Easy Rider, Easy

A friend recently asked me what type of motorbike my husband owns. “A black one,” I replied with the blunt voice of the ‘reluctant pillion.’ I am one of those, ‘hold on firmly with eyes shut tight’, passengers, particularly when we sweep low around the many bends and turns on the country roads we explore. Neither am I inspired by the numb fingers and toes on frosty morning rides, or the fleeting pungent odour of roadkill in my nostrils.  

My husband loves to ride his motorbike. I hear it in his voice when he is out riding and stops to call me to let me know he’s OK. I hear the exuberance; the sheer delight and pleasure riding gives him.  

I notice how conveniently and quickly I can jump in my car, switch on the ignition and be way down the street by the time he has put on all his gear- a ritual of respectful devotion to all that is required to ride, safely and well. He has a routine that works, as I have learned after the frustration of attempting to switch up the order, only to find you cannot put a helmet on while sunnies are still on your face. Gloves always go on last, just in case something on the helmet or gear needs a final tug or tweak. The ritual makes sense.

And so, from time to time, we ride. And yes, honestly, it is a bit scary, but exhilarating all the same!

I do it because he asks me. Not often, as he knows how it is for me. But he asks with hope in his eyes, and I become the ‘reluctant pillion’ praying for a safe, smooth ride with a seriously good coffee and lunch somewhere along the journey to ease my tension.

He has passed that love onto his sons and again my mother’s protective heart kicks in and I wonder. I wonder.

I wonder why, for some of us, riding a motorbike seems such a daunting and frightening experience to be avoided, while for others it is a sheer delight. I can see the love of the risk, the thrill of finding a new ‘great route’ to master, the pushing to the edge to find what bike and rider can accomplish together. I get it. In this area of physical safety, I am not a girl who likes to go to the edge and push to see how fast or far I can go. My husband and sons on the other hand, thrive, come alive and celebrate life every time they ride.

I love that about them and while my heart and mind have to process all the ‘what if’s’ every time they ride, I do appreciate and accept it is something they want, need, must do.

But go to the edge I must, if I am to grow. I wonder what my edge of risk is? What areas of life I am exhilarated, inspired and enlivened by? I know that if I am to grow as a person, learn what I can achieve, I need to go there. Otherwise, life remains safe, predicable, unchangeable, full of possibility and potential, but not fully realised.

Life is like a ten-speed bike. Most of us have gears we never use! Charles M. Schultz

My husband and sons inspire and encourage me to go through all the gears of life and invite me to motorbike ride, mountain bike ride (dodging trees and rocks down a steep hill, and yes I hit the dirt), surf, (such a great feeling to stand up on a board), go to a screamer band rock concert, (got stuck in a mosh pit) and learn to laugh, love and live to the fullest even with a niggle of fear tucked away but not holding me back.

What is your edge? What is the place of risk for you? How do you push through fear and do it anyway?  That edge will be different for everyone of us. We all have them, edges that is. Places that trigger fear, anxiety, uncertainty and confusion. The beauty of shared life is that I don’t have to go there alone. My family, my friends and mentors help me see the edge, feel the fear and do it when I’m ready. Maybe one of our first risks is to trust others with our edges, our places where we want to go to but can’t go alone.

So my question is: Where is your edge and who is standing there with you to help?

Isa 54:2 NIV

“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.God asks us to stretch out our tent pegs, do not hold back. Life is risk.

Photos taken by Glen Yeomans Blog: Zed14.com (Iron Butt Rider Legend)

Best Life Together

Even before we say ‘I do’ to our ‘perfect match’ we have a question forming in our mind bursting to the surface with the inevitibility of a balloon under water. It can only be supressed for so long.

‘Do I have what it takes to make this work?’

Until we do life together in the raw beauty of ordinary intimacy we have no mirroring reality of our innate vulnerabilities, hidden strengths, crazy making vagaries, (floor-drobe, skid marks in toilet bowls, noisy eating, oh, and toothpaste squeeze), among other virtues and vices.

Often our families of origin have done their best to reward sociable behaviour and monitor with reasonable humour and tolerance the wayward but loveable delinquent or diva.

