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Tire Tread for Transitions

I see you, you see me

By Jessica Amber BarnumPublished 2 years ago Updated 2 years ago 5 min read
Tire Tread for Transitions
Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

A Bear in Winter

I am asleep. With autumn’s shorter days and longer nights, transitioning from summer to winter can be a bear. And I feel like a bear! It’s dark and cold in the morning. I’m snuggled under the covers, and mentally I am ready to pop out of bed for the day, but my body is in the thickets of resistance and cringes at the thought of enduring the brrrrr.

Then I think about my mountain bike ride for the day, the trails that are still dry and haven’t been dusted with winter’s flirtations yet, my tire tread rolling, and I feel a current of pizazz elate every cell. My feet make their way to the chill of the wood floor. My eyes adjust to the dark. I imagine I’m a wise owl, my eyes wide and bright like the moon. And I think about the multidimensional self’s ability to adjust during transitions --- seasonal, circumstantial, spiritual or anything encompassing transitional energy. I have resilience on my side. I can do this. I can get up. And I do.

Transitions can be burly. Humans love routines. We love prediction, anticipation and the familiar. Resistance to change can emerge the ornery grunts and spurts of spite. And yet there are ways to reperceive transition so we’re rolling in the opportunity to revitalize old routines and customize new routines, no matter what we’re experiencing in life. How? By accepting that change is inevitable. By humbly chuckling when we realize that unpredictability is the only thing that is predictable. By embodying an attitude of gratitude.

The big question to ask is, “What do you do that cultivates an attitude of gratitude?”

Breath in Winter

For me, it’s riding a bicycle. I am grateful that the bicycle -- a sacred sentinel and an inspirational impetus all in one -- is always available for me. It loyally awaits the union of my feet and its pedals in synchronous propulsion, and that translates to my full acceptance of transition, the now -- the dark, the cold, the revitalized routine 0f cleaning my bike, the new routine of taking more time to creatively prep for my ride with extra layers, hat under helmet, gloves, booties over shoes and the headlights on my helmet, handlebars and saddle.

And an attitude of gratitude comes from that? Yup. I don’t force it. Gratitude is not a muscle or a balloon you need to inflate. It is a faithful entity that arises when you do what you love and when you believe in impulse versus stagnancy. All I have to do is breathe, mount a bicycle and the medicine of its flawless engineering and jovial navigation sweeps me into an opportunist and wonder-full mindset. The wheels rolling, my mind cajoling, my body in full release of controlling, my spirit consoling, my existence free from pigeonholing. I let go of prediction, anticipation and the familiar without even trying. I am simply grateful.

The tread of my tires soul-surfs the dirt with freeflow. My breathing is full and fast but as light as my grip on the handlebars and as my grip on life. The tire tread, my breathing and the tenderness of my hands remind me not to grip onto anything during a transition. Not to grip onto the resistance of the dark, the cold, the new season or the new routine of cold weather rides. Afterall, life is one colossal transition full of incremental transitions. And if the dark never arrived, I wouldn’t be able to ride in the moonlight. If I choose to grip, I choose to be stuck. Is that what I want? No thanks. That’s no fun.

The Bicycle Teacher

The wheels of my bicycle remind me that we are meant to keep rolling. My bicycle ride reminds me that the momentum on the bike translates to my momentum off the bike. Life is the art of rolling. I get this conceptually, and I get to say that I live it contextually. I embody the attitude of gratitude. And have for a long time. Especially when the bike almost killed me and then brought me back to life. Twice. But sometimes I have to remind myself why I believe that life is the art of rolling. Where does that attitude of gratitude really come from?

Is gratitude born in the mind? I believe it comes from consistently doing what you love. The consistency is what makes a routine feel like a ritual and amplifies soul essence and soul purpose, no matter what you love to do and no matter who you are. Gratitude is cultivated as a result of doing what brings you joy. The experience determines the attitude. What was Mother Theresa grateful for? How did her attitude of gratitude contribute to global gratitude? How does yours? When I ride my bicycle, I imagine every pedal stroke, every breath and every grateful thought as a contribution to the sacred medley of oneness.

I love to ride my bicycles. Velo means bicycle after all, and if you unscramble v-e-l-o you get the word l-o-v-e. Each bicycle has taught me about gratitude. All of my rides have embedded gratitude into the wiring of my multidimensional self. Because of this, I heal, receive clarity and energetically align in cell, spirit and circumstance. So what ultimately happens when I choose resilience over resistance? I know love. I know joy. I am awake. Because if anything, I am gripping onto the moment in momentum. And it sure feels good.

Embodying What You Love

What do you love to do? What brings you joy? How do you know? How do you feel it? When you’re transitioning from sleep to wakefulness, or from circumstance to circumstance or from season to season, what is that one thing that pops you out of bed in the morning and that keeps you in the moment of momentum? What is your ‘tire tread’ that reminds you about resilience and the art of rolling?

Celebrate change by doing what you love. When you consistently do what you love, you innately and effortlessly become an attitude of gratitude.

“I see you, you see me. Oh, to be awake and free!”

Thanks for reading, and for considering a clicked heart, comment, Pledge and Tip if you so choose. See more of my writing and info about me here: Jessica Amber Barnum


About the Creator

Jessica Amber Barnum

I’m a teacher and creator of everything I love! To read and write is to be alive. To read and write with my students is to thrive. To read and write while riding a bike = "Book it on a bike."

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Compelling and original writing

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  • Harbor Benassa2 years ago

    Heartfelt and original non-fiction narrative storytellling- the best kind!

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