I think that there’s a lot to learn from the laidback lifestyle and carefree conduct of Island living. When I took a family vacation to Barbados a few years ago, I can explain their approach to life’s flow in the way they drive; crazy Rastafarian style, zooming through winding streets that are sidelined with potholes and fatal looking ditches off cliffs. I remember being on a double decker tourist bus that zipped along so fast that I had white knuckles from clutching the seat in front of me. BUT when they approached a crosswalk with an old lady nearing the intersection, they’d calmly halt, without an ounce of impatience in their demeanor, until the road was again clear for them to haul ass and cut off more of the circulation in my hands.
This is boldly contrasted against Western society that remains in this high strung, production driven and output adoring state – essentially living for the weekend. It seems like we always have to be moving, working, and doing. What about just being? No destination, no need or expectation for anything, just being present. Whenever I’m asked why I moved out to British Columbia, one of the main questions is “What for?”, and an immediate assumption of “work?”. Nah breh, I moved because my heartstrings were playing sweet music with the mountains and ocean swells. In Toronto’s concrete jungle I wasn’t getting the soul food I craved. This reasoning doesn’t sit well with the preconceived notions of the need to make a living and focus of work that plagues our freedom. I’m a lucky girl; I’m supported by loving parents, friends, and wicked ass people who props me for carpe dieming. But still I have this feeling that I’m living in luxury, that I “should” be working in a position with which I feel displeased, should be exhausted from participating in a 9-5 rubbish environment, shouldn’t be happy. It’s a lame feeling to be in the state of guilt for contentment though, right?! I often catch myself feeling bliss that is automatically followed by a state of guilt inducing a “what instead should I be doing” question, as if feeling unadulterated happiness is a forbidden fruit. But shit, this is so wrong. I’m currently working as a Personal Trainer, Triathlon Coach and Spin Instructor at different locations. But – not making enough money to sustain my living, especially in Briti$h Columbia, being a fre$hly graduated $tudent. I am now a certified Kinesiologist, and along with my certs, I know in which direction I want to go – definitely a path of unconventional entrepreneurship, some kind of life coaching, endurance sport, adventure, wilderness therapy, holistic nutrition realm (quite a mouthful, eh). I want to have my own organization that hosts seminars, courses, and classes held in camps, whether it be biking, running, swimming, hiking or some other kind of physical movement for pure life and mind enrichment. I know that I have lots to learn in the world of kinesthetics, physiology, training, nutrition, wellness, and life, but I’m an absorbent sponge ready to soak up some rad shit. I think that it is important to work in a team environment, and have met so many wicked people who I would love to work with as a team in this endeavor of mine. I think we are often too busy making a living that we forget to make a life, and we exchange each day of work for our time on earth. Money is nothing. Money and happiness are tag alongs with whatever pure and genuine effort and attraction we give out with our intentions.
We often are blinded by mistakenly labeling symptoms as causes. Things like addiction, abusive relationships or any other self-depredating states are simply symptoms of an out of order and ungrounded factor in life. I believe that in solving the root problem, not just the symptom, then the physical and visible maladjustment will resolve. These problematic adaptations to inner issues serve as a way to survive; smoking a ton of weed to cope with some kind of issue that is needing repression because it is all-consuming. In this way we cope – the mind finds a way through the body to survive and exist through a seemingly unbearable state. Although it is easy to blame, self-hate, become frustrated and disgusted in oneself, and to live in a state of “should”, this needs to be shut off. I think there’s merit in thanking your mind and body for the protection, and accepting the valiant effort of the body for self-preservation. Once we are grateful, we can move on. Instead of placing blame, instead of hating yourself, you can be productive and constructive in finding a different way to cope, and furthermore, looking deeper into the root cause of the maladaptation to solve the deeper issue at hand.
In lieu of this way of thinking, this approach explains my belief of how we attract wealth once we give wealth. I think that if we follow our passions, success will come in many ways. Just as mindful attention can be channeled to heal, we can give what we have to offer and will receive what we put out.
A word that has been surfacing in my mind lately is that of “surrender”. Accepting what is around me instead of fighting. In training, I used to approach my workouts with a belief of “no pain no gain”, which only supports a head butting hypothesis; fighting will lead no where and will only making the goal attainment harder to reach since we self-impose resistance. I can use the example of my newly discovered Grouse Grind climbing technique, inspired by the incredible ultra runner Kilian Jornet who’s new book “Run or Die” blew me away in its artistic beauty. Kilian explains his running technique as simply projecting himself as an extension of the terrain. He dances with it, atop undulating cliffs, rock faces and rivers – his footing massages the earth in a reciprocal dance. He is not pushing his feet against the ground, but rather being guided by the contours of Mother Nature’s back as he massages her spine. This resonated with me big time, and I attempted to translate this mindset on a Grind I did last week with great success. Instead of thinking to push up from each foot placement, I simply glided with my body above each step, each upward footstool on the daunting 2.8km Stairmaster. Results = awesome, it worked beautifully, and now you know 😉 (Grind PB secret here).
I used that word again today when horseflies followed me up the 12km climb of Mt. Seymour, like vultures circling their prey, their buzzing and biting followed me up the 1:03hr climb on my bike. Surrender. I was faced with a choice; to grit my teeth and curse those mofo’s to hell, or to accept them, and understand that the worst that could happen would be that they bite me (and one did, right on the ass). I chose to accept, and was resultantly grinning for the whole ride, even at kilometer 11 when the jerk bit me through my cycle shorts, but my response only resulted in “hauling ass” double-time for that last Km and my grin only grew.
The conclusion in this is that we attract what we put out. I’m pouring my heart into everything I do, giving love and feeding my soul. I know that I will attract what my heart’s calling for, so I’m gonna work to make a damn life man, not only to pay bills. And what do I want to be when I grow up? Me, only older, but that is for tomorrow, and tomorrow is not today.
Thanks Rob Little, you spectacular human being for the tune!