Serious Face

New Year's Day, 2016. 
I ran three 5km park runs one after the other, from 7am to 10am.  

Lots of tall lean people, chunky mesomorphs and mums with pink gym gear.  The last three k's were particularly poignant as I faced the old existential dilemma whilst my knees throbbed, my head pulsed and I barely stayed the course.  Why am I doing this?  Who really cares?  What does it matter?

Running is good like that.  So is yoga.  But running has registration and online times so you can prove you did it and others can verify that you actually did - if you register - and I didn't - so there is no proof that I actually did the 15k.  Except I know I did it and that should be all that matters.

Yoga has no registration or milestones or t-shirt that you can buy that proves you have done fifty classes or whatever.  It's just that silent acknowledgement each morning as you uncurl on the mat and you can perceive the energy in the room from the other yogis and yoginis.

Same with meditation - at the end of each phase, there is no badge or lapel bar or rise in status - it's just a deeper immersion up the spiral of awareness.

It's as though I was planted among ego and status soil and my life's goal is to grow and lean across out of my plant pot and into a soil of self content, confidence and inner acceptance.  Without that urgency and pressure to be seeking and achieving and getting bits of paper to prove where I have been or what I have done.

Now, my cycle is to actively seek out that which is not measured or assessed or a step towards something - and instead dissolve into the purity and flow of the process simply of and for itself.  It's mindfulness and meditative all at once and there are no signifiers of success or attainment - except for some faint muscle definition, or the clear alabaster of the whites of my eyes.

The ballet?  It's just clean and powerful and complete - 2 mins in if you are patient.  Namaste.


  1. Bren, thank you for commenting on my blog yesterday. I am always happy to hear from you! You sound awesome which also makes me very happy. I can remember reading you in your early days here in our blogger community and I was always rooting for you. And here you are! Years ago I read a book in regards to children's education and the grading system called Punished By Rewards by Alfie Kohn. An interesting read on the positives of intrinsic motivation and rewards vs. outward rewards and awards and grades on our performance. Teaching our children to be happy with their own efforts and outcomes despite what society says and how they are graded.....I wish I had been taught that as a child! It sounds like you are learning these beautiful lessons.

  2. The accolades come from the only place that matter, our heart.

  3. Working hard for invisible accolades? What a concept! It seems our society needs confirmation of everything we do. Social Media comes to mind, where friends or followers are tallied.

    I'm new to the blog world and find myself struggling with the things your post suggests: trying to do things that make me feel good without needing recognition. It's so easy (I'm already finding) to be too concerned about what people are saying about my posts, or how many subscribers there are, or whatever.

    Maybe everything in sobriety is a fine line!

  4. Hi Bren!
    This is good!
    Even the photos I take, I want to share on FB.
    The yoga classes I take, I want to tell people on FB.
    It's crazy for me.
    I really need to think about this.
    Thank you, and thank you for helping other people!


Join my email list here