Introduction: Transition Grief Through Bicycle Riding

I was recently speaking to a friend of mine about what got me 'hooked' on bicycle riding.  There is the obvious, wind in your hair, seemingly to defy gravity, whisking about town as you wish.  I would far prefer to bicycle to work, to be outside - than to ever join a gym.  I lived in Los Angeles for years simply using the bus system and my bicycle.  I have so many breathtaking memories just along the Venice beach path, and as much gratitude.

But I realize by far the most powerful experiences, the most useful gift I ever received through the bicycle, was the ability to transition and cleanse out a deep sense of grief in my life.  

It was way better than traditional therapy too.  Cause it's somatic therapy.

I was coming to terms with some gnarly dynamics of abuse from my childhood.  I'd go for this bike ride from Marina Del Rey to Manhattan beach everyday. The bike path snakes through the Harbour passing the floating dry docked boats, and the boats snuggled into the blue sea of the harbour, so it's got this poetry about it.  Then into the gorgeous expanse of beaches creating the Dockweiler park down to Manhattan and back.

In Chinese Medicine, spirituality is composed as a quintet, each spirit with an emotion related to an organ.  The lungs resonate with the emotion of grief, named Po.  When I was cycling, I'd breath deeply, bring up what pained me, and start crying relatively quietly or full on bawling.  I'd wear huge bee eye sun glasses and kept it moving, so nobody around me really knew what was happening except to see me blow my nose.  It was awesome!  I felt so much better afterwards, so much lighter.  I did this for a year, I felt like twenty years of emotional baggage were lifted off of me.

I highly recommend it.  Depression is also a somatic experience, where people don't breathe deeply, and then the depression becomes both emotional and physical.  When you begin to really breathe deeply, all the emotions come up.  It's a courageous act of self-ownership and love. It's worth it to allow yourself to feel the pain, cry, and transition it out of you.   

What was also fascinating to me, the friend I was speaking with, had a similar experience.  Bicycling had also allowed him to gain perspective, healing, on a personal matter that had caused great sadness in his life. 

So there it is, do and bring:

- a bicycle with beautiful bike path
- ideally music that helps you feel the emotions of whatever you're dealing with
- huge sunglasses
- tissues, your going to need em!
- Breath deep, and get gone for two hours
- say goodbye to some somatic trauma and emotional baggage
 - yee haw!

Comments

author
Woodenbikes (author)2012-08-25

Thanks for posting this important, helpful instructable!
janaya14, you are my new hero!
People need constructive ways to deal with powerful emotions and you provide a great one here.

For me, I needed a wide open road where I could really pour on the power and ride all out for an hour or two at a time. I like the sunglasses and Kleenex suggestion. I wore a long sleeve sweatshirt. The kind with the cylindrical nose wiper on each forearm. Aka sleeves. The bike therapy helped with endorphins, and a renewed self esteem of accomplishment plus lots of fresh air and a change of scenery. Ride on!

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