I love riding my MTB in the countryside and this is what I do to destress and exercise.
The scenery is amazing, the wildlife is abundant and the terrain challenging in the Overberg.
The other day, after riding up and over a local hill, I descended with care as the shale like ground can be treacherous.
I relaxed a bit as the gradient leveled out. A sheep ran across the road, I glanced at it and the next minute I was braking hard as I realised I was falling into a huge hole in the road!
I will spare you the expletives I uttered as I fell.
So how the hell could this happen? I just told you I am a careful rider. Now here comes the lesson. You know they say things come in threes. Well, I had a shin bump, a knee knock then a bike fall.
As I gingerly got up, realising nothing was broken, I muttered to myself, ‘pay attention’.
Even though I was looking where I was going as one does when riding a bike, the finer detail of the earth having been disturbed, escaped me.
I think in life, this is a damn good lesson. Complacency, or expecting things to be the same, because last time they were that way trips us up a lot!
So what does paying attention mean? I guess it is about awareness, alertness and responding to changes.
We as humans do not handle change well generally, which is why we go into threrapy after a relationship break up or lose confidence after a job loss.
I wrote to the municipality who came back to me very apologetic that they had not put up any warning signs or markings, whatsoever!
I think we have become so reliant on others to warn us, expect the authorities to take care of stuff like our roads, that we merrily drive or ride with absolutely no expectation that there could be a huge hole in our path.
This, despite the numerous disaster movies Hollywood is so fond of making.
So today, I will pay attention, will be alert, and will remind myself frequently, that the pain of not paying attention (which could have been a lot worse) is not worth the effort to wake the hell up and see what is around me. So please do yourself a favour and be alert. It may be a lifesaver.
The human psyche is a fascinating thing. We create an impression in more ways than one, with every move we make. Taking the zen approach, our energetic influence is vast, as we cause ripples in the universe. Indeed, as I write this I am causing waves of consciousness to shift. Who am I kidding? How could it be that little me has an influence on the vastness of the universe.
Our lives are made up of many wonderful experiences, almost experiences and never to be repeated experiences.
What if we could grasp how to choose those experiences which will lead us to our nirvana?
Imagine it, a series of meetings, chance encounters, billboards, road signs in our lives as we travel along the highway of life, each one a choice.
We take the exits, change the lanes and speed up to overtake. We do it, no-one else. Often I think life is too fast for most of us. We have no time to smell the roses, let alone to spend time chatting to the person behind the counter. We miss opportunities daily as a result.
Therein lies the infinite possibility. Imagine walking or driving or flying through life with your eyes wide open to all things around you, with a yearning to learn, open to possibilities.
How would that be instead of the norm at high speed rushing to the next appointment?
How would it be to see the world as we did when we were children, a little naive I hear you say. I imagine that if we were to see the world as we would like it to be whilst engaged with our experience and wisdom, we may have a different experience. A combination of real and idealism I call The Real Ideal.
There it is on the big screen, your movie, your life. Just imagine it. You are the director of your Real Ideal.
Now, what do you leave on the cutting room floor? Which scenes would you reshoot? we all have those.
What is the second half of the movie about? Is it a docudrama where the protagonist breaks through from a life wasted to a life lived well?
For many of us, our experience of life is too familiar, too comfortable and too boring.
The only way I know to begin is to just start, to do something each day to create the world I want to live in.
What we imagine, believe in and act on, must come to pass.
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