Forget To Remember

Hiya!! What was your childhood like? What situations do you recall the most? Do you consider these things to be fact? Do you call this memory up often? Do you think it changes over time? It does. Memory is very faulty… our memories are a construction of our past, not a clone of it. What seems to be a single memory of say, a whisk, is actually your brain retrieving the name of the object, the shape, it's function, the object performing it's function. Basically, depending on your ideas about a whisk (plastic or metal) your history of a whisk (used for batter or for being battered) and desire for a whisk (wanting one that is flat or 3-D) your memory of a whisk can and does change. You may not be recalling the whisk from the past but creating a whisk for the present based on your feelings, ideas, desires and judgments. However, if you were to be asked if you remembered a conversation you had with friends the night before you might be someone who would swear that they remembered, and you would be insulted if someone said that your memory was fallible at best. We put a lot of stock in our memories, especially ones that we have used to build the idea of ourselves on.

What does knowing that we recreate our past by pulling what sticks out to us and then adding it to our judgments and so forth make you think? What if the stories of the past weren't really that factual? What if large chunks of memory were false? You probably have stories that you have been telling yourself that you believe to be the way it was. You may have based life decisions on these stories. You might even describe your personality in reference to these stories being the reason you behave certain ways. Correct? Do these stories support your positive movement forward or do they hinder you in some way? Are you harboring ill will or judgment against someone for doing something in the distant past that you keep "remembering" so you won't "forget"? Maybe the energy we spend recreating our past could best be spent creating our future.

What if you let go of the stories you hold onto as truth? Recognize that you can't be sure of what happened and it isn't happening now so move on. Holding onto things in the past does not ensure you are on firm ground in the present; it ensures you don't move on. It is going to be a good thing for you to realize that you can, since you do anyway, create the history for yourself that supports growth, love and learning. You can remember yourself into who you are becoming. You can decide to pick out different pieces of your past and hold onto those if they are conducive to movement in the way you desire it. We have unlimited power and potential that we smother aggressively moment to moment with doubt, uncertainty and false ideas of ourselves, each other and the world around us. Begin to think that all is possible, all is love and always was… your history will become your training for your unbelievably magnificent future.

future and past

future and past

xo a

Momentary Struggle

Hi there, I know many people who are struggling… just simply struggling.  It might be because of things that existed in their past or have never happened in real life or because of being in a place that they don't enjoy in this moment.  There are many reasons for their struggle if you were to dig into it, which I do as a career and path to healing… but ultimately it is a lack of being present that is at the core of the emotional turmoil they are suffering through.  

When I was a freshman in college I began my rowing career.  I embarked on, what was at that point, the hardest training of my physical, spiritual and emotional life.  I was pushed to places I didn't know existed within me.  I was afraid on a daily basis that I wouldn't make it through practice, that I could possibly perish because it would just be too much for me.  An hour before practice I would pace my dorm room and imagine all of the various things I would have to survive in practice.  Everyday, without fail, I would leave practice, alive, feeling like I was the most badass person on the planet for surviving the unthinkable!!  This practice of fear and relief, of going to the imaginary place and then being brought to the present moment and realizing it wasn't anything I thought it was, happened over and over and over.  

I not only experienced this in rowing, I experienced this fear in many areas of my life.  In relationships I would imagine that various things were going to happen and be emotionally devastated as if they had already happened, until I was proven wrong.  And I was proven wrong every time.  The emotional roller coaster of worrying about things, then things ending up better than my worry told me they would, took its toll.  By the end of my freshman year I decided that something had to give.  I wasn't planning on quitting crew, or life, so I was going to need to approach things differently.  

By the time I graduated I had been working on being in the present moment on a regular basis.  Then I began my post college training in rowing on an elite level.  This was a completely new world of intensity.  Nothing I had done resembled the length or the difficulty of the workouts I was now engaging in daily.  I had done a lot of preparation over four years to get to the point where I could function without too much fear around impending workouts, and I was now faced with testing out my progress.  I remember my first workout was a simple 3 hour steady state row.  Just go, for 3 hours.  See ya, in 3 hours!  After I finished that workout, and felt more than fine… I realized that I would have to control my mind in a way that was no longer half-assed.  I was going to have to just stop the thoughts of worry, concern, fear to enter.  I was going to survive, if nothing the years previous had shown me it was that I was always wrong about what I worried about.  None of the doomsday scenarios had happened and I was, in all honesty, exhausted with being a victim to my own mind.  So I stopped.  I practiced every day, every moment, being in my body, in my life, in my feelings.  I worked relentlessly on it.  I created dynamics in my relationships where I didn't allow what wasn't happening to take up too much space.  

That was a long time ago and I practice being in the moment without so much of a thought these days.  Every now and then I will notice myself drifting off into something that isn't true.  For clarification, things that aren't true are things that aren't happening now.  Literally.  Now you can have memories and you can have hopes, but truth, well the only truth is what I experience in the moment, everything else is interpretation… and to be strict, even this moment is an interpretation and skewed by my perspective.  So, though, I have and always do my work, there is a diligence that is necessary for mastery.  No matter how great you are at doing something, practice is always necessary to stay sharp and skilled.  

For those who are struggling any and everywhere, the true struggle is with yourself, your mind, your beliefs and your perspective.  You are the most challenging thing you will ever encounter.  The rest is cake.  You can choose to do the work or be done.  Good luck.