26/11/2019 0 Comments
Heart Route 35 in Altea, Spain
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 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.
After taking an 8 week mindfulness course a few years ago in Barcelona, I decided to deepen my understanding and travel to the south of Spain to take a MBSR Teach Mindfulness course with Mindful Academy International.
Cycle your heart out ... mindfully
“The mind is like water. When it's turbulent, it's difficult to see. When it's calm, everything becomes clear.”
Altea, close to Alicante in Spain
Accommodation: Hotel Tossal Altea
Bike Rental: Ashe bikes
Several different bike maps, two helpful bike assistants, and dozens of attempted heart routes, not one 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, she'd found it! 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.
Cycle your heart out
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 will always remind me of the life changing course, the people I met, and all those I hope to help ride inwards.
-Parròquia de Nostra Senyora del Consol
-Mirador Paseo Maritimo
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I couldn't have completed this course had it not been for my teacher Kathy. Her years of experience and wisdom was truly inspiring to learn from. Grateful to my beautiful international group, it was such a joy to support and learn from one another.
My top mindful tips for you:
Meditation doesn't mean you always have to sit still, next time you ride your bike notice the following...
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?
Try paying attention to the present instead of worrying about your to do list today, or your conversation with whoever yesterday.
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!
Sound familiar? 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,
Starting tomorrow? How about now
Doing it wrong? No, you're not
Click below for more tips on how to ride inwards heartfully!
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Hi I'm Sarah the Heartful cycling coach, author and poet