Friday, June 1, 2012
Thinking (Spring) Green…And Why I don’t wear Headphones When I Run.
If you’ve read some of my past blogs, you’ve probably already guessed that this blog has nothing, or at least very little, to do with recycling…although Steve and I do use our recycling bin on a regular basis.
However, it is no wonder why May is recycling month, as nature blooms and much of the beauty that has been hiding from us for so many months begins to reveal itself. I would hope that is does make people think twice about the environment, if just to see the beautiful oranges, reds, violets, and pinks pop out at us in the flowers and trees one more time. But this blog is not about any of those colors, it is about GREEN.
Many of my runs in the beginning of May focused on the color green. I couldn’t believe how stunning the color of the trees, bushes, and plants were that almost completely surrounded me in every stride. I was consumed by the energy, the life, of this color.
This color green, which I will simply call Spring Green, is only around for a few weeks, starting somewhere in mid-April through the middle of May. It is just after the buds turn into leaves, and when the plants (or weeds) sprout up, in some spaces taking up every space of dirt to create a floor of this vibrant color . Unfortunately, this Spring Green is now much diminished, although a beautiful green still remains that will take us through all our summer runs and hike, possibly turning a little brown in July, but still a color that represents a thriving natural world.
For some, it may seem silly to put such emphasis on a color, although for me, it is so much more than just a color. And these “green meditations” have left me with some much of the energy and renewed life they posses.
Which brings me to the second part of my title…
I have a theory, and please do not get mad at me if you disagree, but I believe that SOME people wear headphones so they don’t have to listen to themselves…they don’t let themselves think! This is a huge problem! Why? Because you have to think if you want to grow as a person!
And before the next objection pops up, I’m not talking up thinking as in normal daily stuff, or 1+1=2, but deep, self-reflective thought…the type of thinking that leads to 1+1=3.
So many people do not let themselves think deeply because they don’t want to deal with the thoughts that may arise. I understand. Some of these deep-rooted thoughts from our pasts may be painful and bring up unwanted memories. If that’s true, it’s probably because never took the time to learn from these events when they occurred. Without taking that step, we limit ourselves from ever moving forward.
Now, when a person does take the time to reflect and learn, it allows them to begin thinking at a higher level, instead of that somewhere in the middle hazy level that many people are stuck at. It allows them to “think about green”.
This higher level of thinking it where ideas begin, life opens up, and adventure begins.
You see, my green meditations only started in awe of color, but as those thoughts slipped in came thoughts of my life, discover my true passions, and where I my trail was going and where I hoped it would end up. Ideas unveiled themselves to me, which of course sparked more questions and a dig for more answers. Just like the wildflowers around me…or maybe weeds…I was in bloom. I was growing.
Now, if what Im saying has totally confused you, I suggest you read Aton Krupicka’s blog “Alone”, which talks a bit more about this next level of thinking, but I’ll touch on it a bit: He states that when he runs he “thinks about everything and nothing” and then later on goes on to say “Running is an activity that often requires our full attention, and while I’m not willing to say that that necessarily makes us better people, I do think that regularly practicing the act of carefully tuning in–not tuning out–ultimately leaves us more open to the emotions of, among other things, humility and compassion”. I would have to agree (and for support, many of my ultra-runner friends have also been my most giving and kind friends).
My next reference comes from someone who could not see the color green, but she could feel it. For the past few years, I have been doing my best to live my life by her quote “life is a daring adventure or nothing”. Of course I am talking about Helen Keller. When I thought more about it and what I would do without my precious vision, I decided I better read about her a bit more to truly understand what she meant. I came across a few interesting things: One, Helen loved to be outside. She could probably tell you the names of more plants than I could, just my touch. Two, she viewed her disability as an opportunity to develop other talents reach a higher level of spirituality. She also used her disabilities to inspire others. Last, she fully encompassed and utilized her ability to meditate, think, and form opinions and ideas (She was advocate for socialism.) In other words, her adventures came from taking the time to get in tune with her surrounding and using her mind and imagination to create a life that left her happy and fulfilled.
(While I am on the subject, I may as well state one of my other theories. It is this rejection of reflection and meditation that brings up that statistic that a very small portion of the human brain is actually used. By closing off deeper thoughts, we are also closing off other areas that would lead to more progressive thinking.)
So friends, I encourage you to ditch the headphones* and focus on that tree in front of you. Physically, you might end up right where you started, but much further in many other ways.
(*Okay, I am not a road runner, but I could understand wanting to wear them on the road…just not every time).