A while back, the daughter of my best friend’s wife took up barrel racing. Switched from volleyball to something a bit more dangerous. Now she’s good at it. Experience is an excellent teacher, and she’s got one or two scars to prove it.
So when I was invited along for a visit, I thought maybe I could get a good video of my bad self riding up, and saying howdy to the camera. Got all gussied up in my cowboy finest, channeled Hoppy, Gene and Roy, The Lone Ranger and the Cisco Kid, my Saturday morning TV favorites of long ago, and did it with the help of those with whom I was visiting. Not the best dismount ever, but…okay.
And it surprised me when they offered to give me a shot at barrel racing. Like I sometimes say to myself, “Well…..what the hell.”
For those of y’all who’ve never seen the sport, imagine a large rectangular corral with a gate at one end. Against the far end and on both sides are barrels. The rider enters at a gallop, leads the horse to circle the barrels along the side, then the one at the top, and back out the entrance gate. Around 15 seconds is a good score.
I was in a smaller corral than normal, but the game is the same. Someone yelled “Go”, I kicked the horse and off we went. Around the barrel on the left, then the right, over to the last one at the top, and back to the starting gate. Whew! What a ride! Time? Between two and three minutes if I remember incorrectly. Okay, so we weren’t going very fast, and were carefully circling each barrel, but I’m certain we almost got into a gallop in the home stretch. Of course, my youthful fantasies of being like Hoppy, Gene and Roy were somewhat diminished, but I had three things to show for it. An obviously bruised ego, a bruised butt (not immediately obvious), and the lesson learned…stick to being a weekend cowboy, preferably on the dance floor.
Don’t get me wrong, I love horses, but having a 2000 pound animal between your legs traveling at a fast gallop is something I now know I need to relegate to the distant past. A nice slow trail ride is more my speed.
I guess what I’m saying is “TRY IT!”….that activity you’ve always wanted to try. Like Argentine Tango, synchronized swimming, kayaking. Every new thing you try grows brain cells, and you’ll learn something about yourself. You don’t have to do dangerous things, but you do have to get up off the couch and stay active physically and mentally. Play board games with friends and/or neighbors, go to the courthouse and watch some trials, sit on your porch on an evening and try to find the big dipper and a few other constellations.
Or take a class at the Human Potential Center. I just finished one on “Getting Unstuck”, and for the past few days I’ve been positively enervated and intend to put what I’ve learned into action. More classes are offered on a lot of different subjects, so check out the website. http://www.humanpotentialcenter.org/
Me? Time to go soak my butt again.
Posts tagged ‘emotional health’
TO SCRATCH WHERE IT ITCHES
TO THINK FOR YOURSELF
TO SMILE WHEN YOU’RE HAPPY
TO FROWN WHEN YOU’RE NOT
TO SING WHEN YOU WANT TO
TO DANCE TO YOUR OWN MUSIC
TO CRY WHEN YOUR HEART HURTS
TO CHOOSE YOUR OWN WAY
TO PLAN AHEAD
TO LOOK BACK NOW AND AGAIN
TO CHOOSE TO BE HERE
TO GO SOMEWHERE ELSE
TO WISH THINGS WERE DIFFERENT
TO PLAN TO CHANGE THINGS
TO ENJOY WHAT YOU HAVE
TO TRY, AND FAIL
TO TRY AGAIN
TO BE THANKFUL OR UNGRATEFUL
TO BELIEVE WHAT YOU WILL
TO SAY A SILENT PRAYER
TO LEARN ABOUT WHATEVER YOU LIKE
TO RUN AROUND NAKED IN YOUR ABODE
TO TAKE A WALK
TO OGLE OTHER PEOPLE
TO WONDER “WHAT IF?”
TO ACT ON YOUR DREAMS
TO LIVE WITH YOUR CHOICES
TO DRAW A PICTURE
TO PAINT A CANVAS
TO LEARN AN INSTRUMENT
TO LISTEN TO MUSIC YOU LIKE
TO LEARN TO JUGGLE
TO CHOOSE YOUR ATTITUDE
TO LIVE WITH THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR CHOICES
TO CHANGE YOUR MIND
TO APOLOGIZE FOR SOMETHING YOU DID
TO APOLOGIZE FOR SOMETHING YOU SHOULD HAVE
TO FORGIVE YOURSELF
TO FORGIVE OTHERS
TO DISAGREE WITH SOMEONE
TO LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES
TO WRITE A BOOK
TO WRITE A PLAY, A POEM, A SCREENPLAY, OR A SONG
TO ENJOY A BABY’S GIGGLE
TO HELP SOMEONE WHO CAN’T HELP THEMSELVES
TO GIVE YOUR TIME, ENERGY, AND/OR MONEY TO WHOMEVER OR WHATEVER YOU LIKE
The freedoms listed above may or may not have positive or negative consequences should you choose to use them. Anything illegal, immoral, harmful to oneself or others or just plain downright nasty is not a freedom.
