How I lost my bike being not mindful
Have you ever had this experience that you are driving your car and at some point, you realize where you are and you completely forgot the way to come here?
This is scary.
Being not mindful could be scary and this is how I lost my bike.
Amsterdam is the city of beautiful canals, rainy days and thousands of bikes. Cycling is easy, cheap, healthy and good for the environment. I sold my car when I moved to Amsterdam and I don’t miss it at all! Even when it’s a rainy day. Here we say that there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad equipment.
We use our bikes daily, so it happens that we have to lock and unlock it several times per day. You cycle, park, lock, come back, unlock and cycle. It can become an automatism.
And this is the problem: the automatic pilot.
It’s one of the first things that you learn during the MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) training: cultivate Mindfulness in your daily life. In others words, your bring the present moment in your routine activities such as showering, cooking, brushing your teeth, etc.
I remembered that I chose “showering” and “brushing my teeth” during my training. Because most of the time I’m not in my shower mentally, I’m trying to solve a problem, argue about a future discussion, think about the future, etc. And, in the end, I completely forget that I showered myself and how it could be pleasant to take care of my body.
Such routine activity not practiced in the present moment can have impactful consequences.
A few weeks ago, I went to a park and I was discussing with a friend, while we were cycling and parking. When we arrived, we were still discussing and I took my bags off the basket and we went to the park. I was not mindful at all and I left my bike with the keys on it, completely unlocked.
Never do that in Amsterdam. Even, if you park your bike and you lock it, it can be stolen. So imagine with the keys on it, it’s gone in 5 minutes!
Obviously, it's what happened to me.
When we came back to the place where our bikes were parked, mine was missing.
I was so annoyed and angry, it took me all the evening to calm down.
But the funny thing is, that I was not upset about the person who stole my bike but against me. I could not understand how I did something so “stupid” (that’s the harsh words that I used). It would have been the same to leave the bike with a giant flyer “free bike, please take it, my pleasure”.
So, in the end, it was not just about losing a bike. I’ve learned a lot from this experience:
- Mindfulness is not acquired, it's something that you work on every day, and during all your life;
- You learn from your mistakes and I believe that I will pay more attention in the future to lock my bike properly;
- I will have more empathy for a friend who experiences the same in the future and, I will be more able to understand his/ her feelings and emotions;
- I should be more kind to me, compassion should start with ourselves;
But at the end, I think I was really emotional about this experience, not because I've lost a bike (even if it was a good one!) but because I thought that practicing Mindfulness every day would avoid me this type of experience.
Mindfulness is a continuous learning and the sport for the mind that need practice. It’s an no-ending learning.
When we are rushing in our life, there is a simple tool that could help us to bring back our body and mind in the present moment and we all know it: our breathing !
Here a 3 minutes breathing exercise that I would like to share with you. Try it and let me know what do you think about it?
“Mind your body, Mind your mind”
Photo 1 by Tiffany Nutt on Unsplash