Running around in circles

It’s taken a while but I finally have my running style sorted. No more sore knees, they still sound a bit crunchy but I’m ignoring it since there is no pain. It took a bit of experimentation after watching YouTube videos on running styles and paying close attention to the feeling, endurance and recovery. This morning I comfortably ran 10km in 66 minutes, nice and early along a flat lake. I was pinching myself, I couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed it.

During a run or walk I normally listen to podcasts or music to block out the road noises when it’s later in the day but today it was awesomely quiet at 6am so I ran with bare ears.

First I was paying close attention to my breathing, I use alternate breathing which is basically switching the foot I’m landing on with each breath out. I also use it walking fast or uphill. It’s been really helpful sorting out holding my core and breathing with more awareness, it also stopped me getting stitches.

This morning, once the breath was in a good rythm, I tended to my mind and thought about the curveballs I’m encountering in my business planning. That’s when I realised I was running around in circles in my mind trying to solve how I deliver my small business training. It’s been bothering me that I didn’t have a clear path, just a vague idea. Sometimes I thrive on vague ideas just a bit too much and sit back dreaming of the accolades and how perfect everything will turn out. Nevermind that I didn’t have anything concrete how this path to perfection will illuminate, will it even be a concrete path or a wooden rickety boardwalk?

As I put one foot in front of the other I understood that I’m living in a fantasy and it’s up to me to choose the direction this awesome experience goes. I can dwell in resistance about the uncertainty or dial up the distance I run to get myself so tired that I sleep like a log. Tomorrow is another day to tackle those big issues. Good Night 馃檪

How to start running

Sometimes life is really hard. Everything is so complicated and handling the day-to-day things can really wear one down. Earning a living, cleaning the house, cooking and providing, socialising, maintaining treasured accomplishments such as status symbols and adult toys. Not the kinky kind but the “put it on the mortgage” kind of toys like mountainbikes, boats, ski gear, german cars etc.

Now I realise that when life felt hard in the past, I didn’t move my body enough. Didn’t get much fresh air. Didn’t get to experience what it’s like to have an amazing and functioning body. Even though I feel heavy and bloated sometimes, the body is still very usable for other things than getting from the couch to the fridge.

I’ve built up a bit of a regime now that suits me perfectly. Every day it puts me in a good place to deal with the curveballs. Or maybe it’s that I’m not planning very much anymore so I don’t encounter many curveballs, just life happening. It’s glorious, hilarious and amazingly easy. Especially after I moved the body in the fresh air.

I’m not suggesting to quit the job, sell the house, go raw vegan and forgo the toys. I suggest to find something that gets you out into the fresh air EVERY day. To move the body and feel alive. That alone is a type of meditation that comes highly endorsed by enlightened gurus, to be mindful and aware of the joy inside you. Running does it for me. Sometimes it’s walking. Sometimes it’s Yoga.

I started by putting my shoes on and going outside. I also installed an app called Couch to 25K (C25k – not 25 km). That helped me build up to the 5k I’m doing now at least 4 times per week. I was inspired by David Goggings who was on the Rich Roll podcast, and it’s not that I relate to him because he drops the F-bomb lots. He has a way of showing that staying hard means to stay accountable to yourself without punishing yourself, to stay still full of self-acceptance. In today’s world that’s a tricky line to toe because we seem to have lost a bit of common sense.

So, what do you need to do to start running? Or doing Yoga? Or meditating? If you want an accountability buddy, email me or find someone who struggles just like the rest of us.

Day 1 of a writing course

Last year I came across Henri Junttila, author of “Find Your Passion, 25 questions you must ask yourself”. The book resonated with me so much, I signed up to his newsletters on Long story short, I keep feeling drawn to what Henri is saying and now I’m doing a course with him on writing articles. His calm and relaxing mannerism and voice is helpful for my learning style. The course comes with a workbook and today’s task was to ask what I’m afraid of when it comes to writing. And no surprises, here comes the list of my fears, I wonder if others relate to some points:

聽聽聽聽聽Being judged, criticised, ridiculed, looking like an idiot

聽聽聽聽聽Being confrontational, unkind, accusing

聽聽聽聽聽Being caught out, proven wrong, eg not walking the talk

聽聽聽聽聽Writing shit stuff

聽聽聽聽聽Failing of words for big & enormous feelings/emotions/experiences

聽聽聽聽聽Copying someone, being inauthentic

聽聽聽聽聽Getting hooked on a self-indulgent pleasure and unable to focus on proper life issues

聽聽聽聽聽Overcoming procrastination

聽聽聽聽聽It gets too hard and I can鈥檛 keep showing up

聽聽聽聽聽No one cares

Did I just purge my system of a few of these? The next task was to wonder if these fears have been holding me back and how. I came up with a much smaller list. I wonder if I purged too much.

