Little Jersey trail meandered around Lum’s Pond State Park in Delaware offering an adventure for our morning eight mile bike ride. The route began on a narrow, sandy path that was bordered by row upon row of rye grass waving in the breeze. The scene was so reminiscent of my grandparents farm and fields. I was aware of this sweet memory from the past as I pedaled into the woods. Due to the seven inches of rain from a recent storm, the trail was challenging in places. Fresh tire marks tracked deep into the mud as we entered the forest section of the trail. I played it safe and dismounted from my bike, preferring to walk around the obstacles. What was most prominent throughout this bike ride was how changeable the landscape was. We passed tall pine forests with barely any light shining through to open fields baking in the early morning sun. Once the pond came into view, we witnessed fish slapping at the edges of the rusty colored pond water in pursuit of the bugs skittering at the surface. The bike surface was hard-packed gravel in places and other sections were teeming with tree roots criss-crossing the area. Just like life itself, the path and surrounding beauty had a fluidity of its own. I noticed my wanting the path to be the easy hard-packed, dry surface instead of full of roots or slippery with crevices of mud. As soon as I became aware of my “clinging”, I then challenged myself to notice what new experiences I could have in the other terrains. Instead of resisting and tightening my muscles while gritting my way to the other side, could I let go and flow with the changing surface? What I discovered was that there was a measure of thrill of being able to stay upright as my wheels slipped and slid through the heavy, wet mud or bumped precariously over the knotted roots. Could I meet each new twist and turn on the path and adjust my gears, my pace, and my attitude accordingly? I improved this practice as the miles unfolded and once again was reminded how when we can lean into the present moment and flow with what is around us, it makes for easier going. Are there experiences in your life that you tighten against? Would it be possible to live it a different way? You might be delightfully surprised with what you discover by adopting this new way of flowing with life.
Where is your mind right now? Without judging the findings, chances are you may have been thinking about something in the future or trying to resolve something from the past.
We are hard-wired to scan for problems and threats. Research shows that we spend about 50% of our waking hours in this state of mind called the default mode network.
There is another way though and that is with mindfulness; being present to more moments of your day without judgmentas you live them. Is this a day that you can tip the scales and be present more than 50% of the time to what is happening, as it is happening?? You may be surprised with how wonderful it feels to live more of your moments fully.