The Injury Portal

As much as on the surface level it absolutely sucks balls, being injured is likely to be an opportunity for you to grow. Injuries create limitations on our beings that allow us to be more creative within those confines. For me it’s been a whiplash that has lasted coming up 9 months, this meant that I could not get overly excited without hurting my neck. If I got angry I had to breathe through it, and wait it out, if I got sad I had to breathe and relax into it without curling up, it has meant that I have had to cultivate an inner strength that I did not know I had.

Any athlete that has been injured knows that it is a psychological game as much as a physical one. Letting go of those previous PR’s in order to recover is tough, having to rest completely – even tougher. It is the game of wanting so badly to get out in that game, but knowing that if you do, then it will only get worse.

Here are some tools that have helped me so far along my recovery journey:

  • Meditation – How you feel isn’t a reliable indicator of your health. Behaviour and expression are much more reliable benchmarks to work from. If you can relax and observe these, then not only will you be able calm the body by calming the mind (decreasing your likely-hood of re-injury, and increasing your recovery speed), but you will be able to get an idea as to the sensible and mindful limits that your body is comfortable operating in at that moment in time, regardless of how you are ‘feeling.’
  • Sleep – This is when you are truly recovering, rebuilding those damaged tissues. Sleep regular hours. I try to sleep 10:30 – 7.30. But truly in your heart of hearts, you know how much sleep you perform best on.
  • Hydration – Most people are dehydrated, and hydrating yourself adequately is going to do more for your healing, psychological and physical health than you know. Soothe yourself with a glass of water or a cup of fruit tea, not coffee.
  • Do things that keep your spirits high. (but not those that overexert you or overexcite you. If you’re hoping to heal quickly without re-injuring yourself, then mindfulness is your friend here.)
  • Move – Mindful movement, and low intensity movement are going to stretch and challenge those damaged tissues. They will regenerate with time if you treat them well. Again, you know how much exercise you are best on in that moment. Treat yourself carefully, I’d recommend exercising on regular hours if possible to help psychologically. (best to see a specific sports therapist of your choosing for this one depending on your injury for the specific movements).

An injury is a portal for you to discover new strength in other areas of your life. Your inner strength might have needed an upgrade or a path correction. Treat your injuries like reminders to stay conscious.


-Ben

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Say it, Live it. Living your word.

Most of us make promises at some point or another about things that we are going to do, books that we are going to read, programs that we are going to destroy. Some of us start, a few of us get halfway through, but how many of us finish what we say we are going to do regardless of the discomfort involved in the process.

Discomfort isn’t ideal, unless you realise that discomfort is the process of change. The discomfort is the resonance of the dissonance between where you are now and what you need to be in order to function on that level.

Find people who are on your wavelength. Those who relish in the challenges that they set you. Set them challenges in return, and hold them accountable for that which they commit themselves to, and vice versa. Relish the challenges that they set you.

Finding ways to learn to love the challenges that face us is part of growing into strength.
The first step towards doing this is to condition yourself to stick to your word… However seemingly insignificant at the time, they all add up.

I quote this a lot, but it’s because it is great! Here’s a lovely quote by Lao Tzu that sums is up better than I possibly could:

‘Watch your thoughts, they become your words,
Watch your words, they become your actions,
Watch your actions, they become your character,
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.’


Ben

Much love folks. x

If you liked this post, here’s another post that you might like.

Photography by Aleksandr Slovodianyk

I set myself a challenge to read 13 books in one month. Here’s the post on instagram in case you’re interested.

Listen to your body

Most of us realise by now that the body and mind are connected. They are reflections of each-others state. If the body is hunched over and the head looking up towards the horizon at all times, you’re going to feel quite ‘deflated’. If you are constantly thinking all of the time, then your body’s attitude is going to reflect this with a disconnect from the legs, and an ungrounded nervous energy.

Meditations of all kinds help us to observe these phenomena. In the thick of it, it is hard to realise one’s own dis-ease.

Through meditations we can observe the thoughts that are arising… Our spirit’s ‘Calling’ if you will. Through these realisations we can align our practices to reflect these callings in the physical world, the world of the body.
The same can be said of physical meditations. Mindful stretching and Yogic methods help us to connect with the callings of the body, in order that we can align ourselves literally to a more subtle and efficient degree.

Both meditations when practiced become extremely gratifying, and even beautiful. Healing one’s own uneasiness is often only a practice of listening, and then right action presents itself naturally.

Fear of stopping is largely what gets in the way. Stopping the thought process where often most of us spend the vast majority of our time means a death of that place. Yet it is this place that is causing us to disconnect from our natural states.
In order to get back in touch with that from which we have separated ourselves, we must listen carefully.

When one begins to listen: Patterns of thought emerge. Patterns of feeling are realised, and instinct begins to realign itself with its natural state.

If lost… Watch the mind. Listen to the spirit.
If unfeeling… Listen to the body.

Most of all trust what arises. Ones own path does not lie, and will make itself heard eventually, regardless.

What arises does so from stillness, and it is here from which we can see most clearly.


