Get Out Of Your Head!

“Finally…whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”~~Phillipians 4:8 (Bible KJV)

Yesterday I ran 20 miles with my Team In Training group of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the longest run I’ve done this year.  Our course was changed to include more bridge-climbing to reflect the course we will be faced running 26.2 miles this coming April in Madrid, 2012 Rock-N-Roll Marathon, Spain.

My morning started out way before the crack of dawn (02:15 am) and on a rough leg even before I had a chance to put one foot in front of the other on our course.  After pulling out from the driveway, one of my car headlamps, “poof,” went south.  Burn out.  I know… As my friend Sam usually say, “This is of the Devil!”  I only prayed I wouldn’t get pulled off the road to wrestle the Sheriff.  A couple of miles further, I almost choked on my own saliva (freaky thing) and since I had that breakfast that was digesting on my stomach guess what?  Yeah.  Nasty!  I found myself with a large mouthful of undigested stuff that came straight up to my mouth while I was driving and I couldn’t catch my breath for a minute because stuff went in the wrong pipe in my neck.  Luckily, the red light caught me and well…it was a holy mess!  But, I stuck with the exciting and the positive, hit the gas pedal, and thirty-five minutes later, greeted my running mates wearing a portion of my breakfast on my white dry-fit T-Shirt.

Twenty mile sounds like madness to some, and well yeah, it takes a little bit of madness to attempt or even complete this feat.  First of all, the mind does play tricks on you by trying to set limits, reminding you what the negatively and unconscious people say you can’t do, and pelting unnecessary urges and aches your way.  If you are a runner, or are involved in any type of endurance sports that helps you push your boundaries, then you know quite well what I’m talking about.

Yesterday, I started off with that undigested food pushing upwards on my chest, but it soon dissipated into the dark of the night after I passed the 2nd mile mark.  Listen, running that 20 mile was not my easiest run this year, but I delight in telling you that I completed my goal despite a nagging-but manageable ache in my right heel and feeling depleted at times.

When training for long-distant running, just like when sitting for a long period meditating, you are working with the elements to get you out of your own head.  Most of us seem to live in this closed space, not aware how to dust it out or properly rid it of the useless and the poisonous.  This is the space where we oftentimes seem to revere the negative things that happened(s) to us by constantly ruminating.  We live in the past with old rewinding shows alike that of the previously popular TV show back in the day, “Good Times,” which to me never really looked like good times.  The sitcom characters never quite seem to be able to make it out of the ghetto although they were able to keep their humor and joy (two great virtues to have) despite their circumstances.

From my experience, when I concentrate on the perceived negative things in my life, my relationships, and my circumstances, the negative scenes tend to follow and so what I get is more of the same.  If you concentrate your mind on injury, scarcity, hate, doubt, feeling sorry for yourself, and feeling like a victim, guess what?  You will keep seeing more of the same and unconsciously drive yourself, it seems, to the same destination.  Like a nagging boomerang you send out negative, and negative comes back.  Become your own Inspector Gadget, and take a look into the matter.

There are many reasons why I run but mainly,  I run to be free.  Free of doubts. Free of disease, especially those that originate in the mind.  Free from negative ruminating thoughts (running is one of the best medicines to still the mind).  Free from fear of the past, the next moment, and of the future.  Free from the limitations that I sometimes set for myself.  Free to keep my peace.  Free to attack the road and take whatever path I desire.  Free.  Running makes me feel free… and of course there is a price you have to pay for freedom.  I am sitting here with a few ache in my calves and thighs, a good ache, but I feel great (especially in my Spirit)!

OYE!  If you are lost of how you can get out of your head, take the road to a new beginning, and live a more fulfilling life now, here are a few things to get you started:

1.  Start by challenging your set point–limitations you set for yourself and  thoughts of things you think you can’t do.  Challenging yourself could open up many roads of possibilities for you.  It will start building new and exciting road-maps in your brain, physically, breaking old barriers, and bringing you new experiences in life, giving you fresh energy from which to improve your liveliness.  Do this simple practice, and start feeling a new level of excitement.

2.  “Stick with the positive!”  This sentence came to me once when I was caught in a deep funk and felt like aspects of my life was crumbling.  This statement fell on me like a fresh and beautiful serving of carnation flowers in the early morning…you know, with morning dew still settled on the petals.   Stick with the positive and always look for your opportunities in adversities.  Do not dwell on the negative, this changes your biochemistry like a bomb in a dense space.  It fosters sickness.

3.  Don’t be an “ordinario (ordinary)” but live try living with mindfulness.  The research for living mindfully is astounding.  Just Google the word “mindfulness,” and you will have days of good reading–mental food– to digest.  Living mindfully could help your relationships with yourself, and that between you and your loved ones.  There are so many little things you can do to mindfully improve your life which could translate into big things.  Try it!  Be mindful today with the person you love.  Look for the special and peculiarly good in the person.  Shower him with the poetry of your love.  Make this your focus for today and drop us a note with your results.  :)

4.  Delight in forgiveness, and make it your intimate friend. Forgiveness, in case you are wondering, is not a four letter word but eleven. The peace of mind experienced with forgiveness could put you on a quantum path to healing, cover myriads of sins, and has a way of releasing you from pain.   For many, this is a tough science to follow (like breathing through a straw?), but it has been known to heal many ills of the physical (especially the heart), Spirit, and soul.  Try it.   First forgive yourself for all the dumb, crazy, and rough decisions…and stuff… you think you’ve done to yourself.  I like to do this on a daily basis to help myself move on from thinking about any poor decisions I thought I’ve made and, on Friday evenings before sunset, I empty what’s left in the recycle bin in my mind to permanently delete them.  As you forgive yourself for your short comings, try to forgive others for theirs too.  It’s a good way to help you stop living in your head and help you feel like a tree planted by rivers of water.  If you have time, check out the Forgiveness Project, a good resource to help you on your path.

5.  Practice non-judgement.  Living like a judge (judging every situation, people, animal, and even the poor insects) could be a waste of energy and also tends to be Spirit-depleting.  Keep your peace.  Let folks live their lives even if they want to be a junky, crack-head, flamboyant pimp, or a holier-than-thou pompously pious and self-righteous person.  Who are you?  That’s what’s up.  That’s really what you are up against. This is what I tell myself when I am trotting this path.  Someone once said, change yourself and the world will change.

So stop living in your head, get out there, and run to be free!