Excuses be gone!

NaBloPoMo November 2012Post A Day

Since I started writing this blog and walking this path I have found the enthusiasm to write ebb and flow. Excuses of why I can’t write today abound quickly and frequently.

Well no more…at least not for the month of November. I (somewhat frighteningly) signed up for the National Blog Posting Month or NaBloPoMo sponsored by BlogHer.com and for the Post A Day 2012 sponsored by WordPress.

This means that for the 30 days of November, I have agreed to write at least one blog post a day.

“Why?”, you may ask.

Why not! Let’s give it a whirl and see what happens. To quote a Facebook post that I read recently…”If you do not step forward, you will always be in the same place”.

Wish me luck.

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The Connections and Inspiration Award

Source: mentalhelp.net via Marin on Pinterest

Connections and Inspiration.

So Momma E. from “My Magnificent Mess” had nominated me for this Connections and Inspiration award and I am finally getting back to to pass it along as I said that I would. Here is the original post from Momma E. I know, I know; its been awhile. Sometimes I am slow to get back to things on my to do list. Perfect I am not.

Here’s the deal. In order to pay it forward, I need to create a New Blogging Award and give it to 3 or more other bloggers with whom I truly feel that connection. The rules to accept this award that Momma E. put forth are as follows:

1. Thank the person who nominated you, and write a short post about blogging/connections/inspiration (one, two or all three)

2. Nominate at least 3 other bloggers you feel connected to and inspired by. People who have influenced you , your writing, or maybe even just something you read by them that resonated with you. Or, somebody who gave you a different viewpoint that made you stop and think. (that proverbial kick in the pants you may or may not need – but that gives you pause)

3. Copy and Paste the relevant portions of this post into your own nominations blog- and post.

4. Let those you nominated know.

5. Sit back and feel the love.

Since I started on this journey, I have come across many other bloggers and I am amazed by how many are on fascinating journeys of their own. As few I started to follow and some I just check in on now and then. I am still getting the hang of this whole blogging thing, but it is amazing to see all of these incredible blogs.

For this award I just picked a few from my list of usual ones that I read. Here are my nominations for my Inspiration Award, and a brief note why:

  • IStopForSuffering – This is a blog dedicated to spreading love, kindness and positivity. I love the inspirational posts that she writes here.
  • Evan at TheBetterManProjects – He is on an inspirational journey and his words are very moving.
  • Eva at the Mental Health Blog – She is self described as someone who had overcome depression, anxiety, and eating disorder in her own life. She has a wealth of interesting and inspiring things on her blog.
  • Brittany at Living Thoreauly – I love Brittany’s spirit and view on life. She is fearless in her quest and I admire her for that.

Check out their blogs and I hope you find enjoyment in their writing like I have.

Belief all the way from Bannff

This past Thursday night, my wife and I attended a local showing of the Bannff Film Festival Word Tour. The showing was at the beautiful Paramount Theater in downtown Denver. It was a packed house and full of excitement and energy for the collection of amazing experiences that were to be shown on the screen that night.

All the films from the festival are adventure related and show some of the amazing potential of the human body and spirit. The feats performed in the films were not only truly incredible, but also displayed something more. As we watched one of the films called Sketchy Andy (more on that in a minute) the main character, Sketchy Andy oddly enough, was talking about how he did some of the amazing actions that he performed in the film. Basically he said that he just knew that he could do it and so he figured out how to do it.

With that said and after I had just written on my blog the previous day about belief, my wife leaned over and whispered in my ear “talk about the power of belief”.

“Yes”, I enthusiastically replied.

That got me thinking about the other films that were being shown as well. These people were doing things that many of us would only dream of and most would never even think of. Yet they had a dream or a vision, however crazy or far fetched it was, and they made it happen because they believed that they could.

You can check out descriptions and links to previews of all the films at Bannff Film Festival World Tour and Reel Rock Tour, but here are some that stood out to me.

Freedom Chair

One of my favorites was called the Freedom Chair. It was the story of a Freestyle skier who at one time was an Olympic hopeful and then bagged it all and became a coach. One day while testing out a jump that they were building for a competition the following day, he crashed and severed his spinal cord leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Long story short, he started sit skiing and eventually won several medals in Olympic sit skiing events. Check out the film below and be sure to hang around for the sick freestyle sit skiing action at the end.

Origins: Obe and Ashima

This film showed a 9 year old phenom in the bouldering community. She is amazing on the rocks and at the climbing gym; you have to check out the preview. It will blow your mind. The story followed Obe who was a gifted climber that traveled the world perfecting his craft until one day he got burned out, moved back home, got a job as a bartender and became depressed. Then after wallowing in that for a while he decided to move to New York and coach kids at a rock climbing gym. He had found his true passion…his calling. Then he met and started coaching Ashima. The two together is like lightning striking a fuel tank. It is very unlikely to that the two would come together, but explosive to watch when it does.

Sketchy Andy

This guy is crazy yet brilliant. What he puts his mind to and figures how to make happen is incredible. You may have seen him walking the slackline with Madonna at the 2012 SuperBowl. I can’t even describe this guy; just watch the videos.

