This is a pretty special month, not only is April 30 Days Of Biking, but it's also National Poetry Month! A beautiful combination and a lovely way to share with you some exciting news!
Over the last few years I've been working hard on creating something special, something I hope will inspire you to travel deeper into your inner world and follow your heart. Yesterday I cycled my 40th heart route in Barcelona to share with you my big news...
I've written a book!
I'm so excited to finally be able to tell you, I'd love to invite you to join my mailing list below so I can keep you up to date with it's release date!
For the whole of April I'll also be cycling my heart out in Barcelona and sharing poems along the way, two of my favourite things all rolled into one! So if you also love bikes and poetry, why don’t you join in with me?
Cycle Your hearts out and I'll speak to you soon,
You were unplanned
You kissed my open wounds
Route by route
You pieced me back together
Pedal by pedal
You kept me breathing
You kept me riding
Year after year
Continuing to share through the pain
Continuing to share despite the pain
And in the end
An open book because of it all
Inside my Cancerian shell
Cooking up a feast
A feast full of love, dreams and ambition
A feast full of drinks, overflowing with gratitude,
A feast ending so sweetly
Reminding me what was missing from all the other meals
High in courage and free from self-comparison
A feast so delicious I invite you
To this VIP location
For the most rewarding meal of your life
Then once you're full
Feel free to invite others
Sarah's let me take over her blog today and I'm super happy to share with you my first heart route! But first let me share a little bit about me.
I was born on Valentine's day and my name means love in Nepali, my favourite snack is broccoli and I'm obsessed with chasing pigeons. People seem to think I'm a small bear or cat sometimes... but I'm sure I'm a Pomeranian.
One minute I'm chasing pigeons, sniffing grass and finding a good spot to roll around in, the next minute Sarah picks me up and puts me in some sort of flying bed. It's strange but kind of cosy cause she's put my favourite blanket inside. Not sure why she's put me here...
Wow I'm super high up, I miss the floor let me outta here! Ok escape fail, she's harnessed me in...
My fur feels sort of strange, it's like she's blow drying me after a shower, except it's nice and cool.
So many humans keep staring at me, everything's moving around me so fast,
Hold on a minute... I recognise it all, its my favourite walking route!
I recognise the smells and the trees, those purple flowers on the floor, this is the park full of dogs that always want to sniff me. Ok we’ve stopped, Sarah is giving me lots of hugs and doing that strange high pitch voice, the same as whenever I’ve peed on the grass or sit down.
I think I’ve done something she likes as she’s just given me my FAVOURITE BONE,
Nothing else matters right now, just me and my bone, the cool blow dryer on my fur.
I like this flying bed, I could get used to this. I’ll tell you about the rest of the ride later, I’ve got some serious chewing to do.
No need to sweep me off my feet
Just a forehead kiss will do
No need for extravagant jewellery
Your hand holding mine will do
No desire for a giant bouquet
A plant that blooms will do
No surprise luxury hotel
A tent under the stars will do
No fancy restaurant needed
A heart-shaped ride will do
No need for changing you
Your quiet love will always do
Body still, Mind on fire
The numbness spreads
My legs gone dead
If only I could move
The tenacious fly
That active gardener
If only I had silence
My familiar friends
Worry and Fear
Always around, but never welcome
Body still, mind on fire
Damn that feels good
Stomach growing like a balloon
Emotions join the stream
Thoughts pass like clouds
Even the ocean seems calmer
Sitting cross legged
Silence starts to spread
Body still, flames reduced
Mind at peace
Follow Your Heart
Before learning about mindfulness, my mind was like a chaotic snow globe, always shaking, my thoughts flying here, there and everywhere! I craved to have a vacation from my mind, and found life just so overwhelming all the time.
After years of cycling my heart routes I slowly learnt that it was focusing on my breath and the sensations in my body that took me to a place of momentary calm.
When I learnt that mindfulness is about paying attention to the present moment on purpose, it all started to make sense…
Cycling my heart out route after route, year after year, had been my own meditation, and learning to combine it with seated meditation everyday enabled me to finally find a way to settle my snow globe thoughts.
With a burning desire to deepen my understanding, I travelled to the south of Spain to take a MBSR Teach Mindfulness course with Mindful Academy International.
“The mind is like water. When it's turbulent, it's difficult to see. When it's calm, everything becomes clear.”
The beautiful town of Altea, close to Alicante in Spain!
Heart Route 35
Only a few hours left in a town I'd hardly seen, making a heart route was a challenge no doubt! Several different bike maps, 2 bike shop assistants, and dozens of attempted heart routes, not 1 seemed to want to emerge.
I was close to accepting no route could be found, and just enjoy cycling mindfully along the sea, but that's the beauty of letting go, seconds later Cecilia at Ashe bikes pointed at the map!
No it wasn't the most scenic,
No it wasn't traffic free,
But yes, it was perfect, for me anyway…
The route represented the challenges along my teaching course, the doubts, the confusion.
With the final part along the sea, peaceful, calm and full of joy…
It got me thinking about all the times I've longed for something, and never came close to reaching it, until I finally let go.
How to be more mindful
My thoughts won't stop,
I can't sit cross legged,
I don't have time,
I'm too busy,
I'll start tomorrow,
I'm doing it all wrong!
The beauty of mindfulness is to practice kindness and compassion to ourselves, and that all those thoughts above are perfectly ok to feel.
Thoughts won't stop? It's normal just observe them,
Can't cross your legs? Use a chair,
No time? Try 2 minutes
Too busy? Take 3 deep breaths,
Starring tomorrow? How about now
Doing it wrong? No, you're not.
Meditation doesn't mean you always have to sit still,
How do your hands feel on the handlebars?
How about your bum on the seat?
Your feet as they rotate the pedals?
How does the wind feel on your face, or maybe it's a rainstorm.
Try paying attention to the present instead of worrying about your to do list today, or your conversation with whoever yesterday.
Spread the Love
I couldn't have done this course had it not been for my teacher Kathy, her years and years of experience and wisdom was truly inspiring to learn from. Our beautiful international group where a joy to support and learn from one another.
I made this route to remind me of the life changing teaching course at Mindful Academy International, the people I met, and the future hearts I hope to help.
Enjoy cycling your heart out wherever you are in the world!
Those Three Words
Where conversation fails to end
Where your eyes say what words can't
Where your arms feel like home
When the moment feels right
Unable to stay unspoken
Rolling off my tongue
And into your heart
In June 2013 I sat on Rambla del Poblenou with my good friend drinking wine. As I complained about my bad luck with men, my friend decided it would be a great idea for me to sketch my dream man, so I did.
I drew his thick dark wavy hair, big beard, tall muscular body, wearing a green T-shirt. I sketched him as if he was sitting in my friends chair drinking the wine, I then closed the book and never looked at it again, until now.
Fast forward 5 years... I’m cycling my heart out on my 31st heart route with my boyfriend, and for the first time in my life, I’m in love. We are cycling a heart route which he created himself, and is randomly almost identical to my 2013 one. As we cycle along Rambla del Poblenou, I realise my sketch has came to life, he was real. There he sat, his thick dark wavy hair, his beard, sipping his red wine, on the same street as 5 years ago.
It turns out he was along the heart route the whole time, I’d cycled past his flat on my 2013 heart route, but before we could meet, I had a few lessons I needed to learn...