InnerStride

InnerStride Meditation training and well-being strategies for high performance lifestyles.

Space still open for the mindful performance enhancement course starting October 27th Course offered in partnership with...
10/15/2022

Space still open for the mindful performance enhancement course starting October 27th

Course offered in partnership with Mindspace, a leading clinic offering workshops and training in mindfulness, psychology services, and counselling.

Learn more and register on our website (link in bio)

        

Great athletes perform at their edges - physically and mentally ...Before one's mental health becomes a mental health pr...
05/03/2022

Great athletes perform at their edges - physically and mentally ...

Before one's mental health becomes a mental health problem, we can build our capacity to handle the inevitable difficulties that come with pushing our limits.

Mindful meditation is empirically proven to strengthen our resilience.

It is also trainable and scalable - something every athlete, coach and performance leader understands.

Lets work together to turn mental health awareness month into mental health action month.


Acceptance is one of the hardest, if not the hardest, thing for high achievers, to um, accept. Attachment to specific de...
03/14/2022

Acceptance is one of the hardest, if not the hardest, thing for high achievers, to um, accept. 

Attachment to specific desires & feelings and how things 'should be' creates a certain tension leading to a lot of our pain and suffering, draining our energy and leaving us feeling depleted and many times discouraged.

At the heart of this are the things that prevent us from accepting our present reality, which include all the things we are not yet, including our imperfections.

We are often so preoccupued with striving to get somewhere, to fall in love, win, succeed, achieve, to be perfect etc .. that we are not aware of the diasillusionment that we've create for ourselves in the futility of the struggle. 

What if it is not about getting anywhere, to try to manipulate the situation to what we want it to be, but to simply realize where we already are .. to be with what is?

In this space we create through acceptance of what is, we acquire a certain quality of presence and grace that allows us to live and perform through difficulty so that that our passage becomes smoother and more enjoyable.

Acceptance is not about giving up. It is not about resolving ourselves or settling for less. 

Acceptance is simply not denying what is / how it is.  Accepting the seemingly unacceptable at times.

As high performers, it is one of the most courageous things we can learn how to embrace. 

Enrollment open. Spring intensive course in mindfulness draws upon scientifically proven practices to expand what is possible in your life and career. Starting April 21. Link in bio.🔗

                     

An ambigram is a visual that is the same even upside down.It is a rare occurrence in calendars compared to a palindrome....
02/22/2022

An ambigram is a visual that is the same even upside down.

It is a rare occurrence in calendars compared to a palindrome.

Today is both a palindrome and an ambigram.

If your life at times feels like it is upside down, today is a good day to trust that you are exactly where you're are suppose to be.

Take a moment to notice the good that is all around you.

"You can't wait until it isn't hard anymore to decide to be happy" - Jane Marczewski

The reality of the of the situation remains unchanged, but with a change in perspective, by looking at it from back to front, or from upside down, or in particular way, non-judgementally, with curiosity, kindness, gratitude and acceptance, our perspective shifts, and we gain a new understanding.

                     

When we take on a new challenge, especially something big and meaningful, we know that it won’t be easy, but we set out,...
01/14/2022

When we take on a new challenge, especially something big and meaningful, we know that it won’t be easy, but we set out, nonetheless excited and motivated by the challenge ahead.
 
After the initial optimism wears off, the magnitude of the task becomes apparent, quickly followed by feelings of doubt and fear, changing our whole thought process about journey.
 
When we set out, we might think about the feeling of accomplishing (or not) the challenge.
 
What most us fail to do is anticipate the twists and turns of the journey along the way.
 
Focus, discipline, willpower and the conviction to overcome them is important – but they are not enough.
 
Anticipating and monitoring our difficult emotions along the way, is what’s really needed. The skill of being excellent at being open and vulnerable is a key trait of the high performer.
 
“Your outer journey may contain a million steps; your inner journey only has one: the step you are taking right now.” - Eckhart Tolle
 
Being present to our feelings is trainable and makes us a more resilient journeyer.
 
New intensive course in mindful performance starts February 2nd. Link in bio
 
                     

“The heart of human excellence often begins to beat when you discover a pursuit that absorbs you, frees you, challenges ...
01/07/2022

“The heart of human excellence often begins to beat when you discover a pursuit that absorbs you, frees you, challenges you, or gives you a sense of meaning, joy, or passion.” Terry Orlick
 
A new year, perspective and opportunity to wake up to the things that make your heart sing.
 
