“Ride” Each Moment With Glorious Abandon!

A fall is just a spontaneous moment of unexpected flight before you hit new ground….wink!

Yes, that was the lesson of the Universe as I found myself yesterday suspended in an unexpected “flyover” (that moment when you find yourself in mid-flip over the handlebars waiting to see where you will land…). We were within the final 5 miles of our ride… since turnout was a bit low, we had been grouped with some of the most accomplished riders in the club, so this ride had quickly evolved into one of the fastest rides ever … it was an absolutely GLORIOUS day…PERFECT weather…beautiful clouds…the terrain was windy with quite a few (pant, wheeze, pant) hills to climb…the sand could be quite thick and treacherous but we were CRUISING!! I was feeling good….no, I was feeling GREAT!!

It was one of those riveting moments when you realize that you have grown… you have blossomed into something more… you have become an even better version of you…. in this case, I realized that I have really become an infinitely rider than I had been even a year ago. Even the more advanced riders were commenting about it… I was zooming and loving it….!!

We had just stopped for a quick decision at a fork in the road then hopped back on our bikes for a rather sharp decline… I began to hear a lot of the guys ahead of me jokingly saying “weeee weeeee” and then there “it” was… the Universe’s little joie du jour for me… hee hee… It came in the form of a rather pronounced series of roots/small logs embedded in the path that created  a series of steps in the middle of a pretty fast descent… even without any additional dimensions to the challenge, it would have been tricky to navigate at that speed, but couple it with the patch of deep sand in between the roots and well….I was suddenly in flight feeling like Mary Poppins…. “practically perfect”, with heavy emphasis in this case on “practically”…..!

Interestingly enough though, in spite of the rather large new bruises…in spite of the wee bit of blood…my desire was to hop immediately on my bike and fly even faster…. so that’s what I did…! Amazingly, I even managed to catch back up with the guys who were the faster riders… my mind, my body and my bike became one… I was exhausted, but I was elated… there was a rhythm and a rightness to each obstacle…and a glory in each tiny achievement… the moment was in no way about having fallen… it became totally about having bounced up and moved forward with new drive and new determination…

As I pulled into the parking lot suddenly noticing that I was the lone “B-” rider still with the “B/B+” pack, it struck me that the glory of the adventure had not been eroded by the fall. Instead, the glory of the success had been enhanced with the discovery that not only can we get up when we fall, it can be these falls that add to our momentum. Yes, for a moment as I flew through the air, the wind had literally been at my back— and before my feet even touched the ground (or should I say, my back, my shoulders, my legs…BIG THUMP!! HA HA…), my spirit had decided that I wasn’t going to lose that sense of wondrous flight just because I took a momentary hit….

With a smile and a wee bit of drama, our dear Mother Earth sent me out the door to play…saying “jump in those puddles”, “run down those hills”… “fall down every now and again–it’s good for the spirit”…” because in these challenges lie the promise that not only do you have the strength to get up, you have the tenacity to create “more”…the bubbling desire to dream more….to love more….to live more….and more and more and more…

Life is as much as the glory of being thrown over the handlebars as it is about the victory of the finish! If today is a day when you get thrown, so be it! Grab that bike and race on forward…. And even if you are alone in the forest, remember that you always have your own mighty voice to cheer yourself on… wink!

Winks and Nods,

Tink

 

The Road to Happiness: Surely It Doesn’t Include That Brick Wall?

English: The Great Wall of China, near Beijing...

English: The Great Wall of China, near Beijing in July 2006. This is a section of Mutianyu. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello dear wonderful friends and hello dear wonderfully precocious Universe! Today I (gasp!) celebrate something that probably sounds a bit odd and bizarre to be celebrating: yes, those obnoxious and frustrating brick walls that we all seem to occasionally hit….Ok, so maybe I’m not truly rolling in joy as I say this, but please read on…..

