A Compilation of Lessons

It’s often amazing what we can learn simply by being observant and curious. Here is a compilation of some of my best lessons from some of the most unlikely of sources.

From my Vibram 5 Finger Running Shoes:

It’s Better to Feel What is Around You

In regular running shoes, the thick outer sole prevents any contact between your foot and the ground; you are barely even aware of the different environments underfoot.  In Vibrams, the thick sole allows you to discern the difference between soil and sand, asphalt and rock.  It makes for a more  fulfilling run, as you connect with the earth underfoot.  Likewise, allowing yourself to feel in a relationship makes the experience richer and more vibrant.  Be aware of what is around you, tune in to yourself and your partner, expose the soul. Read the rest of the post.

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From Selling Shampoo to Naked People:

Lesson: Acceptance

Teacher: Selling shampoo to naked people

How it went down: I grew up in an environment where nudity was acceptable. From a young age, I learned that the human body, in all its variations, was natural. I was taught that nudity could exist apart from sexuality and that an unclothed body was not a source of shame or embarrassment. I first appreciated this lesson one summer in early high school when I spent a few days selling shampoo to patrons at a nude sauna at the Oregon Country Fair. I was at the height of teenage insecurity about my appearance and my body. Yet, when standing alongside hundreds of other exposed bodies, my anxieties about my own form dissipated. I realized that I had been accepting others yet judging myself. I have generally had a positive relationship with my body and my weight and I believe that it is because of my early experiences with nudity. On a side note, somehow people wearing nothing but socks appear to be even more naked than those entirely in their birthday suits:) Read the rest of the post.

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From Georgia’s “Little Grand Canyon:”

Big things can have small beginnings.

The canyon is not a natural formation, rather it was formed due to poor farming practices in the early to mid 19th century. The land originally consisted of gently rolling wooded hills. The early cotton farmers cleared the land of all existing vegetation and dug shallow furrows into the soil every planting season. Erosion took care of the rest. Now, almost 200 years later, the canyons are 150 feet deep and growing wider by 3-5 feet each year. Read the rest of the post.

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From The Dog Whisperer:

Work With Nature

According to Cesar, dogs process the world through their noses first, followed by their ears and eyes.  Obviously, we tend to use those senses in reverse and we all too often expect that from out pets.  Cesar advocated working with the nature of the animal so that you get the results you are looking for with the least amount of resistance.  Look around you.  Not everyone perceives the world the way you do.  Do you expect them to conform to you, or do you allow them to use their nature? Read the rest of the post.

 

From the Campgrounds:

It Takes Effort to Gain Perspective

Our campsite was located at the base of Table Rock Mountain, its visage towering over us in all its granite splendor.  Our first day was spent preparing the campground, we were in our little insular world.  The next afternoon after a long, uphill climb, we reached elevation where we could see our campsite and how it related to the larger landscape.  We tend to live life in its details and forget to look at the big picture.  It takes effort to gain perspective, but a climb to the top gives valuable information.  It’s worth checking out now and then. Read the rest of the post.

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From the wake:

Accept Your Weaknesses

My primary excuse for avoiding water skiing over the years was my fear of losing my (very expensive and very necessary) contact lenses. On this day, I brought a pair of swim goggles. Rather than allow a weakness to hold you back, find a way to work around it. Read the rest of the post.

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From a Mechanical Bull:

Look Forward

The launched riders had a tendency to leave their gaze where they had been rather than look ahead. The talented guy kept his eyes looking straight ahead, even though straight ahead kept changing. Read the rest of the post.

 

From the Fencing Strip:

If you’re in a battle, it is a battle against yourself

Fencing is a bit deceptive.  You face off across a thin strip, mano y mano, waving swords in each other’s faces.  It would seem clear that your opponent is the masked person on the other end of the strip.  I soon learned that my true opponent was myself.  Each bout I strove to be better than I was before, regardless of who held the other weapon.  They were almost inconsequential.

The true battle was in my mind.  Against my own fears.  My own voice telling me I couldn’t do it.  I discovered that if I worked to win the battle in my head, the one on the strip usually worked out in my favor. Read the rest of the post.

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