by Oriah Mountain Dreamer
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes.’
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
“I’m not a scientist. I’m a runner. So this… this is what I can do.”
Last week my dear friend’s dad passed away from cancer. I was stunned because just a couple of weeks ago, she had emailed me to let me know she was donating to my upcoming charity run for the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research; that she knew how it felt to have a loved one battle cancer and she wanted to support in any way she could.
When I saw her yesterday, thru both our tears, I couldn’t help but be in awe over how her inner strength could shine through such sadness. Clearly, this was a result of how much her father and her loved and continue to love each other. I told her that I can’t even imagine the depth of her sadness, but when I think of her dad, I can only think good thoughts of how he was such an easy going and fun guy, how admirable his determination was to walk her down the aisle last year, and that while the slideshow of his photos will play, there will be tears, but there will also be so much laughter.
I also told her that what her dad taught me was that even though I’ve met my required fundraising commitment for my upcoming charity run to raise money for cancer research, that doesn’t mean I need to stop there. Those affected by cancer will continue to battle the disease, so, I should continue doing my part as well. Seeing her and her family’s pain, hearing stories from other supporters of their own loved ones who have lost the battle with cancer, and seeing my Auntie mourn my Uncle’s passing from pancreatic cancer - I mean, besides prayer and comforting words, what can I offer?
So, dear friends, if you’d like to support my charity run I will be doing this weekend in memory of so many loved ones who have passed away from cancer you can do so through this link to donate to pancreatic cancer research.
Rest in peace, Uncle. There’s not a doubt in my mind that you are in wonderful company right now.
When I can not show you that I love you
I will tell you
And hope that
The three words
Will wrap around to hold you
And even though you won’t be able to see it
You will feel it completely
Like the warmth the sun rays deliver
That penetrate your skin
Through your bones
And straight to your heart
I hope to have sown so many seeds of actions
That when words are the only thing I can offer
Spring still blossoms
My friend, Ahn’s, status this morning.
Wonderful way to start off the day
One thing the 49ers 2011 season has taught me is that you can have all the talent in the world - but if you don’t have the right coaches, mentors, support, etc. it’s not going to happen.
No man is an island. It takes a community. And, without wisdom, how can you ever attain sustainable, fulfilling and lasting success?
A quick prayer that came out of my most recent retreat in the wilderness. I went on a walk to find what my friend had deemed as “Narnia”, found a tree to climb, and did a meditation sitting balanced on a thick trunk overlooking a stream. It was pretty cool.
Lord, help me to always trust you
Always seek you
And always be open to finding you
Today was my first day back at the local rock climbing gym after almost a 4 month hiatus due to not wanting to risk injuring myself for a half and full marathon at the end of last year. I walked in, headed straight for a V0 in the bouldering area and flagged my way up the route. It was a little messy but daym, it felt good. I then proceeded to flub my way through the beginning of other more difficult overhang routes. And before I knew it, a sense of fear started to hinder my moves.
Fear and doubt. These, like many other things, are temporal. They come and go in seasons. But, what is important to understand is that they always come back. Perhaps not in the same form, or strength. But, they are waiting around the corner. And, when you lease expect them - BAM! You find yourself stopping mid route EVERY FREAKIN’ TIME.
A year ago this would have infuriated me. I probably would have left the gym with some sort of nagging feeling of disappointment and a burning feeling of wanting redemption in my next session. But tonight, it was more of a calm acknowledgement, knowing, that in time I can conquer those two again. In time, I can rebuild my muscles and improve my technique. In time, I can regain my confidence.
And, regardless, I must go as far as I can and trust that with each pass of a route, whether I make it through 3 moves or complete it, I am building the blocks necessary to be more successful in my future climbs.
I like rock climbing because it teaches me lessons. It provides another experience for me to understand myself and how the world works. See, I love to make connections, analogies, metaphorical explanations, etc.
Rock climbing also teaches me patience and shows me value in learning, refining, and mastering technique.
I’m sure there are a bunch more reasons, but I would put those at the top.
My new year’s resolution? To live more simply.
Sounds simple enough, but what does that mean exactly? Does that mean I go uber green? Does that mean I get rid of all my belongings? Does that mean I stop dreaming big? My resolution seems a bit vague, actually. Perhaps, slightly complicated?
Well, one thing’s for sure, it’s causing me to think and reflect. Which, I think is a good idea at this point in my life. The past two years were a wonderful daze of adventures. And, while I’d still like to continue my crazy (in a good way) life, I’d like to simplify.
Though, I don’t have a complete criteria for what that looks like in my life, my first step is to go through all my things and organize - throw away, donate, and keep only those which are important and valuable.
Vague resolution + 365 days = let’s start with that step and see where it takes me.
I made my resolution just yesterday and today, this poem popped into my inbox. Some of its constructs are quite difficult for me to wrap my brain around since I’ve lived such an extreme life for so many years. But I’m approaching it with an open mind and heart. Let’s see where this goes.
Terry Hershey’s poem from his book The Power of Pause:
What if life isn’t about finishing on top,
but knowing when to stop?
What if life isn’t about learning to live with stress,
but learning to live with less?
What if life isn’t about pushing yourself to the limit,
but embracing everything minute?
What if life isn’t about constant action,
but eliminating distraction?
What if life isn’t about what you chase,
but resting in God’s grace?