How to Overcome Self Doubt

I stand at the base of a the peak Umantai in the high Andes knowing what is to come next will not be fun. Andreas (my shamanic guide) ushers me into a glacier lake that sits on a precipice where peak after peak paints the golden horizon. The air is thin and crisp at 17,470 feet and bites at you when the Sun ducks behind the silver-lined, fluffy clouds.

 

I am told to stand naked in the icy lagoon below a jagged boulder that sneaks out several feet from the bank. I huddle near the boulder anxiously waiting for the team of three shamans to get their sh** together for the ceremony... I'm and m edgy and ready for this initiation to be done (not really the attitude to have in this important moment)

 

Somehow, I feel in the dark while it’s the middle of the day. I intend peace, but the icy feeling that rises through my body feels like mini switchblade slashes deep below the epidermal layer of my skin. I knew these were serious rights of passage in the pre-Incan tradition I...

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The Key to Happiness

Happy Wednesday!

There is this simple Zen tale I really love and want to share with you that goes some­thing like this.

One day George was returning from his day of work in the fields to arrive back at his home in the village in which he’d always lived. At the edge of the village, George sees Tom, his village’s fool, wandering around outside of his home.

George wonders what the town idiot is doing so he stops to ask, “Tom, what are you doing outside wandering around like that?”

Tom anxiously replies, “Well George, I can’t seem to find my key. I’ve lost the key to my house.” 

Without further prompting, George begins to help Tom look for his key. This continues until half the town is helping Tom look for the key to his house. 

Finally near dusk, someone thinks to retrieve Alfred, the wise village elder, to help solve the koan of Tom’s foolery.

“What are you doing Thomas?” Alfred patiently asks.

Tom of course...

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Self Mastery

I hammer my pedals ferociously, I speed up the 3 foot bike ramp, joyfully take air and BAM, land with a hard bounce. My treads skip across the cul-de-sac like a thin stone glides across a still lake. The exhilaration of the jump at 8 years old is awesome!

My two friends Derek and Johnny follow my lead joyfully taking flight with the same jump. We all land successfully, but can’t stop there. We scurry to accumulate more bricks, rocks or old newspapers from our neighbors to heighten the wooden ramp.

The three of us add more risk by propping it up another 3 - 4  inches. I take another stab at the jump
, joyfully land well and then Derek and Johnny follow. This is so much fun!

After each successful jump we decide to take the ramp up a notch with another weather worn newspaper from the neighbor’s yard. We three Evil Kenevil 3rd graders continue with our daring leaps imagining we’re defying death by scaling over snake pits, fire pits or trenches of swords.

The...

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