1. 5 Positive Fallouts of Falling Well

    “Oh, no! Someone’s terribly hurt!” are the words that went through my mind last summer. My husband, Richard, and I had just returned to our campsite after fly fishing on the beautiful Taylor River near Crested Butte, CO and were happily ensconced in our chairs with mugs of strong tea and juicy camp novels. Above an enormous boulder flanking the backside of our site was what is considered to be one of the most challenging bike trails in the Rockies. To get to the top, bikers take car rides up, and then hold on for dear life as they plummet at lightning speed down the steep trail to the bottom, landing right near us.

    It was fun to get wind of the biker chitchat now and then, but our attention was really snagged when a LOUD crash permeated the still air. In a split second, I thought, “Oh no, someone’s terribly hurt!” but before I could barely register that thought, I heard a 20-something female voice belt out, “WOW!!! You really know how to fall well!” Admiration was clear but, frankly, it was not what I expected to hear. Fortunately, no one was hurt and the young woman who had fallen said to her riding buddy “Thanks. I’ve trained myself to jump off of the bike in the opposite direction of the fall at just the right moment, so the fall’s not so bad.”

    I have to say, being a basically Sunday-afternoon neighborhood biker, it had not occurred to me to put any forethought into how to “fall well.” But it struck me as a smart tactic, not only for this young woman, but also for all of us, especially if we want to push the limits and improve on what we’re already doing in our lives and work.

    After “Ring Around the Rosy” giggling when we fell to the ground at the end, to, in just a few years, stark terror at the fear of falling while trying to master our first two-wheelers. I remember telling my father (picture a tearful pout), (Read more…)


  2. 5 Reasons Why Pulling the Plug is a Good Thing

    Having just come off one of my busiest spring speaking schedules, I was celebratory about meeting all of my deadlines and aspirations. At the same time, I was also dreaming of when I could escape to the Rocky Mts. with my tent, with no demands other than: what time I wanted to get up (answer: when I WOKE up!), when we wanted to have dinner, and if we’d rather go fishing or hiking on any given day.

    It’s no surprise, then, that I wore a smile as wide as the Grand Canyon when my husband, Richard, and I finally loaded up the car and headed for the hills. With every mile clocked on our drive to Nirvana, I felt a new glob of tension being left on the pavement. By the time we arrived at our campsite, set up camp,

    Our Campsite Visitor

    and popped the cork of a good zinfandel, I was darned near giddy. After all, this was V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N and I’d been lusting for it for several months.

    Summer is the time of year when the majority of us in the U.S. take our vacations. Or, at least we take them in theory. The sad truth, as shown by a recent poll by TripAdvisor, the largest travel site in the world, is that 77% of U.S. respondents reported that in the last year, (Read more…)


  3. See You at the Finish Line: The USA Pro Challenge and YOU!

    The USA Pro (Cycling) Challenge was held in our beautiful state of Colorado last week. Racers from all over the world competed and Colorado was mighty proud when the winner, Tejay VanGarderen, was one of our own, hailing from Boulder. This was no small feat, as the seven-consecutive-days route, starting in Aspen and ending in Denver, was lauded as “American Cycling’s Most Difficult Professional Race Featuring Lung-Searing Altitudes (higher than they ever had to reach) and the First-Ever Mountaintop Finish Route.”

    Needless to say, the competitors did not jump into this race on a lark. On the contrary, thousands of hours of grueling training precede the race itself, from Interval to Circuit Training. In addition to building up physical stamina, a certain amount of finesse is also required.

    Here are 3 tips from the USA Pro Challenge that could be helpful to all of us, whether we’re a biker or not:

    1. CROUCH DOWN: When riders surge past both sides of you, crouch down a bit to stay upright and balanced.

    In Life: Even if you’re a confident person, usually striding tall through life, sometimes it could be of benefit to pull it in a bit so you can be in better alignment with others around you.

    2. LOOK FOR THE DIAGONALS: Riding right up, straight between two riders can be an instant invitation to (Read more…)


  4. Going in Circles: Success Strategy for Life and Work

    This 4th of July weekend, my husband and I were on a glorious 6-day tent-camping trip in the Colorado Rockies. The peace and quiet and sheer beauty of the surroundings calmed our minds and opened our souls in the way that nature can do.

    As a bonus, about two minutes from our campsite, we discovered the gorgeous alpine Lake Monarch. Around the lake was one of the most splendid hiking trails, winding us under the shading trees and through exquisite columbines and wild roses. As much as we enjoyed hiking around the lake, we also enjoyed being on the lake in our IK (inflatable kayak).

    Monarch Lake Colorado

    Being fairly new to kayaking, we’re still flexing our beginners’ muscles and so, amidst hearty paddling (synchronized as well as we neophytes could), we often found ourselves going into a spin out of which we could not come, no matter what. Although we tried our darndest, we realized that at a certain point, we just had to relax and surrender to the circular spin, smile and enjoy the stunning views and refreshing water––Nature’s Masterpieces.

    We all live in such a linear society where we’re so often rushing to get to some straight end point that it’s nice sometimes to just step off the grid and happily go in circles . . . to realize that “going in circles” does not have to have the rather negative connotation we usually give it, but that it can be a positive endeavor.

    There’s a freedom and a relaxation in the circular pattern. In art that’s often what brings about unity in a painting or sculpture’s composition: everything coming together as one. I think that’s exactly what we were feeling: being one with nature and the world. And if that’s what “going in circles” once in a while brings about, a betterment for both our lives and our work, sign us up again!


