Throughout my life I have always enjoyed riding a bike. The joy of riding began when my grandmother would pick me up on her daily bike ride around our small town. Like anything, there have been many moments during my life where I trailed off from my biking, but one way or another, I have always come back to those two wheels. And as of now, I am back in the saddle.
The other day, after a ride with my fiancé, he asked me, "What are you thinking about when you're biking?"
After some thought, I recognized that I use it as a form of meditation. The simplest definition of mediation is to observe your thoughts. I visualize this as if my thoughts are clouds floating by in the sky (thanks HeadSpace App). It isn’t that I am able completely empty my mind, but when thoughts do arise, I acknowledge them and let them continue to float on their way, just like the clouds.
I have never been one for being still and meditating. Instead I enjoy body movement along with my meditation - yoga, dancing, biking, and even working out. By moving with my meditation, I am able to let my thoughts and feelings come and go as they like instead of ruminating on them, which could easily just be my profession.
For my fiancé, he explained, it is just about getting to the next 30 feet. This statement, surprising me how different it was from mine, made me think of a quote by Albert Einstein:
"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving."
For many of us, we are trying to get to the next 30 feet. This may look like trying to get through the next hour, day, or week. We may not think we can make it to the next mile marker, but from our falls, our bruises and scrapes, and our tears we have learned how to balance - and to keep ourselves moving forward. For if we didn't have those falls and "set backs," we would not know what it would feel like to actually be balanced when we finally achieved it.
If you are in a balanced place in your life, know that you have gotten here through your falls, but also your resilience to continue your journey.
However, if you are feeling unbalanced, if you are unsure if you are going to make the next 30 feet, know that if you keep moving, you to will regain your balance.
Written by Natalie Rothwell, LCSW, Substance Abuse Unit Counselor, Focus Treatment Centers, Chattanooga, TN