Return for more space

Post detailing my thoughts of the experience of unexpectedly returning to a service that helped my personal growth, not an advertisement or promotion for Headspace. approx. 3 min read

With pressing urgency, I feel compelled to attempt to transcribe a feeling, fleeting yet insistent. A few days ago, a friend offered a well-meaning gift, a subscription to Headspace. Inexplicably I felt dread, of all things, mixed with gratitude for the gift. I had to think. Over the years, this friend and their spouse have worked with me on improving communication, specifically expectations. Troubled, I had to ask myself, was this some Covert Contract that they were offering? No, they have made a lot of progress about stating intent. What did I miss? Rereading the text, they had presented it because it was a family plan, and the price was the same whether 2 or 4 used it or not. Okay, the most straightforward answer win’s again; and, proof that this year has been more than mentally taxing for me and a return to guided meditation should be would be a pleasant return.
( Covert contracts occur when you have a plan in your head, some trade, but it is never explicitly stated, so when it comes time for “payment” and it falls through, you feel cheated, but the other person is oblivious.)
But, where was that unease coming from. Clicking the invite link and downloading the app again had a rush of nostalgia. Hours of use from 2014-16, 2018 all tracked in the app. A quick text from my friend something about ‘visualizing their thoughts like cars in traffic’ brought me out of my revelry, thinking, “huh that’s a nice touch, I remember that, but it doesn’t have the same vibe as monkey-mind.”
The errant thought also brought me back to a question I didn’t know the answer to; do I start back with the Basic 10? Before clicking on it, I could already recall the lilting British accent of Andy’s opening words. I remembered; hundreds of minutes of gentle reminders crashed into my psyche. I didn’t even choose a thing to click play on yet, but a voice from my memory rang out that this wasn’t my mediation practice. My daily routine is very movement-oriented while training or running. A fearful illogical question came, “Why did I say yes to a service I’ve outgrown?”
By no means am I remotely suggesting a person can say, “Done! The hyperactive spaz has become the sage of the easily gamified version of meditation you carry on your phone.”
Only the real answer for my seed of dread finally did make it to the front of my mind. The thought: I could have done more. Despite all of my years of training and growth, looking at this screen led me to compare who I am to some magical version of myself that committed more to the process. That version wouldn’t be such a roil of strong emotions and thought, tempered by a disciplined yoga and meditation practice, a very unfair thought to have. But, the just as sudden realization I could interrupt my unproductive-thought with objective statements—a hard-won skill gained from the years competing in sports, martial arts, and torrenting meditation books. Before, I eventually could accept meditation was something I could do to slow down my thoughts.

In all of these words, my hope was to explain this restless feeling I get when revisiting something that has become so practiced it left me wondering what lessons will be returning to a template provide?
How do I use a tool (my phone) I’ve spent a concerted effort to use less in my daily life? So much of my daily life has mindful check-ins to map my body and become aware when I am holding tension while working. But, here’s to leaning into the cringe and returning to a tool that I have recommended to so many friends, family, and strangers I’d think I was getting paid for referrals. But, my only compensation is feeling more connected to friends who once wouldn’t take seriously a suggestion to take ten deep breaths, who are the ones nudging me to use the app.

Here’s to taking it 10 minutes at a time.

5 for friends 9/30

Quote: “Once a year, go someplace, you’ve never been before.” – Author unknown. I’m not sure when I first heard this piece of advice; likely it was during High School around my Senior year. But, with that mantra it has spurred meditating underwater falls, exploring underwater-cave systems, and even finding out that gator really does taste like chicken.

Book currently reading: Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance by Alex Hutchinson
More or less always has been on my reading list, as it does cover what the physical limits of humans are and how thinking is the most significant moderator or what limits or expands our capacity. 

Article worth a read: How to Craft a Perfect Email My guilty pleasure as an adult is scouring LifeHacker for essential tips on how to be a human in the real world. Today’s article hit me in a big way after handwriting letters, and interpretative dance email is my favorite mode of communication. Mostly because of the asynchronous nature I can pour a stream of consciousness out and can whittle away the excess and eventually understand what I mean around the same time as I hit send. Despite the ads more often than not this was a reminder of what I should be looking for and can speak to the contender for Quote of the week: Writing is 80% organizing your thoughts 20% actual writing. From Malcolm Gladwell, whose new book will be arriving at my door soon. 

Small Purchase: In the grand scheme of things, I question how small is my purchase; because it relates to the most excellent game of all time Magic: The Gathering and my decades-spanning collection. To the point over the weekend, I went to my local game store to play in the pre-release event for Throne of Eldraine (the 82nd expansion). For the small cost of a trip to the movies with popcorn, I spent my Friday evening with great friends of mine that I have not had time to see in months. The gameplay and format have been the best I’ve seen since my all-time favorite set from 2014 (Khans of Tarkir). $25 paid for just over 4 hours of pizza, exciting games of magic, and stories of harrowing victories and defeats we could still laugh about all night. 

What am I working on:  This month continuing in alignment with my goal of training to complete a Spartan Beast (last piece of the Trifecta) without too many injuries. So, my 3rd month at the Hive has my body starting to adapt to the high volume of reps under heavy load. With my increasing aerobic capacity and marginal strength gains, things are coming up Milhouse! Month 4 is my time for putting together my ever-improving endurance and will power to finally tackling the often neglected skill gymnastics.

Slowly but surely each WOD or trip to the globe-o gym will include 1 or more bodyweight movement. The aim is to work on pacing and strengthening my core and stabilizer muscles.  

2min bike
10 Hang Power Cleans
10 OHS
10 Kip Swings
10 Alt. Step Ups
Lateral Burpees
Overhead Squat OHS (95/65)
Chest to Bar Pullups C2B