What You Should Always Take

I came across this section in my upcoming book, “Live It!” (avail. Oct.). The original title of the book was “Take It!” and this section aimed to clarify what we should take (what is ours not others’). Enjoy!

WHAT YOU SHOULD ALWAYS TAKE

1. All opportunities put in front of you that resonate with you (connect to your soul and heart) You always learn more from the opportunities you take (even and especially if you fail, remember, we learn more from failure) than by not taking a chance.  By not trying you miss all the learning that occurs when taking chances.  Fortune favors the courageous and brave.  Not making a choice IS A CHOICE, a choice devoid of any courage or learning.  NOT making a choice is always the worst option as others then make their own choices, benefitting themselves.  If you don’t make a choice you lose the insight and self-actualizing benefits of trusting yourself.  Taking charge and making choices leads to feeling in charge of your life.

2. Life as a great game of exploration and adventure!  Doesn’t that sound like a great way to see it, instead of a great series of problems, hurdles and disappointments?

3. You always need to get clear on WHAT you want and WHY you want it Once you know what you want, life becomes so much simpler as you can choose powerfully and quickly and not look back with guilt.  This is your #1 quest in life, “What do I want (for myself) and why?” Once this is clear, a multitude of “difficult” or even seemingly “impossible” situations can be dealt with from a place of empowerment and certainty. That’s an amazing way to live!

4. The present moment as a gift.  Another name for a Christmas or birthday present is “gift”.  That is what the present moment is; a once in a lifetime gift never to be experienced again.  All of our power of decision and choice must necessarily occur in the present moment (since we can’t time travel yet).

The word decision is derived from Latin and means, “To cut off all other options.Much of your daily practice should center around being present to all the beauty of nature and the wonderful people around you.  Get out of your head and into your heart!  Any time we worry or are apprehensive (Fear), we are DEFINITELY NOT PRESENT!  In the present moment is where all action can occur.  Most people spend much too little time in the present moment.  We go back to the past and feel guilt or anger, or we think of the future, which is good if we see it as positive.  Many people simply dream of a better future.  A dream without a plan and action is simply a fantasy.

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A Cottage Frame of Mind

        Last week I had the pleasure and privilege of renting a cottage in the Haliburton area.  The weather was rainy. Regardless, it was still wonderful as only a place far from the hustle and bustle of city and regular life can create. As with most vacations it took a day or so there to get used to the new place and change in routines on all fronts. Isn’t that why we go away on vacation? To change the routine, see new things, people and experience life through a different lens.

             Some insights from the cottage came to me today and I thought I would share them with you.

 Mother Nature: Without the distraction and sound and visual pollution of the city, amazing sights and sounds are right there and spectacular. My first night there was amazing as the power of a thunder and lightning storm created a Halloween sound and visual landscape. One lightning strike was so close and powerful that my trusted Riplee dog launched onto the bed with me! The pitter patter of rain on the leaves and roof is something to behold.

 The stars at night are absolutely breath-taking and very visible.

The air is completely different (nights cooler) leading to sounder and deeper sleep.

Food:  Eating becomes one of the central themes of the day as one removes most/all regular tasks and responsibilities. Preparing and sharing a meal with your family is a great chance to connect.

No Cable TV:  As much as I’m a minimalist in terms of what I consume on television, once at the cottage, the only indication of civilization was the background radio station playing classic 70’s-80’s music harkening back to those glorious musical generations. Watching an older DVD of “The Great Escape” for the first time on a 13 inch TV has its own quaint appeal. The lack of cable TV also opens up the time for board and card games with much merriment. I was fortunate to have internet so I could still stay in touch with the Olympics (my little obsession) and a couple of coaching calls. I have always dreamed of coaching from a cottage, that dream happened this week and was amazingly motivating for me to get my own cottage-type place soon.

Miscellaneous:  One other interesting tidbit was that I had brought my laptop in the hope of doing some writing on my newest “Motorcycle Chronicles” (working title) book. Although I did ride into Algonquin Park, I DIDN’T feel like writing at all! At first I was worried I’d lost my writing touch. Then I realized (and reframed the experience) that this was what was meant to be and I enjoyed the writing break. Maybe my current writing location (dining room) environment is part of my “being a writer”.

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The Crying Games (Olympics Edition)

                       I’m not going to lie, I’m an Olympics junkie, there, I said it. From when I was a child and the Olympics came to Montreal in 1976 I have had a fascination with the level of competition, camaraderie, come-from-behind human stories and pageantry that is the Olympics.

                      At my high school the Olympiads were a great time for me even thought I wasn’t the fastest or strongest but always gave my all. I used to dig long jump pits in the back yard and dream of beating Bob Beamon’s incredible 29 foot record.

                      So this week as I was feverishly putting the final touches on “Live-It” I was watching all the events with moderate to high interest. Truth be told, the Track and Field events are by far my favorite (they begin Saturday Aug. 4th). Still, I was hooked.

                       Particularly on Wednesday night when the men’s 2000 meter 8’s rowing was on, Canada was in 4th place for the first ¾ of the race. Then at the 1500 meter mark, they hit the turbo boosters and moved up to finish in 2nd place for the Silver medal.

                       I was literally crying of joy as the emotion of the team and the power of their teamwork and resolve pushed them to the podium finish. I was imagining what it would be like to train day in and day out in the heat, cold and dampness day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year and then be in “the race”. The race against all the best in the world, knowing I was also one of the best in the world. Wow! Exhilaration, pride, joy, appreciation, freedom and empowerment would course through my veins. All these emotions are the best we can ever feel (All #1 on the Emotional Scale).

                      Then my STUMPS showed up, he pointed out the irony of my sitting on my couch alone crying at the performance of a bunch of strangers I don’t even know. I told him to be quiet and enjoyed that release that comes from bawling your eyes out from joy. You should try it, all you have to worry about is having a box of tissues and your ego-based pride judging you. I say go for it, get into that incredible vibration of pure emotions. Once every 4 years this happens, there is still 1 week, don’t miss it! Who knows you may enjoy the crying games!

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