You even have the freedom to think of your own freedoms and share them, if you like, by sending them to me by snail mail at the Human Potential Center, 2007 Bert, Austin, TX 78704.
I haven’t done it lately. TOO HOT, if you know what I mean and I think you do. For those who don’t know, I’m talking about walking a golf course, albeit smaller than the kind on which clubs are used, and throwing a plastic disc as far as you can in the direction of the hole. The hole is a standing pipe with chains hanging from the top which ar attached to the outer rim of the basket about halfway down the pole. When you get near it, the idea is to tosse the disc into the basket. Scored pretty much like the other kind of golf, it is a nice way to spend an hour in outdoors; fresh air, sweat, frustration, persistence, friendly competition, and, when you make it into the hole, a sense of really having accomplished something. And its cheap. No green fees, as most disc golf courses are in public parks. No club houses, so bring your own refreshments. No golf carts, so if you’re not up for a bit of hiking, don’t go. If you do, what you’ll find are alot of trees and bushes and water traps. No sand.
Somehow these discs occasionally …disappear. Yes, try as you might to fling it straight, it …veers. Sure you keep an eye on it as it soars, but when you get to where you thought it landed, it isn’t there. If you find it nearby, or way up a tree, or under a particularly verdant bush, consider yourself lucky. All in all a good analogy for life I suppose, but you saw that coming didn’t you?
You know going in that it won’t be easy. All you have to do is stay on the straight and narrow. Make your aim true and let fly. With each game, you take what you’ve learned from the previous games and try to apply it. Many factors apply; wind speed and direction, personal strength, aerodynamics, goal setting and form, among others. There’s even a bit of zen about it. When teeing off, I like to take a moment, calm my mind, envision the path the disc will take to the hole, and glide into the form I’ve developed through infrequent practice and tips from fellow players. (Yes, it’s a social as well as physical exercise) and when it actually lands where I intended, there’s a sort of mini elation, after which I thank the powers that be…just in case.
On a disc golf course, aside from the “real” terrain, is the quality of the people you meet and with whom you may play. These aren’t your corporate honchos, making business deals with others of their ilk. You won’t find folks with the latest, well-shined, cleated shoes and an altitude attitude. I’m talking about blue jeans and t-shirts. And the whole family can do it together. Or you can do it alone. Exercise, problem-solving, sun, fun, and….FREE! Two discs per person is about all you’ll need. Google “disc golf” and I’m sure you’ll find a course near you. Try it, you’ll like it. I guaranty.
Many classic jokes start that way. Humor. It leads to laughter, which is good for the body and the soul, especially a fall on the floor, tears in your eyes belly laugh. It’s why comedians who regularly succeed in making us laugh are paid so well.
I’m not talking about humor that denigrates of demeans entire races of people, or blondes, or is based on cruelty in any form towards other people or animals. That kind comes from insecurity, ego, over-sublimating for one’s own sense of inferiority. It comes from the dark side. Its also a subject for another blog….maybe.
I’m going to drop some names of funny people who’ve tickled my funny bone over the years. Folks who earned a good living making fun of themselves or society in general, or human foibles. (more…)
How many times a day do you say thank you? Just for a bit of interesting fun, count the number of times. Using the phrase seems to be a form of social grease….pleasantries and niceties we us as we go through a normal day. It seems almost like a reflex when someone holds the door for you, provides you with some kind of service, or answers a question you’ve been pondering for a while. Sometimes it’s just a quick “thanks” when you’re in a hurry, and can be just a nod of acknowledgement or a smile. As an experiment once in a while, add eye contact, and see what happens. With all the “bad news” by which we seem to be besieged daily in all its variations, take a moment to remember that most, if not all, cultures have a way of expressing gratitude. In my opinion, it’s the glue that keeps the rest of us from creating more “bad news”.
