This blog introduces you to my special brand of BIKE. I show you how to find your Best self, access your Inner strength, tune in to your Killer instincts, and use your Expressive voice. It's inspiring, spiritual, quirky, and it's all in your head. It's about ATTITUDE, not exercise, though that might be a side benefit.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Recovery: 15 things to move you forward

I just started a second series of classes at a homeless shelter here in Phoenix called Homeward Bound. I taught the first class almost two years ago. They asked me to come back this year to teach what I call my BIKE LESSONS.

Basically, I visit with a group of women the shelter sends to me, and we discuss my BIKE philosophy, one letter at a time. Wednesday night, I met with this group of women for the first time. So we spent the evening introducing ourselves, telling our stories, finding our connection. The women are all ages, with various backgrounds, most of them coming from an abusive or addictive home life. They've generally been in and out of treatment. When they get to Homeward Bound, they've hit rock bottom and have finally reached the point where they are willing to ask for help. They WANT the help, and these are the women I work with at the shelter. They are ready and willing to learn how to move forward. They want to take the next step. If I can give them a tool they can use to do that, I'm honored to be a part of their growth.

The work I'll be doing with them this next four weeks makes me think of all that I want to tell them. So here are 15 things I'll share. You might find the list useful as well:

It won't just move you forward, it'll give you time to process what's happening in your life.

2) TALK TO A FRIEND. Not just any friend, call the one you know will understand what you're going through, but not the friend who will let you wallow.

Just get out there and walk off any anxiety you might be feeling. It doesn't cost anything, so get up and go.

4) FIND A THERAPIST. If you're not speaking to a professional, you should be. They'll provide the safe environment for you that your friends and family cannot.

What are you going through? Have you read about it? If not, a book that focuses on your specific challenge can provide insights you can use.

6) WRITE IT DOWN. In your worst moments, you need to get those thoughts out of your head. Writing them down in a journal will provide relief from the burden.

Do you find yourself stifling the tears? Don't. Let them out. Release that energy so you can breathe again.

And then a few more. Breathing deeply, in and out, helps reduce inner stress and calms your nerves.

9) LAUGH OUT LOUD. You don't have to know a good joke to produce a big belly laugh. Just force it out. HA. HA. HA. HA. HA.

A healthy mind requires a good meal. Snack foods do not nourish your body the way fresh foods can. So practice good eating habits.

11) SING AN UPLIFTING SONG. Music has proven healing effects. Even if you don't know all the words, singing a favorite song can shift a mood into high gear. The faster the pace, the better.

12) DANCE TO YOUR FAVORITE BEAT. Turn on the radio or listen to your favorite dance tune, get up off the couch, and move your body to the rhythm of the beat. You'll feel better afterward.

13) CLEAN YOUR HOUSE. If you lean toward depressive states of mind, the way you keep house may reveal that. Spend time cleaning house this weekend. It'll lift your spirits back up where they belong.

14) PLAY A GAME. Even if you're alone, you can still pick up a deck of cards and play Solitaire. It'll give your mind something else to do than feel sorry for itself.

After you've taken this much action, it's time to show yourself some appreciation with your very own tea party. If you have loose leaf, that's the best. But any old tea bag will do. Just pour, sip and relish the moment.

How about writing your own list of "15 Things" on your blog? If you do, come back and post the link below so we can all read what you have to say.


Alexandra Grabbe said...

Sounds very worthwhile, what you are doing with these women. I would be happy to make a list, but can you be a bit more specific about what each of us should put in our list? Thanks.

BIKE LADY said...


While I won't tell you want to put on your list--it's up to you--I will tell you why I did this today. It was a way to encourage my fellow Arizona speakers, who are working with me on a January Blogathon, to post today. I was giving them what is essentially a writing prompt. Don't know what to write about? Write a list of 15 Things. It can be anything you want. For you, maybe it would be a list of 15 things a visitor can see in Cape Cod. It could be anything at all. It could be 15 things you love about your hometown. Again, it could be anything that you'd like to share on any given day. It's meant simply to inspire you to write something on your blog. Got any ideas now?

Andrea said...

Hi Jackie. Great advice, and great to see you today!