Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Being in the Present: Part II

Today, I was doing an observation in a high school class and one of the students said, as he walked in, "Nice tattoo." (I was wearing a dress that showed my (gasp) ankles and calves.) I got my tattoo when I turned 30, and it makes me happy every time I look at it.

I'm not going to tell the story of how the tattoo came into existence, except that I am glad that Ivan managed to take my ramblings (and ridiculous sketch) and turn them into something exquisite.

My tattoo is a red lotus intertwined with a tiger face. The lotus is the symbol of wholeness--it has beautiful petals that cannot exist without roots that dive down deep into the gunk of the swamp. The tiger, to me, symbolizes power that is content with itself. It does not try to be anything other than what it is-- a big cat. 

I have been thinking lately about how I have steadily increased my mileage, and the problems that have plagued me before (notably knee issues) are not there. I think that some of it probably has to do with better technique, but I have been wondering about how much of it is due to my own level of contentment, which is quite possibly at an all-time high. This has meant that I feel much more relaxed on runs, even when they are long and arduous. Check out this blog for some more ideas on the connection between running and intuition, but for now, I will leave you with yet another quote by one of my favorite authors:

"Expansion never happens through greediness or pushing or striving. It happens through some combination of learning to relax where you already are and, at the same time, keeping the possibility open that your capacity, my capacity, the capacity of all beings, is limitless. As we continue to relax where we are, our opening expands." (Pema Chodron)

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