Friday, August 21, 2015

The Lessons I Learned On A Bike Ride

I went for a bike ride this morning. As I was huffing and puffing up the final hill, I was reminded of the parallels between riding and life.

I love to bike ride. I always have. A bicycle was my main means of transportation throughout college and graduate school. One of my fondest memories from grad school is riding down the middle of a wide-laned Nebraska street at 2:00 am with friends, heading to a late-night cast party. The freedom, the joy.

Lately, I haven't given myself permission to ride. I have a myriad of reasons. It takes too much time to put the bike in the car (I have a wonderful Dahon folding bike), the Teen needs the car and he'll only be here for a few more weeks, the trail (I usually ride the Schuylkill River Trail) isn't really that challenging, the trail will be crowded, and the last, the best – I'm out of shape and will disappoint myself.

How much like life is that?

  • not enough time
  • someone else goes before me
  • not enough challenge
  • too many others doing the same thing
  • I will disappoint myself

Sound familiar? It's much like our creative lives, isn't it? I won't start writing that play today because I don't have time. I won't reach out to that potential client because my children need me to drive them to their friend's house. I won't go to that audition because that company is too small. I won't put my recent song on YouTube because everybody does that. I won't leave my downer job because the next one will be just as disappointing.

Thinking, and then responding a different way can be a challenge.  We get caught in patterns, and even if we don't like the pattern, we stay with it.  Creativity demands that we bust out of the patterns, particularly the ones that don't serve us well.

I know it can feel challenging to bust these patterns.  I did it this morning.  So can you.

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