Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I believe in you

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."
John Lennon

I believe in hugs, warm blankets, and chamomile tea. 
I believe in flowers, Kleenex, and make up sex.
I believe in long runs, long drives and long vacations.
I believe in remission, recovery and The Phoenix.
I believe in getting your head on straight, getting back on track, and getting over it.
I believe in the 12 steps.
I believe in "fresh starts," "do overs," and "try agains."
I believe in forgiveness, 2nd chances and hope.
I believe in you.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Choose ease: Say What You Need To Say

"Walkin' like a one man army
Fightin' with the shadows in your head.
Livin' in the same old moment
Knowin' you'd be better off instead 
if you say what you mean to say...."
John Mayer

"I just won't say anything."
How often do we keep our voices muted out of unease, or in the hope that if we ignore it, it will go away?  For fear that we might face rejection, or carry the heaviness of a broken heart? 

How often do we say "I'm ok," when we aren't, because we're afraid it may show our weaknesses or shortcomings?

How often do we say "yes," when we really mean "no" because we don't want to feel rejected, or disenchant others. 

In our guarded society, we hold onto our beliefs and words creating an unbearable malady of stress.  Our thoughts eat at us, becoming a cancer in our heart.  We become resentful and angry over speculations that are often not even reality- all because we do not say what we need to say. 

"Why complicate life? 
Missing somebody?     Call them.
Wanna meet up?   Invite.
Have questions?  Ask.
Wanna be understood?  Explain.
Don't like something?  Say it.
Like something?  State it.
Want something?  Ask for it.  
Love someone.  Tell it." 
Author unknown

We have just one life.  Keep it simple. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

I don't own you.

“If you love somebody- set them free.”

The text reply only had 5 words, but I knew instantly that for the last 6 months, I had been slowly suffocating our relationship.
“I don’t own you Jennifer.”

Coming out of a 17 year marriage, I have been owned and owning for a long time. ..for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health……till death do us part.  The truth is I no longer want to own, but the concept is a bit foreign to me.   I’ve been “owned” since I was a child by my parents, men, teachers, bosses….. even training schedules!  And being in control means that you own too.

I love the freeing quote of Anais Nin:  “You can’t save someone, you can only love them.”
Choosing ease means that we no longer try to own or save people.  We love them. We respect them.  We give and trust and have faith that the relationship is just as it should be in this moment.  We don’t worry about the future.  We live for today.  We LOVE for today. 

 Audrey Hepburn said that “the best thing to hold onto in life is each other,” but I don’t believe that she was referring to the kind of choke hold we can put the ones we care about most.  I believe she meant we should hold on to our humanness.  Hold on to happiness.  Hold on to love. 

If you love someone, set them free. If they come back.....then how lucky are you?  :)


Saturday, February 8, 2014

The purpose of the workout

"and everything seems cut and dry
day and night
earth and sky
somehow i just don't believe it"

Soul Asylum

I've been eagerly anticipating this run all week.  My Saturday long run.... a time for restitute.  But here I am running alone in the middle of a cow pasture .  My shoes are caked with 5 lbs of mud and I find myself distinctly grumpy.  "What am I getting out of this?" I ask myself grudgingly.  Is this doing me any good at all? 

As an athlete, I've always been told that every run has a "purpose" and that I should think about that purpose as I set into my workout for the day.  Coaches throw out  scientific jargon like  "VO2 Max" and  "lactate threshold" so that we can understand how each workout makes us run stronger, longer and faster.  However, the more I run, the more I've come to see that for me, the purpose of many runs is more ethereal than physical.  I've become much less methodical and I've started to listen to what my body and mind really need.

Sometimes the purpose of a workout is to push through your limits, building mental toughness and confidence; but some days we are taught humility and respect.    I'm grateful for hours on the trail when I turn into the student- listening and learning from others; and for days when I am supposed to slow down to be the companion, or teacher.    I feel pumped when the adrenaline is flowing and my lungs are screaming; and excited when I hit a personal best. 
There are days when no matter what's written on our schedule our bodies tell us to back off; and times when that short recovery run turns into 15 miles of a much needed escape.

