How to be a (Conscious) Mountain Biker (Human Being)

I needed something light today – and this video always makes me laugh. I love mountain biking – and the mountains have been saving my ass from my own grief and sadness these last couple of months (and especially these last couple of days).

So grateful for the earth and the pines.

Despite the mountains and their healing powers, I’ve been almost paralyzed with anguish over the deaths of my two lovely, generous, kind friends Glenn and Patricia. They took their own lives over endless spiraling debt – and oh! If I (and so many of us) had known what they were going through we would have helped. They helped so many people! Oh! Oh! Oh!

timeless place © 2017 Holly TroyThe mountains have been reminding me how insignificant we are.

While taking in more horror watching the neo-Nazi movement unfolding (as if movements like Black Lives Matter and Standing Rock aren’t proof enough that racism is out of control in this country), I realized I needed to do something with the violence and misery I’ve been witnessing and feeling and absorbing – otherwise be useless. I remembered a practice called Tonglen – it’s a meditation where you breathe in pain and suffering (of the world) and you breathe out love and compassion (to the world). Something shifted in my heart while I was meditating – breathing love and compassion is allowing for more spaciousness inside of me.

It’s a start.

“To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places (and there are so many) where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.” -Howard Zinn, patriot, historian, and author

I am waking from a wretched stupor of emotional paralysis. I am willing to live “in defiance of all that is bad around us,” and to have gratitude for all that is good. In my heart and soul, they are the only choices I have.