Social and emotional development in ‘peer central’, also known as ‘school’, shaped or shattered in turn.

Workplaces either reward viability or quietly move you sideways until the door becomes an obvious point of exit due to ‘downsizing’ of course!

We really don’t have a clue how to answer the question. Who could ever know? Where do we honestly intentionally, impartially and intrinsically learn the vital life skills required to make relationships work for the long haul with satisfaction guaranteed?

Many years ago, my then 16 year old son, came to chat about why he’d just broken up with his girl-friend. ‘Mum,’ he said with a sigh, “Im not ready to be emotionally responsible for someone else.”

Where did such ancient wisdom spring from? Old head on young shoulders indeed. But there is a valuable truth here.

When we say ‘I do’, we are agreeing to bring our ‘best self’ to doing life together. We are agreeing to care, support, share, give, receive, be available, vulnerable, real, responsive and so much more. We are committing to be emotionally responsible for ourselves individually and for us as a couple in order to build a mutually satisfying relationship where we thrive individually and together, seeking to create a loving, nurturing and safe environment for a family to flourish.

Instead of the haphazard hope that life has taught you the skills to make a life together work I recommend you invest in a reality check. Discover together the skills needed to last a lifetime.

Sign up today for our ‘Best Life Together Coaching’. Our coaching is designed for each stage of life together. It’s never too late to learn new skills to add some spark to relationships in transition or provide resources to re-ignite relationships in difficulty.

An investment for a lifetime. You and your partner are worth it. Always.

The Best Season

Ten thousand flowers in spring,
the moon in autumn,
a cool breeze in summer,
snow in winter.
If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things,
this is the best season of your life. Wu-Men

From when the boys were little my husband and I had a habit of going in and checking on them each night before we went to bed. We would stand together at the foot of their beds and just enjoy watching them in peaceful sleep. Every time, we’d whisper to each other, ‘I wish they’d stay this age, it’s just perfect.’ But each year would roll by and we found ourselves wishing they’d stay the same in every delightful stage of their lives, except maybe late teens when we started going to bed before they did cause we could no longer keep the pace.

But I do remember that beautiful sense of enjoying them, loving them and celebrating the season and stage of life they were at, every year. It changed constantly, of course, but we loved the learning, the growing, the adventures, the discoveries, the ups and the downs and still do.

But there were many times and seasons when my mind was clouded by ‘unnecessary’ things and I, like many busy working parents, found myself struggling with anxiety, shame and guilt which blocked my vision, trapped me in damaging mind loops and left me weary to the bone.

In these times of loss of flow, hope and clear thinking I found my mentors to be life changing. I valued their fly on the wall perspective, their gentle but provocative questions, their support as I learned to let go of faulty thinking and their genuine desire to see me enjoy life to the full.

If you are clouded by ‘unnecessary’ and necessary things and desire to re-gain perspective and find the beauty in each season I encourage you to seek out a coach/mentor who can help you see that this could be the best season of your life.

There is a gift in everything if only we’ll see it.

Free initial consult – no obligation

C-Change began out of a belief that people, including myself, can change and can choose to live life well. A belief that we can learn to respond to contexts, circumstances and challenges in more helpful ways.

  • We go to a personal trainer to change our shape, fitness and health.
  • We go to a plastic surgeon to change our appearance.
  • We sign up for courses to acquire new information, learn new skills and position ourselves for new career opportunities.

The very existence of self-help books, counsellors, life coaches, spiritual directors and psychologists gives some clear indication that for the most part we do believe that with the right help we can change.

Change is all around us. Change is something we are doing whether we are aware or not.

C-Change is about helping you notice the changes, respond in helpful and skilful ways to your life challenges /opportunities and provide you with courage, confidence and compassion to continue your life journey well.

Our current unexpected worldwide circumstances are impacting every area of life for us all. A tiny organism is affecting us far beyond the immediate health concerns. 

The ramifications are already being felt in every aspect of life.

You are not alone and yes you are able to change, to respond and pivot in this season with help.

Contact C-Change on the form below for a free first consult to determine how I can help you through this challenging season and prepare for all that is ahead.