I finish at the trail head with a mile left to go. Damn. I'm hungry and I really want to call it a day,  but I head up the road for a half mile more then turn around and come back-  because today is about finishing what I started. 
I never know what tomorrow's run will bring,  but what I DO know is that if I don't understand the purpose today, it is sure to unfold to me at a later time. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

When the money goes away......

"You don't need diamond rings
Or eighteen karat gold
Fancy cars that go very fast
You know they never last, no, no
What you need is a big strong hand
To lift you to your higher ground
Make you feel like a queen on a throne
Make him love you till you can't come down"


First of all, I want to start this post by attesting that I LACK FOR NOTHING.  I eat at least 4 meals a day.  I have clothes that both hang and fold.  The amount of sports equipment I own is almost embarrassing, and my apartment is equipped with both cable and internet.
However, for the first time in my life, money has become an "issue" and I've been forced become mindful of my spending habits. 

The state of mindfulness, what a great place to be!  Mindfulness causes you to to be respectful of your needs, conscientious of your waste, and alert to what is really important to you in your life.

Because I now live on a budget, I look at shopping differently.  Do I need this, or is it something to feed my ego?  Can I get by with the generic brand product?  Does it have to happen now, or can it wait?  Is there any way I can pay less for this?  I've become much more practical, and in return there is a lot less clutter in my life.

Because I make less, I've become less wasteful.  When my kids and I go to dinner, we share or take home leftovers.  I eat what's in the refrigerator and pantry, and have become quite creative with meals. I drink good old fashioned coffee instead of hitting Starbucks every day, and refill my own bottles of water from the tap.
I've learned to "make do," and it actually works.

And being mindful of what I consume, I have come to relish those things are totally worth it: 
Airplane trips and live concerts.
Silky sheets, a fluffy pillow and down comforters.
Goggles that don't leak, a bike you can rely on, and the perfect running shoe.
Bluebell ice cream and warm scones.
A great bra and comfy Uggs.
Sushi dates with your handsome boyfriend, and that second glass of wine.

With simplicity there is peace.  With respect comes understanding.  With gratitude there is joy.

I'm a lucky girl.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Blessed are the soul seekers.....

"Cause I'm as free as a bird now,
And this bird you'll never change."
Lynyrd Skynyrd

Who am I ?
Why am I here?
What am I made of? 

This weekend I volunteered and paced a friend at the Rocky Raccoon 100 trail run.  The race, directed by the warm- hearted team of Joe and Joyce Prusaitis,  tempts those runners who dare to challenge their limits- those who puff their chests with pride, their fat egos dominate and glaring. It calls to the risk takers, the brave hearts, the warriors. 

My soul resonates so soundly with  the distance though because it also beckons the fearful, the humble and the persecuted.  It entices the broken hearted, the damaged, and the meek.  Its siren call lures those who want to wrangle control of their bull headed life, and those escaping the choke hold of addiction.  If it were easy, everyone would do it.....but our life has never been easy, so we accept the challenge of the game with tenacity and grit.  100 miles?  Bring it on life.  We've so got this.

Ironically, the real beauty of the sport reveals itself in the countless hours of the race directors, volunteers, pacers, crew, coaches, friends and family who wholeheartedly support  and give to the runners they love and believe in. They endure heat, cold, hunger and sleeplessness to make sure YOU have what you need to find yourself.  In the process YOU can see your strong. They help YOU become a fearless champion too.
Every time I attend a race I see the beauty of the Holy Spirit rain upon these soul seekers, and in return I am filled with hope.  Ultimately, we all want those we love to see their true potential, their true spirit.  Humans ARE ultimately good, and when we lovingly  support each other, we can do all things strengthened by our source.