There are so many wonderful pieces of advice / wisdom within this book I’ve started folding pages when I read something that resonates. The first page I did this to was in response to a combination of Victor Frankl and Edith Eger:
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. Each moment is a choice. No matter how frustrating or boring or constraining or painful or oppressive our experience, we can always choose how we respond.”
The power in these ideas is so incredibly strong. Applied in life can only lead to a fare greater sense of happiness, freedom and contentment. Whilst it’s too reductionist to only take this single idea from either book, it is the one thing that has struck me more than any other.
Another powerful insight into life I gleaned this week, was from Matthew McConaughey’s book Greenlights. He recounts an experience he had on walkabout in Mali, where he was trying to summarise an argument between 2 Mailian guys he was spending time with. As soon as he reached the point where he took sides (via saying I think he’s right) this provoked an angry response from one of the Malian’s along the lines of not right or wring, to understand. McConaughey, suitably chastened, took the lesson as one of not trying to make a judgement more to listen and understand the opposite point of view. He sees this as something lacking in Western Society – the idea of judgement at the expense of understanding. It may well be true that it is more persuasive to listen to someone, allow them to talk, not try to change their mind, understand them, show your side of things, live your side of things and through this mutual understanding come to a more common position.
Yesterday I took part in an interesting Breathwork Zoom meeting. Artur Paulins had kindly put on a conversation / meeting for everybody who had completed his 6 week breathing course. The focus was sleep and shared ideas to improve / what we each did to help manage sleep. He followed this up with a 40 min guided breathing session that was supported with music, open mouth breathing for many breaths, followed by hod on exhale. Ended with nasal breathing in / double exhale. Something he intends to carry on doing, on alternate weeks for the near future. A good replacement for Saturday night socialising (in his eyes and no doubt for some) whilst lockdown persists. Artur is still in Crete and this a kind gesture for him to arrange.
I saw Dom on Wednesday and he did some great work on loosening up my right shoulder. In the last year I’ve seen him I haven’t had a huge break through moment. Everything he has done as slowly but surely helped me move with less pain and greater ease. On this occasion I could really tell the difference in the range of motion in my right hand shoulder. The restriction that was always there, once I lifted my right arm above shoulder height completely disappeared. The whole area around my right shoulder, collar bone, neck does seem looser and I’ve certainly had less twinges up my neck whilst running.
Running gets harder this week – something to look forward to. Especially Thursday’s session to come. 6 x 1k @ 5k pace. Last week the combination of tarmac (as opposed to track) and racing flats led ot sore left scholles / calf. We’ll see how we go this week.