Biking is one of my forms of therapy. When I ride, run, and swim I usually find my self in a mental space to receive clarity on insights, thoughts, and intentions of my heart and life, I call it “Church of the Road.” (SN: I cannot take credit for this. I took the name from my old tri club in Wichita, KS when we would go on long early morning rides on Sundays :). Today “in church”, my mind went to this writing from the Intro to A Course In Miracles:
“Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.“
As I started to meditate on this during my ride “service” (52 miles in total) many things came to me. One thing that was especially important was the theme of finding and holding my inner peace. With the turn of the new year and all the anticipated changes I can’t help but think about what keeps me, or someone, in a state of calm and peace? As triathlete’s there is so much we prepare for, predict, and try to calculate, but as any of us knows, come race day anything unexpected can happen from the weather, to equipment issues, tummy upsets, etc. How or what brings us back to focus…in life and sport? When something unexpected shakes us up where do we anchor, ground, or center ourselves enough to get peace and stay in peace amongst the chaos? and how do we stat there? And if you have ever seen or raced in a triathlon that’s what it looks like- chaos! LOL. Most of the time when the unpredictable happens (like a bike flat, injury, perceived loss or failure) we often shift into a reacting, judging, analyzing, and dare I say blaming mode that can quite often take us out of a space of peace and into fear and reacting, this in turn leads to more into chaos (be it internal or external). Now I don’t know about you, but if I find myself in this space it is extremely difficult to be effective to myself or anyone else. The Course intro was a nice reminder for me to continue to nurture my inner peace and the pathway towards it so that I can be more effective when change arrives. I believe it is the job of each one of us to find our own path to peace/God, learn it, discipline it, and be able to access it whenever we may need. For me the course is a tool that facilitates me to:
— Not judge or analyze the person, place, situation or thing, just accept what is. Acceptance does not mean agreement. It is just acknowledging what is. What is, is what is. “Nothing real can be threatened.”
— Be mindful of my thoughts, my fears, my wishes, my feelings, and beliefs. And remember that, a belief is just a thought and a thought can be changed. “Nothing unreal exists.”
– “Herein lies the peace (focus) of God” in me.
Truly this just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cultivating a mindset of inner peace. But I believe as an athlete it is paramount to examine the inner space that keeps you centered, grounded, and focused in competition. I honestly believe that when you search to the depths of your humanness and pull out that energy, spirit, that God force inside of you will be raised to greatness for that is exactly what we were created for. Some athletes call it “digging deep” or “mental toughness,” I call it “reaching your peak”- the peak of where your mind, body, and spirit rise together. As I continue my journey to find mine in life and sport I wish you well on yours wherever it finds you.
Keep reaching for your peak…