(Re)discover your dreams and build some skills to help you move towards them.
 
New intensive course in mindful performance starts February 2nd. Link in bio 🔗
 
                     

“The greatest departure from a traditional definition of performance is the letting go of attachment to an outcome. This...
10/08/2021

“The greatest departure from a traditional definition of performance is the letting go of attachment to an outcome. This doesn’t mean there is no goal. It simply means that a future result is not available right now in this moment. But something is. The focus of the mindful performer is on the next appropriate action. “ Pete Kirchmer mPEAK Director, UCSD Centre for Mindfulness

You can train your body daily, but if you are not simultaneously training the mind, you are not maximizing your highest potential.

“Mental training is the future of sport, and meditation and mindfulness are proven techniques to improve mental fitness. Athletes, coaches, and medical and performance staff the world over—from Team GB to the English Premiership, from the NBA to the NFL—are fast understanding it as a tool to sharpen preparation, performance, and recovery. Consistency and mindset go hand in hand.  - Andy Puddicombe

                               

Train your mind like you train your body. Limited spots still available. This evidence-based course enhances the human c...
10/01/2021

Train your mind like you train your body. Limited spots still available.
 
This evidence-based course enhances the human capacity for mindfulness related to peak performance, resilience, focus and flow.
 
The skills we train are rooted in the latest brain research and performance sciences - and translated into the language of sport and integrated into daily living and training.
 
Learn How to:
●      Develop greater focus and attentional control skills to “play present”
●      Rewire habits of thinking to cultivate a greater capacity to access flow states
●      Apply an understanding of the neurobiology of focus, stress, and recovery towards optimal performance states
●      Develop growth mindsets for when things don’t go their way or as expected by shifting attitudes toward process goals versus outcome goals
●      Develop strategies to better manage fatigue and associated physical sensations
●      Build awareness of unhelpful narratives and limiting inner dialogue
●      Train a skillful inner coach to understand, and work with self-criticism
●      Develop resilience to work with difficulty instead of reacting against it.
●      Stretch personal edges while reducing the potential of injury or burnout.

We cultivate performance skills in attention, awareness, and compassion - critical not just to optimizing performance, but also to improving mental health and wellbeing.

Find out more. New course starts October 6th.

                                 

09/27/2021
While pain and difficulty naturally show up in life, learning to meet them fearlessly as they arise allows our relations...
09/25/2021

While pain and difficulty naturally show up in life, learning to meet them fearlessly as they arise allows our relationship to our discomfort and the stories surrounding them to shift.

It is basically about “not flinching” and not moving away from anything that shows up and practicing the adage that what’s in the way is the way.

To be aware of fear, for example, that is almost always in you, not moving away from it, and using it as your teacher, allowing you to move forward with courage, mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in difficult situations.

Shifting from a narrative that “anxiety, pain and fear are things that happen to me, and I need to react to them” to “these are things that I experience as part of what I do and have a choice in how I respond to them.”

It is not that pain or difficulty ends, it rather that our curiosity / intimacy with it, changes our stories and relationship surrounding it.

Rather than habitually repressing, distracting, or struggling against the pressure, mindfulness is the radical practice of allowing pain or “stepping into the fire.” With wide-open, curious attention, you’ll learn to change your relationship to pain so that you can see it for what it is and make a wise choice on how best to work with it.

Be more resilient, mindfully and sustainably, leading to great health, wellbeing and performance.

New Mindful Performance Enhancement Course starting Oct 6th.
https://firstwaterperformance.com/courses/

Our struggles come from us being “led” by our thoughts, often finding ourselves following an unaware path of reactions. ...
08/27/2021

Our struggles come from us being “led” by our thoughts, often finding ourselves following an unaware path of reactions.
 
The mentally strong performer “leads” his/her thoughts so instead of reacting to triggering events, they mindfully respond to them.
 
We don’t control what happens to us, but we do control how we experience them.
 
Through careful and curious observation of our experiences, our mental, physical and emotional reactions are witnessed. This gives us an opportunity to pause, relax, and breathe.
 
Once the reaction cycle is broken, there is an opportunity for an intervention, in the form of a mindful response or new choice.
 
Explore how to cultivate this capacity. New Mindful Performance Enhancement Course starting Oct 6th.
Course offered in partnership with Mindspace, a leading clinic offering workshops and training in mindfulness, psychology services, and counselling.

