Bicycle Diaries: Life Lessons from Two Wheels

If you pay close attention, biking can teach you lots about life. I use my two wheels to go to business meetings, grocery shopping, taking my kid to school, (he on his and me on mine.) I ride it for fitness and just plain fun. Along with my toothbrush, camera and laptop, my bike comes with me on most of my travels too. On some days, the insights have been so profound that I've felt like Che Guevarra on my two wheels. And while I am not about to start socialist revolutions, the internal shifts that I've experienced toiling around on two wheels have been personally revolutionary. These lessons have been transformative and I've been able to apply to love and life:

Finding grace in times of loss or keeping it together when s*it goes down

"Dis-aster means "from the stars," indicating a long held belief that bad things happen for reasons known by the heavens." -- from "Sacred Contracts" by Carolyn Myss

I was awed to find out that a synonym for disaster is an "act of God." How many times in life do we suffer setbacks and losses only to discover that behind the catastrophe something divine was waiting for us? Of course, during the not-so-good times it hardly feels celestial. Who can feel the holy at work when getting fired from a job, diagnosed with an incurable disease, suffer an accident or lose a loved one? Few people say thank you when disaster strikes. And though I do know a few folks who do feel grateful when bad things happen, I am not one of them--at least not yet.

Seven Steps to a Hard Conversation

How do you navigate a difficult conversation when you're about to tell someone that they are being selfish, ass-holey, nasty, bitchy, or a danger to themselves? Do you trouble yourself if you don't have faith that it will change the situation or behavior? Do you just walk away and let the person self-destruct or destroy the relationship? Hard conversations are delicate and challenging and all of us--at some point or points in our lives--have to have them. They are inescapable and part of living life as a grown up!
"You can only perceive the beauty that lives outside you when you feel the beauty that lives inside you." -- from the Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz

Don't fear your shadows, embrace them

It was Carl Jung who mainstreamed the idea of the shadow, the dark parts of our lives that exist in all of us, but few acknowledge. Even Mother Theresa had shadows. I never met her but I can guarantee that she was not an angel. What I suspect is that she chose to feed the more angelic parts of her multidimensional existence. And what we got was a gift of a human being.

Seven ways to make eating a more sensual experience

Eating is one of the most sensual experiences that we do on a daily basis. But, you'd never know it  from observing the way most Americans eat. One of my favorite chefs, the late Maximo Tejada, who created this delicious delicacy you see photographed here used to tell me that he wanted to give diners an orgasm through the palate. And from his delectable creations, he did.

Who you are today is not set in stone

Maya Angelou says that when people reveal themselves,  believe them. At every moment, whether people are looking, or not, we reveal much of ourselves. Watch and learn about yourself and those in your space.

The teacher who is close by...

In sanskrit, the word is called upaguru. The idea is that anyone can serve as our teacher and gift us exactly what spirit wants us to learn. During the 21-Day meditation challenge Free to Love that just ended there were many beautiful lessons. One of the most important meditations was the one where the theme of upaguru was explored.

"What we are told as children is that people, when they walk on the land, leave their breath wherever they go. So wherever we walk, that particular spot on the earth never forgets us, and when we go back to these places, we know the people who have lived there are in some way still there, and that we can actually partake of their breath and their spirit." Rina Swentzell, Santa Clara Pueblo

"The only way to master love is to practice love." Don Miguel Ruiz

"We can talk about love and write a thousand books about it, but love will be completely different for each of us because we have to experience love. Love is not about concepts: love is about action. Love in action can only produce happiness..."                    

 From The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz

Falling in love with change

During the Free to Love 21-day meditation challenge today change was in the air. It made me think about a beautiful butterfly I saw recently.