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Sitting With Consciousness

Share the trail love:
Ari Sonnenberg

By: Community author, Ari Sonnenberg

Ari originally hails from Brooklyn, NY but now settled in The Netherlands. He is our Freetrail Sage, opting for the solitude of running on the trails over the busy city life.

Editor’s Note: A personal gift from the Freetrail Pro community has been witnessing the community self organize. The mental health channel that brought about its own mental health office hours, taking care of itself and one another – again runners looking out for runners. Every Monday, right on cue I see the message from Ari come through, “Air it out with Ari” and again it delivers. Within days of the calendar turning over to the new year a question came through – the word ‘intention’ is getting thrown around a lot – but what really are they? A goal? A hope? A promise? One of my ‘intentions’ for 2023 is finding small moments to meditate, to slow down, to read. So here for you, we offer up a mini meditation.


With the new year here, we are bombarded by resolutions and goals. We have been conditioned to believe that we should develop these New Year Goals and that if we do not make or meet those goals we are a failure. We see it on social media constantly, every time you glance at your phone – but what if I was to tell you that the intention is what really defines you and not the result? There have been many articles written within the clinical psychiatric field that show just the pressure of coming up short on goals can lead to deep depression and other mental health issues. So how do we navigate that productively?

We can change this by focusing more on the intention behind the goal. With that in mind I like to use the term consciousness when referring to these intentions. I think this term better encapsulates the mindset we are trying to develop through the process of completing a goal.

In a book called the Bhagavad Gita it says β€œEvery endeavor in the material world is covered with fault, like a fire is covered by smoke. But it’s the consciousness behind the endeavor that is real offering of love.” By staying focused on the reason behind the endeavor we allow ourselves to detach from the result and therefore we can be more satisfied with the journey.

Drew above Chamonix ahead of UTMB week in 2022

In this process there is not loss and diminution. Even a little progress on the path keeps us growing and saves us from the fear of failure – something we are conditioned to fear. We are taught that failure is bad, but failure is essential to growth. A sadhu in Varshana, India told me once, β€œIf we fail 100 times we should pick ourselves up and be prepared to fail 101 times.”

With that in mind we can see intentions behind an action are fluid and not rigid. They are define by time, place and circumstance. Some days our journey towards the goal with be rock solid and filled with determination. Some days we will fall down along the path, we will find difficulties, we will find our head space is off and the goal seems unattainable. By adapting a consciousness based in a more sustainable mindset these small bumps along the journey will not stop us, instead the transform us and teach us.

We grow – in ever endeavor there is no loss, just slight progress forward. 

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