When my sister Carol and niece Jessica visited in June, Jessica told me she had a large rug that would fit beautifully in my home. I trust Jess to know my taste in home furnishings so I said thank you and made a date to visit. This past Friday I made the trip and came home with the perfect addition to my new home (well, it’s only been four months).
Carol invited me to go on her favorite bike ride with her and that of course was in perfect alignment with my move more theme for this past week. I drove up the night before so we could take an early morning ride. Carol borrowed a friend’s bicycle and Barbie Helmet for me and Friday morning we set out to see Valley Forge National Park. All I can say is, “What a ride!”
I can’t remember the last time I was on a bike and never (even as a child) have I ridden SEVEN miles on a bicycle. I think I was putting my helmet on when Carol shared there would be two bastard hills to climb. I figured if she could do it, I could do it, and told her to lead the way…
Valley Forge National Park is really quite beautiful. There is much to see when not holding onto handle bars with dear life, huffing and puffing up hills, or yelling, “Crazy person on bicycle on your left!” to people who are walking the path and need to get out of the way! We stopped for some photo ops like this one of the Carillon:
Carol is a member of the Washington Memorial Chapel and volunteers at the Cabin Shop. Our plan was to ride to the shop, stop in and say hi to Pam (and thank her for the bike/helmet) and then go home, shower, have lunch with Jess and the boys, load the rug, and head home.
Of course, there was the matter of those (did she say only TWO?) bastard hills! I quickly realized that I am WAY OUT OF MY SISTER’S LEAGUE when it comes to bike riding! That said, she was a great sport and didn’t mind reaching her goals (make it up the hill without stopping, then wait for me) while I accomplished my goals (whatever it takes to make it up those hills!) I did a lot of riding and a LOT of walking – knowing I could walk with the bike faster than I could ride up the hill and being unwilling to struggle (didn’t I just right about that?) I did whatever it took. The best part of the ride was flying down the hills (once I made it to the top) and squealing like a six year. It felt good to play!
Fortunately for me we made many stops along the way and my favorite of course was visiting with Pam and picking up some delicious and fresh jams/preserves: I have no idea how long it took us to complete the route. It usually takes Carol 40 minutes. I think it was at least twice that for us but we did the entire 7 miles and once home, gave ourselves a BIG HIGH FIVE to celebrate what to me was a huge accomplishment. Once again, I found it’s not about how others do it but about how I do it ~ how I honor my own needs by letting go of the voices in my head that say I should ride, not walk or I should be in better shape. I had a fabulous time, received a great workout, and I DID IT!
Today I’m starting the free program offered by Denise Linn that I shared with you a few days ago. Well, the program actually begins on August 1st but I want to get started with the workbook. Denise has provided free .mp3 meditations and her workbook is filled with questions that I believe will help me focus more on my intention for this summer’s journey and also help me better understand why some habits and routines are more difficult to shift than others. I’m coming to the end of my first (of three) month and I’m doing well. I’ve released four pounds in one month which my friend Kellee will tell me is right on point. As I’ve mentioned before, I have to remind myself that I’m not losing weight but releasing fat once and for all – that slow process of flowing with change. That said though, I’m reconsidering some of my initial plans.
Eating every day at Breathe Bookstore Cafe isn’t working out for me. The food is delicious and I love eating on the wrap-a-round porch. But I need more variety of Kapha balancing foods. The foods still aren’t labeled and juices aren’t offered every day. Those were the two main components of my plan to eat there every day. I’ve found other restaurants like Sweet 27 and Meet 27, that offer vegetarian/vegan/gluten free options and now that I have a house mate for a short while (that’s another story,) I have a refrigerator full of farm fresh produce she picks up weekly. I’ve decided to start cooking again and balancing cooking for myself and eating out. Now that I know where the healthy options are available, I can make smart choices. And by cooking at home, I can more closely follow an Ayurvedic eating plan. It’s also a nice way to take care of myself – by using the freshest, local, organic veggies and making myself delightfully tasty and healthy meals.
My biggest challenge continues to be getting enough movement into my day. And I’m finding that because I’m not walking to Breathe for my meals, I’m not walking as much as I want. So this week I’m going to change my walking plans to get more of a fitness walk. I also plan to end any eating by 6pm. I go to bed early and I naturally feel and sleep better when my body isn’t focused on digesting food. So this week I am going to:
Cook more meals for myself ~ Take fitness walks ~ Stop eating by 6pm – Follow the guidance/answer the questions in the Letting Go; Step Into the Flow workbook.