Digital Double Vision

It seems like ever since the introduction of smartphones, we’ve become obsessed with pictures. Seemingly to “capture moments so they last forever”. Every chance we get – every concert, event, and gathering we snap up as many pictures we can. At the time it seems like the smart idea, so that you’ll have those pictures and memories to look back on. But how many of us actually look back at every single picture we take? 

I’ve found that when I’m at a particular event, I have this double vision – looking through my phone screen to see what is actually bigger, brighter, and clearer behind it if I just put the phone down. 

Because sometimes what’s more important than being able to remember a moment, is to actually experience the moment so that the memory is engrained in your mind from your own immersion in the moment instead of spending the whole time trying to get the focus and lighting just right through a screen.

I’m not saying that taking pictures or videos on our smartphones is bad, in fact I love doing it. But what I am challenging us to do is to be more mindful of the frequency of those captured moments, and whether or not the actual moment itself is worth experiencing more than something you probably won’t look back on after you take them and share a few on social media. 

Don’t feel like you have to take pictures and videos of everything. Because if you do you’ll spend all of your time with digital double vision instead of using the gift of sight and all other senses to create a memory that’s much richer than anything a cell phone could capture.

If you focus on immersing yourself  in and experiencing moments instead of trying to document them, you might find yourself living a stronger, healthier, and happier life because of it. 

Heavy is a Relative Term

I see and hear too many people talk about and make fun of someone’s ability (or inability) to lift a certain amount of weight. However when determining heaviness, there is no set number of pounds when something is deemed “heavy”. It’s a term that is defined differently by each and every individual.

It’s important to remember that in the gym, light weight to you may be extremely heavy to others. We should remember this because when we work out with others, or even just look at them through the mirrors, any and all judgement regarding the weight that a particular person is lifting should be immediately done away with and shamed.

We shouldn’t judge others on this subjective concept because what seems like light to you doesn’t matter at all. Because you’re not the one lifting the weight, and the person who is actually moving the weight is probably struggling and working as hard as they can to grow stronger.

This is heavy to them in their current physical state, and that’s all that matters.

We are all trying to become healthier and stronger in our own ways, and it’s a lifelong journey. This also means that we all will be in different stages of this journey at any given time. So no matter how slow someone’s progress may be or how seemingly light the weight is, any progress is better than none at all if you’re working hard. So we must be mindful and respectful of each and everyone’s level of progress and weight that they are lifting.

Because they know that they are dedicated to becoming the strongest, healthiest, and happiest person they can be, and that dedication will allow them to lift even more weight in the future. And with attainable goal setting and dedicated, focused work, what’s heavy today will be light tomorrow.

[YouTube] Sticking to Your Priorities

New video out on YouTube now! Just some quick thoughts on being able to communicate to others your priorities and what makes you happy, in an effort to make yourself and those you care about less stressed, stronger, healthier, and ultimately happier.

[YouTube] Getting a Little Heavier | Week 5

New video on YouTube out now! Week 5 of the “Reset Button” workout plan. Starting to get a little heavier, working that nervous system to get back into low volume! (1-3 reps)

Check it out:

[The Path Mag] How to Meditate and Lift Weights at the Same Time

Another featured article on The Path Mag by yours truly! This is a part of their cognitive issue, and my article focuses on how lifting can have extremely meditative powers, if you follow some simple steps!

Check it out here or by clicking on the screen shot below!

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Empathetic Compassion and New Experiences

For those of you who don’t know, I love yoga and new experiences that force me to step outside of my comfort zone. So it’s only logical that I combine these two ideologies to try a new form of yoga.

Last week myself and a friend went to an Aerial Yoga class. If you’re not familiar with this type of yoga, imagine a fabric hammock that’s attached to a single point on the ceiling. So it looks like just a loop of silk but you can unroll it to be a fairly long tube.

The idea of Aerial Yoga (or at least what was communicated to us) was that the connection to the ground and the hammock creates a new challenge as well as deeper stretches with the help of gravity. And this most definitely was the case.

From aerial downward dogs to complete inversions without using your hands, you really got to stretch very deeply. But it did hurt. The hammock at times (depending on the position and execution) really dug into your skin. So I definitely recommend wearing tight clothes that cover most of your skin, and maybe even an extra layer.

As everyone started to get the basics down, we stared to get into more complex movements. And throughout the class, myself and the other members of the class found themselves giggling from the awkwardness and challenge of it all.

At first I thought this was annoying, and that myself and my own laughing was taking away from the whole “experience”, but midway through the class and after reflecting on it now, I really came to appreciate it.

It was very clear that there were some Aerial veterans in the room, and it was also VERY clear that most of us weren’t. And because most yoga styles are performed in silence, I felt bad for those going to the class who were there to really work. But as everyone continued to giggle quietly by themselves or with a friend, I looked around and could see the people who were clearly very experienced, and they themselves were smiling.

Sometimes for a very tough pose to set up and get into, the pros would just continue on themselves, locked deep in focus and minded their own business. Sometimes they would smile on and giggle. And it wasn’t a giggle that was making fun someone, it was a contagious giggle from others who were as well.

What I took away from this was not only that Aerial Yoga is hard and that I want to do it again, but that there is a great quality within us, the Mind & Matter community, that strives for new experiences. Being uncomfortable doesn’t scare us if we know it will lead to more strength, health, and happiness.

It also demonstrated an even greater quality within us, that everyone in this class had: empathetic compassion.

We should never laugh in the face of others for stepping outside of their comfort zone or attempting to become a stronger, healthier, and happier self. Recognizing that people are making the effort, no matter how much they are struggling, is something that should be commended, not made fun of or scoffed.

We have all been in uncomfortable and new situations, so we can all relate. We all have the ability to embrace empathetic compassion, and especially because this example relates to health and wellness, it is no laughing matter.

The strong character and will of people even stepping into that room to try something new right beside those who can float gracefully over the mat with ease demonstrates their own strength and confidence within themselves. No matter how hard or ugly it may look. They’re there, working just as hard, if not harder, than the more experienced acquaintance beside them.

So continue to try new things and to not be afraid of failure. Let that be the fire that ignites your drive and focus to achieve the highest form of what success means to you.

If you’re afraid of failure, that means you want to succeed. If you aren’t afraid of failure, it means that whatever you’re doing doesn’t mean enough to you that you could quit at any time and not give a damn that you DIDN’T succeed. 

And practice empathetic compassion for others that are in new situations or environments and who are ready and willing to learn from your own experiences. Laugh, embrace, and have fun together because we are all on our way to a stronger, healthier, and happier life, and we can’t do it alone.   

[The Path] Six Pack Secrets You Need to Know

Check out my guest post (by clicking on the image below) for The Path mag, “Six Pack Secrets You Need to Know” where I share some hard truths about getting that six pack, and what you really should be doing instead!

Click here for the post!

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You can check out my other guest post, “How to Get the Most Out of the Gym” in The Path HERE!