Learn more and register on our website (link in bio)
 
          

Certainty builds walls in our mind becoming the barrier to what’s possible. One thing mindful people do differently, is ...
08/23/2021

Certainty builds walls in our mind becoming the barrier to what’s possible. One thing mindful people do differently, is they don’t believe everything they think – and they don’t take them all that seriously.
 
New Mindful Performance Enhancement Course starting Oct 6th.

Course offered in partnership with Mindspace, a leading clinic offering workshops and training in mindfulness, psychology services, and counselling.

Learn more and register on our website (link in bio)
 
          

In life, the most powerful question we can ask ourselves is … What’s Important Now?It keeps us present to what we do and...
07/23/2021

In life, the most powerful question we can ask ourselves is … What’s Important Now?

It keeps us present to what we do and why we do it.

It reconnects us to the things that bring us joy allowing us to win moments.

It’s about holding ourself and others accountable.

It’s not having expectations or attachment to outcome.

It doesn’t mean we don’t care about outcomes, but rather it’s a humble acceptance that outcomes may or may not happen or happen exactly as envisioned.

The WIN mindset is at the heart of mindfulness. It asks us to transform our perspective on “what’s next.” Too often we dwell on what’s “about to happen” as something to be anxious about, analyzed, or feared.

Coming back to the “what’s now” and “what’s important” is all we ever have and it’s ultimately about showing up as our best self.

There is a quality of presence that emerges when you let go of striving for an outcome and trust the wisdom and talent a...
07/16/2021

There is a quality of presence that emerges when you let go of striving for an outcome and trust the wisdom and talent available in the moment.
 
National Olympic Team Diver, Rylan Wiens simply thinks, “take a deep breath and step into the present." It's his way of using breath to be present in the moment.
 
                          

Hot off the press. Excited to roll this out with my next mPEAK cohort. Reorganized and reimagined format but same empiri...
06/20/2021

Hot off the press. Excited to roll this out with my next mPEAK cohort. Reorganized and reimagined format but same empirically researched program.

For high achievers, being comfortable with the uncertainty of our own success is difficult, yet it is the smallest thing...
06/04/2021

For high achievers, being comfortable with the uncertainty of our own success is difficult, yet it is the smallest thing we can do to make the biggest difference towards it.
 
We don’t deal with uncertainty very well. We’ve become extremely proficient at making sense of the things that we don’t understand.
 
We make up stories, play out scenarios, simulate outcomes, and project past stories onto the present moment keeping us stuck at an old level of performance.
 
Our brains are even rewarded with dopamine for making sense out of complex situations, whether it is incomplete, right or wrong.
 
All of this leading to the number one thing holding us back, which is ourselves.
 
An average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day, and of those, 80% are negative and 95% are repetitive (National Science Foundation).
 
Mindfulness teaches us to stop believing our thoughts and to come back to the direct experience and reality of what is happening in the present moment – through our senses.
 
In this way, rather than staying stuck in a mental justification or rationalization of the uncertainty, we open up to “infinite possibilities” through self-awareness and self-regulation.
 
This doesn’t mean we stop planning, or planning for successful outcomes, but we just stop worrying or ruminating about the uncertainty of an unknowable future.
 
By letting go of the mind’s tendency to control the situation, we open up to the very solution that are seeking in the first place.
 
 
           
                 
         

Having high standards and a commitment to excellence is a big part of any high-performance culture / mindset.Big dreams ...
05/28/2021

Having high standards and a commitment to excellence is a big part of any high-performance culture / mindset.

Big dreams inspire. Perfectionism or a refusal to accept any standard short of perfection towards achieving big dreams can lead to unsustainable effort, injury or burnout.

How to know the difference?

It starts by noticing if we are putting so much pressure on ourselves to perform to a high standard to protect ourselves from shame, criticism or looking bad. Rather than being motivated by the high bar, we end up in giving up, or avoiding the risk out of fear of failure.

Notice also, your own role in creating a high bar or perfect standard in the first place. Maybe a “just hard enough” standard will be “good enough” to get the job done.

Psychologists Albert Bandura calls these mastery experiences. The key is to set a series of challenges, each incrementally more difficult than the next.