Sometimes these little challenges can feel like mere pot holes and other times, they can feel like the Great Wall of China. When that’s the case, it is often hard not to feel like the wind has been knocked out of us. Forget about having any wind left to fill our sails. It is an awful, scary, frustrating and disempowering sort of feeling and we usually wind up feeling like we just want to hide under the covers until some Fairy Godmother can come and magically strike down this evil intruder. Whatever happened to our previously calm Universe? And what on Earth could we have possibly done to have deserved and/or to have created THIS particular monster?

This is the part of the story where the temptation is either to beat up upon ourselves or to try to distract ourselves from the discomfort by looking for the villain elsewhere? We often feel like someone else is seriously flawed (because they really should have behaved differently) or that the world/entire “system” is flawed (because what happened was so obviously unfair) or in the worse case scenario that we ourselves are somehow tragically flawed (i.e. others seem to be able to avoid these sorts of disasters, what’s wrong with me that I have allowed this to happen?). Regardless of who we target (and sometimes it is all of the above), the feeling is anything but good and our outlook on Life at these moments is anything but encouraging.

So yes, I am a Tinkerbell, but why am I celebrating this “brick wall” phenomena? Am I just trying to put an airy fairy costume on Captain Hook? Am I willing to smile when my entire world is falling down around me…? Have I somehow managed to control the “calamities” in my life so that my tales of woe delve no deeper than a bad hair day?

Ah, wouldn’t we all wish!! And if I could figure out how to achieve THAT, I promise you, I would definitely blog about it….!

No, Life definitely dealt me a distinctive wall that seemed to come out of nowhere. And it definitely scared me, worried me, depressed me and left me shivering in my boots….

BUT……!!!!

(…Yes, in the midst of my spiral, my despair actually lead me face to face with a very awe-inspiring and powerful “but”…..)

After I had panicked for a while and imagined all forms of ultimate destruction, I finally took a breath and ALLOWED myself to relax into the new thoughts that I have learned to begin thinking….

What if this “obstacle” (this huge horrible beast) is actually a necessary and important part of “the plan” to get me to “the next level”. What if instead of being evidence that something is “wrong”, it’s really a sign that something is on target…? What if this is not the Universe doing something TO me but doing something FOR ME…. what if it’s a hint to let go of something that no longer leads to the path that I desire….what if it’s a chance to re-examine my desires and to virtually “start fresh”….what if….what if…what if….? (And doesn’t it make sense that those “what if’s” just MIGHT be positive….)

And as I took it further in my mind, it struck me that we ALL encounter these hurdles…even the most “successful” folks encounter challenges in their lives…whether it’s Michael Jordan at one point being told that he can’t play basketball or numerous multi-millionaires pulling themselves up from bankruptcy. So if these “challenges” are so prevalent, it isn’t logical to buy into the belief that these “stumbles” are signs of failure. If those who succeed have also stumbled, then it isn’t accurate to tell ourselves that these stumbles just prove our own failure. In fact, many who now have success attribute their success to the lessons and inspirations that came as a result of those very catastrophes.

So if that’s the case, then maybe these brick walls are not signs of anything going “wrong”. And if things aren’t going wrong, if these challenges are an important part of our progress, doesn’t that mean that perhaps we shouldn’t be viewing these moments with such dread and self-loathing? Couldn’t it mean that rather than chide ourselves for our stupidity or for our slowness or for our inability to foresee (or control) events, that perhaps we should be smiling with the thrill of understanding that we have come upon one of the most high-octane moments of “the race”?

So, YES, today I declare peace with the brick wall…and as I look from this new perspective, I have to wonder if this daunting obstacle is really the wall that it initially appeared to be? Maybe it’s just a new palate on which to create…. maybe it’s THE lesson that will catapult me onward….maybe it’s part of the road forward…or maybe it’s the new lens with which I more clearly see my true self. Today, maybe it’s time that I thank this turn of events for inspiring me to look anew at this journey and to hope and to believe and to trust in this process.

Today, maybe it’s time to truly and openly look for the opportunity within the unknown. Maybe the challenge is simply to let go of the sails and to allow the power of the wind to carry this great vessel forward. There are worlds to discover so rather than curse our supposed misfortunes, let us venture on…strong, mighty and with the courage of the ever great explorer! If the moving currents can shape mountains, imagine what they can do to a mere brick wall….?