Ski Bums Never Die

This group of … let’s just call then advanced in age people. I can’t call then senior citizens or elderly because they have more life in them than most people. They ski 100 days or more a year and they do it with such love and enthusiasm it is contagious. They continue to believe that they can do it and so they do. These folks remind me of the quote “We don’t stop playing because we grow old, but we grow old because we stop playing”.

Ski Bums Never Die from Switchback Entertainment on Vimeo.

Towers of Ennedi

Mark Synnott had a dream to be the first to climb the spires of the Ennedi desert which is deep, deep in the center of Chad, Africa. This involved days of driving through harsh conditions in the desert just to reach the spires. They do and the results are amazing. Check it out.

The “Coincidences” that Led Me to this Journey

The Path

Coincidence?

Is there such a thing as coincidence or do things happen for a reason? You know that feeling you get when something happens that seems to be blaring “pay attention, this is a sign”, but you gloss over it thinking that it was just a random occurrence.

Do you ever grab hold of that “sign” even when it is something that you never would have thought of being a part of your life’s journey?

I usually don’t either. However, this time I decided to pause after a “random set of circumstances”, take notice and explore the possibilities.

This all started a few weeks prior to my revelation to start this journey. I had started to twice daily say a prayer to God, the universe, or whatever your preferred term is for a divine source. The prayer went something like this…

”Thank you for all that I have in my life and for the experiences that I have had. I am ready to give up the reigns of my life to you. I ask that you help guide me by giving me the strength and clarity to follow the path that will allow me to fulfill YOUR purpose for me in this life”.

And So It Begins

During the second week of doing this I received or stumbled upon several articles regarding blogging. It was like everywhere I turned the universe was sending me something related to blogging, bloggers, and the blogosphere. As an example, on Friday (1/20/2012) I received a newsletter from Oprah.com with an article called What’s Holding You Back? 9 Ways to Spark a Breakthrough. The very first method described in the article was about going public to keep your idea alive. It described a woman who decided to run 50 marathons in 50 states and to help motivate herself and keep her focused on her goal she started a blog. I didn’t pay much attention to these articles at the time, but they did plant a seed in my head.

The weekend that followed was horrible. It was the culmination of weeks of wrangling with frustration, negativity, self-doubt, and anger. I felt ready to give up. I felt at the end of my rope. I curled up in bed and recited the prayer over and over like a madman trying to stop the end of the world.

I awoke in the morning and felt a certain lightness which was different than the weight of the world that I seemed to be carrying the previous few days. Maybe it was a breakthrough or maybe it was attributed to the fact that I had just slept for 13 hours.

I proceeded downstairs where the rest of the house was already awake and going about their day. The TV was on and my wife was watching an episode of Oprah’s Soul Sunday. I grabbed my mug of Sunday coffee and curled up on the couch to watch the show.

Dr. Wayne Dyer was the guest on that particular episode and they were talking about the Tao Te Ching. I had a copy of Dr. Dyer’s interpretation of this book in my bedroom for a couple of years and had read through most of it. However, I had let my plans to really study it and make it a daily habit fall through as I had done with most of commitments that I made to myself.

He talked about how he had committed a year of his life to studying the Tao Te Ching, spending 4 days on each verse. The end product was the book that I tucked away somewhere upstairs. I remembered how much I enjoyed the book and thought about renewing my commitment to read it and live it.

I had a thought similar to the one that the woman had who decided to run all of those marathons. I thought that I should make that commitment publicly so that I would actually follow through this time. I could do that by starting a blog about my adventures reading the book and attempting to apply the teachings to my life. At that point, it was just a fading thought and I didn’t put much effort into it.

The Deflated Epiphany

Later, that morning as I was going to get something out of our bedroom closet I heard a dog barking outside and walked over by my wife’s side of the bed to the window that overlooks our back yard. I noticed a magazine on the floor and saw that it was the February edition of Yoga Journal magazine. I picked it up and opened to a random page. On that page was an announcement that Yoga Journal magazine was looking for bloggers. Like a Tsunami rushing through my mind, all of he signs that I had seen over the past week or so started to come back to me.

“That’s it”, I thought, “this has got to mean something”. I decided that I was going to take hold of these signs and pursue my thought from that morning.

As the day passed and I thought more about the idea and did some research, the typical negativity started to creep into my mind and the excitement waned. “You can’t do that. The blogs on that website are about Yoga, not your idea. You don’t have what it takes to follow through on that. You are not a writer”. The heaviness started to build through the day until I was back to where I had been prior to the morning’s feelings of peace.

The Final Straw

Monday morning while at work and having a hard time getting this notion of this potential journey out of my head and to focus on my duties on the job, I opened a new Excel Spreadsheet. I plugged in the current day’s date. Then in another cell, I told it to calculate today plus 324 days (the number of days that it would take to get through the 81 verses of the Tao Te Ching spending 4 days on each verse). The end date came up to be 12/12/12.

“That’s strange”, I thought. Is this a coincidence or is this, as Oprah terms it, a God whisper? Is it a sign for me to pay attention to this journey that I had been contemplating? As these thoughts crossed my mind, I once again rehashed all of the “coincidences” that occurred around this idea.

I was teetering on the quandary to embark on this journey or ignore it like so many other potential journeys that I know I have passed up previously.

The heaviness lifted once more and the journey was born.

Are there signs or “coincidences” in your life that you have been ignoring or too afraid to pay attention to?

Maybe it’s time to pay attention.