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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The rule breakers wanting a challenge.
The wild in need of an adventure.
The explorers in search of an environment.
The wanderers approaching an escape.
The controlled in a mission to find an outlet.
The curious seeking a new experiment.
The lonely souls destined for a fresh start.
The lost trying to blend in and belong.
The fearless who followed their gut.
Who are you to judge these people? Who are you to question their interests or behaviors? Who are you to stereotype appearances and actions? Who are you to speak on their circumstance or situation?
Well, you’re one of them, once were or developing to be. We are all so similar yet different, We are a community and we are all connected. The most beautiful thing about those listed above, is they follow their gut without a care in the world. They are so much themselves it intimidates those in their surrounding. We choose to judge them because we envy their carelessness in wanting to fit in and their lack in needing approval.
Why are they judged for taking a chance, thinking on their own and discovering something new. Who is to say self exploration and self experiments are for those who are crazy or lost? Who defines the guide lines and decides the wrong doings? Can you judge or speak on something with no trial or true word on the subject? Who decides for themselves?
Those who took a chance on an experience to risk yourself and judgements. You dip your toe in the dark water, step into unfamiliar grounds, follow your pleasures and dive into the unknown. There is something so refreshing of not knowing how something is going to work out or affect you. It is a scary but beautiful thing, giving your all to an experience which you have no control over… Isn’t that what discovery and our journey is all about?
Going in blind, senseless, numb, broken, strong, weak or fearless eases the strain through new dimensions. You travel through the built up walls, break past your ego and taste temptation for all its worth. Being destroyed leads to re-creation. Being lost inside leads to a new lifeline, journey or world. We shed ourselves of the history, layer, images and build up. We strip down the stereotypes, ideals, opinions and criticism of others to be ourselves so outwardly and purely, to where no outside existence can break us or stop us from what we are desired to be.
” The Grand Canyon is the perfect example of beauty of erosion. Over thousand of years that amazing formation of rock devolved in to what it is today- a fabulous spectacle of nature’s artwork. You too are a work of erosion. While we sometimes think of erosion as a bad thing because it is the wearing away of something, there is beauty in it too. And ultimately, if we evolve as a devolve, we become beautiful works of art as well..”
A fresh spark to amp our current state. Why label those you don’t understand, that would make you ignorant. We are reinventing, recycling, renewing, revitalizing, recreating and rejuvenating our own world, on the inside, outside or where ever you belong.
We are in charge of our light, purpose, role, health and strength. We need to be the best form of ourselves, following our soul purpose and spirited path so others will radiate with us on the way. Building together with others, shaping ourselves, directing paths, sharing positivity and becoming a community. Find yourself to find the world, find the beauty in yourself to find the beauty in others, embrace your energy and the energy of others. Life is reactive and reflective. You construct your outer world with supportive humans. You command your inner being and control your mindset.
Be you. Be beautiful. Be vibrant. Be blessed.
Be the Love.
I love my life too much to waste my energy and time “hating” someone or something so purely.
Life is too precious to devote such negativity. Living free, worrying less and opening environments. No one is an enemy, objects pass if not favored. Never an obstacle or battle.
Flow from a centered mind. Relaxed movements, guiding you to fate. Feelings of ease provides insight. Pushing through the body,actions from inside. Stimulating the mind to breeze on by. Never forcing anything that doesn’t feel right, taking chances on what feels natural and most meaningful. Finding yourself by you’re strengths and weaknesses.
Channeling in on what makes your best self and not by the judgements of others. Agree to disagree, never a closed statement. Bridges never burnt, relations always settled. Learning through memories, struggles and sorrows.
Everything is an experience, educated through actions and mistakes. Constructive criticism only, programmed to smile and be strong in every situation.
Always expanding the mind, body and soul. Mindfulness always present. Understanding yourself to understand others. Respect for yourself, humbled achievements, blessed from success and gratefulness of life’s reward.
An appreciation of life, love only giving and souls consuming. Forever grasping the meanings of who we are and why we are here.
This is my inner release of my mind, body and soul.
A relief from this wild life and escape from the ego.
An explanation of my spirit and entry to the world.
I believe in the sparkle of one’s spirit.
I believe everyone is so quirky and unique.
I believe I can love and experience everyone differently, yet special.
I believe there’s a part of you in everyone and we help each other become our full potential.
I believe there’s a special reaction to your energy, passion and others.
I believe you feel more intensely when you experience a person, place, smell, image or memory.. which makes you who you are.
I believe you remember certain memories so vividly because you truly felt alive and full of emotion.
I believe true passions are found in your childhood.
I believe we are shaped by early aspirations, joys, habits, hobbies and frequencies.
I believe we lose track of who we are when we let world define and judge us, to be lost is to be free and to dream is to fly.
