Training Myself to Be Me

Practicing mindfulness is like training your muscles to be stronger.


I know that if I give attention to my physical body by focusing on my intention to make it stronger and more athletic, it takes effort (energy) and repetition. As my training changes, my body learns to adapt. My physical body changes.

I now know that if I give attention to my whole self by focusing my intention to be my authentic self, it takes effort (energy) and repetition. As my life experiences change, my inner being learns to adapt. My neurological systems change.

This is the practice of mindfulness. This is the path towards living my life of possibility, passion, and integrity. Just like I train my body, I can train my inner being to be my naturally awesome self.

I spent last week with two teachers: Coby “Noel” Kozlowski ( and Terry Fralich ( I learned skills to cultivate my positive, natural state of being; I learned more about myself and being myself. I realized that I’ve recently let my “roles in life” define my vision of me, rather than letting my various roles be a vehicle for expressing the real me. I realized that when my role is in a typical business environment of competition, comparison, and judgment, I can still be the natural me who cooperates, collaborates, and accepts. And better yet, I saw a path for practicing my life more in tune with being me. Upon reflection, I drew the following mental model:

2013-11-23 Visual Vision

The model just allows me to put some meaning to what I learned… it’s basically a rope with a core “being”, directed towards an end “vision”, wrapped with various roles in life, and intertwined with others (all connected). It is intended to remind me that my life is an experiment in which I will learn to fully express my naturally awesome self through a mindfulness-based yoga and meditation practice… with intention, awareness, attention (energy), and repetition… and a realization that this practice for me is deeply connected to my vision (dharma), my interaction with others (community), and my connection to the miracles of our natural environment (Universe).

In all of this, I train myself to bear greater adversity.

Yoga is the practice of tolerating the consequences of being me!

Who Can Hold It Longer?

Being centered as things change

Renewing Personal Vision

For years, I’ve written the following personal vision on top of my resume:

Live an adventurous life that is meaningful for society, inspirational for those around me, and true to my heart. Share my love for the mountains and the outdoor environment. Help others discover health and happiness, and ways to live better. Be engaged in work that stimulates my skills and strengths, and fulfills my desire to learn, to lead, and to do what’s right.

2012-12-05 Hiking to Prospect Rock

Yesterday, I spent my last day on a job that was supposed to be in fulfillment of this vision: director of a mountain sports school. Perfect, right? But I found myself behind the computer running the business operations of a $5+ million revenue center. In the past 14 months, I was outside participating and leading adventurous activities less than I had in my previous 40 years in the business of ski and snowboard coaching and outdoor leadership. I was impacting culture and helping others discover health and happiness, yes, but the job took away the best of me for whatever reason, I lost my stimulation and inspiration, and I decided it was time to move on.

In my mind, I was going to give the job two years, enough time to develop new programs, facilitate changes, train and inspire replacements, and re-evaluate. When I stood up to speak at the returning staff orientation meeting last week, I realized I was a shell of who I am. I remembered that life is precious and too important to waste time not feeling “like me” (especially after enduring family struggles and losses in previous months and years). Because I didn’t make it through my personal goal of two years, and because I have let down those who believed in me, I have been dealing with feelings of remorse, second-guessing, and self-doubt.

But today, like other days in my past when my mind doubted my purpose and my capability to succeed, I took to physical challenge. I said to myself, “I am a person who has competed in triathlons; rode my bicycle over 200 miles in a day, twice; rode on a mountain-bike tandem with my wife about 500 miles in a week and over the continental divide twice; received advanced degrees from prestigious institutions, in engineering nonetheless, and built successful businesses; and I have endured the heartbreak of tragic events and the struggles of people close to me. I can get through this! I am a warrior!”


So, I got up this morning and in the space of one hour, I did 100 pull-ups, 100 weighted barbell squats with 225 pounds, 100 push-ups, and 50 dips. Now, this might not sound that great for some of you. But, I am almost 56 years old and I have spent the last 14 months behind a desk or traveling in a car, my body fat percentage has doubled, my weight has increased, my stress-level was off-the-charts, and my cardio conditioning is the worst its ever been!


But today, I am back in the game! Looking for my next work, my next ways to fulfill my personal vision, yes, but realizing again that I can do anything I decide, anything that I want to do! For me, there is something in my sense of integrity that requires  me to be my authentic me, inspiring others through real-life, walk-the-walk, personal inspiration and self-discovery, global impact through local action, and role-modeling positivity.

Thanks to the people in my life who continue to inspire me!