聽聽聽聽聽Not committed to the novel I started in 2016, despite the idea still alive and kicking in my head (ouch)

聽聽聽聽聽Not committed to the blog (not this blog, the other one!)

聽聽聽聽聽Romanticising writing but feeling resentment towards other鈥檚 hard work

聽聽聽聽聽Reroute creativity, drama, emotions into fictitious relationships (long story)

Not wanting to dwell too long in the past, I did put the workbook down for the day and got some fresh air. It鈥檚 amazing how wind rattles me out of my head, spring in New Zealand has some extraordinary windy days and today was a good one. Just these 2 questions gave me lots to work with. Suddenly the fears don’t seem so scary anymore.

Being good enough on purpose

Reading, listening, talking to people, and I slowly realise, life鈥檚 purpose is life. The purpose of the dance is to dance, as Alan Watts said. The blossom鈥檚 purpose is to grow pollen and fruit, sometimes. Are we living life or is life living us? We will likely not know by way of scientific explanation. So I鈥檓 going with my own internal indications. It鈥檚 not exactly a gutfeel, more the absence of what feels like a tight knot in the lower chest area. When I do yoga, or have great conversation, especially with my son, then that area feels free and open.

The area gets tight and knotted when I think about the future of the world after catching a snippet of (usually bad) news, or someone relaying to me the latest happenings in their broken relationships, or how their expectations of life are not met.

My purpose is to let it wash over me like 鈥渨ater off a duck鈥檚 back鈥, a lovely saying we have here in New Zealand. Animals don鈥檛 seem to get down and depressed or at least they don鈥檛 try to drag everyone down with them.

We humans are unique, we are all different from one another in consciousness, feelings and thoughts, just like our bodies are different from the next body. So comparing oneself to something that鈥檚 different is not going to work. Or at least it will leave one really really unsatisfied in the long run. I was brought up with lots of comparisons, everything seemed to be a bit of a race to stand out and be noticed in a good way. When I got sick of it, I decided to get noticed in a bad way, so I pierced my own nose and dyed my hair bright orange. Plus I hung out with the squatters and punks. My parents were not impressed and asked me to please not hang out in public. I offered to wear shades so no one in the small village recognised me.

It鈥檚 taking some time to overcome the comparison and trying to be 鈥済ood enough鈥. For me that also meant to stop forcing life and things to happen. Yes, we need to take action sometime but it feels a whole lot better to wait and see before rushing into action. When it feels right, I can work hard towards something. It鈥檚 not about choosing the easy way but recognising when we push too hard, that maybe it鈥檚 from the 鈥淣ot good enough鈥 mindset and self-punishment. Not to be confused with self-discipline.

I鈥檓 still working that one out but writing every day has come easier than I thought. So far.

How can I sign up for a course to get more ANNOYED

I鈥檝e been getting Seth Godin鈥檚 daily emails for a while now and they are short and sharp, sometimes they resonate, sometimes they don鈥檛. If you don鈥檛 know Seth, he鈥檚 a dotcom entrepreneur and wears funky glasses. And he鈥檚 lippy.

One of the emails was about getting annoyed, that it doesn鈥檛 serve any useful purpose at all. Because if it was, there would be classes and courses on how to get better at it. I haven鈥檛 seen any education on that lately but who knows 鈥

Sometimes it seems people invite annoyance into their lives by doing the same things over and over and expecting different outcomes. Like going to the supermarket. And then posting on Facebook of how atrocious it was to wait for ages, with a photo of the long lines. I鈥檓 sure some people try to plan the household shopping trip around avoiding the busy times of the supermarket. And hopefully without getting annoyed at having to do that.

So I see that certain things I do are already putting me on the right track to being annoyed at some point. Like going to the supermarket at a busy time, checking on Facebook what the classmate from 20 years ago is up to (a luxury property developer), reading the trending on Twitter (always a Kardashian somewhere in there).

I realise I saved myself a heap of money and not signed up for that course, thanks Seth.

Spring lambs and sneezes

The lambs are getting bigger here in New Zealand, it’s the middle of spring and sheep are still a big part of our agriculture, even there seems to be just as many cows. And of course the calves are just as cute. We headed into the bush for a night away and drove by a paddock where the calves were still with their mothers. We loved watching how they watched us and then ran and hid behind their mothers.

With spring came the sneezes, pollen going crazy, our tiny house sits amongst birch trees. Every year I keep forgetting to try some homeopathic remedies before the pollen are flying. It’s not something I had to worry about, I’ve only started last year to have hayfever symptoms, such as sneeze attacks and dripping nose to the point of wondering if I can get dehydrated from losing that much liquid.

A few pills of antihistamines has Mr soon to be 11 sorted, I’m still resisting, my reactions seem to be not as bad.

