Isolating Myself | A Meditation Practice I Do Often

As I travel the world, or simply take leaps of faith with my career, I like to take the time to isolate myself from the world. I find a quiet place and I try to be as in-the-moment as possible. This includes asking myself:

Where am I right this second?

How am I feeling right now?

What am I doing with my life currently?

What are my plans for the next couple of days?

What are my plans for the next couple of months?

Where do I want to be in a year from now?

I do this alone so I don’t feel pressured to answer these questions with someone or something else in mind. I try to isolate myself so I can make some pretty overwhelming realizations and begin planning my next steps to a brighter future.


While I was pushing myself to climb up the Great Wall of China, I found a little window where I could sit and just think about my life. While doing so, I took the moment to talk to myself (well technically my GoPro) about why I isolate myself often, especially when traveling, and what it does for me. Check out the short video below of this little talk I had with myself:

(It’s a bit hard to hear with the wind overpowering my voice, so I have transcribed it. Click on the CC button to turn on the subtitles, or follow along below)

“Everytime I travel I like to take time alone and just like think, and breathe, and be in the moment. I try to like appreciate what I am doing and where I am at. So right now I am sitting on the Great Wall of China and just looking out. Appreciating everything I’ve done so far and it about to happen. And appreciating this opportunity that I get (to travel annually). So, yeah, I like that alone time when I travel just because it gives me that inner perspective and spiritual cleanse, I guess I’d say. So that’s what I’m doing right now. Yeah, I think it’s important to take that time and everything to do what you want or take that time alone. Some days I take that time alone to sit and just talk and be by yourself and everything. I feel like we’re caught up in this world where we’re constantly surrounded by people, even if we’re not physically not with them, but because of our phones, everything where we get to be connected to everyone. I like these opportunities to kind of disconnect from everything and just be with the world and with myself and clear some things up in my head.”


Do you meditate at all? If so, how do you do it? I’d love to hear how most of you take time out of your day to live in the moment.


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3 Things I Learned from Moving Across the Country.

Tuesday, June 10 – 3:30 AM

We left New York around 12:30 AM. By this time, Lexi (my sister) and I were on I-80 cruising at 65 mph.

Holy shit, what have I gotten myself into? I completely underestimated this drive across the country. We’re 3 hours into 42 hours of total driving. You can still turn back, Tom. We haven’t gotten that far, yet.


I’ve been living in San Diego for 10 days at this point. I still think back to all of these thoughts I had rumbling around as I stared out at a pitch-black windshield, only able to see as far as my dinky headlights can shine. Lexi was sleeping so it was me, myself, and my thoughts. I started becoming terrified of what was happening and I almost bailed. If I had, I would have never learned these 3 life-changing lessons:

Lesson#1: The United States is really fucking big.

The thought, “I completely underestimated this drive…,” was not wrong at all. I totally did. Now it made sense why everyone’s reaction to me saying, “I’m driving there,” was, “REALLY?!” I did not think it was as big of a deal as it really was.

Driving cross country is something everyone should check off their bucket lists. I will be the first to tell you: it is 100% glamorized. I’m not kidding, points of my trip required me to drive 10+ hours on flat nothingness but grass. It was boring and longer than you can fathom until you’re living through it. The magic of doing so, on the other hand, is I completing the trip and fully understanding how big the US is. In reality, I didn’t even see much of it, but still allowed me to grasp the vastness of this country. The United States is really fucking big.

Lesson #2: You are in more control of your reality than you think.

If I turned around at 3 am on the first stretch of the journey, my life would have gone in a completely different direction. I acknowledged the thoughts I was having were irrational. I believed I could do it and I kept going. I remembered I wanted to live in San Diego and I kept going. I kept going. I am in complete control of my reality.

I decided I was moving here and I did it. If you establish something you want, someone you want to be, or somewhere you want to live, and you never lose sight of that, you’ll get it.

As long as you can realign your thought process when you’re doubting yourself, you’ll be empowered and even impress yourself. It may scare you shitless, but if you work a little past that, it’s all downhill. You are in more control of your reality than you think.

Lesson #3: Execution is key to getting what you want.

After I battled my own doubtful thoughts, I realized what I was in the process of doing doing – I was moving across the entire country. Ultimately, this made me realize my decision making process. I don’t think about the emotional part of things – I take an idea, use logic to figure out the steps on how to obtain it, then execute appropriately.

I didn’t want to be in New York anymore, so I wasn’t going to stay there.

Now where do I go? I’ve been to Colorado and I wouldn’t be upset living there. Also, Natalie, a college roommate, makes San Diego look great. Okay, cool, there.

I know there wasn’t really much logic to this decision making; however, it was simply an idea in which I figured, why not? I love new experiences so my first experience there would be moving in. Seemed pretty cool to me.

I wanted to move to San Diego because it appeared to be an amazing place to pick everything up and start my professional life. From there, I figured out the necessary steps to make it there and I executed. Execution is the key to getting what you want.


July 23, 2018 – 10:23 PM

I’m sitting in my backyard surrounded by the sounds of cricket and I can see the stars. Yeah, it’s only been 10 days, but it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. Now I can happily say, in San Diego, “I’m home.”

How Coaching and Gymnastics Have Influenced My Mindset

I grew up and still am an athlete.  I’ve played tons of sports; baseball, lacrosse, tennis, track, skiing, volleyball – you name it.  When I was in pre-k, my mom was offered a job as a gymnastics instructor and took it.  At that point, I had already done gymnastics for a year or two, but my mom’s career influenced my elementary-school years to be spent in a gymnastics facility.  Once I was able to stay home alone without my parents, I stopped taking classes on a regular basis; however, my mom continued to coach and my sister became a competitive gymnast.  This may not be a surprise, but eventually I began coaching gymnastics myself.

By this time, I had learned a vast repertoire of skills.  On top of that, I can’t even estimate the number of gymnastics meets I’ve sat through.  I had developed an understanding and an eye for the technique and judging of the skills.  Through past training, countless observations, and learning how to coach skills I was unfamiliar with, I applied what I told my students to do to myself.  In my mind, the more skills I was able to do, the better and more effectively I could teach someone else.

Gymnastics coach with gymnasts at gymnastics competition
My Bronze IGC gymnastics team in the beginning of 2017.

This job enabled me to understand anything is possible if you put your mind to it.  Also, I learned that converting knowledge to action results in great rewards.  When I taught myself and executed a new skill based on my understanding of how to teach one, I would be flooded with accomplishment and pride.  Let’s be real, gymnastics is a scary-ass sport; you are literally throwing your body against gravity and doing things you probably shouldn’t . There’s a overwhelming amount of mental strength involved, so when you can overcome various fears, you learn what you are truly capable of.

Our minds are more fluid than we think.  In my opinion, if you want to be excel at gymnastics, you MUST have a stronger mind than body.  The same holds true for obtaining any goal.  In other words, if you break down the steps you must take to obtain a goal, you will have the building blocks on how to reach whatever it is you may desire.  From there, all you have to do is execute.

I think many of us expect everything to be perfect or accomplished instantly; I’m guilty of it too!  It’s up to us to take a step back and understand that great things do take time.  We’re going to accomplish everything we want to as long as we continue to work at it.  Looking back at my experiences so far, everything I haven’t excelled at have been things I didn’t allocate the proper amount of time and planning to be successful at.  If you want to succeed at something, you must put in the effort to define the goal, break it down, and execute.


 

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