I’ve reconnected with a lost love this past summer. Not a who, but a what.
My husband bought me a hybrid bicycle as a gift for Mother’s Day. I took a few rides on it and then it sat in the garage for over a month because I was very much stuck in my head ruminating over problems, perceived worries and fears that had cropped up in my life.
A visit to a Reiki Master confirmed my out-of-sorts state of affairs. She performed a session on me which I can only describe as a deep hour of peace that seemed to ground me back into my body. The day after, I got up and jogged in the morning to clear my head. Jogging felt good for the first time in forever. I was back in my body.
Running felt good but riding my bike last night at twilight felt even better.
I realized that I love that bike.
It’s the most expensive, nicest thing anyone’s bought me in a while. I like that it’s white, just like the horses that the heroes in mythic fables ride.
I pedaled down our street and noticed everything I love: the summery feel of the air and the subtle fragrance of our Mimosa tree wafting in the breeze as I whoosh by. Lightning bugs buzz around me and flowers are blooming profusely and in luxurious display with all the rain we’ve had lately.
I loved being in the moment. I stood up on my pedals to coast and felt like I was flying.
I always wanted the super power of being able to fly.
I turned up the alley, with trees lining the path and branches hanging fully green. I noticed the profusion of trumpet vines climbing upwards in an attempt to best one another for a view of the stars. I rode past the neighbor’s chicken coop and lush verdant garden full of luscious blackberries.
Pedaling, pedaling, stand and breathe…coast….feel.
I made a loop, then a pattern up the alley, that I know well, then the next and on and on until I was in the darkest of alleys. Drawn there as if by some black magic, the pavement was rough and pot-holed. I avoided the potholes and arrived at the end, unscathed. It was like passing through a rite of passage.
I wanted more, so I allowed myself one more circle around the neighborhood, this time taking a new alley, a new path. Nothing strikes me as memorable so much as the feeling of freedom and speed and balance—the rush of air on my skin and breath all around.
Coming toward home, I make one more loop, then another. I’m not even tired but perhaps I will sleep better. I pedal fast, then coast again, standing up, feeling tall, the length of my body, weightless and balanced…free and gliding through the rush of night air as fireflies wink and shine.
I put my bike away and pause on the path to the backdoor gazing up at the night sky.
“So simple,” I mutter to myself. Even yoga teachers thought to be hyper-aware of the mind-body connection and living by that awareness can get stuck on a seemingly never-ending cycle of over-thinking and making things too complicated. When the realization hits that your normal physical practice isn’t doing it for you anymore and has become a little rote it’s time to shift the balance. At that point it is crucial to un-stick the body so you will un-stick the mind. Try something else—something new or something old from your childhood. Just something that feels good: on your skin, in your breath and a feast for all your senses that wears you out with a playful joy.
Rediscovering joy and what feels good can shift the mental-emotional experience and welcome you back to your being and that place of peace that is always there, waiting for your return.
Author: Beth Dunn
Editor: Travis May
Image: Flickr/Mario Mancuso