As much as I would love to go outside in the amazing weather we’ve had over the last few days, taking it easy and playing it by ear, sniffing the wind and the pollen in it, has been good. Again, to go within and relax into the flow (carrying tissues :-)) is great. Hope the southern hemisphere readers is coping ok with spring hayfever and the northern hemisphere reader is enjoying hot soups.

Without, within and ditching sugar

I鈥檓 going to go without sugar, again. It has crept into my food choices, from a sorbet on a warm day to more honey and date paste in the baking and a few bits of dark chocolate here and there. I鈥檝e come to rely on these outside stimulants and it鈥檚 now tied to 鈥渢reating myself鈥. It鈥檚 also distracting me from going within, so I will stop and listen to the cravings and feeling peckish, the longing for sweet stuff.

I know that better focus and feeling less sluggish is well within my grasp when I go without sugar, it takes a few days to get off the sweet taste and then a handful of frozen blueberries are sweet to the point of not missing sugar at all. The trick for me is to ditch what got me into trouble in the first place, Soy Chai Lattes. There鈥檚 sugarfree chai available but mimicking the sweetness kept me hooked.

Without is the opposite of within, it鈥檚 just not used very often. It鈥檚 also the opposite of With, as in have vs not have.

Being grateful for what I have and not worry about what I don鈥檛 have, that seems to work to be in the moment, to go within.

Repetition & Collaboration

I’m volunteering at the One Summit in Wanaka and loved all the sessions I was able to see so far. Biggest takeaway for me is Repetition, especially for the kids. There are so many people doing fantastic things to work smarter, more sustainable and I love how happy they are to share their passion. It’s great to see the local school kids taking part. When they were let loose on designing a Wanaka in the future that works with all the Sustainable Development Goals, it was鈥. Mayhem.

Talking to my almost 11 year old afterwards I wondered where the collaboration was. He wasn’t quite sure how to do it and honestly, nor am I.

So while I can see how many good things are happening everywhere to make a difference to our world, I wonder about talking about it even more. Repetition. And then we might connect with someone who sparks that collaboration bug, to get together and create together.

Thanks to everyone who helps putting this event together, it feels good to part of One.

Parenting, Socialising and WORK

I鈥檓 part time single parenting a single child in a small town. It鈥檚 nothing like when I was growing up. I had mum and dad, 2 siblings, no technology and the family only had one car. It was used by dad going to work. We walked or biked everywhere, on our own, from an early age on. I was the oldest so I looked after the younger ones. We had the choice of going outside or stay in our room. Most of the time we were outside, in the garden or out on the streets with the neighbour kids and friends.

We romantizise the old days, I don鈥檛 remember enough details to be able to apply it to today, all I have is what feels right. Which of course is shaped by the social surroundings and conditioning as well. And it depends totally on where the child is at. Now at almost 11 our son is showing the urge to be more independent, so much that I am leaving the house early to let him get himself ready and walk the short distance to school. It鈥檚 teaching him to watch the clock, remember his stuff and take responsibility to start the day. It also saves my sanity, as I鈥檓 painfully aware how different his self-organisation is to mine.

He is not getting the spontaneous catchups with his friends that I had. Playdates and appointments are made with back and forth texting until something is set up that both parents can rely on. He鈥檚 not the type of kid who just makes friends in the neighbourhood, not many kids out and about, possibly thanks to technology and after school commitments.

Now I鈥檓 thinking to chat to other parents to make a regular day for catching up with his friends, to hang out after school together. Sometimes not so easy because kids are jumping on school buses when they live a bit further out and we鈥檙e too close to school for buses. Maybe they all come to my house. But most parent鈥檚 organising skills can overcome these hurdles, I feel it鈥檚 very beneficial to have regular social catchups. I have seen where kids meet in school, in the same class, become friends, don鈥檛 get enough time together other than in class, become disruptive and get separated.

My parenting tip coming from these ponderings is to have regular catchups with friends, set the stage and let it evolve organically. I also remember hearing and reading about how former school friends get us into careers or jobs or businesses. Many great success stories come from great friendships.

And my takeaway is that I need to also work on my social ties, make time to catch up with friends or pick up the phone to check in. It鈥檚 work we have to do and stay connected, which is a major factor for a long and happy life.

Excellent listening on the podcast on how technology can help human interaction instead of disrupting it.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You鈥檙e going to publish a post today. Don鈥檛 worry about how your blog looks. Don鈥檛 worry if you haven鈥檛 given it a name yet, or you鈥檙e feeling overwhelmed. Just click the 鈥淣ew Post鈥 button, and tell us why you鈥檙e here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus you own ideas about your blog and what you鈥檇 like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you鈥檒l write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You鈥檙e not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another 鈥 but it鈥檚 good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can鈥檛 think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a 鈥渃rappy first draft鈥. Anne makes a great point 鈥 just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you鈥檙e ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog鈥檚 focus 鈥 writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is 鈥渮erotohero,鈥 so other new bloggers can find you, too.

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