Sorry. I stepped out for a while there, didn't I? A long while, I guess. But you know, there are so many things to do...and only so much time. Who doesn't need to take breaks now and then? I did. And I did.
But I'm back. And I'm pleased to report that the BIKE is still working for me. Is it working for you?
Exciting things have happened to me since we last shared our time together. I've been traveling a lot. In fact, I've been to Southeastern Arizona with friends to follow the Salsa Trail -- a route along the Old West Highway that takes you to 13 Mexican restaurants, a chile farm and tortilla factory, where you can taste really hot salsa and really good food. I'm on first-name terms with the guy who helped organize this unique trail, Sheldon Miller. He probably loves me most because I've sold several stories on the tour. But, hey, you get the love where you can sometimes, don't you?! He's a good guy, no matter what. And if you ever happen to be in Southeastern Arizona, I recommend you take the trail. It's really fun, and the food is off-the-beaten-path good. The scenery ain't half bad, neither.
I also took my first trip abroad. But instead of the typical European tour that I always dreamed I'd take, I veered a bit from that and went to Kenya. I was with a group of really fun and caring women, led by an organization called the Foundation for Global Leadership. There were about 10 or 12 of us traveling together to learn about women's rights, or the lack thereof. We toured a refugee camp. We met with women in the Kenyan Parliament in Nairobi. We spent a lot of time at a slum, also in Nairobi. That particular part of the trip was quite surprising to me, because I noticed I felt far too comfortable walking amongst the muddy paths, holding the little hands of girls too young to suffer mental anguish as I know they must. And there I was, walking with them, knowing a part of me could relate. I felt a connection with these girls that scared me a bit, and yet I felt safe walking with them.
Aside from those young school girls, I met some other amazing women...Merci Musomi who heads up the Girl Child Network, for one. She's a huge proponent of giving young girls the power of choice. I love that. Becuase of her, I thought, perhaps, I'd spend some time teaching the girls and women she works with about my BIKE philosophy. She had asked me to. But instead, when I came home, I realized there are plenty of women right here, in my own neighborhood, who can benefit. They're the reason I started speaking about BIKE in the first place. I'm likely to go back to Kenya and work with Merci, but I think I have things to do here first.
So that realization took me to Homeward Bound, a homeless shelter for women in transition. I'm lucky enough to know someone who knows someone. So I was able to meet with the director and present my idea. I'll now be teaching my BIKE lessons to a small group of women at Homeward Bound in January. For four weeks, they'll get a chance to learn how a mental bike can help shape their future for the better.
I'm excited about this new opportunity, though somewhat intimidated. I've presented my BIKE presentation to plenty of people before but never to women who are living the life I once led. It's not pretty. It's not easy. It's not anything anyone wants. So, in January, I'll get to see first-hand if BIKE really works. Or was it just a quirk in my personality that allowed it to work for me? My guess and my hope and my expectation is that BIKE can work for all of us. But the key word is work. It takes time. It takes thought. It takes effort to transform an idea into reality. I hope I won't scare the women off because of that.
But you'll soon know more.
Meanwhile, I hope you're back on the road like I am, changing the course of your life for the better.
All my best,