Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Have you ever heard that phrase--back to basics? It works with most things. If you don't have the foundation set in stone, you're likely to build a wobbly home, or write a sentence that's missing something important, or somehow feel an imbalance.
Whenever I'm feeling that imbalance, no matter what it is, I go back to the basics. For me, that means I'm back on my bike again. It's the thing that gave me comfort as a child, and it still provides a sense of comfort today. When I'm riding, that's where I'm able to release stress, find some breathing space, and relax.
I've been riding at least five miles a day and expect to work back up to 10. Not every day, but on the days I ride (at least four of the seven), I prefer a solid 10, because it gives me an hour outside, alone with my thoughts initially, and then I'm lost in the ride. Less time doesn't allow for the meditative part. I'm getting that in yoga right now, so it's okay. But I really like getting whole process on the ride. I'm out of practice and a little bit out of shape, so I'm having to build up the stamina. I'll get there. It's an enjoyable process for me.
If you happen to be in this same place, if you're feeling somewhat stressed or unhinged, I urge you to do like me and find your ride. Just get out there. Take it one mile at a time. Soon, you'll notice what I discovered long ago. My bike provides that quiet place where no one else is present. It's the place where I can go to process my thoughts or let them go. It's a place where I can pray. It's just me, the bike and fresh air. Sometimes I hear the birds in the trees. Sometimes I listen to the traffic. Sometimes I find myself watching people walk by. Sometimes I don't notice a thing. Not even the silence.
If you don't have a place for this, I recommend finding one. Decide today that you'll start the search for your "bike," that you'll commit to taking time out just for yourself during some part of the day. It doesn't have actually to be on a bike. Walking works, or running, or some form of artistic activity. Even doing the dishes can do wonders when you're stressed or your mind is preoccupied on stressful things, as mine as been lately.
Go back to the basics. Find the thing that settles you, the place where you can recover some sense of balance. Go ahead, metaphorically speaking, just pick that bike up off the ground and ride. I think you'll like it.