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 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!
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
Follow your heart
On 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...
Cycle your heart out
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're cycling a heart route which he created himself, and is randomly almost identical to my 2013 one. As we cycled 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 guess I had a few lessons I needed to learn.
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Would you like to create your own heart route and cycle your heart out with a loved one?
Click here for my top tips!
I would always reserve certain places for one day
I'll go there when…
Or I'll go there with…
Costa brava it was one of those places
Year after year I put it off
I don't drive
I'll go there when I have a partner
I was living in the permanent future, blind to the now
This year changed all that
Now I replace one day
We Are Barcelona
Birds replaced by helicopters
Music drowned out by sirens
Hate breeds hate
Love breeds love
Reaching for my map, I know what needs to be done
Drawing a red line
From the top to the bottom of Las Ramblas
Following the pen along Passeig de Colom
And into Ciutadella Park
Line by line
Passeig de Gracia
Plaza de Catalunya
Line by line
You’re now complete
The red pen is then replaced by bike tyres
Breathing in and out
Soaking into my memory
For every flower I see
Every candle I notice
Every message I read
I no longer feel fear
We are not afraid
We are Barcelona
Our heart beats on
The Heartful Sunrise
The feeling of satisfaction as you plot your heart on a map, set off on your bike and ride for the sheer joy of riding, is priceless.
Your mind only focused on the heart map before you and the next road you need to take.
As your eyes dance around a route which you’ve created,
you begin to notice your surroundings with more intensity, more wonder.
You spot a tree you never appreciated before,
the looks on people’s faces as you roll on past.
The surrounding birdsongs appears to grow in volume.
Thoughts of what you need to do tomorrow somehow get put on hold, regrets about past failures fade out, your inner critic takes a nap as you cycle your heart out heartfully, appreciating the whole journey,
from beginning to end