At the end of some emails I get are the words, “If you can read this, thank a teacher; if you enjoying freedom, thank a veteran.” I can, I am, and I do. (more…)
Just what izzat, terzackly? Well, fortunately there’s an app for that. On the dictionary app on my phone, I looked it up.
Intuition – direct perception independent of any reasoning process.
Heart – 1) capacity of sympathy/empathy 2) the center of emotion 3) spirit, enthusiasm, courage.
Put ‘em together and what have you got? Not “bibbity-bobbity-boo”, but a phrase describing a state of mind which includes an open-ness to a “sixth sense”, and a willingness to explore the other than physical connections we share. You’ve heard of “women’s intuition”, I’m sure. I’m reasonably certain men have it too, though possibly not as well-developed. Some of you may remember the author of “The Celestine Prophesy”, James Redfield, who based his book on coincidental connections. It was a best-seller decades ago and opened the door a little wider for the exploration of the powers of the mind and spirit, a.k.a. human potential growth. “Intuitive Heart” is similar. (more…)
Relaxation is one of the fundamental traits of good health. As the mind relaxes, a person will feel more at ease. Being serene allows the mind to react to life in more spontaneous and caring ways to others. Having a relaxed mind also fosters curiosity for new experiences and helps add variety to a person’s life. A relaxed mind is also a calmer mind and calmness allows for greater richness of experiences.
Having a calm mind also allows a person to be more composed emotionally. Often times a person’s emotions are triggered from external events or events in the mind. As a person’s mind and emotions become more relaxed and flexible, the thoughts of the mind and swings of emotions will become more even tempered. A person that spends some time actively relaxing will have a greater sense of emotional stability and calmer reactions to life in general.
Some methods that help the mind and body to relax include: meditation, getting a massage, deep breathing, exercise, listening to music, talking to a good friend who is healthy, taking a bath, and making art. Actively relaxing is something that is easier if you give yourself the time and patience to do so. For instance, you may be exercising at the gym with the aim of relaxing after a day of work. In this case, it would be wise to work out at a pace that leaves your body with vitality when the workout is over.
Having a spiritual practice that fosters a ‘relaxed’ spirit or approach to life can help add to the amount of relaxation a person feels during their life. By ‘practicing’ inner skills like acceptance and understanding, a person can nurture their innate ability to react and respond in healthy and affirming ways to different circumstances in life. Even if a person doesn’t have a spiritual tradition, a person can adopt flexible attitudes about being human by interacting with people from different walks of life. Another way to become flexible and feel relaxed in different social situations is to learn about the cultures and histories of different people.
Having a relaxed mind, body, and spirit are vital components of a healthy, vibrant life. While relaxation may or may not be a priority for you, increasing the amount of time spent relaxing can add more satisfaction and peace to your life.
For the first three Saturdays of the month, here at the Human Potential Center, we have a video. We watch the video, eat popcorn and generally enjoy ourselves.
After the video we have a discussion. This is not your usual chit chat. We are discussing things that are very important to us; ourselves, our feelings and our lives. Some of us can go very deep. I remember one man saying that he couldn’t believe that he had found a place where he could look more closely and discuss his personal issues in a group and end up understanding himself more that he had before.
The movie itself is not the point of the discussion. It is more about the themes in the movie that were the most personally effective. At the end of the movie, we create questions using the themes, whether it be jealousy, anger, or any other feeling that came up for us during the viewing. We learn how to form open ended questions, using I statements, and begin the questions with a what, when or how. Plus, the group assists in the creation of the questions as many of us are new to this kind of thinking. We end up creating evocative questions that help us think about our personal involvement in our lives or life circumstances more deeply.
And we can get the best questions from a light movie. It is amazing how involved our discussions can be after a movie like Green Lantern. This last Saturday we had a great discussion about arrogance, fear and quitting things we love.
I find that even though the person is talking about their own experience, I can always find something that I can relate to in my own life. I love these great discussions which I don’t get in any other part of my life.
Here are the questions we came up with last Saturday. These questions help us to focus our thoughts more clearly on what we want to say about the feelings we had during the movie.
GREEN LANTERN QUESTIONS
1. If for once I didn’t quit something I cared about, what’s the worst that could happen?
2. How does my anger originate from my fear, and vice versa?
3. When have I failed to acknowledge other people’s pain?
4. What is it about arrogance that attracts me?
5. What does it take for me to walk away from something I know is not good for me?
6. In what situations has fear served me?
7. When have I thought that bad things were happening when I didn’t deserve them?
8. What am I willing to die for, and why?
So, if you live in or around the Austin area, we would love to have you come and join us, for what always promises to be a great learning experience for all of us.
