Are you living in the past?

When we look at old pictures, reflect on a trip we took, or recall memories with friends and family, we can often find our selves living in the past, wishing that we could relive past moments.

Reality is that the past is the past. While we play back those past memories, notice that we are looking at the past events through the eyes of the present moment. We're merely experiencing those past events in the present moment and those events can't be replicated.

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When I work with clients, they often say, "I want it to be like it was". Truth is, it can never be the way it was. However, we can experience the same feelings in our body as in the past, which brings us joy, yet we might be living that joy through a different experience than in the past.

I'm called to share a part of my own story I had written 3 years ago, as I prepared for the longest run of my life. Three years later, I find myself at the peak of training for the same event again. Be sure that it's never the same experience, just a few familiar parts. Oh, and I now live in Colorado, change once again. ;) Enjoy!

As written 3 years ago:

I'm a firm believer that all events of the past lead us to the current point. My story began in a small town called Zablace, located on the coast of Croatia. 36 years later here I am living on Long Island in the state of New York. Now, many events have transpired in between all of that. Some of it went like this.

In 1986 my mother took her own life away. My father protected my emotions like they are made of porcelain. Two years later I met my future stepmother for the first time. My father departed for the states and remained there for a year to get married to my future stepmother. My sister and I stayed with my uncle for the entire year. Then my sister, father, stepmother and I all came to the states in the summer of 1989. I was introduced to my two new stepsisters for the first time. I started 5th grade at P.S. 184 in Whitestone, New York without speaking a word of English. The following year we moved to Bellmore on Long Island, and I started 6th grade at a new school, Newbridge Road Elementary. A year later I started 7th grade at yet another school: Grand Avenue Middle School. After two years I started High School at another school, W.C. Mepham. At this point, I was beginning to adapt to change. I started running on the track team the winter season of my freshman year. Running has stuck with me ever since.

Sure there have been times away from consistent training along the way, but in some strange way, it was woven into the fabric of my very existence. It has connected and bonded me to people who to this day are closest to me. After many years of completing Marathons, Triathlons, and Cycling for hours on weekends, I started to wonder "why." Why do I do this? Why am I drawn to it? Why do I need it? Why is it that I want to do more of it? Why? Why? Why? At different points in my life the "Why" has had different explanations. As I started to connect the dots and navigate the allies of my heart I had a conversation with a friend. I explained to her that I felt I was blessed with the gift to be able to do this and I wanted to do more with it. I explained to her my story and the history of my mother taking her own life and how I don't want to run away from it. I can't change it, and I don't want to change it. I own it, it's mine, it's a piece of me, and I'm proud of it. I told her I wanted to increase my athletic performance and some way somehow raise awareness for others who might feel they are in the dark. She pushed me; she challenged me, she pushed me some more in my athletic endeavors. However, I still wasn't sure "how" I was going to contribute to raising awareness for Suicide Prevention.

In time, without planning on it, my "how" presented itself. While I was training for the 2014 NYC Marathon my friend Bari was making a routine visit home from Louisiana and asked me if I cared to share a few runs with her. She happened to be training for the NYC Marathon as well, and I was excited to share a few runs with her. As we ran along and caught up on life, she began telling me about her desire to complete the Comrades Marathon in 2015. Now I had heard about this event through the running magazines and such, but it was the last thing I expected to hear from tiny little Bari. She went on to explain her plan for the upcoming year to include returning to South Africa in March and staying there for three months and completing Comrades. She matter of factly said to me "Hey I think you would be a great person to do this with." 

Running long distances is one thing, running Marathons is another, running ultra-marathons is perhaps a whole other sport. Regardless, it wasn't the running part that I was avoiding in committing or flying to South Africa; it was simply defaulting back into the abyss of daily life. It wasn't until a month or so after Bari, and I completed the NYC Marathon that our conversations on those training runs started to creep back into my consciousness. Specifically recalling her telling me how her friend Andrew took his own life the same year her friend Hillary was going through her battle with a brain tumor. Then there was the time when Bari was uncertain about her initial trip to South Africa, and I told her, "Go, or I might never speak to you again." Booooommmmm.

It was like an alarm clock going off on a Monday morning, and I realized that I was playing the "someday" game with my desire to raise awareness for Suicide Prevention. It was clear this was the opportunity to get started. As you can imagine what followed was a barrage of phone calls and text messages between Bari and myself to get ourselves organized. We started brainstorming how we can have the most impact and along the way have picked each other off the floor when the training felt overwhelming. But each minute we remind ourselves of what we are trying to achieve. While yes there are three specific causes on our radar, this is about transcendence no matter what your darkness might be. I'm extremely grateful for this opportunity and all the encouragement of friends and family. I send you all my love.

- Dejan

 

What do I do now?
 
In my health coaching practice, I help clients get unstuck from their old conditioning and start living in alignment with the future they want to experience for themselves. Click here now to talk with me 1-to-1 about where you really are in your life and what changes you will need to make so that you can start living your true desires now.
 
To your health.

Dejan

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