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Life throws us obstacles, bumps that come out of nowhere.  The goal is to stay loose enough to adjust to the changes and centered enough to keep in control when the shit hits the fan.  When the ground beneath us moves so fast that it’s hard to focus, we have to tune into our intuitive knowing, stay in that controlled out-of-control state.

Skiing and snowboarding teach us this flexibility.  If you want to enjoy your journey downhill there’s no option but to be 100% present; aligned body-mind-spirit.  Adjust to the shifting terrain, in the moment.

Our core (third chakra), center-of-gravity is in the bliss zone, balanced with velocity, snow and the contour of the mountain.  When another skier crosses our path, a mogul, rock or tree faces us, we turn but we don’t turn permanently away from our intended path.  We take a turn that avoids collision and another turn that returns us to our direction of choice.

In the moment we may recognize that our chosen path is not taking us in a direction that is going to bring us pleasure, success or good circumstances, so we permanently redirect our course. If we don’t foresee the need to turn or the obstacle throws us out of our center we’ll crash.  Varying degrees of wipeout occur, depending on how tuned-in we were to our body and our surroundings.

We make graceful turns when we are centered in our truth, tuned-in to our surroundings and willing to adjust course when the flow points us in a different direction.  Practicing mediation tools each day gives us this core strength when faced with any challenge. To do this we:

  • Take the time early in the day to clear our mind (sixth chakra) of the past and other people’s energy or agendas.
  • Ground (root chakra) our energy in the present day.
  • Call any of our scattered energy back to ourselves and visualized it filling every cell of our body.

Being grounded and saturated in our true essence is the bliss zone.  It allows us to be present for the obstacles in life and to navigate them without feeling as much trauma. It feels aligned, peaceful and full of possibility.  Taking responsibility for our life by owning our energy space teaches us that we can keep our focus yet be flexible enough to make graceful turns.

Snowboarding and skiing exercise the same muscles we use to access our intuition.  Here are five ways that they can contribute clarity to other areas of your life:   

1) Align with Your YES

Flying downhill at high speed with gravity as your motor, split second decisions are your power.  Every turn, every choice of direction is an inner yes that aligns you with the mountain and puts a smile on your face.  When your choices align with your yes they bring pleasure.  Your intuition is validated and responds by informing you with increasing speed and accuracy.

2) Wipeout Prevention

To survive and stay injury free skiing you must pay attention and be present in the moment.  The consequence of having your mind on anything but what you are doing is painful. The same is true when acting on your inner-guidance.  Being distracted muddles your perception, often with painful results.

3) Give Your Analyzer a Break

Snowboarding connects you with your inner child.  As a kid you didn’t spend so much time analyzing life. You were curious, playful and stuck your tongue out to taste the falling snow.   Trusting your intuition requires that you approach life with child like openness to non-linear answers.

4) Read Your Surroundings

Navigation of the slopes includes maintaining awareness of the skiers around you.  A portion of your consciousness is engaged in quickly reading what those in your path will do next to prevent collision.  Your intuitive guidance is meant to help you navigate life through perception of how those around you are behaving. Then direct your life in a way that stays on course and avoids negative impact.

5) Move Forward in Whiteout Conditions

When there’s poor visibility, flat light or blizzard conditions, the way to stay injury free is to relax your body, trust its perception and response to the terrain.  If you try to be in physical control rather than flow, your body will be stiff when you hit a bump, launching you in an unintended direction.  When you strain to see what is not ready to be seen you meet whiteout conditions.  Relaxation of control is required for supportive information to flow.

So get out there and rip it up! Your body and soul will thank you.

Moving Forward

Natalie —  July 2, 2010 — 7 Comments

At times I get stuck in a pattern of belief that my mind can derive the bottom-line truth in a given situation.  Yet my brain is just a measuring device for the sensory messages it receives from my body.  The body sends messages that are interpreted by the mind through the senses of sight, smell, touch, hearing and taste.  The mind takes these bits of information makes a conclusion, and then asks us to do something about it.  The spirit uses different points of reference to calculate the best way to move forward.  Our intuitive guidance system taps into a non-physical knowledge that can also lead us safely through life experiences. 

