September 10, 2021
A couple of years ago, I wrote a blog post about how I started to “dream into” long-distance train travel, years ago.
And for the past year, as I have dreamed into this bike tour, I have employed a similar mind trick, which I believe has contributed to my success in being able to manifest this journey, and to be enjoying it so much so far:
For the past year, whenever I would notice myself bicycling around Portland—which was quite often, because I commuted to work three miles each way, four days a week, as well as doing most of my errands by pedal power—I would smile and say to myself, “This is my life now.” I would often follow up with a few more words, to the effect of “I ride around the country on my bike, going through neighborhoods just like this, and enjoying the scenery in each moment.”
Every time I did this, it gave me a lift. I would smile and think of how much I loved my life, and also think ahead to when this really would be “my life” 100% of the time.
And last night, that new life actually began!
Several times today, on my scenic ride to Salem from Portland, I said to myself, “This is my life now.” And then I smiled and smiled. I would glance back at my neon trailer, and feel the weight as I pulled it, and recognize that slight circumstantial difference from when I said those words before, vs. today. Today, it was really, really real!
But it was real all along, too. And I find that there is such a power in recognizing the components of dreams that are already real, already true. Such power in taking a moment whenever we notice it, and feeling joy and gratitude about the piece of our dream(s) that is already occupying space in our life as it is.
I invite you to try this in your own life. What is a dream you have? What is the “dream life” you would like to lead? What would it look and feel like, on a day-to-day, even moment-to-moment, basis? What parts of it do you already have? (Or could you easily add, even if only partially?) I invite you to step fully into gratitude for these aspects, every time you notice them, and affirm to yourself that “this is my life now.”
Now a brief travelogue from today:
The weather was unseasonably cool and overcast, and I even got misted on a few times. But I enjoyed the lack of blazing sun and heat, and thoroughly enjoyed the first full day of my journey.
After a lovely overnight stay with my Warmshowers hosts near my condo in SE Portland (which followed a lovely dinner from Siri Thai that a friend gifted me, in a park just as dusk was falling) I pedaled off this morning to the Milwaukie Transit Center. I had debated bicycling the whole way to Salem, but ultimately decided I didn’t want to face those formidable hills in Oregon City on my very first day. (I could just imagine blowing out my knees and ruining things for the foreseeable future.) So I rolled my rig onto a TriMet bus at the transit center, and rode it about half an hour, until we reached the top of the hill in Oregon City.
From there, it was a fairly easy and straightforward ride to Salem. I stopped for a snack in a Woodburn park, then again in Salem before arriving at my Warmshowers hosts for tonight. They are a delightful couple, and we shared several hours of pleasant conversation, as well as a brief walk to a neighborhood creek with a new bridge.
A part of me still can’t believe that “this is my life now”… but it is. I am so happy and so grateful.
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