“The mind is like water. When it's turbulent, it's difficult to see. When it's calm, everything becomes clear.”
– Prasad Mahes
Heart Route:35 Country: 10
For years I'd wanted to find a way to help others, but could never seem to find something that came naturally to me, until now.
Before learning about mindfulness, my mind was like a chaotic snow globe, always shaking, my thoughts like snow, flying here, there and everywhere! I craved to have a vacation from my mind, and found life just so freaking 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.
This summer I decided I wanted to be able to teach mindfulness to others, so I travelled to the south of Spain to take a MBSR teach mindfulness course with Mindful Academy International.
Follow Your Heart
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...
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,
Sounds reducing in my head..
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.
Spread the Love
I could not 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 teach, 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.
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.
Enjoy cycling your heart out wherever you are in the world!
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