If you find yourself in the deep end (i.e. up against a stretch goal that might require us to be perfect), here are a few things that you can do to calibrate the situation:

1) adjust your own skill: expectations ratio. Is there a “just hard enough” point?
2) ask yourself what will be “good enough” to get the job done?
3) hold in mindful awareness your own suffering that may exist as a result of the set standard or goal
4) cultivate inner kindness and self-compassion to help navigate these inevitable moments of difficulty found in high performance contexts
 
These moment-to-moment awareness practices will help course correct as needed, enroute to achieving our goals, sustainably and not be held back from our potential. And Enjoy. 🙂
 
           
                 
         

We’ve all experience moments of being in the zone. Time seems to stand still; we experience a sense of clarity, peace an...
05/14/2021

We’ve all experience moments of being in the zone. Time seems to stand still; we experience a sense of clarity, peace and euphoria. There is a merging of action and awareness.
 
States like these are attributed to a brain state called Transient Hypofrontality, or more commonly known as the state of flow.
 
Whereas we can’t will flow to happen, we can prime for it. We can bring ourselves closer to flow without knowing when we will experience it.
 
Priming for flow involves the intentional practice of the foundational attitudes of openness, courage, balanced-effort, focus, playfulness and non-attachment.
 
Non-attachment is a particularly interesting one. It is about moving away from our ordinary sense of self and relaxing our inner problem solver. It involves dropping our ego and attachment to outcome.
 
When you can let go of striving for a future outcome and immerse yourself fully in the now, you’re increasing your odds of slipping into flow.
 
Flow researcher Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi coined the term, “autotelic personality” to describe one who does things for their own sake, rather than in order to achieve some later external goal.
 
“When not preoccupied with our selves, we actually have a chance to expand the concept of who we are. Loss of self-consciousness can lead to self-transcendence, to a feeling that the boundaries of our being have been pushed forward.” ― Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
 
Start by simply noticing the thinker and shift your attention to the senses present in the moment (sensing, hearing, seeing, tasting, smelling). Notice how this takes attention away from your thinking and creates space.

This can also prime us for a state of flow.
 


 

Yuta Watanabe, of the Toronto Raptors shares a story of finding himself in a slump during his college sophomore year. “T...
05/07/2021

Yuta Watanabe, of the Toronto Raptors shares a story of finding himself in a slump during his college sophomore year. “This isn’t how it is suppose to be” he said, “Why is this?”

Then his high school coach, Shikama-sensei sent him a note reminding him to “Play with a smile”. The very next day, he had a career-high performance.
He remembered why he loved basketball so much.

Play is intrinsically rewarding. When people engage in play it’s done for it’s own sake, or “for the fun of the game” rather than for an outcome. This attitude is often lost when people get serious about making a living for what was once a passion.
 
Playfulness enables adults to distance themselves from situations to approach them with an open mind to let go of preconceived ideas, like “this isn’t how it is suppose to be”. This provides a fresh opportunity to find original solutions, and to confront difficulties.

And playfulness, like all foundational attitudes or beliefs can be regained through intentional practice.



Yuta Watanabe, of the Toronto Raptors shares a story of finding himself in a slump during his college sophomore year. “T...
05/07/2021

Yuta Watanabe, of the Toronto Raptors shares a story of finding himself in a slump during his college sophomore year. “This isn’t how it is suppose to be” he said, “Why is this?”
 
Then his high school coach, Shikama-sensei sent him a note reminding him to “Play with a smile”. The very next day, he had a career-high performance.
 
He remembered why he loved basketball so much.
 
Play is intrinsically rewarding. When people engage in play it’s done for it’s own sake, or “for the fun of the game” rather than for an outcome. This attitude is often lost when people get serious about making a living for what was once a passion.

Playfulness enables adults to distance themselves from situations to approach them with an open mind to let go of preconceived ideas, like “this isn’t how it is suppose to be”. This provides a fresh opportunity to find original solutions, and to confront difficulties.
 
And playfulness, like all foundational attitudes or beliefs can be regained through intentional practice.
 
           
                 
         

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Mindful Performers During Uncertainty

Creating Connection.

A former colleague asked me if I was offering any mindfulness courses these days, and I said why not, what a great idea ... and yes, lets do this .. so here we are.

So while we are mandated to social distance, during these unprecedented times with the constant influx of mis/information, new demands, greater uncertainty, and quickly changing circumstances, come together for a daily mindful moment.

It’s 10 minutes to start your day off right.



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