Mindfulness on the bike

Day 271 of #LiveWell2017

Day 271 biking presencePhoto by William Hook on Unsplash

This morning, my Facebook feed told me that on this day in 2009, I posted an article right here on this blog entitled “Appreciating the Present.” I re-read that article and was astounded at how much it sounded like something I might write today. You can read it here, if you want. I guess I really have been working on this “being in the moment” stuff for a while now. I hope I’ve gotten better at it, but I know I still have a lot of work to do.

Today, for instance, we took our mountain bikes out for the first time since moving to NC and rode a nice, easy trail, as mountain bike trails go. On one of the uphill stretches, I was huffing and puffing and started thinking “how much longer up this hill?” kind of thoughts. At that exact moment the meditation app on my phone dinged – a reminder that it was time for me to meditate. Ha! I laughed out loud and immediately began to breathe deeper, focus on pushing those peddles, embrace the physical effort, and enjoy my ride.

The other day someone told me that she found it difficult to be present during the days when life sort of takes over. I get that. We are so programmed to act and react, to be busy, to do things, and to think, that it is hard to stay present, appreciate the moment and respond instead of react. Even when I’m out having fun, like riding my bike today, I tend to be thinking about future and past. We aren’t supposed to be present every single moment (unless you’re Buddha himself), but we can return to the present, to the moment, to the now, more often and more easily when we practice it regularly.

Practicing and writing about being here now has helped me. I am far from expert, but it is easier now than it was a year ago because I am training my mind to create those moments of quiet, those opportunities to be here rather than somewhere else. It’s not about perfection, it’s about practice. I can be mindful on my bike or anywhere. And having an app to remind me doesn’t hurt either 🙂

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