Release Your Essence, Boost Your Performance

mudderOn October 8, 2016, I ran my first Tough Mudder with my friend Cynthia ( a Legionnaire 3X Tough Mudder participant). Due to my fitness level, I hadn’t seriously exercised since I had my third child. I knew that there were going to be a lot of obstacles, especially the ones that require upper body strength, and that I would have to skip those. The distance also worried me. Ten miles is a half marathon and I am not trained for it. I went back to running two to four miles per week in the past few months but not regularly to the point that I can pretend to be trained.

So I’ve been there for the past two months –because it was getting close–thinking, anticipating about where I can fit my training into my busy schedule. The day of the race arrived and I hadn’t done much, probably because I know the most powerful way to get through this. It is what I teach and practice most daily: mindfulness, connecting with the space within yourself where your energy consciousness lies, your essence, and anchoring yourself in the present moment. Plus my unwavering faith that I would do fine.

When you are in that state, you just go with the flow and that is the key to highest performance. Your body has already learned the movement with training.  The brain delivers the messages to your muscles, the mechanics behind the motion and the feeling of gravity to apply the right amount of strength. I also knew that the body follows the mind. Just an example: when I set a goal of running six times around the track, I notice my body gets tired around four to five rounds because I am close to the end and I am starting to battle internally, talking myself into pushing and going a little bit longer. The same happens when I set a goal of running ten rounds.  Around eight times I get the same self talk.

For the Tough Mudder, I decided not to look how long the distance was–it varies from ten to twelve miles–and did not look at the obstacles. So when we registered and they handed us a map, I shoved it into my sport bag. I was not interested in knowing. I will be in the moment and go with the flow of what was coming. The race started and that is exactly what I did. Even in front of the obstacles, I did not think twice about how I was going to get over it. I just went, and grabbed the first hand coming my way, the first shoulder. I was getting this done!

To my amazement, I stayed in that state of mind for the duration of the event. What seemed like a two and a half  hour race was actually four hours. In that state of mind, time took on another meaning. I ran about seven out of ten miles and did twelve out of twenty obstacles, which exceeded by far my own expectations due to my level of fitness. At no point did I feel exhaustion or that I had to stop. I had my mind set on pulling through, one moment at a time.

It’s when I finally passed the finish line, that my body felt heavy again, tired and cold . That cold rinse off outside didn’t help much. The next shower was the best shower I ever had and the two slices of pizza afterward: heavenly. Mindfulness is the secret to high performance and exceeding expectations.

Are you successful?

jacket picMost people want to be successful, but what is success? For many, it is about the things they own, their personal status, or how much money they make.

The Definition of Success

Some measure success as if it should follow an upward path, and improve with each passing year. They see it as perhaps being in the right place financially for their age, or at least having the right title. They feel they should be at a certain level of affluence by a certain point in their lives. Others do not give much credence to the path, but rather see success as equated with assets.

How high on the ladder do you need to climb, or how much do you need to own to consider yourself a success?

We say that you don’t need to climb any ladder, and you don’t need to own a thing. The above definitions of success are flawed. Society has conditioned us to follow our egoic longings and so we continue to want more. When we are in the process of pursuing the American Dream, we do have some satisfaction, but a sense of dissatisfaction often emerges.

Success is Happiness

Instead of thinking about what it will take for you to be successful, think about this: When asked what people really want, they generally say they just want to be happy. They think that society’s definition of success will make them happy, but what they really want is to experience joy as much as possible. Make sense?

So success is feeling joy most of the time. While perhaps easier to attain than something outside of yourself, it does take some practice. To be happy, we have to train ourselves to think differently.

How to be Happy  

We have to unlearn some of society’s programming. But to do this, we only have to do two things. One, we must be grateful each day for what we do have, including the people in our lives.  Two, we must connect with our higher selves so that we become comfortable in that inner space and experience who we really are.  When we are satisfied with our choices, are appreciative of all we have, and are in touch with our true selves, we will move toward happiness and create a very successful life.

Welcome 2016!

mountainIt is hard to believe that another year has come to an end.

In 2015, ENoetic Press meetings were often done on the fly, in our precious spare time, and now always with a toddler in tow, but we realize that this is temporary, and  that we will begin to increase our effort as time allows.

That’s how life is. It ebbs and flows. so we had to be flexible.

While we were busy with other things in 2015, we still managed to publish five new blog posts, do a live radio interview, start a new project unlike anything we’ve done before—a novel—and are compiling those resource lists we promised you last year! We are continually coming up with new projects and looking forward to bringing them to fruition. What are you looking forward to?

Think about all you want. Set your intentions. It is a new year and a time for renewal. No worries about resolutions. You don’t have to make them. Just dream the new year into existence with positive thoughts, the things you desire perhaps on a vision board, and as much rest and renewal time you can steal. Winter is here! It is a good time to go within and prepare for all the good things to unfold in 2016.

Coping With Change

bench-forest-trees-path-largeWe are averse to change. As thinking human beings, we strive to keep our worlds the same.

We live in bubbles as we take care of our families, our vehicles, and our homes. A small thing—an inconvenient illness, a flat tire, a burst pipe—can put us into a tailspin. So how can we handle change without turning a situation into a crisis?

We may not have control over things that happen, but we can control how we handle them. We can control our thinking.

pexels-photoThought Control

Sometimes, our minds run rampant and turn the smallest thing into a potential nightmare.  For example, we get a flat tire and realize we will be late for work. What if we get fired? What if we can’t make rent? Our thoughts take on a life of their own, but the reality is that we are just experiencing a temporary setback.

Our thoughts sometimes make our experiences appear more dramatic than they actually are.  So when we find ourselves in a downward spiral, we ought to question whether the thoughts we are thinking are true, or whether we are worrying about something that will probably never happen.

benchphotoLife Can Be Easy

Anything—and we mean anything– that erupts in life is temporary. Whatever we worry about today will surely morph into something else once again.

So it makes sense to put ourselves first, and when an inconvenient situation arises, raise our awareness and decide on an appropriate response. Do we allow that situation to affect our whole day and cause stress, or do we simply take care of it without adding negative emotions so we can feel good about the day?

Whatever we are going through, we ought to eat well, take rest, sleep enough, and sprinkle exercise and sunshine into our days. Plus, carving out some time to fill a soul need can add pleasure to even the most melancholy periods.

The Introvert Myth

imagesThe world wants us to believe that there are two kinds of people: introverts and extroverts. Introverts prefer alone time and extroverts thrive on social contact. But the truth is that humans are social creatures. We all need social contact. And as spiritual beings, we need quiet time, or time to connect with our higher selves.

Every individual is unique and each has different preferences. If you label yourself an introvert as an excuse not to connect with people, you may want to re-examine your thinking. Distancing can thrust you into periods of loneliness and deprive you of human contact that aids personal growth. Similarly, if you label yourself an extrovert and are never alone, you deprive yourself of the opportunity to get to know yourself.

Balance is key to any successful life. Some alone time. Some time with others.  But never feel pressured to shift the balance based on the advice of others or based on what you think you are supposed to do. Get in touch with your inner self, which provides all the guidance you will ever need.