Cycle Much?

Image by Lauren Ellis

The tires on my bike are flat. I have yet to pump them up from their very long Winter's rest. The day will come, though, when I inflate them and off I go... down the wide, carefree, kick-the-can streets of my childhood. Hopping on a bike is a direct transport to FEELING free, adventurous & mischievous. 

While I relish the feelings that pedaling on a bicycle brings I'm not an avid bi-cyclist. I am, however, in training for the Olympic Cycling Team of LIFE. Have you noticed that Life asks us to ride the cycles of emotions, aging, hormones, seasons, relationships?  We are all in flow, in flux, in some cycle -both grand and small - in every moment. 

The silly thing, though, is that I forget that I cycle.  Do you forget? When you're in the midst of the 'funk' do you forget that you've been there before? Do you forget that it will pass? Do your thoughts begin to run amuck?  I forget that I don't have to 'know how' to get out of it. I forget that these 'unpleasant' cycles are part of a process of deeper integration and higher levels of functioning. I forget that I am intrinsically designed to cycle, to flow, to learn & to grow. We were  made to get high & to get low. There are seasons of flourishing and seasons of decline. We must pass through the dark, slight of Winter before we arrive, once more, in the exuberant arms of Spring.

In the 'low' times it's as if the goodness, beauty & love in my life are eclipsed by being in that 'uncomfortable' place. I get anxious. I panic... when will this end? Why am I here AGAIN? What's wrong with me? What should I DO?  My thoughts go on a wild midnight ride of their own recklessly zig-zagging through the dark alleys and potholes of my psyche. At these times I do not feel free, adventurous nor mischievous. In such times the joys of coasting evaporate and life feels like a steep hill. 

I am learning the art of acceptance. 

And, you, how do you cycle? Do you feel sad at the lessening of day light hours? Do you experience a paralysis in the dark, house-bound days of winter?? Or, maybe, you expand & breathe more deeply as Autumn wafts in. Do your insides clap & dance and  march towards the stark, crisp days of Winter?  Does the approach of Spring bring dread? Do you have obsessive thinking in the morning but by mid-day the fog burns off and you feel present, clear & grounded? There are countless ways in which we cycle. For some of us the cycles are more dramatic, more visceral, more disruptive to optimal functioning.  For others, the cycles of living are more muted, less demanding.

No right. No wrong. Just complexity, uniqueness, & learning. 

In some ways, it's easier for me to understand and accept that the subtle shifts in Nature directly impact physiology, emotions & the spirit. Chinese Medicine provides a spiritual, scientific & philosophic context in which I understand my connection to the whole.  It's the days, though, when I'm in a seemingly inexplicable  'funk' that it's harder to practice acceptance because the mind wants to figure it out...

I am learning the art of acceptance.  I find it to be the best slow-burning fuel during days of intense 'uphill' training.  We are all in flow, in flux, in some cycle -both grand and small - in every moment. The forgetting and remembering is another cycle of being human that we move in and out of. The invitation is to draw the circle around myself large enough that it includes all phases of the waxing and waning of my being. Day in... day out. Month in...month out. 

Keep on pedaling my friend. You'll be coasting again before you know it. You got this!!!

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