I tend to start my ponderings with a look-back. After all, the present moment is simply an amalgamation of an infinite number of moments leading up to it. (Remind me to tell you about the “panes of glass” image.) So, 2015 was a year of learning and changing. I left behind those things about my character that I was finding to be unhelpful for me (and others, mostly.) And began new practices and new cycles of thoughts. Positive cycles of thoughts.
We don’t realize just how powerful our thoughts are. We don’t always realize how much control we could have over them. And by extension, we don’t always keep a firm grasp on our words, which are essentially the translation of those thoughts into speech. And as such, we tend to get stuck in negative feedback loops and thought cycles. This includes speaking the thoughts aloud. Some examples include: “I should have done that,” or “I’m not very good at this.” On occasion, these are simply descriptive utterances, but most often they can also be representative of something deeper. “I should have” might imply regret, while “I’m not very good” might represent a low self-confidence. But wait–Cary, weren’t you confident? Weren’t you overly and incorrigibly confident? Yes, but I not on all levels.
It only took the repeated words of a man who became my friend and mentor towards the end of last year, who goes by LoveJoy, to shake me out of it:
“Quit sh*tting on yourself.”
I had heard the phrase “Don’t beat yourself up.” I had even used it. But like so many other things I learn in a short period of time the past year, it does not matter how many times I hear something. When my soul is ready to learn a lesson, it clicks. Or rather, it smacks! The common expression is, “when the student is ready, the master will appear.” That’s true again and again, for lessons and people. In this case it was self-deprecation, and the teacher was an old hippie who calls himself LoveJoy.
That was one of many lessons learned toward the end of last year. It caused a deep shift in me, and I believe leaving Whidbey Island on February 3rd began to cement those changes.
So my attitude has improved, what now?
Lots of rain.
Getting soaked through every single layer of clothing in just above freezing temperatures.
Hiking out to a remote part of a beach in the rainiest corner of the lower 48 in low tide, only to have to hike back to the road in ice cold mid-high tide (scenes in the video. I fell in face first, too, with the weight of the unicycle pinning me down.)
Wet, wind, and rain. These were my teachers for the first part of my exit from the Puget Sound. I rode out to the northwesternmost point in the lower 48: Cape Flattery, at Neah Bay, WA. From there I continued around and down the Olympic (Kitsap) Peninsula.
From there, it brightened up and led to some of the most beautiful coastal scenery I’ve ever seen in my life. I met several lovely people along the way, many who hosted or helped or befriended me. One I rode with for over a week, named Keef, had flown out to Portland to pick up a custom bike. He was riding down the coast before turning inland to return to his home state of Michigan.
This video contains much of what I saw and experienced along the way. I experimented this time with artful shots and no narration. I hope you all enjoy it!
Oh yeah-panes of glass. Imagine that each moment of your life, and there are infinite consecutive moments, is a pane of glass. Each has a slightly different color. You see the world and also your previous panes through the tint of the current one. You are sitting atop a pile of them, perhaps, each moment growing the pile one thickness more. Each moment has a different color, but so does the combination of it with your past. (Think “rose-colored glasses,” and how that might affect your perception, but with other “colors,” too.) Instead of thinking of time as linear, and thinking “now” as separate from “then,” we can think of it as accumulative. All your past actions led you to who you are today. So, make your current actions reflect where you would like to be lead in the future.
Until next time,
I see you.