I believe the most honest beings are elders, children and animals, with a simplistic reality of the world.
I believe there is a universal truth of peace, love and equality.
I believe love, discovery and reflection is our sent journey from a higher power.
I believe animals, nature, astrology and weather are all in tune and we the humans are responsible for admiration and appreciation
I believe in the beauty in a flowers bloom, leaves color changing, storm’s ending rainbow, sparkling through trees and the sunsets transforming glow.
Enjoy the simple aspects of your life. Focus on the elements which create your happiness.
Be who you want to be without a care in the world.
Act out the art in your heart.
Inspire the world and share your light!
What setting allows us to sink into our own happiness? What barriers do we break through for our clarity? Sometimes you endure a problem to realize you can’t stay sane. Sometimes you need time to pause and recharge. Surrendering in Savasana (corpse pose or laying down) to find your peace of mind.
This past Friday at work, my boss and I were alerted that a co-worker had a seizure and isn’t breathing. We rushed into the warehouse to a dear friend, Clarance on the ground, non responsive. His body laid limp and lifeless as we surrounded him with blank stares. The situation was almost eerie, he looks so serene while medics are pumping and contracting his chest. He was at peace, floating to heavens gate. There’s was nothing the medics or employees could do to revitalize his body.
Clarence’s death was a hard concept to grasp. So sudden and silent. The sweet man who graced me with his presence and stories was gone. He would come back to the shop just to say hi, tell us about his bowling tournament or mishap his dog got into. His eyes would perk up every time he would be asked on those topics, he wouldn’t stop smiling either. He found joy in the little things and always went out of his way to share his happiness with us.
His last moments and our previous conversation controlled my mind until I had enough, and decided to leave work early.
On my drive home from work I saw a man laying outside a building in the grass. His eyes were softly shut and his smile was wide. What was this strange man doing? Why is he strange? Why is no one telling him to move or seeing if he is okay? Why am I judging him for taking time out of his day? What caused his rest in the sun and life? Why couldn’t I be comfortable with being myself and embracing the outdoors. I was so envious it brought judgement…
When we lay down we are at ease, we are deciding to soften to the comfort of our frame. Whether we are in a hospital bed, lovers bed, family’s bed or a bed of flowers… There is something significance to this position and I wanted to further explore it.
I was so confused why God took such a simplistic and special person so early. How just the day before he was talking my ear off about him and his wife’s wedding anniversary party. It was so precious to see his excitement to celebrate with loved ones and anticipation of the life event shared with his wife. It made me so sad to realize, I will never get the opportunity to chat with him or participate in his joy’s of life.
I wanted to escape, not think or be upset anymore. I took my dog and went for a walk around the golf course. I found a nice patch of grass, sprawled out in savasana and shut my eyes to the world.
I thought of the little things that contributed to my tranquil landscape. How escaping my mind meant taking in Nature and letting Nature’s essence calm me.
There’s beauty in escaping to an open field and experiencing God’s surroundings. There is something so satisfying about resting your body on top of the soft grass, feeling the breeze brush you and the sun light kissing your face. Knowing that in this moment there is no hurt, hate, negativity or pressure to break your mindfulness.
I looked to the sky’s bright clouds and saw the suns rays sparkling through. Almost as if my inner and outer light was reaching me, letting me know there is hope. I found clarity in knowing he’s in Heaven and God wanted him early for a reason. I was thankful for his presence in my life, my escaping tranquility of life and my time on Earth.
This post is dedicated to Clarence.
I will no longer mourn his death, but appreciate the lessons learned and energy absorbed.
I will give more time for savasana, adoring nature, playing with my dog, participating in my passions and sharing the joys in my life.
REST IN PEACE.
Recent celebrations of faith, rebirth and passover has created an endless feeling of being blessed in my heart. I am so thankful for every day, light and experience in my life-which makes me..me and develops my life.
*One of my favorite times of the year*
The transition of Spring to Summer
The warming weather has me energetic. Spring’s essence is fluttering my writing bloom. The Sun’s shine is inspiring my inner light.
I have been writing a lot and will be sharing a piece every week of what “I Believe” and what evokes my mind, body and soul.
I believe we endure heartbreak and tragedy to grow and become stronger.
I believe I’ve vacationed darkness multiple times, but always traveled to light to guide me through.
I believe I pray, meditate and practice yoga to strengthen my soul.
I believe I have been praying for the right path and for forgiveness.
I believe I am created and inspired for a specific reason.
I believe I am the light, God chooses to move and speak through me in dire times.
I believe we are here to teach, inspire and learn from others as well as ourselves.
I believe I am given signs from a higher power and the universe to better myself and this planet.
I believe I write with meaning, honesty and pureness of the soul.
I believe I have a reason, message and story to tell.