Saturday, 2 August 2014

Time to get meditate?

*Someone* (ahem...initials are AGLL) is always on my back about updating this blog.  Most of the time I can't think of anything all that interesting to talk about, quite honestly.  My routine is pretty routine.  Meh.  So tonight I'll tell you about an emerging theme I've got going on here that I find intriguing.  You may agree, or you may prefer to watch TV.  :)

First of all, I'm really enjoying my first summer in Saskatoon.  Yes, spring arrived late and it took some time for summer to get rolling as well, but I really LOVE that there are no air quality issues out here in the prairies.  People complain about the humidity, but it's nothing compared to southwestern Ontario.  I don't have respiratory issues and still had a rough time in July at home.  In Saskatoon I can breathe deeply and easily (that forest fire smoke didn't bother me at all, which is a bit concerning, but whatever...).  It's delightful.  It also makes going out for some exercise much more enjoyable.  I notice it the most when I run. 

I started running again this summer after a 3 year break and I thought it would be rough getting back into a routine, but it's going very well.  I'm already back up to a 5:5 minute walk/run ratio (goal is 9 minutes running to 1 minute walking).  I think the clean air is making a difference: I huff and puff when I'm out, but I feel like I can breathe all the way to the bottom of my lungs.  The other big difference is that I'm running because it makes me feel good, not because I want to race or break a personal speed record or train for a marathon.  I read "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall last summer and it woke me up.  In a nutshell, it's about attitude and mindset.  Like most things in life, if you decide you can't, you probably won't.  The same goes for running.  I used to think I couldn't run in the afternoon or evening, after a day at work, in the sun, in temperatures warmer than 25 degrees, when I was bloated, blah blah blah.  All false.  As soon as I ditched the self-limiting thoughts, I had virtually no problems.  And when I got comfortable enough with what I was doing, running time turned into meditation time.  I make my best decisions when my body is in the groove doing something repetitive.  No surprise that I've solved a couple of problems already and I've only been back in running mode for 4 or 5 weeks.  I can sink into the run, let thoughts bubble up, and allow a solution to present itself.  It's pretty freakin' amazing.

I don't think it's a coincidence that this is happening at the same time that I put a mindfulness bell app on my phone, started pseudo-meditating in the morning before work, and reading back issues of "Shambhala Sun" magazine.  All signs point toward a life that I was living a decade ago, then fell away from (for reasons I won't go into right now).  McDougall also mentioned something in his book about not denying who you really are because it will come back to bite you in the ass sooner rather than later.  Uh huh, I get it.  So nice to be back hanging out with my authentic self again.