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!
The Danish Route to Happiness
A sea of cycle lanes
More bikes than cars
A city in synch
Hearts seem to link
Picnics packed and ready
Candy coloured streets
Riding to the beach
Help that lady off the bus
Feed that hungry red squirrel
And as the sun starts to set
The best hasn't happened yet
Replace phones with candles
Share love not posts
Eat together not alone
You’ve discovered hygge in your home!
The Rainbow of Friendship
Did you see the rainbow?
Beneath the Tulum Pyramid
My friend woke me from my camera coma
So focused on getting the perfect shot
My eyes had been blind to the beauty behind it
You see that's what's good friends do
They bring color to your eyes, when all you see is grey
They bring the sun to you heart, when all you see is clouds
They bring brightness to your soul, when all you see is darkness
They are the rainbow to your heart
Every shade of their being
Every glimmer of their time
They are the gold on either side
And I'm rich because of you
To those friends
Thank you for staying
Despite my thunder
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...
The Route to Friendship
Sometimes in life you’ll visit somewhere and fall in love
Destined to return
That place for me was Brighton
It stole my heart not once, but twice
Recently made fuller
Thanks to the beauty of
Sometimes it’s weeks
Time passes and not a word exchanged between you
Yet put together in the same room
Retold as if they’d occurred last year
Jobs, partners, cities, may have all changed
But some friendships remain the same
Unable to budge for anyone
Not even time