Three Squares

During my training run today I was pondering a few of the things I’ve learned in life – So far…

When am I at my best?  I thought about it and I came up with when I check off these three squares everyday.

Number one, feed my soul; When I wake up I say thank you, to my higher power for I have another day. Then I read something spiritual anything from the Tao, the bible, or even an inspiring blog post. Then I meditate for at least five minutes but usually ten to thirty minutes. In order to do this I’m in bed by 10pm and awake at 5:30am.

With my spirit fed now it’s onto number two and feed my body; This isn’t just about eating healthy — Which I do. It’s about working my body. At sixty-one I typically work out seven days a week. I run three, weight train two, yoga two or three and martial arts three to four. As you can see many days there are double workouts. Maintaining a healthy body requires work. The body is meant to be active, training keeps my cardio vascular conditioning my resting pulse is 54, blood pressure 108/58. Maintaining flexibility and weight training provide me with balance and core strength, which hopefully keep me from having falls and injuries in my dotage.

Number three feed my mind; I have a number of older friends and family members that inspire me every day and the one thing they have in common is they feed their minds. Whether it’s my ninety something neighbor who reads the newspaper and does crossword and jigsaw puzzles, my mom who paints, bakes, and plays cards with her eighty something sister or there’s John (my stepdad) who at nearly eighty-nine maintains massive flower and vegetable gardens, changes the oil on his cars, prunes trees, paints houses and fixes just about anything. They all use their minds to work out problems. I enjoy learning, either a new martial art technique, something in business, a teaching tip or just general information I’m always seeking new interests. I learn something new everyday.

There you have it my happiness and my growth as an individual requires I check those three squares everyday…

What feeds you?

Run on,

G

 

In The Gap…

On one of my more recent runs before I went on a weekend running getaway – I thought about the importance of being in or creating Gaps. First let me explain especially if you’re a new follower or don’t know that I’m a martial art school owner and master teacher. Gap in the martial arts is the space between you and a sparring partner or more importantly a potential assailant. That space or distance gives you time to; getaway, create leverage, power, get the upper hand.

Gaps are useful in all aspects of our lives, for instance; in music (rests) create space for melody – In meditation the small gap between the in and out breaths is where we find peace. Gaps in our schedule allow for rest and this is what I’d like to discuss further.

I find it extremely beneficial not only to take time off but take time away and alone. We need to create a distance from our everyday lives where we can strip away our labels (daughter, boss, instructor, neighbor, cat mom, association member, sister) where we can be our genuine selves. People spend time at retreats, spas, ashram, hiking the Appalachian Trail seeking inner peace. I love just going away for a couple of days on my own to the mountains or the ocean. Where I can just be my genuine self — No expectations, no history just me.

It’s been way too long since I’ve done this August of 2016, was the last time. I don’t count vacations with family because there is only physical distance between home base, not from home. So this past weekend I ventured to Falmouth, for space, and a race. It was wonderful just to be a fly on the wall, to people watch and have no attachment to anything or anyone. To be me on my own, reading in lovely surroundings walking a beach – Finally able to listen to myself think without the interruptions of my roles’ responsibilities.

Then their was a 5 mile race where I was able to meet fellow sloggers, and experience running without knowing a route, enjoying the process, people, the views and experience. Where my only thought was enjoy, breathe and smile.

After the race on my drive home I thought about the G A P as an acronym; Gaining Another Perspective… 

What’s your Gap?

Run on G

1000 Days and 300 Miles

It’s been a milestone week for me. Not any of the big life events but those simple tasks that add up to a “Wow I did that” sort of milestones.

 

Gretchen Rubin of the Happiness Project and author of many wonderfully insightful books wrote; What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.” I believe this to be true, which is why I’m writing about these minor milestones. Let me begin by explaining that I recently discovered ironically from Gretchen Rubin’s latest book The Four Tendencies that I’m an upholder. Which according to Ms. Rubin means I meet both outer and inner expectations, so things like 1000 meditation days and 300 miles on a pair of running shoes are sort of built into my tendency.

