Running A(way)

Running; A way to sanity and away from insanity…

These past two weeks, have been some of the most difficult in my life. Through it all running has helped me maintain my center, relieve my anxiety, sadness, and overwhelm. During today’s three mile training run I discovered how much running has kept me sane.

After being blindsided by my cousin’s (brother’s) sudden death, then having to share this horrible news with my mother left me numb. So numb that my initial response was the inability to cry or physically move–Ironic for someone who is constantly moving. Shortly after sharing the news with my mother, I was able to shed tears and so many more have followed and are to come. I also found out that I had the extra responsibility of being named the executrix to his will.

As you may imagine my anxiety shifted into overwhelm! Along with my long list of responsibilities I had a bunch more heaped upon me when I was my most vulnerable. I wanted to run away. Away from the sadness, responsibility the pressure of doing the right thing being sure everyone was taken care of, but first I had to take care of me.

Self care for me includes, meditation, spiritual reading, my martial arts practice and running. The meditation, reading and martial arts required too much of my mental energy and although I continued with all those disciplines, running has been my great escape. I know for 30minutes to 2 hours all I had to focus on was the next step and next breath — This moment the only moment. I was able to cry (not pretty) mourn his loss, and try to run my anger into the ground.

After the days of the “hard running” I began noticing, dragonflies, butterflies, Cardinals, and pennies were found. I knew my cousin was safe on the other side and sending me messages. Running became a source of comfort.

I’ve been running on and off since 1991 first to prepare for my black belt, then occasionally to get into shape. It wasn’t until I was about to turn 60 that I gave myself the goal of running a half marathon, that I got serious about running. I didn’t realize until today that goal changed my life forever. It wasn’t finishing the half it was running, just running…

One Step, One Breath, This Moment; The only moment…

“Remember, Jonathan, heaven isn’t a place or a time, because place and time are so very meaningless.” From Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach.

Run on,

G

Oh, That’s Where…

It amazes me when the spirit and the person finally link up – I believe these are what Oprah refers to as “Ah-ha moments.” I experienced one of those yesterday. Ironically not in deep thought or meditation but, after arguing with the Sync System on my Ford Focus. When I finished shouting (which doesn’t work with computers, another Ah-ha moment) and settled back into driving I thought about the previous weekend. How I enjoyed Carolyn Myss, and how amazed I was to find out that she discovered spirituality at age eight. Then I recalled cleaning my closets and all the pictures, letters, and journals I revisited. Then it hit me (not another car) My Ah-ha!

Joyce Amaral, at a retreat sometime in the early 70’s she started me on my path to spirituality! Although Joyce was extremely devote (she became a nun) it was her spirit and her light that attracted me to the bigger picture – to seek my soul’s purpose.

Sadly Joyce died of Leukemia at a very young age, and I didn’t stay the straight and narrow Roman Catholic course. Eventually I was drawn to the Eastern philosophies and found they were a better fit for my soul’s curriculum. However I shall always be grateful to Joyce, for starting me on my path and I’m excited to finally realize where my souls searching began…

FYI the Sync is still out of Sync in a Focus of all things! How’s that for ironies!

 

Ginnie

We’re All In It Together…

Every once in a while I sit back and review how I got here from there… It never ceases to amaze me how many people have shared and are sharing my path. These people wear many disguises, and have been physically, spiritually and even metaphorically a part of my life and who I am…

There are no chance encounters – Everyone is a potential teacher, be open to their messages…

Be willing to share your message, because we’re all in it together!

 

Namaste,

Ginnie

Working on Spirituality…

This past week I decided to spend my vacation painting my kitchen. Funny when you write painting my kitchen it doesn’t seem such a chore… However what the sentence doesn’t convey are the many woman hours peeling wall paper border, cleaning up after each messy task and the actual painting of the ceiling,walls and trim.

During this journey into manual labor I found my self almost in a state of “runner’s zen.” The one minded focus of physically working allowed me to get centered. This is the type of “oneness” I get when running and with my martial art practice. I assume this is the reasoning behind doing chores in a monastery . There is a certain spiritual cleansing when the body is pushed and a task is completed. I believe the sense of  accomplishment is a mini Satori of sorts.

