Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Shaping Your Life

I just returned from my morning run and am reflecting on the lessons it offers me about life. At the moment, my body is just beginning to take me seriously again after a month off and then a couple weeks back in training. For the first week or so, it was treating each workout as a one off – not really expecting me to continue. After all, it's not easy getting out of bed at 6:00 to go meditate and it's even more difficult to then put on my running shoes and go out into the cold (below freezing!) dark night and run three miles. So why would someone who enjoys being warm and comfortable and getting a full night's sleep even contemplate such a thing?

Each morning, when I start my run, I have to disengage from my rational mind in order to get out the door. I treat it as a habit - as some odd thing that I do without thinking. This gets me out to the sidewalk and around the corner. Next thing I know I'm pounding along the pavement, shivering slightly and already beginning to drop into stride. After the couple blocks, I look up and see the moon – not quite full anymore but beautiful – and my mood begins to lighten. The first mile drops away and I am warmer and feeling good. I begin to think about how life offers such wonderful opportunities – like running – to shape our lives.

Just as my choice to get up and run or workout most mornings shapes my life now and in the future, so do the other choices we make. The more intention and awareness we bring to this process, the more clearly we can determine the life we are choosing. One of the keys to the process is recognizing and taking advantage of the opportunities we are presented with.

Gratitude is the open doorway to abundance. This adage has fueled a lot of of growth for me. Realizing that by appreciating what I have and feeling grateful for the gifts I am receiving, I open the doorway for that flow to continue. I have since realized that having gratitude to my mother and father, for the gift of life I receive from them, lets my soul know that I am ready to receive these gifts – and all other good things.

Another opportunity to consider is joy. When we experience joy, we affirm whatever we are engaging in, lending its presence strength in the matrix of our life. So, pay attention. The more you feel joy, the more you welcome experiences that bring you joy.

A final experiment for you. Next time you park your car in a metered space, consider leaving all your emotional baggage with the car. As you put your coins into the meter, think of all the burdens that you are going to be leaving with your car, while it is parked. Walk away without them. When you return, be very careful about what you choose to take back. Give it a try. I thought of it on my run this morning and am curious to see how it will work.