-Ben

If you liked this post, here is another that you might like.

Reading: The guidance of an older brother

A perspective on the art of reading

Reading is about possibility. Reading is about looking at a set of things that might happen to you so that you know what to expect when it does. A book says, ‘If you take a left and follow the river, there might be a cliff side. Here’s how you might go about getting down it.’

Reading is merely about identifying what to expect, and then bringing that foresight into the world of experience subtly.

A common fear is that if you read, it will take the magic out of the discovery. This is a false fear. Reading brings another perspective to the discovery. There is the feeling of discovery, which is magical. There is the unknown. And there is what you were expecting to experience. These three will never truly match up completely. If seemingly they do, then it is not difficult to add the magic back in. Anyone who has ever had a conversation in ‘gibberish’ with someone knows this.*

Going into the new year, consider reading as a mentorship from an older sibling: ‘This is what I’ve seen. This is what you might expect to see. This is how you might go about dealing with it. Take it or leave it!’


-Ben

If you like this post, here’s another you might like.

*If you don’t know this, then try it: Have a conversation with someone in gibberish, not thinking about the words, no filtering, just simply saying whatever comes to your head. Let the gibberish speak for you. The conversation topic can be about whatever you want. It will change your perspective on interaction.

Is it that can’t you do it, or is it Laziness? Living at your edge.

Is it that you really can’t do it, or is it just laziness?

The answer to this question is: Are you living at your edge? If you are not living at your edge, then straight up the answer is yes, it is laziness. Obviously first, what is an edge?!

Your edge is the edge of your abilities. It is the full amount that you can give at any given moment to the world, in order to move towards your life’s purpose.
Everyone should know there edge. Once one really knows their edge, they can honour it. Only then can you be honest about it to yourself, and to others.

Few people really know their edge. They think they know their edge. They faked it to themselves when it got hard, and over time this faking became habitual. Now they are living way inside their limits and think that they are not capable of breaking beyond this. Yet they hope that one day they can. This is a clear indicator of not living at one’s edge.

Truly, few people are even willing to experiment with living at their edge for just a few days. THIS is why most people are shrinking or growing at a sub-optimal capacity. A closed mind is a shrinking mind.

Your edge is found in the now. At any given moment. Are you doing all that you can do now to give your gifts right in this moment? If the answer is no, then you are not at your edge. That’s fine! No biggie. Not everyone’s up to this kind of challenge. Some people just want to enjoy their lives and be good at what they do… But if you want to be great, then you have got to find your edge man!

Are you rationalising why you can’t do it? Or are you thinking about what the best thing to do would be in a world without fear? This is the difference between the coward and the warrior. A disabled man with mental health difficulties can be more of a warrior than the rich corporate banker. Your edge is only relative to your own potential in the now. A warrior always lives at his edge. A warrior goes to battle because he knows that it is his purpose to give his gifts and protect his people.

If you are living at your edge, if you are a warrior, then you will know that living at your edge involves taking care of yourself in order that you can operate at your highest capacity. There is no point grinding and living at your edge, doing everything that you can do in order to give your gifts to the world if you are only going to burn out in a week’s time! This is not the way to become the strongest you.
The truth is that looking after yourself takes effort.

The trap that most people that begin on their journey towards their own edges fall into the trap of only grinding and working, or even only looking after yourself, because both require equal discipline and effort! I see this all the time.

To do both… now that is a challenge for the individual willing to life their life to the full. To make themselves as great as they can be. To give their flipping gifts fully – No gift left un-given. And this means that you have to cultivate you, otherwise you will run out of life in you. This is not ideal for anyone.

This is basic Yin and Yang stuff. There is a time for work, and a time for rest. Balance is key.

So if you do have a clear vision as to what you want, and are truly willing to condition yourself to give your fullest gifts in the moment, both sides of the spectrum will become clear. You will acquire an enhanced ability to discern. Right from wrong, worth from un-worth, strength from weakness.

You are capable of so much more than you think. You’ve got to be willing to feel the fear, and feel the pain and do it anyway. When you have a higher purpose that is so much more important than a little sweat and tears, that challenge is what makes it so exciting. And in that moment, that’s what makes you great.

Once you know your edge, if you want to be a truly exeptional individual, then you should live just beyond your edge… try it. Watch the reality of your existence expand every day until you begin to realise your true potential.

“And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high.” -Ayrton Senna 


-Ben

If you liked this post then check this one out too. I think it’ll help. Bless.

Little Life Hack

A little tip that will make you stand out from the crowd…

Wish people a good day when you say goodbye to them.

You can condition yourself to do this, and it does make a big-little difference. Most people don’t do this, and those that do are noticed for it. The trick is, that you’ve got to mean it! That’s a creative challenge for you there…

When we go a little further than we are comfortable with, we are in the position break boundaries. When we go a little further than the rest, we are putting ourselves in the position to encounter spontaneous opportunities.

 

“If you feel safe in the area you’re working in, you’re not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth. And when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.” – David Bowie


-Ben

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Photography by Victor Freitas