So again, this weather is still getting me down, and I was reminded today on the Orange Line in Boston of how that posh voice on the London Tube politely requests that everyone “MIND THE GAP” before stepping off to their destination.
I love when Buddhist philosophy comes from unlikely sources, and this little reminder definitely qualifies.
Many of you out there, including myself, have found ourselves in a ‘Gap’ in our lives, whether it be because we are unemployed, have moved back home, recently graduated school and don’t have a trajectory, ended relationships, or simply had to give up a few activities or pleasures because of the economic crisis. Fact of the matter is, we live in a culture that demands we be ‘productive’ and working all the time.This pressure can leave us feeling overwhelmed and stressed.
But why does this “Gap” in time that we recently have found ourselves in, have to be completely filled with “productive work” leading in a direction towards the next 9-5 job we think we must attain.
Instead, take a day our two, maybe even just an hour, sit and meditate on the ways in which this time can be a blessing. Maybe your past 9-5 job really wasn’t your passion and this is an opportunity to head into an ‘alternative endeavor’ as I like to call it. Living back home with the parents/family or moving into a smaller apartment with more roommates can let you mend some previously strained relationships before you fully cut the umbilical cord.
For me, all these gaps are moments of opportunity that I’m attempting to appreciate.
In a monetary sense, I have decided not to invest in a gym membership for the summer after graduating from a school where the membership was included in the tuition. I’ve allocated my allotted funds for yoga towards yoga class cards at my favorite yoga studio. From this, I have realized a few things…
a. I really don’t like gyms and don’t really have a desire to work out in one.
b. I found so many new and interesting exercise classes through “try a free first class” promotions including Krav Maga (my friend Ryan is an instructor at a local studio), Boxing, and numerous yoga classes. Krav Maga is a form of close combat fighting developed by the Israeli military and used all of the world and even as a workout for celebrities such as Hilary Swank! Its empowering and addicting and stands on the philosophy of using what you have and never giving up…never!
For more info on Krav Maga…or to find out about some local classes (in North and South Shore of Boston) contact Ryan Reilly at email@example.com.
c. I have reignited my passion for trail running (which I lost over the winter months) and because I get bored and scared doing it alone, have rekindled friendships by running with friends. Running can be both physically healthy and therapeutic.
d. While running with my friend, James, we try to find new, free, places to run and have made some great local discoveries and rediscoveries….Our favorite run is a run from Russell Orchards in Ipswich (parking free) then running up to Castle Hill or Crane’s Beach and back. It is a beautiful run and usually parking at Crane’s beach is $15 , but we just run in and out for free because we park at the Orchards.
Also, you can pay only $5 and walk/hike around the Crane Estate at Castle Hill, a beautiful Estate and picnic venue not to be missed. Support it and the local flora and fauna through the $5 donation by going there and treating yourself to some apple cider doughnuts or freshly picked strawberries at Russell Orchards afterward.
e. I also have enjoyed finding activities physically that help others. My mom recently participated in her first ever road race, with a friend, at the age of 59. We ran the Louis Rossetti race in Beverly last Wednesday and I was so proud of her. The proceeds went to support the Louis Rossetti foundation and it was a women-only race on a fabulous evening. I even won a trophy for coming in 4th in my age group- my first ever trophy for running! Check out your local 5k run/walks in your area…its a great way to bond with others in your community and donate to a good cause while getting some fresh air and physical exercise!
For more info on the Crane Estate and surrounding areas click here and for running routes in your area…just try googling!