Over-sharing, that’s not honesty
I have been disconnected from Facebook for over a week now and I already notice a difference. I feel more space in my capacity – to give more genuine attention to my boyfriend and our dogs. I feel more in touch with events and moments that are happening in front of me physically, in (perceived) real time rather than virtually. I feel more connected to our home and what’s going on around it and in it.
My attention was clearly not focused in the right place.
If we’re so focused on ourselves, our iPhone photos, updates, reddit feeds, statues about what we cooked and where we went.. do we have the ability to focus on helping others. Do our thoughts even go there? Or do we train ourselves to only think about ourselves, in turn adding to the loneliness. You may disagree for different reasons and through different circumstances but let’s at least agree on this: Facebook is not the answer to your business or your connections.
I believe we must recognize that focusing on ourselves too much harms society and blocks real life connections with others.
This is why I at least cut Facebook out of my daily routine (for one year).
Have you seen Pamela Meyer’s TED Talk on How to Spot a Liar?
She said something that stuck with me: Over-sharing, that’s not honesty
Character, integrity, that’s what matters
I don’t believe that a person’s character is shown through social media. Your opinions, beliefs …they don’t necessarily mimic your behavior. Selfies and humble bragging may actually encourage others to consider you less likable.
“What’s more, a recent study out of the U.K. found that the selfie phenomenon may be damaging to real world relationships, concluding that both excessive photo sharing and sharing photos of a certain type—including self-portraits—makes people less likeable. The same study found that increased frequency of sharing self-portraits is related to a decrease in intimacy with others. For one thing, putting so much emphasis on your own looks can make others feel self-conscious about theirs in your presence. The pressure to be “camera-ready” can also heighten self-esteem issues and increase feelings of competition among friends.”
I am working towards focusing less on myself and more on the people and moments around me in real time.
Also, Tony Robbins says it well: You get excited once you experience giving… Once you experience it without telling anyone about it
What matters is how you act, when no one else is watching. I’m working on a different kind of sharing.
Are you working on cutting any social media out of your life? I’d love to discuss it in the comments below.
Either you run the day, or the day runs you
Michael: “The point of the marathon is to run, that far. You don’t know how your body or mind is going to react; the point of it all is to just go do it.”
The decision came about in 3 phases.
Throughout the summer, and even prior, Michael constantly told me, you can run a marathon. I let the idea slide based on wrist/arm pain I was experiencing from overuse with work. When I ran, my wrists would hurt so bad that my hands would eventually go numb.
That issue slowly subsided after weeks of occupational therapy and stretching. However it didn’t actually stop bothering me until 10 weeks ago when I started lifting with a personal trainer. It literally blew my mind that the one thing everyone told me not to do, fixed the problem. (I’m finally back to practicing yoga!) That’s when I told my trainer, my boyfriend had been pressuring me to run a marathon. We both agreed a half-marathon would be best, especially as most people start training for a marathon 3-4 months in advance.
But that’s the night I went home from the gym fully committed to running a full marathon. That tiny hint of doubt my trainer and I agreed upon, slightly pissed me off. You don’t think I can run a marathon in 9 weeks? I don’t think I can run a marathon in 9 weeks? Well, I’ll show all of you, even you: me.
I poured my dedication, energy and some money (highly-rated running gear, extra visits to the Chiropractor, better food, massage, KT Tape) into training. I was fitted for and traded out 2 different pairs of running shoes mid-training and 2 weeks before the race. That was scary, until the last pair of shoes were slapped on my feet—the new version of the original ones I started training with in the first place.
I was realistic and at times forgiving with my training schedule. We ran anywhere from 3-8 miles, roughly 3x/week. We took 1-2 days off each week and always ran our long runs on the weekend. Cross-trained the leftover days. Our long runs typically took place on Saturday or Sunday. We ran 10 mile “active recovery runs” every other week to allow our bodies some precious healing time. Outside of running 10 miles on Week 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9, our longer runs were as follows:
Week 2: 13.1 miles (half-marathon) - felt awesome, loved every minute of it
Week 4: 15.2 miles – M & I both wanted to die on this run, whereas Shawna had the complete opposite experience
Week 6: 17-18ish miles – ran this one in Nebraska and did not hydrate or eat enough, felt super discouraged
Week 8: 20 miles – ran this one around Wash Park in Denver (8 laps) & all 3 of us felt incredible; it was at this point, I knew I could run a marathon
On Sunday, I learned there is a significant learning curve to running a great marathon. Despite the professional advice, there is no given advice for experience. Only, Run walk crawl dance… however you do it just finish, from my Ultra-marathoner friend, Lacey.
So many factors will show themselves on your race day. Learning how to adapt to each with knowledge, patience and grace can only come from running more marathons. Case in point, I have a new appreciation for marathon runners and beyond.