First three Saturdays from 6 pm to 10:30 pm. The next video will be on May 19th. Check out the video calendar at humanpotentialcenter.org. If you can’t join us this month, maybe we will see you in June. Hope you can make it.
You’ve decided to make some changes in your life. You know the direction in which you want to go, have ordered, purchased or amassed the necessary accoutrements to facilitate the change, but for some reason, of which you are not entirely unaware, nothing changes. Life gets in the way. Laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning, shopping, naps, bills, family, friends, etc. Other excuses, reasons, and rationalizations abound. Yesterday, the things that you put off till tomorrow have arrived today and still no progress has been made. What will you do? What will you do?
I have a few suggestions:
One. Put aside some time for yourself each day to work on taking the next step in making the change. Start with just 20 to 30 minutes every day and focus on that you need to do. Then do it.
Two. Change your attitude. You are in charge of it.
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company…a church…a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude…I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes”. ~ CHARLES SWINDOLL
Three. Cultivate “will power.” Whatever distractions come up, either deal with them and get back to working on your goal ASAP, or ignore the distraction (depending on its severity).
Four. Resist complacency. “Life’s alright and I ain’t gonna fight it today’” is a line in a song I haven’t quite finished yet. Possibly because when I start to work on it, my attitude changes and that line leads me to want to take a nap’
Five. Perseverance…or…if you don’t quit, you won’t fail. This one is pretty self-explanatory.
Personally I have a marked propensity for procrastination and sloth. I’m gradually getting better at controlling both, and still have work to do in some areas, but I’m making progress.
One more thought. “The longest journey begins with but a single step.” Take it. Get it done and move on to the next step. Get off your b…b….b…well you know what I mean…..
Namaste, Ram Dassnt
P.S. Buttons with the words “Resist Complacency” will soon be available from the Human Potential Center.
P.S.S.T….This weekend at the Human Potential Center, Bob is giving a workshop on getting unstuck. Hope to see you there.
“We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.” Virginia Satir
It just makes sense donesn’t it? It should be easy enough to get four a day. Just ask. You’ll be surprised at how many folks are receptive to being hugged. Of course, some aren’t. In my personal research over the years, I’ve found that co-workers are more inclined than management. Something about maintaining a professional distance. I can understand that. I can only hope they’re hugging someone, somewhere. Their emotional well-being can affext those they “manage”.
Many moons ago, I read about a study done on newborn rhesus monkeys who were deprived of their mother’s touch. Provided with warmth, food and shelter, they withered until an upright furry stand was placed near them and they could cling to it. Surrogate mom? To me it points to an innate need to give and receive physical contact/affection among the members of the animal kingdom…us included.
Those of you old enough to remember the last episode of the Mary Tyler Moore show witnessed a group hug. A little difficult to orchestrate, but worth the effort. My favorite kind of hug is the “oreo”, involving three people. I’m sure you can picture it. And each person can take turns being in the middle.
I should mention here that all hugging I’m referring to is done standing up. Any done in a prone position becomes “cuddling” , which may become the subject of a separate blog.
Hugging is pretty much universal, meaning there may be some cultures that just don’t. The only one I can think of may be the Eskimos, but then I’m not very well-versed on international cultures.
Hugging has been the subject of many art forms including sculpture and painting dating back hundreds of years. It can imply many things; shared joy, shared sadness, affection and love. They also vary in length, the longer suggesting a closer relationship.
There are different kinds of hugs between two people. The upper body hug …friendly. The full body hug…a little more intimate. The side hug. The handshake-backslapping hug, and the back hug. One comes up behind the other and encircles them with their arms.
Hugging can also reduce blood pressure and reduce levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. So it feels good and its good for you. Win, Win! CAUTION! It is a good idea to ask first. Make it known to those around you that you are available should they need one, with the agreement that should you need one….
I heard about a man in Australia who started a “free hug” movement in 2006. It’s never too late to start one here. You could start by purchasing a “professional hugger” button soon to be available on the Human Potential Center website. And keep an eye on the HPC link on Facebook. A “how to” video is now in the planning stages. You can also get one for free by attending any of the classes or workshops offered by the HPC.
Remember, 4 a day to survive, 8 to stay “alive”, and 12 to thrive. The more people are hugging, the less they’re fighting. Do your part for whirled peas.
Now get out there and start hugging! Ram Dassnt