Welcome to Mondo Samu - Questions and Answers about my self-work.

Mondō: "questions and answers"; a recorded collection of dialogues between a pupil and teacher.
Samu: Work service; meditation in work.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Unexpected Joy!

I feel GREAT!

Lately I've been struggling to get my normal exercise in. For the last two weeks I have had a lot of travel for work and the weather has been horrible. It's rained most days and has been cold as well. Between a crazy schedule and the weather, my normal 3 mile a day walking habit has been sporadic to say the least. I've been getting my Tai Chi in every day, and some days twice to make up a little for not walking regularly, but the rain has made walking a challenge.

So after being out of town last week, and returning to a jam-packed-bad-weather-weekend-o-shopping, I decided that I would return to my routine today NO MATTER WHAT! My morning Tai Chi and meditation went great and it was wonderful to be back in my comfortable home for my morning routine. I'm very grateful that I am able to do my Tai Chi from my hotel rooms, but I'm most comfortable in my home. Then after work, I came home and got dressed for a walk, only to find that by the time I picked my wife up from work the weather had turned extremely windy and cold!

I was pretty darned down about the prospect of not walking tonight, and kept changing my mind as to whether I was going to do it or not. Finally, upon arriving at home, I decided that I simply HAD to do it. I MUST walk. Interestingly it's not even about the calories I burn, but rather it was a burning desire to just walk, and to do some walking meditation.

I went in the house, added some layers to my walking clothes, a hat, mits, and scarf and headed out. The wind was raging at about 20mph, and blowing little mini-tornadoes of leaves all around. The trees were literally roaring! The cold was bitterly below freezing, and the wind made it painful. Luckily, as I was fully bundled up, the weather didn't bother me at all! In fact, quite the contrary! I had a GREAT walk!

I was warm, I felt energized by my decision to walk in spite of the conditions, I felt great to be exercising again the way I like to, I felt proud of myself for overcoming the weather and the desire to stay indoors. But most of all, walking amongst the howling wind, bitter cold, dark night and leaves swirling all around...I felt wonderful! I felt very much alive, centered, grounded - whatever you want to call it. I felt, you could say, MINDFUL!

The point, you ask? The point is that sometimes when everything about a situation is telling you NOT to do a thing, it's just your ego. The ego does everything in it's power to get what it wants. It tells you "the weather is too bad", "the cold is too cold", "the house is so warm, you will be fine with one more day of no walking, what's one more day??"

Next thing you know you are sitting in a comfy chair in a warm house watching TV. What's wrong with that? Nothing except you didn't do what you know you needed to, and you made it that much easier to cave in the next time. It's a common refrain you'll see amongst people trying to lose weight...they make one mistake and then another, and pretty soon they've fallen off the wagon. It's insidious the way it happens!

So don't fall for it. There are legitimately times when you CAN'T go for a walk or eat healthy. When you can, though...don't let a little discomfort like cold weather or more meal prep time keep you from making the better decision. At the end of that day, if you're being mindful, it's those decisions - one by one, each in it's moment - that determine your happiness.

And you never know when the decision might turn out to be a shining bright spot of happiness in your day that you never expected, or would have had if you let the ego have it's way.

Have a great day!

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