The marathon didn’t go as planned or expected, and that’s a good thing for someone like me: to have to accept that.
We started off slower than anticipated and I became wrapped up in the seriousness of our goal. I defaulted in the first 10 miles of the race by blocking out others. This was the wrong thing to do. The truth of the experience is others—even in high-stress. Strangers, spectators, supporters, medical tent volunteers, Shawna and Michael were what really mattered. They are the reason, they are why we put our bodies out there. We trained together and made a pact that we’d start and finish together. And we were there for each other when that unknown territory came about, those last 6.2 miles.
I mean, I can’t believe what happened. Our support crew: Chais, my mom, step-father, step-sister and her husband met us 5-6 times along the way. They poured Jameson in their coffees, made all the runners hilarious signs. My mother carried a basket of BioFreeze, band-aids, granola bars, GU, and Ibuprofen. Towards the end, complete strangers handed us grapes and oranges. One group of awesome people handed us Dixie cups of beer. We met an older man around Mile 20 that had the same predicted finish time; also his first marathon. He said to us, “I retired in June, and needed something to do.”
Around Mile 22 or 23, we were totally surprised–the same personal trainer that helped fuel my decision to run this thing in the first place was standing there with his dog. At Mile 25, more unexpected friends, Linda and David who reminded us of our inspiration and courage to even try. I almost cried. It doesn’t stop there, oh no. My mother. At mile 26, my mother appeared out of nowhere with a beard and bandanna. I laughed uncontrollably while running several yards in between my two rocks: my mother and my boyfriend, both rocking a beard. At 26.1 my step-sister appeared wearing a beard, I remember high-five-ing her and tearing up at the same time. Then, 26.2. We saw Chais and the announcer accused Michael of picking up these two girls during the race! After that I just remember being cold, drinking chocolate milk and stating several times, “that was hard.” I wondered why the temperature had dropped mid-race and questioned why I had to pee so often. I was delirious for the next 48 hours.
I may have started that race thinking it was just me and city asphalt but I finished and shared it, hand-in-hand (literally) with two incredible people, not to mention 15,000 others and a lot of open air. It was the most physically demanding experience of my life (to date) and if there’s one thing I can share with you.. something meaningful, it’s this:
It becomes a simple request of asking your body to keep going. It’s simple: will you ask your body to do it and when your body doesn’t answer, will you answer for it?
A special thank you to everyone who came out and supported us or even thought about us on race day, + Chais (Full Course Travel) for taking memorable photos during the race, as seen in this post.
Let it go
I spent two hours in a meditative state
I felt every muscle and tendon inside my body
I played the most beautiful memories in my mind
I began to feel an uncontrollable sense of gratefulness
I was overwhelmed with happiness
I began to feel high
A voice asked me, how do you know,
who you are?
Maybe you are
I thought about my father. I read in a book once that a father’s job is to teach his children how to be warriors, to give them the confidence to get on the horse and ride into battle when it’s necessary to do so. They say if you don’t get that from your father, you have to teach yourself.
I kept running
Of all the wild things, his failure to love me the way he should have had always been the wildest thing of all.
But as I kept running, it occurred to me. I didn’t have to be amazed by him anymore.
I realized, how wild it was, to let it be
I credit Cheryl Strayed who wrote the book, Wild, for inspiring me to run again. I thank my dear friend Heather for guiding me through a meditative state. And most of all, I thank my friends and family who love me and let me love them back. Photo credit: Do It Girl
Write to meet their needs, read to meet yours
Maybe you can relate. My writing stems from two very different predicaments. Both of which, can result in pages upon pages, tracking my own personal history, thoughts and realizations—often left behind on cute little hard drives (I give names to) I get nervous about losing.
The greatest words spill out quickly when I’m full of unadulterated heartache.
Just a few less words are formed under the second condition: traveling. With so much stimulation and experiences to share, I literally pound away at my keyboard and then come to awareness – I’m missing out on whatever else is going on in the foreign land that has so graciously allowed myself to be found in it.
I suppose this makes me a bipolar writer. Meh, no need for labels.
I write when I am alone. Or, feeling alone.
That feeling of loneliness comes from both circumstances. I’m so emotional from rekindling memories of my childhood I must write to meet their needs. I’m so high from traveling the earth, yet deserted in my state of mind; I have to share.
I glance at my computer, or even paper for that matter with aversion when things are regular. It’s not hard to figure out though. When a girl can’t bring herself to write, she reads. And, to the end of the story. Similar to my life requiring balance from sadness to jouissance. A writer knows when to read.
The words are purposes.
The words are maps.