  5. JOIN DIANE SIEG FOR A LIFE-CHANGING COSTA RICA RETREAT & GET THE EARLY BIRD RATE

    Five Lessons from a Costa Rica Yoga Retreat . . . from Diane Sieg

    For the last two years, I have facilitated a yoga retreat on the Osa Peninsula at Boca Sombrero Resort. The unspoiled Osa is a remote area on the south Pacific side of Costa Rica where the rainforest meets the sea. On my first trip to Costa Rica, I was so impressed with the beauty of the jungle and ocean, the wildlife, and the people, I am returning for a third time in 2013! It is difficult to capture the full impact of our rich and colorful experience, but I wanted to share a few of the lessons learned.

    1. Practice Pura Vida

    Pura Vida literally translated means “Pure Life.” Costa Ricans use the phrase to express a philosophy of perseverance, good spirits, enjoying life slowly, and celebrating good fortune, whether small or large. One of our retreaters had the chance to put the concept into practice immediately when she got to the airport and realized she’d somehow failed to book her flight! All the details of arranging child care, organizing work responsibilities and carefully packing for a week in the jungle had taken precedence over actually buying her ticket. Fortunately, she was able to get on a flight that same night and arrive only a few hours later than the rest of us. And more importantly, she was able to practice pura vida and recognize the whole incident just validated how much she really needed a vacation!
    The next time you make an honest mistake that proves your humanness, can you practice pura vida?

    2. Open to Grace

    With the overall theme of the retreat being Discover Your Inner Grace, we had ample opportunity to practice it all week. Opening to grace is a softening, allowing, and opening to the possibilities of what is, versus what you want something to be. Living in yurt huts for a week with outdoor showers, bathrooms, and the call of the wild reminding you where you are requires a softening to what is. Probably the biggest opening we had to make was getting up in the middle of the pitch dark night to go to the bathroom. With all the animal noises and (falsely) perceived threats from the jungle habitat, it was even more scary after one of our retreaters found a scorpion waiting for her in the bathroom!
    Where in your life could you open to grace, to soften, allow, and open to the possibilities instead of struggling and fighting?

    3. Have a Beginner’s Mind

    Beginner’s mind is about approaching things with the gentle curiosity of a child instead of the harsh judgment of an adult. We all had new experiences on the Osa, whether is was surfing, river trekking, or performing handstands. With a beginner’s mind, we open up and expand our horizons without getting so frustrated about doing something we might not be very good at initially. I definitely had to use my beginner’s mind with my surfing lesson. Paddling out to beyond where the waves were breaking was exhausting, but getting up–even for a nano-second was well worth it!
    Is there an activity you have been wanting to try that you could practice beginner’s mind with, even if you aren’t very good at it?

    4. Flow with Nature

    Whether we were planning our surfing and beach walks around the high tides, sunscreen according to the day’s rain or shine, or using headlamps when the sun went down, we flowed with nature on the Osa. We were in the rainforest, so of course it was going to rain everyday (usually less than an hour), the ocean ebbs and flows with high tide and low tide every day, and when it got dark, we went to bed after enjoying a fabulous gourmet meal. Even the howler monkeys who woke us up with their loud roars every 5 a.m. became part of that natural flow. (Well, at least once I was convinced that one hadn’t made it’s way into our tent, which I thought initially). Howler monkeys are the LOUDEST mammals on the planet and to give you an idea, they used them for the sound effects in the movie, Jurassic Park.
    How different would your life be if instead of fighting and complaining about the weather or the lack of sunlight in winter, you just flowed with it?

    5. Embrace your Kula

    The meaning of kula is “family”, “group” or “self-contained unit”. While on the Osa, we had opportunities for endless activities from surfing to river trekking, massages, spa treatments and day trips–plus plenty of pool chairs and beach vistas to enjoy doing nothing at all. We all chose various levels of involvement from socializing to solitude, but came together for our twice daily yoga classes and four meals a day. We celebrated (3 birthdays) and we consoled (a misplaced passport, luckily found in a couple of hours). The kula held such a strong connection for us, providing a sense of support, commitment, and safety—reminding me how important it is for us all to feel like we are part of something bigger, no matter where we are.
    Do you have a kula in your life you are currently embracing?
    I know the 18 of us are all different people leaving the Osa than when we came. We grew, expanded, and strengthened not only in our bodies from our yoga practice but also in our minds and hearts from this rich experience. We leave with lessons from the Osa, where the rainforest meets the sea.
    For more pictures, please click here to go to my Facebook album of Costa Rica.

    Same time, next year? You bet! We are going back January 26-February 2, 2013. Register by August 31st and you can save $100!


  6. ARE YOU BEARLY GETTING BY?

    ARE YOU BEARLY GETTING BY?

    After leaving home bright and early on June 22, 2012, my husband, Richard, was thrilled to set off for a solo camping trip (I was headed to a mountain cabin overnight with nine women friends) in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park. The drive up and across the Continental Divide was beautiful and he was delighted to be one of the first arrivals, getting the “pick-of-the-litter” campsite, nestled right up next to the dense pine forest with more prime-real-estate privacy than the other sites. As he’d hoped, the day was decidedly restorative and after cooking a lovely dinner of lamb shanks and some good red wine, he retired to our new two-day-old tent for a good night’s sleep.

    Which he got. Until 2:00 a.m.

    BLACK BEAR


    Suddenly and quite rudely, he was awakened by a (Read more…)


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