Deep Drives

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Life is not only a journey but a drive, such a drive where you take each lane, road, construction, detour or traffic as they approach…
Sure there’s a goal destination but it is always comforting to know the route and to have stops along the way. Sometimes we get so caught up in the final arrival we lose track of the ride and scenery along the way. There are times where you coast, enjoy the view on a cruise, accelerate yourself to the top or you fly so fast down hill you don’t realize your own speed.

This past week I participated in my first day of RAGBRAI. For those who don’t know, RAGBRAI is an acronym for…The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. It is an annual seven-day bicycle ride across the state of Iowa. RAGBRAI is one of the oldest, largest and longest recreational bicycle touring event in the world. There are towns, communities, businesses and sponsors along the way to not only encourage you and provide for you but also take care of you.

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I was so nervous to par take in this ride because it was my first year, I wasn’t in “bike shape” and I was intimidated by the experienced masses. I got over my fear and proceeded into the crowd with my best friend by my side. I felt like a child going to camp for the first time, anxious and excited. Once you got the first cycle in, you were comfortable and proceeded the path.
It was one of the most challenging and yet uplifting adventures I have endured. I learned so much about the tour, flow of traffic, rush of the vehicles and a took a deeper meaning from the ride.

On my ride, the environment for majority of the day was bikers, open corn fields, family owned farm land, assortments of nature and the road ahead of your bike. You are constantly surrounded by all different people, which all share the same journey as you. Some come for different reasons, traditions, groups, uniforms, celebrations, music, agenda etc. The beauty of it all is, at the end of the day you all arrive to the same destination and all need to work together for a smooth finish.

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You engage with your fellow riders, you signal your move only if it affects them, you speak closely to the one next to you, you assist those on the side of the road, you encourage those at a slower pace and you come in contact with so many groups.
You see those struggling, smiling and pedaling through the same road and it motivates you to do the same. There is no age, size, race, sex or quantity limit … If your desire is to ride, nothing is in your way.

This day was so special to me because everyone came together as one. You approached every person and path with ease. You found joy in the open road and local services. You are not judged for your chosen pit stops or your pace. It is a journey driven by your own given energy and support by those surrounding you.

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On the van are the words “Hope” “Faith” & “Love”

This to me is the simplistic form of life. A glimpse of what your life could be if we all practiced the same equal peace, love and joy with our surrounding participants. The route in RAGBRAI is like our drive in the journey of self discovery and nirvana. All of these people devoting their mind, body and soul to the self-driven adventure. You experience new people and places for different quantities of time.

Every encounter is always seen as fresh and beneficial. You cherish the scenic stroll to your current home or nourishment. You connect with all of those who share your space. Everyone is accepted on the road and appreciated along the way. It is so amazing when a community is brought together and so powerful to be apart of such a blissful movement.

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Lance Armstrong has participated the last six years in RAGBRAI and makes it a point to really get to know the towns and people who make his route. He is able to further his love for cycling and passion of the sport with a different back-drop and crowd. After his incident in 2005, Iowa was his first cycling event since confessing and being called a “cheater.” Iowa has always been supportive of him and accepted him to still be apart of their tour.

He enjoys returning to RAGBRAI and spoke on Iowa and the participants, “I’ve been here before, and I know what the people of the state are like, and I know what the riders of RAGBRAI are like,” he said. “I didn’t expect a wave of hostility.” He then described RAGBRAI to the Des Moines Register as Woodstock meeting the Tour de France meeting something else.

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We are all the driving force and riding influence on this journey of life. We all carry our own baggage and struggles along the way. It is up to us to discover the path ahead of us, understand the pavements given and value the pit stops which make our self-trip all worth it.

Everyone has their own chosen joy ride, Everyone asks for guidance on their trip and Everyone needs headlights in the dark.

NAMASTE.

 

To be Love

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Valentine’s Day is a Holiday which celebrates relationships in your life, selects those who have your heart and appreciates the ones you love. The day is filled with romance and gifts with a significant other(s).

What is it to Love? What does it take to Love or be in Love? Why is every heartache, melody, happiness, mystery or madness stem from Love? Why are we in such a search and struggle to find Love? 

To Love someone is to love yourself, To Love a trait in another is to love the traits you have within, To Love in full and so purely, we love ourselves and others… flaws and all. 

When we are born, we are born from the act of love. We are welcomed with eager eyes and warm hearts waiting to shower us in Love. Family members show love by protecting, nurturing, caring and providing for this new life. We are taught love from our surroundings, sharing, touching, communicating and contributing. How we love and how give love is grasped at a young age. We spend our whole lives circulating around the idea of Love, figuring it out and inquiring varied types. 

Love is rooted from inner peace, inner joy and inner satisfaction. 

Why not give back to the person you have to live with everyday, required to spend time with, the one who moves and motivates you…. YOURSELF. 

Loving one self is to appreciate, listen and provide for the mind, body and spirit. Taking time to nourish the body with vitamins, moisture, water and essentials to feel replenished. Taking time to engage the mind, with yoga, meditation or a book to restore oneself. Taking time to surrender the spirit with a walk, bath, nap or detox to refresh your energy. 

This past week for me has been so hectic, I haven’t found enough time for myself or taken time to relax. I have been in constant movement, preparing for Spring break and the future. I lost track of the time I was in, not realizing who I was living for or who I was accomplishing these tasks for. I was pilling events in the free space of my day to make up for lost time. Going to more yoga classes, tanning back to back, eating a lot for missed meals and staying up later to catch up. Every experience was accompanying my obligations and misplaced moments. 

My body caught up to me and responded by being burnt on the outside and drained on the inside. I took the first part of the week to take a bath, hydrate my body and calm my mind.  I downloaded a meditation music app and actually took a peaceful nap. Meditation and Yoga became more sacred and serene.I channeled in on my center and focused on my body messages. I put my phone away, turned on some music and became wholesome again. Melodies flowed through me, choruses whispered through my ears and slowly fulfilled my inner silence. 

 

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Our time lessens when we in a rush to the future, our quality weakens to the detachment of the current moment. What is it to live for yourself and give back to yourself? 

I learned a beautiful lesson this week of, learning to love and appreciate yourself. I listened to my body when It told me to slow down and rest. I gave back to this amazing mold by taking care of myself, calmed my machine by resting and revisiting silence.  I re-energized my mind, body and spirit by participating in the present and savoring the time with myself. 

 

Today’s Valentines blog is dedicated to the Love within yourself and relationship you hold with your mind, body and spirit. 

Namaste