Peeling back a corner of the universe to glimpse the utter chaos that lies behind.
Apr 6, 2010
A Meandering Post on I'm Not Sure What...
The notion of personal power has been on my mind lately. I have been doing some integrative bodywork (a combination of traditional massage with a light smattering of energy work) and I am also working my way through a book called The Anatomy of the Spirit that deals with energy in the body (call it your spirit, call it chakras, call it the Tree of Life, call it whatever you like).
I am not a big new-ager, but as skeptical as I can be, I have to admit that there is something to be said for paying attention to personal energy. It seems rather obvious that I have been less than a good steward of my energy at times, and that being a little more mindful of this can make a big difference in quality of life and relationships. A corollary of “energy mindfulness” is that by paying attention to one’s personal energy a little more, it helps to build self-esteem and a sense of being able to do things – in other words, it’s empowering.
While driving back from my parent’s house this weekend, my spouse called to ask if the neighbor’s daughter could borrow one of my bikes to ride around the lakes. “Absolutely”, I said. I suggested that we loan her the mountain bike because it’s got a quick release seat post and would be more comfortable for her than a road bike. My wife fit the bike to her and even added a padded seat cover to the saddle. Unfortunately, she never went for that ride. I don’t know if it was a bike-fit issue, but given the size of the frame, I doubt it; I suspect it was a sense that she was not confident because she saw herself as “not athletic” or something and mentally talked herself out of it before she started.
That’s too bad – I think she would have been able to do this and would probably have had fun if she didn’t let her expectations get in the way. In a recent MBL post somebody started entitled “Why do you Ride?” a few themes emerged that speak to this point. A number of replies made the point that it’s simply fun to ride your bike, or that it’s good exercise, but a large number of responses made the point that it’s empowering to get somewhere under your own steam, it’s good therapy, and it shuts one’s mind off.
That’s not to say you need a bike to do this kind of work. I think anything physical and slightly challenging that affords an opportunity to improve would probably fit the bill here. It’s just that bikes are easy because almost everyone has one laying around, and as the saying goes, you never really forget how to ride a bike.