Blood, Sweat & Tears!
Updated: Aug 5, 2019
While there has not been too much blood spilt, there has been plenty of sweat & tears. Most people would think that the worst part of this journey would be the physical pain and aches. This may be true some of the time, not all the time. It all depends on your state of mind and how you think. Whether you respond to pain as soon as you notice it or sit with pain and listen to what your body is trying to tell you. I believe if you think something is hard or painful it will be. Where attention goes energy flows, someone else said that, not me, totally agree though. I have experimented with this along with slowing my breath and deep breathing. I have been doing this most of my life along with positive self talk. I didn’t pay for any courses or speak with guru’s. Mostly I did my own research and put the power of my breath to the test. It is hard to put into words how I have developed.
Everything I do is experimental, tried and tested. I’ve had my share of melt downs and negative self talk that always took me away from my true self and distracted me from my learning. The bad days inevitably show me what I can overcome and achieve, and this is what always keeps me going. Why is this important? Well if I was not who I am right now, I doubt my ability to ride a fully loaded purpose built bike through this country. The physical pain Is manageable. Our mind is an amazing tool and so is the body as I am discovering. Silencing the mind is another lesson to learn and has been a constant struggle in my endeavour to be at peace. We can talk ourself into or out of anything . Emotional pain is an inside job, though if not managed, it will be reflected on the physically body .
This is the first time in our shared life that we have spent 24,7 together. In saying that we do spend at least 4-6 hours apart while we are riding and that leaves us to ponder our private inner world. I have one unanswered question at this point. Why am I doing this? Or, do I know but I can’t hear through all the inner noise in my head that keeps me distracted. When we have had a difficult day for example, riding into a head wind with cars, caravans, campers or boats that go flying by covering us in bull dust and we can only manage 8 kms p/hr completing 40 odd kms, I struggle with maintaining a positive attitude. I become distracted by the dust in my eyes and nose and struggle to breath. This triggers me to respond in a ranting manner about how careless some drivers can be and lack of consideration of other road users totally loosing my focus. I have also noticed that if J is also struggling then I am more easily distracted or triggered. This means that when we get to our destination we are more likely to buy a meal that was not intended or eat a bag of lollies or generally, over eat. This might not seem like a tragedy to you, though it is to us.
We attempt to be conscious of everything we do or choose. The point is when we struggle with our emotions we are triggered into responding and forget who or what we are doing. We do or say things we wouldn’t usually. Then I focus my attention on negative self talk reprimanding myself for over indulging. As time goes on I am learning to be gentle and kind to myself and use positive self talk, we are after all a work in progress. There is not much we can do about the road conditions, how people choose to drive or what kind of weather we face day to day. We can however reflect and choose to handle the situation differently next time. Remembering that when we first started 8 kms p/h only got us about 15 kms down the road and I was sore all over. Now 40kms is a marked improvement. I can stop the bike, let the dust settle and inhale a few slow deep breaths and allow my mind calm. Or lay under a tree for an hour or two and have a nap and let the crazy world pass me by. I can also remind myself that we are not in a hurry and have plenty of time to work through what is going on in my head. Worst case, we can (and have) also yelled out loud until our heart is content as it gets the frustration out of our body and there is no-one out here to offend or pass judgement on our little meltdown moment. Or we can deal with this by riding hard & fast exhausting the mind and body in the process. This makes for better sleep that night.
We have found that when talking with other travellers or being in the energy of people around us who are destination travelling we easily slip into that flow. Meaning when people are sharing where they are going or where they hope to be today, we can become caught up in their destination and not our own. A great example is when we were going to Lawn Hill National Park (LNHP). When in Karumba everyone was off to LHNP the next day, so were we, difference being it was taking us longer than a day. From then on we heard about LHNP for the next 25 days. This created some anxiety within me and I felt like we were never going to get there. I became caught up in the destination and needed to lovingly remind myself of where I was and where I was going, not concerning myself with where others were going or what they were doing. I started to forget what I was doing and question why I was doing what I was doing. This has been a hard lesson and something for us to be mindful about. This was a challenging period of time for both of us, combined with average roads and poor weather conditions gave us plenty of time to think on the bike and that feeds into the emotional exhaustion.
We need to feel more of our emotions so they can be brought to the surface for us to deal with in a healthy positive manner or enjoy as required. We need to be more responsible for ourselves emotionally, not just physically. This realisation came to us when we swapped the pedals for a paddle at LHNP. Sitting on the water amongst an ancient landscape gently paddling with the flow of the river allowed us the space and time to really feel responsible for ourselves in every way and to gently heal. We know how to manage our physical bodies, when we are sore we stop and rest. If our mind is tired we do the same. The emotions are where the challenge really lies as it ties the other two aspects in together. Through all this we are seeing and feeling more of this country with our hearts than we realised possible. We never thought riding a bike would lead us to such deep awarenesses of oneself and who we really are, for that we are truly grateful. This goes some way to answer the question of why am I doing this.