Friday, February 11, 2011

Trimommy Zen

Wisdom comes in many different forms, and I think it is very important to take what we learn from wherever it comes.

Sometimes it comes from a friend, sometimes it comes from a mentor, sometimes is comes from a book...and sometimes it comes from a podcast. 


The other day I was listening to Coach Brett at Zen and the Art of Triathlon.  If you have never listened to Brett's podcast, you should give it a shot.  I really like it a lot, but my husband is not a big fan.  To each his own, right?  Anyway, I find it to be very entertaining and informative on my long commutes.  I would describe it as mostly triathlon training with a little bit of Zen mixed in here and there.  (For those of you who are not familiar with Zen, defines it as a "Buddhist movement emphasizing enlightenment by meditation and direct, intuitive insight.")

I find Zen to be very interesting.  As a Christian, I see a lot of people that seem to shy away from anything that is not strictly "Christian," so to speak, but I believe that there are basic spiritual principles in place that anyone can learn and benefit from.  I think the concept of "intuitive insight" makes a lot of sense.  From what I have learned (mostly from Zen and the Art of Triathlon - so that makes it very official), Zen is about recognizing where you are in the moment without judgement and with acceptance and moving forward from there.  As far as attaining enlightenment, I'm not so sure that ever really happens in this life, but that is another conversation...

Anyway, I was listening to the podcast, and there was this little clip of some Zen master 
speaking, and he shared this:

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
Chapter 1
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost ... I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.
Chapter 2
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place.
But it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.
Chapter 3
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in ... it's a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.
Chapter 4
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.
Chapter 5
I walk down another street. 

~ Portia Nelson ~ 
(There's a Hole in My Sidewalk)

This really struck a chord with me.  It is so simple and so brilliant at the same time.  It made me realize too, that the many facets of our lives move at different speeds.  I might be in chapter 5 in one area of my life, but may still be stuck in Chapter 3 in another (or many...).  It kind of reminded me of Romans 12:2:  "Do not conform to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."

I told this to Kel, and he looked at me like I was crazy.  I guess he's not a big fan of metaphors.  But it really stuck with me, and the more I think about it, the more I find myself thinking of ways to move forward in these areas I struggle.  It is really a mental battle.  

So, what is the point of this post?  Actually, I'm not really sure.  I just wanted to put this out there to see what you guys thought.  Do you see yourself in this short autobiography?  Do you learn from many ways of life?  


  1. Moving forward-love it. I can't recall the verse right now, but it makes me think of the passage referring to leaving the past behind. Tough to do I know!!

  2. You articulated this so well. I would totally agree that in different facets of life we can be in different "chapters". There are areas like my work where my eyes are wide open. I can take accountability, and anticipate those holes in the road. In other areas of my life, I am not so successful. I'm falling asleep sitting in my bed as I write this, so I wouldn't be surprised if I dream about holes in the road tonight.

  3. Great post - I think it is important to remind ourselves that there are different paths. Sometimes we need to look at the whole and find another path.

  4. That is a great post and one that I really should take tine to think on. Maybe then I can move fast my funk.

  5. I like this...I like metaphors too, John thinks I am some parts of my life, I skip right to chapter 4 or 5. In others, I keep repeating chapter 3. My reading comprehension must not be that good in that part of my life.. ha ha

  6. Definitely see myself in this...


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