Archive for July, 2013

MOVING MEDITATION

In the snowy months, I spend a lot of time on my snowboard.  People often ask me why I like snowboarding so much and I respond to them, “It’s a moving mediation.”  “Meditation?!?!?!  Snowboarding seems like anything but meditative…seems so stressful!” they say.

If you have ever been on a snowboard, you will realize within just a few minutes that you need to be paying 100% of your attention to what you are doing…otherwise you will get in trouble quickly.  It is a continuous process of looking about 10-15 feet ahead, choosing your line and executing.  And for as long as you want to snowboard in a day, or over a number of days, it is the same thing…look ahead, choose a line and execute.fenton chiropractor Singletrack

In that particular sequence of actions, there is absolutely no room for thoughts like “what’s for dinner?”, “I wonder what so-and-so thinks about me?”, “I can’t believe so-and-so said/did that at work yesterday.”, “When will those kids ever learn?”, “I wonder if the washing machine repair man is at the house yet or not.”  It is one of the most “present-time” awareness activities that I experience in life, besides my work as a chiropractor when I am adjusting people, and taking a yoga class.  It is truly a moving meditation.

I recently found the same thing happening on a mountain bike…and I AM THRILLED!!!!  For years I have been a “Roadie‘ they call it in the cycling world…I ride a road bike, long distances on paved roads. For years, I have had friends try to convince me to get a mountain bike and check out that scene.  For years, I would say things like “Trees are unforgiving.” or “Do you realize how important my body parts are to my work?” due to my (incorrect) assumption that every mountain biker hits trees on a regular basis.

Then recently I realized how many miles of dirt roads surround my home and how much biking I was missing out on because of only owning a road bike.  So I succumbed to peer pressure and bought a mountain bike from Cyclefit (by the way, those guys are super helpful when you are ready to purchase your next set of wheels) to ride on dirt roads.

Then I succumbed to peer pressure again and hit the actual mountain bike trails, or “single track” in biking world lingo, for the first time last week.

Just a few minutes into the ride, I found myself doing that look 10-15 feet ahead, choose a line and execute thing that I do on my snowboard and living in 100% present-time consciousness.  Little did I know, an hour and a half blew by like 10 minutes.  I was climbing hills, dodging trees, flying through mud puddles, over bridges, over roots, cruising through sand pits.  IT WAS A BLAST!!!  …and when the ride was over, I couldn’t wait to go out and do it again.

With the madness of life and the crazy speed that the days/weeks/months/years fly by, my brain craves 100% present consciousness time more and more everyday…so naturally at this point that craving goes to mountain biking, which if one needs to have a “craving”, mountain biking is a good thing to choose.  It is also adding one more thing to my list of activities to enjoy doing during this lifetime.

I  may end up staying on that same trail for the rest of the summer.  I do not plan on branching out much and risking anything and both times I have been there, although I know some of the elements and the technical areas of the trail, it seems like a whole new experience to me every time.  Being in present-time moving meditation mode, allows life to always seem new and that is super exciting in and of itself.  Happy pedaling!!!

 

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PIANO

I am just finishing up my first handful of piano lessons and I have this aching feeling in my brain.  Literally my brain hurts.

You know when you start a new workout program and the next day you get that “I just started a new workout” soreness…well that is exactly what it feels like.

I started an online course with a super phenomenal guy that is absolutely rocking a “CHARGED” life and one of the things he mentioned is to set some time aside to learn something new.  When he said the phrase “learn something new” he meant REALLY learn something new and start firing some brain cells that have been sleeping for a whileFenton Chiropractor Piano

I grew up with a piano in my home.  It was a used piano from somewhere in the family and it ended up in our living room.  I have always had a knack for playing music off sound and would spend some time on it trying to figure things out.  To my mother’s dismay, I learned what the notes were called and proceeded to sharpie them in black lettering on the beautiful ivory keys…well how else was I supposed to get better at this????

I would never sit down and spend hours, but I did enjoy sitting from time to time and seeing what I could come up with.  There is something so intriguing about those black and while keys and how such beautiful sounds come out of them.

In middle school, we were required to participate in choir or band…it was one or the other and I chose band.  I played the saxophone, I was rather good (if I don’t say so myself) sat “first chair” for most of my time, and besides really enjoying making music, I also learned to read music.

Once horses and high school came around, musical instruments went to the wayside…well besides picking up a random recorder and belting out “Doe a Deer” from time to time.

My music hiatus came to an end during my time at University of Alaska, where I took one semester of piano class in conjunction with getting my bachelor’s degree.  This class started with the basics and worked into playing with 2 hands, chords, melodies and all the rest of the stuff that came with it.  My mind was bogged down with chemistry, physics and biology and that was a really nice right-brained thing to do to spice things up.  I enjoyed it however I didn’t continue to play regularly and so I lost most of my skills to play and read.

Since I am over 8 years into my chiropractic practice now and, though I spend a lot of time reading books, attending seminars and continuing my education, I just had this feeling that my brain wanted another challenge to take me out of my usual and customary day.  Then Mr. Burchard made a suggestion to “learn something new” and I called the local music studio the next week.

My teacher, Lisa Bayer, is amazing and wonderful and patient and very talented.  I always feel like I need to have an excuse for why I am not grasping things as well as maybe I feel like I should, but she just looks at me and says “from one perfectionist to another, give yourself a break.”

So I try to “give myself a break”.  That is not easy for me to do and then she sits down in the seat and plays the most beautiful rendition of “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beetles and all I can think is “If I am progressing this slowly, I wonder how many years it is going to take me to play something like that.”  Then I turn around and look myself in the face and say “ERICA, GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK!!!!”

I am excited.  I am excited to be able to sit down and read and play beautiful music, but I am also excited to just walk in the front door of the music studio and give it my best shot for the day.  It is humbling, it truly is and so good on so many levels.

When I leave there after an hour and I feel like I am leaving the gym because my brain has had such a good workout…I innately know it is a good thing.  I can feel areas and groups of neurons that are being dusted off, waking up, and getting re-oxygenated.

It is challenging to make those beautiful black and white keys sound like anything that resembles music however I love learning and the piano is fitting that bill right now.  And before too long, I will post a video on here of me preforming my most beautiful rendition of “Here Comes The Sun”, you can mark my words.  Have you learned anything new lately?  Tell me a bit about what you are currently working on.

 

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