Through this series of blogs, I explore the process I went through before leaving the legal profession as an attorney and jumping on a plane to Europe for an adventure that led me deep into my own subconscious.
I lost my ambition. The drive to get up and go to work faded into the background. It was replaced by a desire to simply lay in bed. Do nothing. Go nowhere.
A mild depression set in. While I was beyond grateful for the temporary home offered me while my own was reconstructed after the flood, it wasn’t mine. The creature comforts I was used to were gone.
One afternoon, I saw an old bike sitting in the owner’s garage. Something about it drew me in. Years had passed since I hoisted myself up on a bike seat. Memories flashed in my mind of learning how to ride a bike as a young child.
As my dad stood to my side encouraging me, I lifted my feet onto the pedals and pushed with all my might. Instinctively, my right hand reached toward the mailbox and used it to gain momentum. It worked. My feet kept spinning around and around in circles. I felt free as a bird when I flew down a hill, the wind racing at my back.
Freedom. A hunger rose in my chest. Yes, that is what I wanted.
After getting permission, I rolled the old bike out of the garage and onto the street. A mailbox stood nearby, just in case.
My feet lifted off the ground. Familiar circles took me all around the neighborhood. It was exactly the medicine I needed. A couple months later, after moving back into my own home, a bike sale took place down the street. I couldn’t help myself. When I wandered over and stared at the bikes, I felt like a kid in a candy store. It didn’t matter that I really had no idea what I was looking for. Pretty much any bike would do, as long as it fit my body, wasn’t too heavy, and had easy to reach handlebars.
Less than an hour later, I had my first adult bike. That was in April. Less than a week later, I found myself excitedly gushing to a coworker, Carrie, about my new purchase.
“My husband and I just signed up for a 100-mile charity bike ride,” she replied. “It’s in September. Care to join us?”
September was less than five months away. I’d barely ridden more than five miles on my 30-year old bike (it was “vintage”). But in that moment, it didn’t matter. I needed a challenge. A goal. A purpose. Something to create meaning in my life again. Some way to get out of the incessant questioning and emptiness I felt. Without hesitation, I accepted her offer.
I needed a challenge. A goal. A purpose. Something to create meaning in my life again. Some way to get out of the incessant questioning and emptiness I felt. Without hesitation, I accepted her offer.
Carrie and I began to train together after work. We drove out to the countryside where the roads were less crowded. The first ride was 10 miles. I’d been a regular gym goer and had taken my fair share of spin classes, so it wasn’t as if I had to start from scratch. Riding outdoors was a very different experience, however. I loved it. I soaked up every single minute on the bike.
The views were gorgeous. The air was fresh. The roads long and monotonous enough to put me in a meditative state. It was different than sitting meditation, yet just as fulfilling. Total silence permeated me. My mind and body worked in harmony. The repetitive motion meant I could zone in, rather than focus externally. In other words, I was totally and completely present with myself. The chatter, the worries, and the desperation began to disappear.
Carrie and I slowly increased our weekly rides to 10 miles to 15, then 20, and eventually 30. On the weekends, we went on even longer rides and explored new territory. The first time we biked 50 miles, we celebrated with wine and Mexican food in our bike clothes. By that point, I had traded in my used bike for a new road bike with shoes I could “clip” into the pedals. I even sported actual bike shorts with cushion in the back.
September came upon us. We were ready. The goal was not to win or be the fastest. Carrie and I were concerned purely with our own enjoyment. Her husband rode ahead of us most of the time but joined us for lunch. The ride took us from Rock Hill, SC to Greenville, SC. The last hill before the finish line was the most treacherous of all. Several people in front of me got off their bikes to walk up the hill. I couldn’t. Not when we were so close.
With every bit of determination I could muster, I pushed hard on the pedals until I passed under the finish line. My watch read 103.1 miles. To say that I was elated would be an understatement.
If I could do that, I could do anything.
I could make it through other challenges. I could set my sights high and keep them there. A power existed within me to do and have what I wanted. It was deeper than the kind of power I had known before.
While riding, I had settled into myself in a new way. Even though I was technically “doing something,” I was mostly sitting with myself for hours on end. Literally. The world passed by me, and I simply watched it all take place.
My inner world began to reveal itself. There was a self. An intrinsic part of me that had nothing to do with what I was doing. Some call it the “observer.” “The soul.” “The higher self.” The part that exists beyond the world of form. This part is the essential ingredient for understanding the truth of our existence. If we don’t access it, then form envelops us. It begins to rule and dictate our choices and the path we choose. But we were never meant to get lost in it. Only to use it. Create it. Experience it.
It’s not a coincidence, then, what happened next. The rest of the story, however, will have to wait until next week’s post. In the meantime, I encourage you to play in your own inner world. Don’t know how? Put your questions below or reach out to me. Better yet, join me live on Facebook next Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at 3 p.m. on The Path to Sovereignty page. It is www.facebook.com/thepathtosovereignty. Can’t wait to see you!
© Jessica Falcon 2020.