (our own and others)- though when we get together, we don't put it nearly as eloquent as you just did. Great job of putting into words, through your experiences, what we all fear sometimes. And thank you for reinforcing that to go out and do it (whatever it may be!) is all really about enriching our own lives:)

  5. "In other words, we are all one. Don't fight against yourself." Absolutely lovely!