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Altered States & Symptoms Of Inner Peace

 We've all been there; tired from the day, wanting to just sit in front of the TV, eat, stay indoors, and turn to jelly in front of our favorite show - or the alarm rings at 5 am and the urge to stay in bed and fall back asleep sucks at our soul -  But if we can just get ourselves out the door and run some miles, we know we will return with some energy.  A run will leave us fully revitalized with energy and mental clarity.

Running can put you in a diametrically opposed state of being, delivering you from being tired, angry, discontent, and flip these feelings into something much more glorious and life-affirming.

Angry or depressed?  Once you 'run it out', the emotions spin from your body and you find yourself unburdened from your stress.

Yes, we are Chemically Dependent on what running does to our bodies, minds, hearts, and souls.

In fact, most of us have come to rely on running as our mood stabilizer, our energizer, and don't just reap the benefits, but demand them once we know their full capabilities.

Compare this to the another form chemical dependency, Alcoholism, which also puts one in an "altered state", but unlike running, it ultimately leads to the exact opposite of the desired effect. 

Check out the following poem which describes this insidious nature of addiction. 

We Drank
We drank for happiness and became unhappy.
We drank for joy and became miserable.
We drank for sociability and became argumentative.
We drank for sophistication and became obnoxious.
We drank for friendship and made enemies.
We drank for sleep and awakened without rest.
We drank for strength and felt weak.
We drank “medicinally” and acquired health problems.
We drank for relaxation and got the shakes.
We drank for bravery and became afraid.
We drank for confidence and became doubtful.
We drank to make conversation easier and slurred our speech.
We drank to feel heavenly and ended up feeling like hell.
We drank to forget and were forever haunted.
We drank for freedom and became slaves.
We drank to erase problems and saw them multiply.
We drank to cope with life and invited death.

*Another favorite 'poem' of mine is called "The Symptoms Of Inner Peace," and I am sure many runners will be able to relate to sense of contentment described below. 

The Symptoms Of Inner Peace

Be on the lookout for symptoms of Inner Peace. The hearts of a great many have already been exposed to Inner Peace, and it is possible that people everywhere could come down with it in epidemic proportions. This could pose a serious threat to what has, up to now, been a fairly stable condition of conflict in the world.

Some signs and symptoms of inner peace:

- A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based
    on past experiences.

- An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.

- A loss of interest in judging other people.

- A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.

- A loss of interest in conflict.

- A loss of the ability to worry (this is a very serious symptom).

- Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation. 

- Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.

- An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.

- An increased susceptibility to the love extended by others, as well as

    the uncontrollable urge to extend it.

If you have some or all of the above symptoms - please be advised that your
condition of Inner Peace may be so far advanced as to not be curable. If you are exposed to anyone exhibiting any of these symptoms, remain exposed only at your own risk.
- Saskia Davis -

*I first read this over 20 years ago when I was experiencing nothing like 'Inner Peace', but the words stuck with me, and I've been searching to experience the symptoms ever since.  Thankfully, some of the symptoms have appeared, and, in fact, are most evident when my running is at its peak.

I sure hope it's contagious.  
(Symptoms of Inner Peace Website)


Rain said…
I always think running is much like an addiction. I have been forced to not run, and wow I had some withdrawls!!
And I agree, the inner peace experienced while running is quite amazing!

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