The Buddha said enlightenment can only be achieved through pain and suffering. So working on spirituality should involve labor…

Something to meditate on when I paint the hallway…

Ginnie

Tea and Spirituality…

I don’t get sick, I get symptomatic. I state this for two reasons; One its mostly true I rarely get colds and or viruses, and if I do they manifest themselves as aches and being tired. When I do get “normal symptoms” I just tell people I’m symptomatic and never name it. Like stray cats if you give a cold a name you own it!

With that said this past weekend I was exhibiting the aforementioned aches and tired feelings, along with a symptomatic cough… I found the best way to deal with these annoying occurrences is to allow them to have their way! So I curtailed most of my weekend plans and rested. I consumed large amounts of peppermint tea and read, listened to and watched spiritually influenced books and programs. The result being a body,mind and spirit well taken care of and ready to take on the rigors of another crazy week!

The reason I’ve shared this with you is, I spent way too many of these episodes fighting them – Instead of giving in to them and allowing them to teach me to SLOW down! I hope you can see by choosing to give yourself a little tea and spirituality, you’ll not only feel better physically but spiritually. That my friends is a total recovery!

Namaste,

Ginnie

Same Road, Different Paths…

I’ve spent a great deal of time alone this weekend. This has given me an opportunity for some deep introspection. A few of my thoughts have centered around the sameness and differences in living as a spirit occupying a body…

Here are a couple of thoughts or observations; We all come to this existence via the same road. Yet along that road  there are smaller paths that lead us to different roads or in some cases back on to our original road. These paths are all choices we’ve made or not made that ultimately shape our destiny. Which is why I find anything that claims to be the only “way”, that restricts a soul from finding its true purpose (setting up a road block) can’t be from the source…

Each path chosen is a lesson (an awakening) that will lead your spirit home. Some of us will get lost and run in circles. Others will soar above the path refusing conventional ideology…

I wish you wings,

Ginnie

 

Everyone Runs…

I had a master to black belt talk today with two of my high ranking students.  Most anyone in a mentoring relationship has given similar advice.  I explained to the students that we all “run” we may not all be runners but everyone is running…

It has been my observation there are three main categories for running – None of which have to do with running a race. The first type of running is when we are running toward something; a goal, an ambition anything sought after. This can be  productive or destructive depending upon what we’re seeking. My belief it is far more productive.  The second type of running is running in place or running in circles; this is never productive, it denotes mediocrity, going no where.  The very vision of someone running in the same spot would create a rut!  The third type of running is away from something, this is the opposite of running toward something. This type of running is nearly always counter productive as we can never run away from ourselves and our true essence.

If we look at the above “running styles”  as where we are as  spiritual beings, we are better able to understand where we are in our spiritual development.  Are we seeking fulfillment, marking time or hiding from our true selves? If you look closely only the first type represents positive movement the other two represent stagnation and avoidance.

I can’t  emphasize the importance of positive actions (running toward) enough. The race is a short one don’t get caught marking time in this life if you do you’ll be mocking time and then you’ll regret you didn’t run for your life!

Get on your mark get set and GO!

Ginnie

Moving Retreat…

A good friend of mine just returned from an Episcopalian Youth Conference. She was telling me how renewed and grounded she felt after being there for five days. I can see how being focused on spirituality for five days can be a re-birth of spirit, but it is so hard to have that intense focus in our daily lives. We get caught up in making a living and the physical side of life that we forget to feed our spirit. There are as many ways to feed our spirits as there are people – BUT do we?

Life is getting harder we ‘re bombarded with all kinds of messages on how we don’t measure up; physically, socially, financially … So how do we feed our spirit?  Again the ways are numerous all I can tell you is to schedule the time, preferably alone. One of my favorite ways is running, a moving retreat. I’m totally connected to the universe, all five senses are engaged. During my runs I often say prayers or sing songs (in my head) I’m immersed in the here and now mindful of all that I am and all that I have. 

So take time to retreat inward and connect to God and his universe because in the end our spirits are the only things that have to measure up.

Peace,

Ginnie