Thursday, January 9, 2014
Mental Fitness #2
Have you ever noticed the difference between driving to your house in your neighborhood and walking to your neighborhood to your house?
Last year I decided to learn how to skateboard. I started off with a 5 degree hill, then incrementally tackled more and more of the hill. Every time I would practice, I'd have to walk back up. After a while, I could skate down a few streets at a time, but then of course, I'd have to walk back up each street to do it all over again. It takes time.
When skateboarding and walking the same streets (or driving and walking), a strange and noticeable phenomena occurs. The scenery doesn't look the same. While driving, the houses, the cars, the shrubs, and the people are all just there. Nothing special stands out. Nothing unusual, nothing interesting, the rather ordinary exists.
Skateboarding the streets is different than driving. With skateboarding, I notice the little rocks and fallen droppings from the trees, and people's mannerisms watering and mowing and doing different things in their garages.
Yet even more changes are noticed when walking. The colors in the trees are more noticeably yellow and green and orange. I see the veins in each leaf and I think about which gardens I like and don't like and why. Shiny and dusty, new and old cars in a variety of colors line the streets. Some times of the day there are few cars parked along the streets. I like skateboarding those times. Other days, there are too many cars parked that I forego skateboarding because of the danger. Sometimes there are more leaves on the ground after a windy night, some days more black dogs are being walked.
Slowing down to notice what is really there and how those things feel on the inside is calming, quiet, and peaceful. It is a good, perhaps great feeling to be alive at those moments when all is slowed down. I am convinced that loving and appreciating deeper in life comes from slowing the pace.
Slowing down doesn't mean accomplishing less. As I have slowed down everything, and have rid life of the unnecessary things, duties, and obligations, I've made more room and time to enjoy the moment and accomplish so much more.
To savour the moments of shopping, cooking, and containing foods or running on the treadmill becomes more enjoyable when I'm not wanting to move onto the next "thing." The time, wherever spent, is enjoyed more thoroughly and happily.
I have found myself running on the treadmill for sometimes 15 minutes more when I'm not focused on what I'm going to do next. My happy meter inside my body clicks on sometimes during a run, something I wouldn't notice if I wasn't calm and peaceful. The same happens when I've eaten healthy foods. Being more present with what's going on right now brings more awareness to the feelings and thoughts, and perhaps gives more ammunition to becoming consistent in nutrition and exercise, because something is starting to feel good and I have more energy to put where it's needed.
Here is my awareness question to you right now:
Who is the most important person to you?
Answer this question, remember this question, and remember the exact place and time.
Next blog I will talk more about the question and getting into the place you don't want to go but need to go.