It's pretty easy to get carried away with creating new goals for the new year. But I am going to focus on just one.
That's not to say I dont have a laundry list myself. You know, the list of self improvements or "the things I used to be able to do", but can't now. Every year we get older, fatter, slower, less ambitious... Well, okay, not all of us. I suppose I should speak for myself. But every moment of every month, of every week, of every day of every year, we change. Some of us have been riding the good train for a while, balancing it all, tweaking little imperfections here and there. Some of us have been working on little goals here and there: a month of sobriety, a month of yoga, train for a 5K and the like.
Last year at this time I completed my first marathon and was recovering from a broken collar bone which led me to quit yoga. Ive been a quitter for almost a year now. I was able to teach bootcamp and slowly but surely workedmy way back to full range of motion for my arm as I vividly remember working on push ups and holding my body weight and eventually climbing and cycling again. The last few months I have been doing more yoga because in the last year of not doing yoga I have become much more inflexible and gosh darn it if my whole body doesnt ache and groan with muscle fatigue! There is nothing like a good old hot sweaty vinyasa or a long slow yin class to make my body swoon.
So, "did you do X today?"
If you could pick just one thing, what would it be? Why just one? Because youre going to tinker on all the other things all year anyway. You want to be in better shape or stay in good shape - you're going to to eat right and exercise. Unless, of course, this is your pinnacle, your main priority for 2017. Then, in that case you put it on top. THAT's your X. Everything you do then will revolve around that and it is the ONE thing you can't let yourself forget.
We do, you know. Forget, that is. *SQUIRREL!*
This is the age of the short attention span and the fickle desires. And people are longing to slow down! We WANT retreat and adventure and truth so much so that we are beginning to need to feign living in the pioneer days (except its in a van or in the desert burning men or something), or maybe we want to UNSETTLE ( a new book out, The Unsettlers, by Mark Sundeen) or maybe we want to pretend for a day that we are Spartans (or better yet take a trip up to Vermont to haul logs and eat apples at Joe De Sena's place).
Whatever it is, we want it to get us out of our monotony of feeding the endless appetite of the material machine we are ever so connected to from some cube in some desk. Maybe.
Well, that sounds pretty grim. Ironically, we need sales to survive. We do need to sell. We do need to buy. So what, then are we buying? The idea. The gadget. What does it feed? Is it in alignment with who we are or who we want to be?
What all this searching tells me is that what we really WANT ... is to get PURE. So it boils down to the age old question "Who are you"? You know you're not JUST your body, but you want to take care of that because thats your ride in this lifetime. Youre not just your mind... gotta tame that boredom monkey every now and then while you chisel the perfection of your thoughts. You know you're not just your feelings, but these are really important because they lead us closest to knowing our true selves. Don't they?
Or... maybe that's just me. Anyone who knows me knows I'm an animal and I feel we've devolved our physical form due to all this sitting and machinery and convenience. It's really amazing what people can do when they set their mind to it and maintain that sense of purpose and focus.
Which is why I want to take this last paragraph to just be thankful and in awe and just appreciative for all the goodness of 2016 despite any badness. We do, afterall, get to invent ourselves if we so choose. So - WHO are you? Cheers, Universe, to ever learning, to love and compassion and Thank you for all you have given us all. Let's earn it.
References and Inspirations 2016:
Nature... Nature is always an inspiration.
Jimmy Chin and his wife, Chai Vasarhelyi - For not knowing how their life would turn out and following their passion anyway- for adventure, nature and for humanitarian causes.
Amy Ipellizzeri, Eddie Salguero Jr and Jason Nemer -http://www.acroyoga.org/- also for not knowing how their lives would turn out yet followed their passions anyway. What fun it was in Jamaica 2016 learning and playing acro with you! I am MOST impressed by how EVERYONE was invited and included - even Stanley the copper jewelry man! AcroLove!
Nicholas Coolridge - For being a smilie nice guy and for helping to build that rec park in Jamaica for the kids and community.. and for demonstrating that you really can invent yourself not to mention defy gravity.
Jenni Lowe-Anker - I read Forget Me Not this year after meeting her at the CMC gala dinner. I really appreciated the way Conrad highlighted her work as an artist in his presentation - which mostly was focused on preserving the mountainsides and living sustainably. I was really impressed by his spirit - I know he probably didnt want to be hand shaking and put on a pedestal, but he did it for reasons other than himself. I know they found Alex's body on Mt Shishapangma this year and I just couldn't imagine what must have been like for both of them. I asked him what his favorite climb in the whole world is and he mentioned the Rostram in Yosemite. One of these days I hope to make it out there but perhaps after all this excitement about climbing passes over. I imagine some of these places to just be littered with people and I tend to like to enjoy my nature solo, but whatever. I'm glad we have an abundance of open space and nature lovers.
Wim Hof and Tim Ferriss - for their body hacking adventures. Ive been learning from Tim Ferriss for ten plus years it seems now and I really appreciate his drive and all the introductions to new things. If I get one or two a year and he pursues 20, I am amazed at his energy.... And I recently pre ordered the new Scott Carney book "What Doesn't Kill Us" to see what new trouble I might be able to get in to.
My children - by golly I cannot believe how they've grown up! This has been a year of change and 2017 will be also. The thing I admire most about these kids is how they really are kind, respectful and thinkers. I appreciate the talks and thoughts and time they share with me.
And you know what, my co-workers, students and friends are a constant source of inpiration. Lately it seems I have been walking into the studio and everyone is so friendly and nice and asking about my mom since she's been on the mend. I really appreciate that.
And then there is my mom. She's a pain in the ass, but I really do have a soft spot for her. These last few months have caused me to go inward a little more than usual. I'll tell you what though, even at 85 nobody can bone a fish like she can!
Then of course there's these two. They definitely inspire me to stay strong (otherwise they will pull me over) and to be kind and patient and deserving of their love and admiration.