I’m very regimented I love lists, and I love to do things that make me a better person, like meditating daily and running three times a week. You see what you do every day… Yes 1000 days or 2.79 years of daily meditation earned me a tiny gold star on my Insight App this morning. According to my activity app on my Apple Watch I’ve run 300 miles since the end of August or the equivalent of running to New York City and back. Little things add up!

It’s important to recognize our mini-milestones I believe these little everyday things are a  part of what I like to call the 1% better. Which is sort of a mantra of mine to be 1% better than I was yesterday – It’s something that I’ve shared with my staff and students. I believe we get too wrapped up in working on the big things which are often looked at as the BIG change that will make my life perfect, my dreams come true… (The perfect mate, home, career, family – life ) DON’T EXIST!

What does exist is the ability to be a better person; to be more centered, more compassionate, more engaged, more forgiving, more flexible, more healthy than we were yesterday and isn’t this what we should be teaching children? Just be better than yesterday is so much less stressful than being the best! In the long run the out comes are far healthier.

I do know I’m 15lbs lighter and far more centered, patient, healthier and disciplined than I was 1000 days and 300 miles ago!

Do your 1% best,

Ginnie

Home at Last

The title of this blog seems to imply I’ve been away. I haven’t – I’ve been caught up in the rat race (one I’d rather not run in). The holidays were extra busy with my mother and stepfather being under the weather – I took on more responsibility for the festivities.

After the holidays returning to work got off to a “stormy” start. Winter made its presence known and havoc on my schedule. Classes were added to weekends.

Now the Tax man cometh and gathering 2013’s paper work for the business has been less than enjoyable.

Which brings me to today the first day since the beginning of December that I can truly call my own. Back home among my books, music, yoga, journals and kitchen. I’ve had the best sort of day, a Zen day; cleaning, cooking, baking, reading, meditating, practicing yoga, Finding the “me” among the daughter, friend, teacher, sister, cousin, boss, business owner, martial artist and cat mom.

Have I learned anything about myself? Not really anything new, but unlike the “Energizer Bunny” I need to be recharged every now and again and my tiny condo apartment is my sanctuary, its me and one of the only places I can be completely me; no persona just one person. Home at last…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Run Why?

A Sunday morning in the middle of August, light breeze sun filled sky – Left foot, right foot music playing each step taking me further from my home then half way around the loop and getting closer to home. Thoughts of past events future adventures, then the following thought;Image

Why run? For the challenge, for health, for people who can’t, for a cause, for the fun of it, for the love of it, for the T Shirt, for the friendships, for the peace of mind, for the peace… Why not run!

The Last Straw or In Search of Buttermilk…

We all have our tipping points, that one little issue that puts us over an edge. Ironically it usually isn’t a big problem.  The “Last Straw”  is usually a minor annoyance or for me today it was not being able to find buttermilk.

After a morning of working on my business finances, finding out no matter how many times or ways you look at 1+1 you can never get it to =3!  Then I reviewed my calendar for the next three to five months with too many commitments and not enough hours. I was anxious but still relatively sane.

It was the trip to the grocery store for buttermilk that tipped me over the preverbal edge… I went to three different places before I could find buttermilk. With each failed attempt I could feel my angst increase.

Thankfully I didn’t go postal, I went home meditated and then hit the gym and ran on the treadmill for thirty minutes. The mental and physical break allowed me to regain perspective. By working on things I could control, I regained a better perspective on the things I couldn’t.

It all comes down to perspective and when mine gets out of focus, I run, not away from but to – Peace, Joy, and Balance…

FYI the buttermilk is for a chocolate cake!

Ginnie

Observing The Observer…

One of my favorite meditations is when I imagine my self high in a corner of the room observing myself meditating. This allows me to become “self-aware” to observe how my body and mind are working. I’ve taken this technique to the road and sometimes to the treadmill. It allows me to be aware of my mechanics, breathing, stride but most importantly me “The Observer”.

Some of the things I focus on other than my actual running are the things in my environment. Bird song, scents, colors, temperature changes. Using all my senses creates a greater sense of Joy with the run, it no longer is a physical exercise but a metaphysical exercise.

Try Observing yourself even for five minutes, you may discover something wonderful!

Ginnie