-Adrienne Rich, “Diving into the Wreck”
Pain may tell us something
Pain may tell us something important. Sometimes screaming, “do something about me!” Yet more often than not, we experience physical pain and do our damnedest to ignore it. I’m pretty sure this reaction is learned behavior from childhood. Fall down, stop crying, get up, you’re fine. Into adolescent years, women, such as myself, can experience horrifying menstrual cramps. Again, we’re encouraged to be tough, ignore them, and to go on conquering the world. However, ignoring pain may cause more harm to ourselves than the actual pain itself.
I am learning first hand (possibly a pun) that pain is my body’s ability to communicate with my zealously stubborn conscience. Alas, I can choose whether or not I want to listen.
Since change accompanies pain, most of us will deny pain based on the idea that we’re not ready for it. I’m not ready to deal with this. I’m not ready to go to the doctor. I’m too busy for this.
I don’t believe it is the present physical pain that causes the suffering though. I believe it is our perceived lack of control with the situation. Ultimately fear of the unknown. If pain funnels down to fear. For me, it was the fear of losing my career, and related aspirations.
I’m writing this note because today marks one of the first days I’ve felt remotely pain-free in 9 months. This day has come quite a bit later than expected. But one forgets what it feels like to feel change. I’ve bottled up much frustration and irritation over these last several months.
I know this alleviation won’t last long. This pharmaceutical grade topical that is suffocating my wrists and elbows will only last up to 4 to 12 hours. But this window of relief has reminded me of what my original body, and temperament feel like.
I am so thankful for my occupational therapists, co-workers and supporters. I don’t know how long this is going to take but I do know that I will overcome this. If only I would have listened 9 months ago…
Shake things up a bit
When I was in therapy in my late teens, I drafted up this warm comforting idea that because I had been through such a disturbing childhood, adulthood would be full of less pain and more bliss. A trade-off per se.
And, as almost every self-realization blog post transitions, I was wrong.
This idea, this possibility, appealed to me greatly even into my twenties; it still does. The overconfidence guided me into a carefree state-of-mind—evident throughout college.
Once college was over and no longer was an institution telling me what to do, where to go and when to be there… things weren’t as easy.
So, I created my own agenda, yet a free to choose institution: traveling. Traveling and loving my travel partner at the same time was and still is pure bliss. Nevertheless, it was full of slow to admit failure, wrong turns, and an overabundance of questioning.
One of those questions being, why the hell am I still facing some ruthless challenges? I thought this was supposed to go away.
Maybe this is the biggest challenge of them all – questioning a belief that we engrained in ourselves or someone else embedded in us, say a long time ago. Conceivably an idea from a therapy session, a religious sermon, or an educational lecture.
The truth is, I have some interesting ideas and beliefs that may be wrong. And scientifically speaking, that most likely means a lot of us do. I will always respect the opinion of a professional, religious leader or scholar. But what I won’t do is deny the fact that the knowledge of belief is full of formed judgments based on a specific and complicated (personal) perspective (not necessarily scientific facts). Those conclusions are beliefs that should never get away without question.
Living in balance
While in Saint Martin/Sint Maarten this spring, I finished a book by Osho called Awareness. I learned so much from the book. I highly recommend the read. I did manage to question a few of Osho’s views on ever-debatable topics such as medicine, scientific advancements, and surprisingly, the purpose of Yoga. But to me, in every respect, it’s healthy to question the views of your teachers and leaders–absolutely no one gets to stop learning.
Osho overwhelms readers with the concept of Awareness–as he should. Real awareness is very difficult to achieve and something people (maybe excluding Buddhas) must work for in every present moment. One of the best ways to achieve this concept of awareness is meditation. And, as Osho points out, there are several key points to remember along the way…
You are alive only in the proportion that you are aware. Awareness is the difference between death and life. You are not alive just because you are breathing; you are not alive just because your heart is beating.
We all know this is true. Zach Sobiech just taught the world this lesson over the last 24 hours. He’s not the only one though. So many people throughout our lives teach us this concept and somehow so many people manage to continue doing things they don’t enjoy doing. All because of fear, of failure, rejection, etc.
Why? Also, who cares?
Rejection is out of weakness—you are afraid. Stronger people would like to absorb everything that life gives. Religious, irreligious, moral, immoral, divine, devilish—it makes no difference; the strong person absorbs everything. And he [or she] is richer for it.
The next time you are faced with a decision that sparks concern(s) of rejection, keep it simple. Do what you are afraid to do. There is no chance for rejection when it will only make you stronger.
Control is a poor substitute for awareness, a very poor substitute; it doesn’t help much.
Awareness has nothing to do with being in control.
The world is beautiful, adventurous; it is a challenge, it enriches. Don’t lose that opportunity—whenever the world knocks at your door and calls you, go out. Go out fearlessly—there is nothing to lose, there is everything to gain. But don’t get lost. Don’t go on and on and get lost; sometimes come back home.
Hold that head up high, focus on what you have within, and go, go, go!