We have left Holland to live in Spain. Just to complete our stay there I want to write one last cycling article.
It is interesting to look at the lessons I learnt on our cycling holiday along the North Sea coast. As I was cycling I realised that what we were doing was a great metaphor for how we live our life. Apply it and life is transformed, let it go and it’s just the same old drudgery, but isn’t that always true!
1. Planning, Overview and Detail
I gathered the tools I would need on the way, the maps, the compass, the phone. I looked at the overview before we went, the grand plan, and worked out how the cycle mapping system in Holland worked. I left the detail for on the road. Only do now what is needed now.
The overview turned out to be not very practical, I didn’t really assess properly how far we could actually cycle in a day. That’s OK because I was willing to be flexible. I didn’t want to give up too early on the first day, but I did evolve, as we went along, an alternative plan. The plan was for that day and subsequent days. It turned out we only needed to alter the first day. I was flexible about being flexible.
3. Vision, Goals and Target
Vision is the overall idea for the trip, goals are what you intend to achieve at each stage, in this case daily, target is what you are achieving at any particular moment. The vision was to cycle to the sea and back, experiencing Holland in the process. We had a geographical goal for each day which would achieve the vision. Our individual targets changed as we cycled, these kept us to our goals and therefore our vision. We should understand which are which in our lives.
4. Effort, One Step at a Time, Trust
Achievement requires effort. As they say, manifestation is about intention, effort and divine grace. If the planning, vision and the rest are in place then you just need to make the effort on the road and trust that it will all work, it will all come together. The flexibility will cater for course corrections.
5. In the Moment
It is absolutely vital that we enjoy what we are doing, after all that’s what the planning has all been about. Hasn’t it. This is staying in the moment, loving where you are and what is happening at any moment.
6. Rain, Shelter or Carry-On, Wisdom
Part way through the second day we were caught in an incredibly heavy rain downpour. We stopped to shelter under a tree, and still found we were getting wet! So we carried on, knowing that we would get completely wet, but not caring because we were enjoying it in the moment. After it stopped we dried as we cycled, all was OK. Later that day, in Rotterdam, the rain threatened again, this time we stopped in time to shelter. This time we were tired and cold. Carrying on was not an option. Different solutions are needed at different times. Be wise and think it through each time.
7. Stop for a Beer
Yes, it’s a great idea, especially when it’s hot and we need a lift. Only one though, we need to keep cycling! The moment when we stopped was the moment we finally changed our plan for the day. The time taken for the drink gave us space to think. Remember to take time out from whatever is happening.
8. Signs, feeling awkward, Intuition.
Holland is covered with signs for cyclists showing the way. Even with them we still lost our way occasionally. When this happened we usually had a sense that things were not right. We felt awkward and followed our intuition to get us back on track. It never failed us, because we remained sensitive to it.
9. Let Go of Ego
We enjoyed our holiday simply because we let go of our egos. We had a vision and a plan, but we didn’t need to achieve any of it. We simply needed to have fun. That’s what happens when you let go.
10. Completing the Circle.
For us the main aim was to complete the circle, get back to where we started from. At other times our aim is to move forward away from where we started from. We are always clear about where we are going and what we are doing. This is basic but critical.