I’m Not the Man I Used to Be… More Thoughts on Leadership

Our deepest calling is to grow more and more into our authentic self — this is the work of a leader — and constitutes the redefinition of past leadership models.

We are all called to leadership. Leaders consider this life precious and are thus willing to act deliberately in service to life. Moreover, leadership is an inward journey into the depths of what it means to be human.

Leadership is about being fully expressed, about being called to one’s greatness, and about having the courage to act in ways that are in alignment with one’s highest self. The world relies on each of us to heed the call of our heart. There is a divine unfolding of life to hear your personal calling, and the path of yoga can provide the tools to answer this call, and to live a life of possibility, passion and integrity. By liberating your own heart and stepping fully into your authenticity you inspire others to do the same — this is the new way of leadership.

– Coby Kozlowski

It All Started with Joel

This week, I resigned from a prestigious position at a well-known resort at probably the worst time of the year. You might say I broke- publicly and painfully. I feel bad for those I’ve let down. But, I realized that I wasn’t living my life, for whatever reason; that my life is indeed precious; and that there was no better time than now for me to explore my authentic awesomeness. You might also say that Hanuman forced me to take a leap of faith… again… Or that my Dad guides my way.

It’s interesting that the vision I championed in my former work was all about being inspired, about learning, and about serving the guests that came to our Green Mountain resort. “Be your authentic self… and be inspired!” But the world relies on each of us to heed the call of our heart. For me, it was time for me to take the next step in my authentic life of inspiring leadership, from my heart.

Part of adapting to a changing world is realizing that each of us changes too. We grow. We experience things. We learn. We adapt. If we view ourselves from the perspective that we are always the same, it can be harder to adapt as things change around us. If we view ourselves from the perspective that we are always changing, it can be easier to cope with external changing circumstances… and have success in finding our true selves.

We’re not who we used to be. We are who we are. And it is what it is. In our ever-changing life experiences and our constant growth and adaptation towards our authentic selves, we learn about who we are, we hear our own life’s calling, and we step into our own authenticity, leading others in the process. I learned a lot about myself this past year; it’s time to move forward and learn more.

I’m not who I used to be. It is important for me to look at the future with open eyes and an open heart… not based alone on what I can do based on previous experience and expertise… but based on my quest to grow in alignment with my highest self.

I always felt like snow sports provided me inspiration to be my higher self. Nowadays, there is something more heartfelt and sacred that inspires my current pursuit of an even higher self. It’s something to do with Oneness and the connectedness of a happier (and healthier) society and a sustainable planet.

Tetons- Bob and Jo

It’s time for me to say to myself: “Celebrate impermanence. Live and learn. Step fully into your authentic awesomeness, inspire others with good intentions and a compassionate and joyous heart,  and lead in a positive, dignified, and connected way!”

Go for a Hike!

Today, I went for a hike. Recently, I “haven’t had the time” to go for a hike. Now I do. So I did. Jo and I…

bob jo at moab small

When I am in nature, I usually find myself in a state of mind where I want to stop and look at the beauty of the clouds or the light of the sky or the color of the trees. When I do this, I open myself up to awe and wonder. I feel intimately connected to something inconceivably huge… I am a part of my environment, not apart from it.


When I combine the power of a mindfulness-based or yoga experiences in nature with the heartfelt connection of others, the experience has the ability to open me up to extraordinary feelings of radiance and being alive.

My daily practices of enhancing my own personal wellness are about increasing the amount of time I spend every day cultivating this relationship with nature and with others. It’s what makes me healthier and what helps me manifest my dreams and my daily intentions.

September Hike with Warriors

It’s also the foundation of what I do, whether coaching wellness or sports, managing people or projects, or designing sustainable homes and healthy buildings. Mind-body awareness and presence… feelings of being a part of nature… and heartfelt connection with those around me.

Tomorrow, I will go for another hike.

Reflections on Leadership and Success

Recently, a history teacher in the school district where my dad lived for 55 years recently wrote a note to my nephews (my dad’s grandkids): “History is the story of ordinary people who did extraordinary things.” My dad was “the best extraordinary example” he knew. “His passion, energy, and willingness to do what was good for children created a leadership style that was positive and infectious, causing people to be willing to follow his lead.”

Tetons- Bob Meditating

Passion. Positive. Goodness. Today is my day to do something extraordinary. Maybe it will start with just doing something good to make another ordinary person feel extraordinary. If I can do this positively and with passion as a daily practice, maybe I too will have succeeded as a leader?


Success? I like what Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote:

To laugh often and much;

To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty;

To find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.

My dad passed away 3 months ago. He was a mentor for many. He still is for me.