Last weekend I was climbing Mt Yale, a 14,000 foot summit in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.  Hiking at altitude creates sensations in my body that are interpreted by my brain as repetitive signals to “stop, turn back.”  The lack of oxygen and steep terrain challenge my lungs, muscles and circulatory system with forms of resistance that feel life threatening.  I hike at high-altitude to experience a sense of mind or over matter, to somehow prove my mind wrong by overriding its interpretations with a higher truth.  I know I can do it.  I know I will survive. 

On the ascent I can briefly distract my mind with the sight of aspen and pine trees, the sound of the gushing glacier-melt creek, the smell of wildflowers and conversations with my friend.  Yet the distraction is always temporary as my mind continues to want to regain control of the situation.  Hiking Mt Yale I was conscious of my spirit experiencing the hike.  When my body began to feel exhausted and my vision was a bit dulled, to the point where I didn’t see every rock on the trail, instead of feeling fearful that I would stumble, I noticed my spirit was guiding me.  I saw with clarity the parallel existence of how my mind interprets its experience beside how my spirit interprets the experience.  Both are equally capable of providing guidance that keeps me safe.  The difference is that when I’m listening to my spirit it is not concerned about reaching the summit or measuring the energy left in my physical body relative to what is required to get me to where I need to go.  My spirit is present in the moment.  My spirit says, “I am moving forward.  I will keep moving forward.  I want to move forward.”  

Mind-body measurement of our experience is 100% in the physical/material realm.  The challenge is that the mind does not know how to interpret intuitive information.  If the message it’s receiving from the body contradicts intuitive guidance the mind goes to battle with spirit and tries to override the spiritual knowing in an act of physical self-preservation.  The mind does not know how to interpret the emotional indicators beyond the physical sensations they generate, pain or pleasure. 

Next time you notice that your mental and spiritual guidance are in conflict, acknowledge both the indicators from your physical body experience and what you know intuitively.  Let this awareness of the source of data help break gridlock that can keep you stuck.  The mind is not the final truth.  It is one source of information available to you.  Intuition offers insight that can help us move forward when the mind is resistant.

Olympic Body-Spirit Awareness

Natalie —  February 22, 2010 — Leave a comment

Physical activity is one of the easiest portals to clearing the mind and accessing our intuition. Whether its hiking a mountain, riding your bike, digging your fingers in the garden dirt or carving turns through the snow you must be present for the moment. The focus required by physically challenging activities demands that you be on your game to prevent a misstep. Your power of concentration clears out all of the chatter in your head. There’s no room for distraction when you are centered from the core, this is especially heightened in extreme sports. It’s not only the adrenaline high that pushes many people to pursue great athletic feats but the bliss of having those moments of 100% you in your intuitive space.

Watching the Olympic athletes compete has reminded me how powerful and capable the human body can be when trained, intentionally disciplined and free of distractions. Cheering on the athletes is a way to live vicariously through their risk, to witness the glory of human potential and the body-spirit connection. The professional athlete has exceptionally refined their responsiveness to specific activities which occur within a fraction of a second. In the Olympic snowboard half-pipe competition one of the athletes was up in the air going for a grab and missed the edge of his board. Instead of falling flat and crashing he immediately responded with his awareness and skills to save his run. Midair gyrating his body in what they call the funky chicken he reclaimed his center of gravity, landed and finished the run. His response relied on the instinctive body-spirit connection, clarity of mind coupled with action founded in deep experience. Witnessing this awareness of where his body was in space, willingness to trust it to respond as he directed and courage to push the limits inspires us all to have greater presence in the moment.

How can this awareness help the non-Olympian who’s honing their intuitive skills? When your mind is cluttered physical activity is a simple and quick way to clear it and refocus on your own information. Being in your body free of distraction is critical for intuitive truth (it) to present itself.