Trail Running Lessons – What is our Best?

I’m grateful I live very close to the beautiful trails on the island of Gozo, where I can also swim at the end or at some point during my runs. This is one of my favorite times of the day, when I go out and do it, which on most days I do.

Saying that, I don’t always wake up brimming with excitement to go. Sometimes I don’t feel like, I feel tired, I make excuses, I procrastinate. Especially now that I don’t have fixed working hours, and can go later in the day.

One of the main reasons why I go is because I know that after I start running and get over the initial stage of overcoming my psychological mind telling me to stay home or do something else, I get into that beautiful rhythm, have a refreshing swim, and come back home feeling great!

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Sharing Our Truth

At the end of a sharing circle I had with 3 of my close friends, I reminded myself, while also expressing to them, that I had been doing this kind of sharing for ages. Well over a decade now.

So as I was running through the trails the next day, a space where I automatically do most of my mental processing, my mind started thinking about sharing and sharing circles.

To start with I’ll explain what kind of sharing I am speaking of. It is the kind where we set aside time and space for sitting down together, two or more, and intend to listen to each other, mainly without any interruption. Setting the intention to not judge each other, or try to preach to each other what we think is right or wrong, or give advice.

We also set the intention to share our truth, if we feel the need to share, and to keep the sharing directed at ourselves, without blaming or trying to make other people or situations responsible for our feelings.

It’s a space where we drop deep into ourselves and let out what needs to surface, share the stuff that we are reluctant to share. Share the stuff that we usually cover up in conversations by talking about things that aren’t really that important, or we’re just talking to be talking, to not sit in silence with another and ourselves.

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Bringing our Subconscious to Consciousness

Look at your life, see if it is filled with emotions of joy and peace, or of anxiety and stress. What is being created in your life ? Is it the life you want? Do you even feel you deserve it?

Whether we want to admit it or not, we are creating our reality, we are responsible for the way we feel. Even science proves this.

Many times, we are just not aware of what is making us feel in some way, or even what emotions we are being run by.

Cause it is all buried in our subconscious and our life is run on an automatic program emerging from there.

Everything we experienced when we were young, and the emotions that those experiences created, got lodged there.

So the first step into changing our life is allowing the subconscious to become conscious. And there are different ways of doing this.

Meditation is one of simplest ways. Free-writing or unconscious writing is another.

We sit and start watching our mind. And it might be uncomfortable at first, cause we don’t want to see what’s coming up.

But the next step is dis-identifying ourselves from anything that comes up and realising that it is not who we are!

There were times in my life when I lived out of anger, out of fear, out of unworthiness. And sometimes I still do, but at that time I didn’t realise it. I thought that was who I am, and things were just happening to me. Now I can notice it and stop acting from that space, and consciously move into a space of calmness, peace.

So, first admit that you are creating this, take that first step, and then continue the process to uncovering those unconscious patterns. Bring your mind out into the open.

The next step after this would be to start consciously creating the person you want to be. This also takes discipline and determination, but obviously it is worth it, and it really takes less energy to do then the energy we use to hold onto our unconscious patterns, and the discomfort they create, the discomfort we become attached to and afraid to let go of lest we lose ourselves. And I’ll write more about my experience on that in my next post.

From April 2017 I will be offering a life-coaching/mentoring program on a holistic lifestyle, body, mind and spirit, cause they all go together!

How can we be the best version of ourselves, attracting the best life for ourselves? What holds us back, and how can we let go of this and make space for the new?

I do this because I enjoy sharing my experience of life with others. If you think you or someone else may benefit from this, get in touch with me for more details – karl.pace85@gmail.com

Change Through Repetition

How do we change an ingrained pattern, belief, fear?

Whenever I think of this subject, the experience that comes to mind is my mask clearing scuba diving experience. When you’re learning to dive, one of the tasks you have to complete is taking off your mask below the water, putting it back on, and clearing it of water. All while you keep breathing through your mouth through the diving regulator, obviously.

Me, as soon as I felt water near my nose, something in my body automatically sent a signal to stop breathing. And this was fine in 3 metres of water, I could swim up to the surface and breath. But I knew if i didn’t pin this down, and I’m in deeper water, it could cost my life. I was even thinking whether diving is for me, since this fear seemed quite real and big to overcome at a point.

Something within though really wanted to overcome it and get my qualification, and most of all be super comfortable in the water when I’m deep. It’s not unknown to lose a mask while diving and have to continue without it. Hence the need for completion of this task to finish the course.

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Life – Do We Ever Stop Learning?

In this age, we are surrounded by knowledge that is very accessible. With a few clicks we can tap into age old scriptures, teachings from old spiritual Masters, blogs from self-help gurus, blogs by people like myself who are just life enthusiasts and like to write and express to others what they think about and experience, books about how to live, what will make us happy, how to find happiness. There are talks online to keep us sat down listening, learning and meditating on them for a few lifetimes.

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Life As Our Practice

Many times I hear myself and others say that we don’t have time to meditate, to do our practices, to be mindful. The truth is we have all the time in the world to do it. Every moment is an opportunity to be mindful and present.

Some of the best words I have heard from my many teachers in life, and words I do my best to remind myself and live by, are “Make Life Your Practice”.

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Relax

Sometimes life can feel like a struggle. Not a physical struggle, but a mental, emotional struggle. We go through days of thinking too much, feeling that life is going to just crumble if we don’t find the solution in the next minute.

Halfway through a Vipassana retreat that I had done – a 10-day, silent meditation retreat where you mostly meditate and go about the other daily routines like eating in total silence – I had a one-on-one with a buddhist nun who lived there. We were meant to ask questions related to the practice. The main task in a Vipassana retreat is that of getting to know your own mind, allowing the stillness and silence to take you deeper into it.

I had been very aware of what was going on in my head, intensely, for a few days. There I was not distracted by the daily routines of cooking, working, checking my phone, or even reading, writing or listening to music, and it was amazing how aware I became of the non-stop mental commentary going on in my head. We were told to be mindful of every moment, and I was trying my best to do that. It was intense at times and totally blissful at others.

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Determination & Self-Worth

A few weeks ago I was helping a friend shoot a promo for her restaurant, and our job was to each say a word or two of the business’ vision written on the restaurant’s wall. I randomly chose two pieces of paper, and one of them had “DETERMINATION” and the other “SELF-WORTH” written on them. As we know, nothing is random!

My dear friend commented about the words, and it got me thinking about determination, self-worth, and how they’re connected. So now here I am sharing my experience with these states 🙂

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Taking The Plunge

While I was out running with some friends one day, we came to a steep dirt downhill, and while two of us ran down speedily, filling our shoes with dry clay dust on the way down, the third of us was finding it a bit more challenging. She was not used to running downhills, so it was a bit scary for her.

As I looked at her taking one step at a time, noticing the hesitation, it reminded me of how I was also scared of running down hills, and how now I just let go and speed down, knowing that once in a while I might slide on my ass, and that wouldn’t be so bad.

I’m always facing some challenge in life, something new that I find more challenging than other stuff. As long as I see it as a challenge, all is well, but when fear pops in, I have to go through the process of moving through it. Some fears have been harder to break through than others, some were easier, and some I’m still dealing with.

Along the way, I’ve noticed some common patterns I go through when I’m dealing with fear.

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Allowing Healing

I get a lot of realisations and clarifications while I’m running, or through my experience of running. One of them recently was a comparison of emotional pain or injury to physical.

Emotional pain, in my experience, either arises from past experiences, or is triggered by a present experience, which may often be bringing up past experiences which need to heal.

When I have a physical injury, say my knee is aching, there is a process for healing.

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