Monthly Archives: September 2017

A New Earth

By Eckhart Tolle

There are two primary states of consciousness: the consciousness of Being and ego-consciousness. When the self is caught up in ego-consciousness, it becomes overly identified with attachment to identity, to objects, and to ideas about how the world should be rather than acceptance of how the world actually exists. Ego-consciousness imposes beliefs about what should happen in your life, what rights and luxuries you are entitled to, and the unfairness of not having everything according to your personal plan. Ego-consciousness inhibits the ability to see and accept situations as they are, which causes resistance and dissonance, which then causes unhappiness and dissatisfaction because life is not exactly as you imagine it should be. Rather than become mired in hopelessness and frustration, the other option is to see circumstances as they actually exist through awakened consciousness, or Being. Ego-consciousness is the result of human doing; awakened consciousness is human Being. Developing awareness and nonresistance to the current moment helps cultivate awakened consciousness. which provides clear understanding of circumstances and allows you make informed choices about what to do with your life and how to do it. Continuously refocusing on now centers the self, stops repeating stories of pain and suffering, and creates space for growth.

“A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle offers direct and indirect teachings for developing awakened consciousness. Early sections of the book focus on body-identification and physical awareness, which is helpful because the body is more concrete than thought. The body can be touched, sensed, and felt in a way that thoughts cannot, and the exercises he describes for practicing awareness of the body provide a foundation for bringing about conscious awareness. He spends more time describing strategies for developing consciousness awareness, also known as Being, in the rest of the book, which again is helpful because thought is intangible, constant, and reflexive, and requires more effort and practice for developing awareness. Throughout, he describes interactions with others and shares anecdotes of people who are either stuck in ego-consciousness or have moments of awakened consciousness, adding further examples of how ego-consciousness and awakened consciousness manifest. He also constantly reminds the reader that teaching about awakened consciousness is not to be confused or substituted for actual awakened consciousness. “I am the finger pointing to the moon. Don’t look at me; look at the moon.” Achieving awakened consciousness is an individual journey. His suggestions may help point the way, but his suggestions are not the answer.

When I first started reading this book, I found his lessons on body awareness interesting, but constantly found myself asking “but what about thought and emotion? It sounds like the physical ailments he describes would translate to depression and other mental illness; how does this apply to that?” Well, about a dozen pages later he answered that question. It took me a long time to get through this book, mostly because it involved a lot of stopping to think, re-reading, and testing things out. Certainly worth reading when you have a chance, better to do it sooner than later.

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FORTitude 10K Race Review

Race: FORTitude 10k

Date: Labor Day 2017 (September 4)

HThe inaugural FORTitude 10k is the partner race to the BolderBOULDER, rounding out the summer season with a Labor Day 10k through historic and downtown Fort Collins. This race celebrates hometown college pride (and friendly in-state rivalry), starting just outside the Colorado State University campus and ending in the football stadium. True to the BolderBOULDER race standard, this 10k ends with a box lunch, festive expo, and commemorative celebration.

Course: The course starts just beyond the edge of the university campus and winds through cute, historic neighborhoods in the area, City Park, and ends up back on campus with the big finish in the football stadium, maintaining the spirit of the BolderBOULDER. However, the FORTitude course differs drastically in that it is mostly flat with minor inclines and, if possible, more downhill than uphill. Plenty of turns to keep you engaged throughout the course with one long straight-away near the middle. Excellent entertainment! There were bands almost every 1/2 mile, and certainly every mile.

Aid: Official aid was very well-planned and well-spaced. If memory serves correctly, there were aid stations right about miles 2, 4, 5, and maybe 5.5? I recall 4 aid stations throughout the course, but it might have been 3. 2017 was the inaugural year for the race, so there weren’t as many unofficial aid stations as BolderBOULDER (no cupcakes, so sad!), but there was a lemonade stand somewhere around mile 3!

Atmosphere: Plenty of hometown pride fuels this race – I even spied the CSU mascot lining up in the corrals at the start of the race.  The bands and entertainment along the course were great encouragement for runners, and the finish area was full of celebratory energy. Very fun!

Organization: 2017 was the inaugural year for the FORTitude, but as a partner race to the BolderBOULDER it certainly benefitted from some of the foresight and planning that keeps these races mostly seamless. My experience with packet pickup (getting it from a designated location before race day) was simple. I carpooled in and we had no problem with parking in the neighborhoods surrounding CSU. The finish area was a bit backed up, but everybody eventually received a lunchbox and free beer (for those who were old enough to drink). The one-of-a-kind elite race had staggered start times with the goal that all the racers would enter the stadium within about 3 minutes of each other, which is exactly what happened. It was a very different kind of exciting to see all those runners come in so close together. Nicely executed Labor Day tribute, as well

Spectators: Not quite on par with the BolderBOULDER, but I expect that in 39 more years it will look the same. Some small crowds along the course where the people living in the neighborhoods came out to watch, but the big party was, of course, at the finish line.

Swag: Juice, beer, plenty of water, and lunchboxes were provided to most runners (beer being the exception), and there were more snacks and samples just outside the stadium at the expo. Lunchboxes were provided by Zoe’s Kitchen so post-race fuel consisted of grilled chicken, hummus, veggies & cheese, which was surprisingly refreshing and sustaining after a 10k run. Runners had the option to choose from a cotton T-shirt or technical shirt for their swag (and also had the option to donate their shirt). No medals for this 10k either, but a great feeling of accomplishment

Recommended for: Any and all runners/joggers/walkers! The mostly-flat course has plenty of scenery and great on-course musical entertainment. Post-race party at the finish line is worth sticking around for (stick around for the skydivers, you won’t regret it!).

Overall thoughts: Very enjoyable! Even with all the smoke from the wildfires across the northwest portion of the country, this was an excellent race-day experience. I’m hopeful that over the years the course (unofficial aid stations and spectators) will grow to rival those of BolderBOULDER, and until it does, this is a great way to spend your morning on a long holiday weekend.

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