I’ve had a few people ask me lately how I ended up dipping my toe in mindfulness, psychology, and mental skills training; instead of sticking to triathlon.
I’m not a fan of any of those words.
I find words a very poor representation of the truth, but for the purposes of clarity, let’s call the mental work “conscious awareness realisation”. This is a much better representation of the work I am doing outside of raw coaching.
Interestingly enough, some people have actually asked me flat, “what happened to you?” Why would you stray from your bread and butter?
I woke up to my self is what happened.
I became aware of my consciousness, or I became conscious of my own awareness. I’ve also been fortunate enough to have had some great teachers that have helped me on this journey.
The work I am doing around conscious awareness for athletes is not really teaching anything at all. What it is though, is the uncovering of a basic truth that we have all forgotten.
Yes, the work has some practise in it. Although really that practise is only there to dissolve what is not true, in order that the truth can be seen more clearly. It’s not something you do, it’s something you already are.
You can’t practise becoming what you already are, you have to become aware of it and uncover your own true nature. From that discovery you learn how to exist from that place more and more. You learn how to allow it.
Humans are so afraid of silence. The overwhelming uncomfortable urge to fill the gaps of space and silence. Have you ever noticed how uncomfortable people are when there is a pause in conversation? Why is this so?
The awkwardness of two people standing in silence, in essence being awkward about being what they are naturally; a space of conscious awareness.
Ever watched how uncomfortable people are waiting in line for a bus or train? Standing without a purpose, just waiting, wriggling and looking at their phones, anything but nothing. Please god, not nothing.
When you start to become comfortable with the surrounding silence that is the true nature of human existence, you become aware that the thinking, chatter, and doing all keep the true nature of the self hidden from view. You become aware that in actual fact you are divorced or separated from your own definition through judgment, anxiety, and labelling life.
What a powerful realisation this is! Thus the work, or the practise if you will, is the practise of moving it from concept to an experience of understanding.
Once you understand that fact, the mental repetitive flow of garbage slows down. The mental flow becomes anchored around practical purpose. The mind falls into service of the self. Instead of being the ultimate tyrant, it becomes your personal assistant, and the ultimate realisation of, “holy shit I am not my thoughts”.
This is not to say that the mind won’t still chatter on in a flow of garbage, but the difference is you, the background space, become aware of it. You become the watcher of your own thinking, and from there you can make a choice about whether you want to entertain it or not.
However let’s make one thing perfectly clear, entertainment is what it wants. It has absolutely no interest in the truth, because it has no real identity of its own. It is a conglomerate of past experiences and judgments, most of which were the surrounding conditions of your childhood. That’s right, most of them are not even yours.
The interesting thing about keeping mental flow to a minimum, is that inside the stillness of the self is a raw intelligence that you never knew existed. You just have to be quiet enough to be able to tune into it and hear it.
If after reading this you can’t understand how this relates to sport, then I invite you to read it again, slowly.
You are the ultimate power of one, and at the same time the power of none, and in that none or nothing lies the power of everything that has ever come into form and dissolved again (ie) the ultimate power of existence itself.
What do you think the potential of an athlete is if he wakes up to his own true definition?
The applications are limitless. Sport, work, relationship, anxiety, depression. At the crux of every issue we encounter is our misdiagnosis of our own experience and definition.
Why did I stray into this area? What could be more important?