Monthly Archives: June 2008

US Summer Tour

This is probably the best video I’ve done yet (complete with the perfect soundtrack). Our summer vacation in a nutshell:

Running observations

For week one:

  • Choice of socks really DO make a difference. The first day I wore ye-ole-standby of cotton socks. Result? Blisters. Day 2 I wore my cotton-free running socks. Result? No blisters, and much happier feet. Plus, the lycra-blend socks feel a little luxurious, at least as far as socks go.
  • I live in quite possibly the BEST city in the world to run in. There’s nothing like running along the river trail at sunset, truly.
  • The hardest part about running (or exercise, in general) is getting out the door to actually do it.
  • I think I may be getting smaller! (at least I feel better, which could mean my self-esteem is getting bigger)

everything zen

I haven’t made much of a secret of this (in my personal life and even on this website), but lately I’ve really been attracted to Buddhist philosophy. I suppose it started by being exposed to the teachings of Eckhart Tolle, yet now I’m absorbing many different teachers and books — mainly in the Zen tradition of Buddhism.

It’s hard to explain my attraction to this line of thinking (or rather, not thinking). I just know that what I’m learning fits me, moreso than any other spiritual tradition I’ve explored.

Yesterday, while listening to a podcast, I really liked what the teacher Thich Nhat Hanh had to say about Buddhism, when comparing it to Christianity. He said that Christianity relies on salvation by faith, whereas Buddhism has salvation through knowledge, or insight. That statement alone sort of summarizes some of my newfound appeal in this philosophy. I love how the responsibility is placed on me, and my awareness of the present moment, in order to change my situation (or the way I feel about it).

What Buddhism is teaching me:

  • I need to be more aware of what is going on around me NOW — and to not allow myself to be bogged down with regrets from my past or worries about my future.
  • It’s teaching me that I need to let go of my attachments to unhealthy things in my life — whether they are past hurt feelings I’m harboring, past experiences, unrealistic expectations, or security in physical possessions.
  • I’m learning that my identity isn’t just to be found in what others think of me (ie, how they label me), or in the roles I’m given to perform in life.
  • I’m learning that because so much in life is transitory, I need to take the time necessary to enjoy what I’m given WHEN I’m given it, and not to try to hold onto it, or be so caught up in the past/future that I miss experiencing it now.
  • I’m learning that “resistance is futile” — basically, whenever a problem arises in my life, resisting the fact that it’s there, or fighting against the person who has inspired it, is NOT the best route to go. Sometimes accepting my situation, and going from there can be a far more effective way of dealing with life.
  • One of the main things I’ve learned is to BE QUIET. Not only am I working to slow down my rapid-fire tongue, but I’m teaching my mind to slow down too. If you think I talk fast, you should hear how fast my mind can go, in my head.

What I’ve enjoyed the most is the peace this philosophy is bringing to my life. I feel like it’s making me into a better person: a better mama, a better wife, and a better friend.

Run Becky Run

I’m not what you’d exactly call a fan of jogging — but, I’m even less of a fan of the baby-gut I’ve developed over the last 2 years. Hence, I’ve taken on something that may hopefully help me reduce myself weight-wise, while hopefully meeting other mamas in the area — I’ve joined the Moms in Motion team here in Saskatoon.

From the website:

MIM is a training team that provides moms of all fitness levels with the support and preparation to successfully complete a half marathon walking/running race. This running team will help motivate each member to take time for her personal health and provide a supportive network for achieving her fitness goals. We provide a balanced plan that includes a fitness program, a philanthropic objective, and a culminating event. Our program also offers the most important element, fun!!

It is our mission:

  • To help women carve out time for themselves to improve their physical health and well being
  • To teach women to set personal goals and to work together as a Team to achieve them
  • To give back to our communities by supporting local charities

Since baby, I haven’t been as good at getting myself to the gym. I could name off a bunch of excuses, but that won’t change the fact that I’m behind on my Becky-time when it comes to taking care of myself.

That said, I’m looking to have some accountability (a word stolen from my evangelical days) with my exercise routine, and so joining this team looks to provide that support, an exercise plan, along with the goal of participating in September’s Queen City Half-Marathon in Regina. My first “practice” with the team is tomorrow, and the plan is to run (ie., half jog and half walk in my case) along the riverbanks.

This evening I took to the riverbank trail myself, to assess just how out of shape I really am these days. Thankfully, I think hauling around a 30 pound toddler has helped me to stay in some kind of shape.

I popped on my handy iPod, and listened to a talk by Thich Nhat Hanh while really enjoying the amazing scenery that Saskatoon has to offer. There weren’t many people out on the trails, so I had many views to myself.

Think of it as my own version of mindful jogging, working to enlarge my Buddha nature whilst reducing my Buddha belly.

Anyway, it was a great time to be outside and be by myself. If I can make this goal of participating in the half-marathon in September, that will be a HUGE accomplishment for me. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

How to know you’re on the right track, politically?

Piss off James Dobson:

“I think [Obama is] deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own worldview, his own confused theology,” Dobson said.

“… He is dragging biblical understanding through the gutter.”

What he said:

One of the great tragedies of our time is that in our desperate incapacity to cope with the complexities of our world, we oversimplify every issue and reduce it to a neat ideological formula.

Doubtless we have to do something in order to grasp things quickly and effectively. But unfortunately this “quick and effective grasp” too often turns out to be no grasp at all, or only a grasp on a shadow. The ideological formulas for which we are willing to tolerate and even provoke the destruction of entire nations may one day reveal themselves to have been the most complete deceptions….

The American conscience is troubled by a sense of tragic ambiguity in our professed motives for massive intervention. Yet in the name of such tenuous and questionable motives we continue to bomb, to burn, and to kill because we think we have no alternative, and because we are reduced to a despairing trust in the assurance of “experts” in whom we have no real confidence.

Thomas Merton

Okay, why I’m really not voting Republican:

Found at the Texas GOP convention last weekend.

I suppose some things never change.